Truly Underrated Fighting Games

My personal list of legit fighting games that are still played in some sort of competitive fashion today that have been largely forgotten, neglected or just got a bad rap. 

List items

  • Ask anyone what they think of Breaker's Revenge and they'll usually say the same thing: "solid." So why did it never get picked up? It's rare, generic as all hell and did I mention its rare? Still, you can find plenty of competition for it online today at GGPO.

  • I was never much of a Fatal Fury fan, but it's hard to deny that this is the one where it all came together. With an incredibly well-rounded cast and the most fluid combat that, really, any SNK game has ever seen, its no wonder this game is still played regularly at Japan's legendary Mikado arcade (where they also play Jackie Chan!). Forget Garou: this Fatal Fury is the real deal.

  • It looks like Mortal Kombat, plays like Melty Blood and is probably the easiest fighting game one could possibly pick-up. Fists of Fire has become a NorCal favorite due to its extremely fast, addictive nature. So addicting in fact that it was actually banned from tournament practice sessions prior to the 2009 NorCal Regionals.

  • There is only one good reason -- okay two good reasons why very few are willing to accept Melty Blood. First, it's animu to the point of being embarrassing (only Arcana Heart is more so) and secondly, its players are widely associated with the same guys who buy body pillows of underage dating game girls and go on "dates" with their PC doujin "girlfriends." As for the actual game, what is there not to love? It's easy to pick-up, incredibly fast, well balanced and full of unique characters without all the extra baggage of ridiculous systems that Guilty Gear brings to the table. Now if only the players could stop bringing cakes for their characters to the arcades.

  • While misguided nostalgia dictates that Mortal Kombat 2 is where the series peaked and that Mortal Kombat 3 with its advancements and improved gameplay at the cost of seriousness tainted the series (zuh?), I'm of the opinion that the crazier Mortal Kombat gets, the more fun it is. Kombat does not get any more insane than Mortal Kombat Trilogy. With every character you could possibly ask for, blazing fast speed and stupid-awesome combo opportunities, this is the true pinnacle of the series. Well, UMK3 probably is, but I can't resist Classic Kano.

  • Quite possibly the most misunderstood fighting game of all time, Primal Rage has a lot more depth than a lot of people would like to give it credit for. While it draws many comparisons to Mortal Kombat, the most appropriate game to compare it to would be, interestingly enough, Tekken, as a lot of Primal Rage comes down to standing chains into juggles. It's not particularly well balanced and there's plenty of insane combos to be had, but that's all part of the fun and it's definitely not the trash it gets passed off as.