Mortal Kombat VS. Street Fighter: Which Series Is The Definitive Fighting Game?

In a few short days the latest Mortal Kombat game will be released to legions of adoring fans that have been anticipating greatness from the game ever since it was first showcased at E3 last year. Our coverage at the show certainly showed off impressive looking game and as we later learned with our radio segment, fans were eager to take a look at the new features and even more gruesome and brutal fatalities that are powered by next-generation technology. At the same time, Street Fighter V is well into development and will be making its debut in 2016 if all goes according to plan. While the disparity in release dates makes any direct competition between the two epic franchises a moot point, it is interesting to note that despite both games making their appearance in the arcades of the early 90s, and has been the various gaming consoles that have kept them both at the forefront of the genre.

There have been countless contenders in the funny game arena over the years as successful Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter and led to numerous entries hoping to capture some of the magic. Primal Rage, Killer Instinct, and countless others attempted to find their place and with apologies to Tekken, only Killer Instinct has scored any significant buzz in recent years. To be clear I’m not counting games such as Smash Bros. and Sony’s great All Star Battle Royale in this discussion as I am focusing on games that had their origin in the coin-op era. So looking at the two heavyweights seems at first like a bit of a mismatch. Street Fighter presents gamers with a variety of colorful characters who can do an incredible range of athletic and destructive moves often at Turbo speeds which requires great hand eye coordination and sharp reflexes to master.

Mortal Kombat on the other hand has a darker and far more menacing look and tone to it which is punctuated by the incredibly graphic fatalities that have scored the series legions of fans but also made the series an easy target for detractors who see the graphic violence the game as harmful to society. The two franchises are sadly not going to meet in the arena anytime soon to settle this by certainly would love to see a matchup between Ken and Johnny Cage, Sub Zero and Chun Li, in a Full Contact match with the winner taking it all. I certainly would love to see what kind of fatalities that the Street Fighter Cast would enjoy deploying given the opportunity. In many ways the two games underscore the big contrasts in the genre. One is about skill and finesse, the other is about skill and finesse but brutality. It would be next to impossible to have any measure of success in Mortal Kombat without doing grievous amounts of damage to your opponent’s and leaving a trail of blood and gore in your wake. Even the landscape in which the contestants fight is darkly foreboding and often disturbing as their bonus rounds don’t involve beating up a car, it involves graphically decapitating eviscerating one’s opponent for fun.

Obviously there’s definitely a place for both these series as their continued success shows that gamers have been able to embrace both sides of the genre, the PG-13 family-friendly Street Fighter, and the pushing NC-17 Mortal Kombat series that becomes darker, edgier, and more brutal with each outing. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the developers come up with for both these games as despite my limited skills, I fondly remember pumping quarters into the arcade versions, and then logging quite a bit of time with the Super Nintendo and later consulate PC versions of both games. For now, gamers can be content that plenty of challenging matches and breathtaking action lay ahead is in the end both franchises have shown they have what it takes to endure.