X-List: The 5 cheapest characters in fighting game history

Posted on Jul 7 2013 - 9:55pm by Mike Andronico

X List X List: The 5 cheapest characters in fighting game history

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.

orugal X List: The 5 cheapest characters in fighting game history

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 X List: The 5 cheapest characters in fighting game history

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.

injustice scorpion X List: The 5 cheapest characters in fighting game history

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.”

tekken6bob X List: The 5 cheapest characters in fighting game history

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 1024x576 X List: The 5 cheapest characters in fighting game history

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?

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Mike Andronico is a devoted entertainment reporter from the Bronx, NY. When he's not mashing away at his favorite games, you can find him on Fight Your Rival, a weekly YouTube show delivering the best news from the fighting game community and beyond. Mike's writing/editing portfolio includes YRB Magazine, GameNGuide, and Joonbug.com, where he's delivered a fresh perspective on games, comics, music, and everything in-between.

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  • Tatjana Vejnovic

    Bob cheaper than Eddy Gordo/Christie Montero?? :P

    • Zarathos No Daimaōh

      Both arent nearly as effective as Bob, and are overall quite weak , even if skilled players can do something with them .

      • Tatjana Vejnovic

        Touche. You do have a good point.

  • http://www.2D-X.com/ Jeffrey L. Wilson

    “Genocide Cutter” = words that haunt me to this day.

  • Papa Derp

    You forgot Magneto from X-Men: Children of the Atom, his force field lasted nearly the whole round and his shockwave vertically covered the whole screen.

  • Isaac Rouse

    Sagat in Street Fighter II Turbo made my cry when I was a kid.

    • http://www.2D-X.com/ Jeffrey L. Wilson

      I actually think he’s the easiest of all the characters named in this thread. /douchebag

      • Isaac Rouse

        But this is when I was a kid that he was hard. He probably was never hard to you seeing as how you were 34 years old when SFII Turbo came out ;)

        Hardest for me though? Shin Akuma.
        Cheapest? Jinpachi.

        • http://www.2D-X.com/ Jeffrey L. Wilson
        • Matt K

          I didn’t remember what a pain in the ass Shin Akuma was in Capcom vs. SNK 2 until I replayed it on PS3/PS2 Classic. Took me a good 15 minutes to beat him with cheapie standby Blanka.

  • Erin Lewis

    Cyber Akuma from MSHvsSF made me rage quit more times than I care to remember.

  • reverze

    Fire elsa from AH3
    Real man tears were shed

  • http://www.2D-X.com/ Jeffrey L. Wilson

    I’d also like to note that Athena (from KOF) is one of the most annoying video games characters ever. Her non-stop, high-pitched chatter and those god damned sparkles!

  • Nocturnal

    Hey dude, which rock have you been under man? Seriously this list is crap I see here and why don’t you be recent of game titles of fighting games that is out, not that has been about oh i dunno 1998! =

    • http://www.2D-X.com/ Jeffrey L. Wilson

      Like Injustice or UMvC3?

    • http://www.2d-x.com/ Eric Guzman

      Be it that fighters are uber casual now I dont see him finding difficult bosses anymore troll. Any of the bosses from MKII were brutal sigh.

    • Manuel Granados

      Because developers have come to the realization that bosses don’t need to be a huge pain in the ass.
      You are obviously too young to remember Goro from MK I. No boss in modern games compares to what a brutal pain in the ass he was.

  • Eric

    no geese howard from fatal fury?

    • http://www.2D-X.com/ Jeffrey L. Wilson

      Geese is a nightmare, but I’d rather face him than deal with Rugal.

  • Matt K

    I have beaten I-no (the Gold Mode version boss of Guilty Gear XX Reload, not the playable character) a grand total of once. It requires two overdrives to beat her and she is cheaper than hell.

  • Agt_Pendergast

    I’m not a big time fighting game player, but hearing Vergil is too much for Earth’s mightiest hero’s brought a smile to my face. Sounds about right to me.

  • mattwo

    Funny, Pheonix Wright was the one I always heard about being broken in UMvC3 before he got nerfed. Not to mention, it was more along the lines of his assist, which just made it even more cheap…

  • http://www.yepi8.org/ yepi 8

    I liked the character Bob characters other than