Fighting games are known for being complex, flashy, and oftentimes gratifying. However, they’re just as often one of the video game world’s greatest stressors. Between unbalanced characters and nearly-unbeatable CPUs, a select few fighting game characters have become the source of broken controllers, damaged televisions, and irreparable damages to the self-esteem levels of gamers everywhere.
From tough bosses to overpowered tournament characters, here are some of the cheapest characters in all of fighting games.
Rugal Bernstein (King of Fighters series)
Rugal Bernstein is King of Fighters‘ answer to the likes of M. Bison and Shang Tsung, but he’s quite possibly more infuriating than those two powerful dictators combined. A series staple since King of Fighters ’94, Rugal quickly became the bane of many an SNK fan’s existence thanks to his deceptively elegant wardrobe and myriad of painful special moves. While Rugal was killed off in King of Fighters ’95, he only grew more powerful as Omega Rugal, a fully-unchained version of the character that helped inspire an entire generation worth of sore thumbs.
Akuma (Street Fighter series)
A household name amongst even the most casual Street Fighter fans, Akuma still stands as one of the strongest characters in the most recent installment of the game. However, like with many boss characters, his first appearance was perhaps his most devastating. Akuma first entered the digital fray in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, where players were able to fight against him instead of M. Bison if they met certain conditions during their run through the tournament. Not only have his high-damage combos caused grief among solo players, they’ve actually led to the character being banned in Super Turbo tournament use. This is no longer the case in modern games such as Super Street Fighter IV and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, though the eternally-demonic Akuma still knows how to bring the pain in just about any game he’s featured.
Scorpion (Injustice: Gods Among Us)
While he’s been a beloved staple of the Mortal Kombat series since its inception, few characters have stirred up such controversy among a community like Scorpion did when he recently made his way to Injustice: Gods Among Us as a downloadable fighter. Scorpion may be an integral and accepted part of the Mortal Kombat universe, but many hardcore players complained that his high-speed teleports proved too powerful in a game without a block button. Many comic purists also disdained the fact that the game’s latest character arrived from outside of the DC Universe. And while Scorpion has since been balanced by NetherRealm Studios via a patch, diehard Injustice players will always remember the backlash from the first few weeks that Scorpion decided to “get over here.”
Bob (Tekken series)
While a hefty blonde man wearing a red button-down and overalls strays from the stereotype of a menacing fighting game character, Tekken‘s Bob has been testing the nerves of all types of players since he splashed onto the scene for Tekken 6. With a myriad of solid mix-ups and high-damage, low-risk moves, Bob became so popular among competitive Tekken players that the majority of the finalists in the Evolution 2011 tournament for Tekken 6 were using the character to win. Namco Bandai must have felt that one of their cheapest characters wasn’t cheap enough, as they added a “Slim Bob” variation to Tekken Tag Tournament 2 so that players can run a two-man team consisting of the same devastating brawler.
Vergil (Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3)
As the twin brother of Dante and a key villain in the Devil May Cry franchise, its only fitting that Vergil became one of the most annoying brawlers in all of fighting games when he made his way to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Vergil can teleport instantly, surround himself with swords, turn into a devil, and do just about anything else that makes a fighting game character near impossible to take down. And while Vergil was once a monstrous computer-controlled opponent in the DMC games, it’s today’s top tournament players such as AGE | Chris G and EMP | Flocker that make him such an absolute nightmare. Tune into any UMvC3 tournament on Twitch, and you’re near guaranteed to see the indestructible son of Sparda imposing his will on legions of helpless opponents. Even in a game featuring Captain America, The Hulk, and Iron Man, Vergil has proved himself to be too much for even the world’s mightiest superheroes.
While these five fighters have more than a combined decade’s worth of devastation under their belts, a discussion about the cheapest characters in the genre could go on for years. What digital brawlers do you dread squaring off against? Is it the CPU that makes you strain your thumbs, or are certain fighters just way too good in a tournament setting?