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My King of Fighters Ranking

Game list created by Paulo Júnior Avatar

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KoF Games Ranking

The best-to-worst KoF games.
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
An improved KoF98, with more stuff.

Great gameplay with perfect pacing, great balance, awesome roster, incredible soundtrack, great stages that change between rounds, partners appear behind the fight in the stages, there are character interaction animations pre-fights, movesets are also great. 

This is here because it's a complete package of what I consider to be the perfect KoF gameplay.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
A new version of 2002 with a lot of stuff, basically a new game.

Huge roster, good balance, great stages, decent music, great gameplay.

This is not at the top because I consider it a bit too combo-focused and I think the soundtrack is not that good.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
The original version of the best KoF. It's a dream match, which means story doesn't matter, it's not canon, so any character can appear.
Great gameplay with perfect pacing, great balance, awesome roster, incredible soundtrack, great stages that change between rounds, partners appear behind the fight in the stages, there are character interaction animations pre-fights, movesets are also great.
This is here because it's less complete than the packages above, it's also basically the same thing as the first place.
Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
The finale to the Orochi saga. Introduction of Shermie, Yashiro and Chris.

Awesome gameplay and roster, great stages, soundtrack is great too, but some stages are void of music and have only ambient noise.

This is here because it is perhaps the best canon (not dream match) KoF of the perfect KoF gameplay era. But it's less complete than the first places and it's gameplay is also not as refined.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
The second KoF to use the strikers system. It still has the counter and armor system. Introduced Vanessa, Lin, Kula and others.

Good gameplay, decent music, great roster, good stages.

This is here for being, in my opinion, the best KoF that uses a different structure than the usual KoF fare with the strikers system. But because it's not a definitive KoF experience, it can't be placed much higher.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
The first KoF to use the strikers system. Beginning of the NESTS saga. Also introduced the counter and armor system. Introduced K', Whip, Bao and others.

Roster's a bit lacking, but good nonetheless, stages look incredible and music's great.

This is here because it's basically KoF2000 but worse. Except stages and soundtrack are better so I can't place it much lower.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 46 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
King Of Fighters XI, The - PlayStation 2
Using the tag system first implemented in 2003 and in the same arcade system that Neowave was, this is interesting. It's a dream match game.
Roster's kinda lacking (no Leona, no Choi, no Chang, Mai is an unlockable). Stages look good, music is also good. Gameplay is great.

This is here mostly for being really fun to play and feeling like a classic KoF game, while also somehow feeling fresh and new. I dislike the tag system, though.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The King of Fighters XIII - PlayStation 3
Awesome-looking HD KoF with a lot of content, many characters (great roster) and many incredible stages.

This is here because it's a great game, but it feels somewhat unlike KoF and it's not as fun.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 46 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
The King of Fighters 2002 - PlayStation 2
A good dream match. It abandons the strikers system and goes back to the good old 3-on-3 matches.

Decent soundtrack, roster and gameplay! Stages look mostly good and change between rounds, with some looking hideous for being too 3D.

This is here because I think it's less polished than the ones above, it's inconsistent. It also was replaced by KoF2002UM, and it doesn't offer a different enough experience to warrant a higher place.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Introduced Leona. Sprites were redrawn.
This is here because it's classic KoF, but I can't place it higher because it's somewhat dated.
Basically a new version of 2002 in a new arcade system.
Great roster, good soundtrack, great gameplay. Stages look bad, too 3D.

This is here for the qualities mentioned, but it's also a derivative KoF that doesn't offer anything that can't be had (better) in KoF 98 or 2002.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
The King of Fighters XII - PlayStation 3
A dream match with HD graphics, considered by many to be the beta to what XIII would become.

Roster's lacking (no Mai).

This is here for being lackluster, but not as lackluster as the ones below.


People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Introduction of Iori Yagami. Unlike 94, players can edit teams from this game on. Beginning of Orochi saga.

No Leona yet.

This is here because of the reasons stated above. And because it can't be lower than the one that doesn't have Iori.


People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
An improved version of 94 that allows players to edit teams.

No Leona, no Iori, no CYS team.

This is here for the reasons stated above, plus dodge and movesets feel restrictive, and because it can't be lower than the ones below and the redrawn sprites look great and should have been used more by SNK.


People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
King of Fighters XIV - PlayStation 4
A KoF with 3D graphics and a perfect rendition of the 2D gameplay.

This is here because it's the best KoF in a 3D engine. But it's still worse than almost every 2D KoF.


People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
A redo of MI2, and unlike the other MIs this uses the 3-on-3 system of its 2D KoF counterparts.

This is here for being the best early attempt at KoF in 3D, building on top of the ones that came before. It's still not good, though.


People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
King of Fighters 2006, The - PlayStation 2
A 3D KoF with 2D gameplay. Sequel to Maximum Impact. Also known as KoF Maximum Impact 2.

This is here because it's improved over MI, but MI:A improved more.


People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
A 3D KoF with 2D gameplay.

This is here for being bad, but not as restrictive and lacking as the ones below.


People who added this item 37 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
The first KoF. Without the ability to edit teams, this game didn't age that well.

Also, no Leona and no Iori, no CYS team.

This is here because, even though it deserves respect given that it's where the franchise was born, it's lacking because of the reasons stated above. At least it plays, sounds and looks really good.


People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
Made by Eolith, it's not good. It uses a broken iteration of the strikers system where you can have as much as 3 strikers, in which case the playable character on your team gets stronger. End of the NESTS saga. Among the characters introduced was a copy of the main character from Akira named K999, which would be changed into Nameless in 2002UM. Stages look mostly really good, but some have bad use of color. Music is awful and so is gameplay.

This is here because it's the worse KoF that's not 2003.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 0
Introducing a tag mechanic, this is awful. Beginning of Ash saga. Also in this game Terry uses the style he had in Mark of the Wolves. Tizoc and Gato from MotW appear in this game. It looks good, but plays awful and sounds not good.

This is here for being the absolute worse main entry in KoF, bar none.


Paulo Júnior's rating:
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Related Games

Games where a sufficient number of KoF characters appear, ranked
People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Capcom vs SNK - Sega Dreamcast
Made by Capcom

This is here because I really like the roster, gameplay and graphics (though I really dislike the soundtrack). 

Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Neo Geo Battle Coliseum - PlayStation 2
A crossover of SNK franchises, among them KoF

This is here for having great graphics and soundtracks and it plays well but it lacks polish.

Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Made by SNK

This is here for having great soundtrack, looking okay and playing well.

Paulo Júnior's rating:
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0
Capcom VS. SNK 2 - Sega Dreamcast
Made by Capcom
This is here cause I dislike the graphics (too 3D) and soundtrack. And the roster isn't that much better than the first one's. It did unshackle players to build whatever team they wanted, though.
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Other media

Related stuff
The King of Fighters: Another Day
ONA series with 4 10-minute episodes made by Studio Prodution IG. It's slightly based on the plot of KoF Maximum Impact.
The King of Fighters Destiny
A 3D animated series based on KoF's characters and lore.
People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 3.3 IMDB Rating 3
An awful, awful live-action movie that pretends to be based in KoF but shares nothing in common with the source material other than names.
Paulo Júnior's rating:

My ranking of SNK's KoF games.
The King of Fighters is a series of 2D fighting games produced mainly by SNK that began 1994 on arcades. It features characters from other IPs from SNK, such as Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldiers.

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