What Fighting Games should Beginners play?

Any fighting games you would recommend for a beginner looking to get into the genre?

I’ve been trying to work out the best fighting game for a beginner for a while now, and I’m honestly still unsure, lemme explain my candidates and reasoning.

First, I think the street fighter series is probably the best starting point because it’s generally pretty simple and sticks to fundamentals without anything too curveball-y.

I want to avoid SF4, because even though it’s popular, it has input shortcuts which teach bad habits. Going in online to get beaten up for a while in SF4 can help you get on your feet though.

SF2 would be my top pick, because it’s probably as fundamental as fighters get. It has all the basic character variations. Downside is that a bunch of things are random, input windows, damage, stun, throws on the same frame, a few unblockables. And the inputs are just plain hard. I feel like it’s a good thing for a beginner to be able to do special moves, like at all. SF2 HD Remix makes it a lot easier to input, so it’s naturally a better pick (avoid the SNES version), but there’s no input display in training mode, which is dumb.

I tried out SF Alpha 2, feeling that SFA3 would be too far off course, though I think the inputs are just as hard as SF2. It has a strong cast though and less random weirdness and still sticks to the fundamentals, so it’s good pick otherwise.

SF3 3rd Strike has an input read algorithm that I feel is as flexible as needs to be for beginners to pick it up, and avoids dumb stuff like input shortcuts. It’s just hard enough to input, maybe a bit too rigid compared to games like guilty gear. The downside is that although I like the game, I feel like the cast is a bit weird, and there are a ton of system features that can be overload for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. That and people tend to get a bit fixated on parries which fucks with the learning process. Somehow the training mode for online edition doesn’t have input display either.

Skullgirls is a left field pick, I think it doesn’t really stick to fighting game fundamentals that well, but it has an amazing tutorial mode, good input read algorithms, and doesn’t really teach any bad habits to my knowledge. Might be a bit complicated though. Has one of the best training modes ever made.

I prefer KoF 98, others prefer 2002. KoF before XIII is generally pretty simple, and apart from shorthopping and rolling it’s pretty fundamental, but it can be tricky to play a team of 3 characters when you don’t know anyone in the game.

Try out whichever sounds and looks most appealing to you.

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