The Top 10 Best 3D Fighting Games from the Original PlayStation (PS1)

Sure, the contemporary library of PS3 titles allows you to play the most technologically advanced fighting games, but occasionally you feel nostalgic for some of the classics. The original PlayStation (sometimes called the PSX) hosted some of the most iconic fighting games of its time with many of these franchises getting their start on the classic Sony gaming console from 1995. While sports games are rendered obsolete at the end of the season, fighting games, especially those constructed around a solid game engine, can endure for years and sometimes even decades.

10) Battle Arena Toshinden

Sure, the gameplay could make this entry a bit controversial, but it still plays relatively well, albeit a tad floaty and slow. The true beauty in this game does admittedly lie in the nostalgia value, but who can forget how they felt the first time they executed a dodge maneuver in this game as they watched their texture-mapped 3D character roll into the then-marvelously constructed 3D environment?

9) Dynasty Warriors

Dynasty Warriors is a deeply complex game that requires lots of skill to master. The intricate fighting game engine raised the bar in 1997 and still stands apart as a significantly well thought out fighting game. This effort is not for the button smashers, but rather for the thinkers.

8) Street Fighter EX 2

Street Fighter and Capcom purists may have derided this game as they saw their favorite fighting game franchise move away from the trademark sprite-based graphics. Once you looked beyond your personal graphical expectations, what was left was a very solid game that successfully moved the Street Fighter series into 3D world.

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7) Tobal 2

Tobal 2 had the misfortune of being released at a time when competition was fierce in the fighting game genre for the original PlayStation. Despite many worthy contenders, especially those from Namco, stealing the spotlight, the second iteration of Square’s Tobal series was stellar in execution.

6) Bloody Roar 2

While a game of this sort could easily be written off as gimmicky due to its “beast mode,” the level of programming and thoroughness of the gameplay elevates Bloody Roar 2 to the elite level of 3D fighting games on a classic console known for the genre. The combo system was marvelously designed and the graphics are still easy on the eyes.

5) Bushido Blade 2

Bushido Blade 2 was another of the original PlayStation’s 3D fighters that became known for its deep gameplay. Square really honed into the methodical concept on this one and this weapon-based fighting game is clearly one of those that can be described by saying it takes minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master.

4) Rival Schools

Well-balanced gameplay defined the Rival Schools experience, and this should come as no surprise from a Capcom fighting game. The large selection of playable fighters and crisp 3D graphics make this one of the most memorable fighting games from the original PlayStation.

3) Tekken 2

At the time of Tekken 2’s release, no fighting game could match its broad swath of gameplay modes. The addictive gameplay, balanced characters, and then-groundbreaking lighting effects made this game tops of any gamer’s “best of” list. The Tekken 2 fighting game experience is still thoroughly entertaining even though the franchise has spawned many subsequent releases.

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2) Soul Blade

Soul Blade was a groundbreaking release from Namco and the execution of the arcade-to-home conversion was something that left critics speechless. The weapons-based gameplay of this 3D fighter was well-balanced, making it one of the most enduring fighting games from the original PlayStation.

1) Tekken 3

Tekken 3 changed the rules for arcade conversions and the fact that Namco could convert the highly complex 3D models over to Sony’s home console in such a slick manner is something that is still a technical marvel. The gameplay of Tekken 3 marked a high-water point for the legendary franchise, meaning that a Tekken 3 session is less of a step back in time and more of a tribute to the peak of Tekken’s legendary gameplay mechanics.

The contributor is a fan of Sega fighting games like Virtua Fighter and Last Bronx, but he has spent hundreds of hours playing Namco fighting games on his PlayStation.

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