The Best Dreamcast Fighting Games

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The end of the 90’s and the beginning of the 2000’s were an amazing time for fans of fighting games. Arcade and home console technology was pretty comparable, meaning that many arcade classics got ported to home consoles with similar graphics and mechanics. The Sega Dreamcast was home to many of these awesome arcade fighters since Sega was leading in arcade games at the time.

Titles like SoulCalibur, Guilty Gear X, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike became instant classics in the arcade. These games changed fighting games forever, adding awesome new mechanics and totally overhauling the graphics. Their Dreamcast ports didn’t miss any of these new additions either. These ports are totally faithful to their source material, making it hard to differentiate between the arcade and console versions. The original titles also became landmarks in their franchises such as the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fighter.

Soul Calibur

Technically the second entry in this series, Soul Calibur is the much loved and anticipated sequel to Soul Edge that made some awesome upgrades to an already exciting fighting game. Soul Calibur’s main improvement to the franchise is the eight-way run mechanic, which provides players more freedom of movement around the arena.

There are nineteen different characters to choose from, each having their own techniques and abilities to add some nice variety to the game. While this game may seem intense to outsiders, it is actually a very forgiving title with plenty of mechanics to guide new players while still allowing skilled gamers to enjoy some depth.

Soul Calibur is the second highest rated game on major gaming publications, putting it right behind Ocarina of Time as one of the best games ever made.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an awesome anime and manga that has recently seen a large influx of new fans. Many of these new fans are probably not aware that this series had an amazing fighting title in the late 90’s. Developed by Capcom, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure plays similarly to a Marvel vs. Capcom game with Stands as assists rather than other characters.

Capcom’s beautiful, pixelated style meshes perfectly with JoJo’s unique artstyle, creating one of the most stunning fighting titles released for the Dreamcast. There are a total of 22 characters in this title, each with their own unique fighting styles and Stand abilities. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a lesser known fighting game that needs to be played by Dreamcast fans all over the world.

Guilty Gear X

Continuing the critically acclaimed fighting series Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear X cranks things up a notch. In this entry, major fighting systems have been overhauled, characters have been added, and features have been introduced.

While this title is similar to many 2D fighters of the era, Guilty Gear X includes some skillful cancels and combos that make this title easy to play but difficult to master. One of these new features is the Roman Cancel, which is a difficult move that cancels an opponent's attack and creates an opening for the player to counter. There are sixteen characters to choose from which vary wildly in playstyle, so there is something for everyone in this awesome fighter.

Power Stone 2

Power Stone 2 is easily the most unique fighter on this list. This title strays from the usual 2D competitive fighters that we all know and love from this era. Instead, Power Stone 2 provides a unique party fighter that is accessible to every type of gamer. There are four modes available in this title, 1-on-1, Arcade, Original, and Adventure, each of them offering a new twist on this awesome game.

1-on-1 is just classic brawling with two characters in an awesome story mode, Arcade is a four person brawl, Original is more like a free mode, allowing players to freely choose characters and stages, and finally Adventure is a story mode that offers a little more depth than 1-on-1.

There are fourteen equally unique characters in Power Stone 2 and plenty of items to bash your opponents with, making this one of the most fun fighters on the Dreamcast.

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

The third release of Street Fighter III, 3rd Strike offers fans of the series plenty of new additions to set this entry apart from the rest. Nowadays, we’d consider many of the additions made in Third Strike as DLC, but at the time this was a giant upgrade to an already fun fighter.

On top of the content included originally, Third Strike adds Chun-Li and Akuma, along with three new characters, to boost the roster to twenty fighters. Each fighter also got some new stages and music.

Another cool new addition is the judgement at the end of each fight, ranking how each player used offense, defense, and techniques, giving players some extra points. If you want to experience this beautiful fighter but can’t find a Dreamcast copy, don’t worry.

This title was most recently released in the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, making it available on all modern platforms.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

Marvel vs. Capcom is a must-play series of fighters, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes shines above the rest. This entry into the series is easily the most iconic, making fighting even more fun and the graphics more beautiful.

Upping the ante, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes boasts 56 playable fighters to choose from across Marvel comics and Capcom franchises. Notable inclusions are MegaMan, Gambit and Guile to name a few. There are a few original characters as well.

The modes are much of the same from previous entries, with improvements to the assist system and overall feel of the game. On top of all this, the graphics are easily some of the most beautiful on the Dreamcast. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is a must-have for any kind of gamer or comic fan.

  • Updated January 26, 2021