Tournament Edition was a rental-only upgrade that did not add any new characters, but fixed some of the moves from the original version and added some extra features. More importantly, it turned Blue Suede Goo’s stage into a gigantic image of his horrific, blobby face. Speaking of ugly, the sequel, C2: Judgment Clay, never truly hit the highs of the original game and was simply a chore to even look at.
9. Power Instinct
Despite being a multi-entry fighting game franchise, Power Instinct has been forgotten by time. The main thing people remember about it is that there’s an old woman character who can use her dentures as a projectile and can suck out her opponent’s life force, temporarily turning her young. Actually, that comedic edge pairs well with this fighter’s excellent gameplay. Power Instinct was hardly a genre innovator, but its best qualities hit the right notes.
Sadly, the US version received the short end of the stick. Concepts like bios, character-specific win quotes, and even the endings got cut. The lack of endings brings down the replay value, but at least the gameplay is competent enough to stand on its own.
8. Samurai Shodown
An earlier entry into a genre already overflowing with options at the time, Samurai Shodown was one of the first fighting games that felt truly special. Sure, the game’s sequels and arcade original version were better, but what were you going to do? At the time, your options for a better version were to either buy an arcade machine, spend a gazillion dollars on the Neo Geo cart, or convince your parents to get you a 3DO. Yes, there was also a Sega CD version of the game, but it removed Earthquake: the overweight ninja bandit from Texas. I absolutely cannot abide by that.
Ultimately, the main drawback of the SNES version is that it lacks the cool zoom feature from the arcade. The sprites are a lot smaller, but everything else works well enough. Nowadays, ports of the Neo Geo version are easy to come by, but this 16-bit samurai swordplay was a decent choice back in its day.
7. Saturday Night Slam Masters
As I said earlier, a few SNES wrestling games were so out there that I have to qualify them as fighters (the third one would be King of the Monsters, which did not rank on this list). With Slam Masters, Capcom assembled a wrestling game that feels like it’s set in the Street Fighter universe. In fact, narratively, it is! Saturday Night Slam Masters is part of the same continuity as Street Fighter and includes Final Fight’s Mayor Mike Haggar as one of its playable characters.