Fierce Fisticuffs: Ranking the Top 10 Super Nintendo Fighting Games Beyond Mortal Kombat

When it comes to defining the landscape of the fighting game genre, few franchises cast as long a shadow as Mortal Kombat. However, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was a treasure trove of diverse and engaging fighting games that offered unique experiences beyond the realm of Mortal Kombat. Let's delve into the top 10 SNES fighting games that aren't Mortal Kombat, each offering its own distinct flavor of digital combat.

10. Killer Instinct

Developed by Rare, Killer Instinct was a heavyweight contender in the SNES fighting game arena. It boasted a roster of monstrous characters and showcased excessive carnage that resonated with Mortal Kombat fans. What set it apart was its combo-heavy gameplay and a unique "combo breaker" mechanic that added a layer of strategy to its fast-paced fights.

9. ClayFighter: Tournament Edition

ClayFighter: Tournament Edition offered a humorously absurd twist to the fighting genre. Its roster boasted clay and goo-based caricatures of popular figures, making for a unique visual spectacle. Although it might not have been as popular as other titles, its quirky charm has earned it a dedicated fanbase.

8. Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 2

Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 2 translated the high-speed, airborne fights of the popular anime series into a satisfying gaming experience. Its story mode, covering the Cell Games arc and featuring characters from DBZ movies, gave fans plenty to sink their teeth into.

7. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition

Featuring a roster of colorful characters and giant mechas, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition was an enjoyable translation of the beloved TV franchise. Its simple yet engaging gameplay captured the energy of the series, making it a standout title in the SNES library.

6. Weaponlord

Namco's Weaponlord was a precursor to the popular Soul Calibur series. It introduced a robust block and parry system that emphasized the importance of each character's weapon in fights. This innovative approach added a fresh dimension to the combat, distinguishing it from other fighting games of its time.

5. Power Instinct

While Mortal Kombat leaned into violence, Atlus' Power Instinct embraced absurd comedy. The game featured a cast of eccentric characters and introduced the concept of transforming fighters, adding a new layer of depth to its gameplay. Its unique blend of humor and fighting mechanics made it a standout title.

4. Fatal Fury Special

SNK's Fatal Fury Special is a refined version of Fatal Fury 2. The game increased its character roster, making for a more comprehensive fighting experience. Its creative fighting stages and styles helped it carve its niche in the SNES fighting game catalog.

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighter

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighter took the iconic franchise from side-scrolling beat-'em-up to one-on-one arcade fighter. The game featured a roster of lesser-known characters from the comic series, making it a treat for TMNT fans and a standout title on its own.

2. Samurai Showdown

Samurai Showdown brought the elegance of swordplay to the SNES. It set itself apart with its sophisticated combat system and unique "rage gauge" mechanic, making each fight a strategic and thrilling experience.

1. Street Fighter II Turbo

Rising to the top of the pack is the legendary Street Fighter II Turbo. This game refined the formula established by its predecessor, introducing a larger roster and smoother gameplay. The turbo edition further improved the game's sounds and speed, making for the perfect fighting experience.

In conclusion, while Mortal Kombat may have sparked initial interest in the fighting genre, it's clear that the SNES housed a plethora of other engaging and unique fighting games. Each of these titles brought something special to the table, from humor and absurdity to strategic combat mechanics. However, according to user reviews, Street Fighter II Turbo takes the crown for delivering the most refined and engaging gameplay experience.