Epic intro sequences made you reconsider hitting that start button.
You crack open the case. You take a quick whiff of your newly bought fighting game. Maybe you take a gander at your Bible-sized strategy guide to figure out who you wanna master. Then you proceed to pop in the disc, all while getting extra hyped about laying the first punch/kick of the game. But before you do that, a special intro cutscene graces your eyes and builds your anticipation to insane levels. The roster of colorful fighters are introduced, plenty of special moves are exchanged and an exciting musical score blazes through your television speakers. They’re so good, you forget you even have a controller in your hands. It’s about time someone paid some respect to these wonderful pieces of of 2D/3D animated sequences. Join me as I bring together the greatest fighting game intro movies…ever.
15. Street Fighter Alpha 2
Simple, short and sweet. Akuma’s badassery gets ignited by a flood of flames. Every character gets a few seconds of face time. Ryu and Ken have a climactic face off. And even Dan gets to look like a world beater for once! That song is pretty catchy, too.
14. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
If this intro didn’t blow your mind at first glance, then I don’t know what to tell you. Marvel’s superheroes finally engaged some of Capcom’s more obscure (and popular) characters. Of course, the best combos and crazy mechanics were shown off in the first couple of seconds. Every time I hear, “Capcom presents…,” I know what’s coming. The final image of everyone striking an epic pose needs to be on a poster ASAP.
13. Tobal No. 2
This PlayStation one fighting game is considered one of the more underrated releases to ever grace the system. The intro showcased the graphical prowess of Sony’s console with beautiful 3D visuals. Akira Toriyama’s recognizable illustrations made this game easy to get into. The fluid fighting was backed up by another case of a super catchy tune. You’re probably gonna wanna import this after getting a glimpse of that intro.
12. Guilty Gear X2
This game’s animation is simply breathtaking. And it’s intro wouldn’t look out of place on a late night marathon of Toonami shows, in my opinion. The rock ‘n roll soundtrack sparked my interest in this fighter, but the cool visual of I-No rocking out in the background convinced me to give this game a go. The added fighters got a proper introduction, plus the remaining cast looked just as good alongside them. This intro is criminally too short for my tastes, but I still love it to death.
11. Dead or Alive 3
The brutal sound effects that erupted after someone got knocked off the top of a building probably means you’re playing this fighter. Aerosmith handled the musical honors as the game’s femme fatales and male combatants did battle. Your heart rate was sure to jump up a few notches after watching the in-game engine on display here. Such a beautiful game needed a beautiful intro. This one was it. Bass Armstrong hitting that palm tree still makes me cringe, dude.
10. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
This is the dream match I never knew I wanted in the first place. I’m glad Capcom made the smart decision to bring this over from Japan to our shores. The opening animated cutscene is probably the coolest (and brightest) FMV I’ve ever watched. The sight of Ryu, Batsu and Roll facing off with Ken The Eagle, Jun The Swan and Polymar in the big city is a memorable one. Trust me when I tell you – this intro needed two more minutes.
9. Def Jam: Fight for New York
Wow. Just wow. We’ll probably never get to see Snoop Dog drop a few leg drops on Fat Joe in real life, but it’s possible through this hip-hip smackdown. The intro, which features a who’s who of popular rappers/urban celebrities, is mind blowing. The anticipation builds at a perfect pace, thanks to all the recognizable MC’s engaging in a fierce standoff. And the scenes of actual gameplay? Jaw dropping, son. Slamming someone’s head into a car door never looks appetizing…
8. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3′s opening movie is pretty nice and all, but this game’s predeccessor trumps it still. There’s just so many dope moments to choose from this starting sequence – Ryu vs. Wolverine. Dante trading bullets with Deadpool. Dormammu emerging from the sky with his flames of chaos. And Captain America owning a helicopter This entry is unique because the full intro is a 12-minute long epic. Get your popcorn ready for this one, folks.
7. Super Street Fighter 4
“Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!” That’s what I uttered after this movie came to a close. Ryu and Ken’s opening fight could have taken up this cutscene’s entire run time and I wouldn’t have complained. Capcom just went on ahead and sweetened the deal with more content, though. Watching Ibuki and Guy bump into each other for the first time warmed my Capcom fighting game fanboy heart. And that Chun-Li/Cammy/Juri battle royale kicked all types of ass. I can just imagine what the next Street Fighter intro sequence will look like!
6. Soul Calibur 2
This fighting game series has a knack for featuring some of the finest in-game cutscenes in video games, period. Namco Bandai’s weapons based fighter hit consoles in 2003 with characters exclusive to each system. What made these versions even cooler was the exclusive characters having their own spot in the opening movie. Every edition was worth a look, since they all featured the Taki/Ivy battle and Maxi/Astaroth’s encounter. I can’t forget about Mitsurugi’s rushdown on those hapless soldiers, either. I picked the GameCube version with Link cause…well, why not?
5. Super Smash Bros. Melee
“BUT WHAT ABOUT SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL’S INTRO?” Trust me when I tell you – I expected that kind of response when I put this intro on here. But let’s keep it funky for a sec, folks. This opening is 10 times better! Nintendo’s long list of icons all looked superior as they fought to the death and posed for the cameras. The orchestral music that played during this sequence is worthy of a download (yeah, it’s that good). Favorite scene? The Yoshi stampede. An intro movie in a video game is meant to build even more excitement for the title you’re getting ready to play. This intro did it’s damn job.
4. Tekken 5
The Tekken series has always started things off with a flashy cutscene or two. Some of the more excellent intro’s came from entries such as Tekken 2, Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament. But which one has the best? That honor goes to Tekken 5. Kazuya and Heihachi’s action packed struggle against a bunch of JACK’s trumps every other opening in the series. Some other scenes that make this intro stand out are Feng Wei’s training scenes, Nina and Anna’s explosive feud and the rebirth of Jinpachi. This intro counts as the one of the reasons why I love this series so much.
3. Street Fighter X Tekken
Yeah, I hear ya. This one is totally just a mash-up of all the episodic trailers that Capcom used to hype the game’s release. But that still doesn’t take away from the cool factor of this intro. It displays the unthinkable – the best of Street Fighter vs. the best of Tekken. The song that plays during this fighting game fanatic’s wet dream will get stuck in your head (I can’t stop humming the damn thing). I never thought I’d see the day when Kazuya is owning Ryu, Akuma is butting heads with Ogre and Asuka/Lili vs. Chun-Li/Cammy is happening. This thing looks like a really well-made fan project. Thank the gaming gods cause it’s real.
2. Soul Edge/Blade
Back in the PlayStation’s heyday, there were several games that managed to push and properly showcase the hardware power of the system. When Soul Edge (or Soul Blade, for some) landed on the home console, it accomplished it’s mission of showing off just how sexy the system’s graphics could be. No one can deny just how lovely this intro really is. It still brings tears (of happiness) to my eyes. So much awesome is contained in this one – Taki and Siegfried’s face-off, Mitsurugi going at it with Hwang and Cervantes’ facial transformation. If you remember this quote, your childhood was the ish – “Transcending history and the world, a tale of soul and swords eternally retold…”
1. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
This is, hands down, the best fighting game intro in the long history of video games. Every, and I mean EVERY, Mortal Kombat fighter made an appearance in this brawl for all. No one’s face, ribs or legs were spared as everyone got their licks in on one another. I lost my ever frigging mind as soon as Scorpion and Sub-Zero clashed, plus my eyes widened at the sight of Kung Lao going airborne with Baraka. But the best (and most hilarious) moment has to be Srtyker punching the ever loving s**t out of Mileena! Shao Khan’s hammer ownage and the return of zombie Lui-Kang were just as awesome. This intro is incredible and just so damn satisfying.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Rival Schools: United By Fate
Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix