Which fighting games depend the least on huge combos?

I’ve been playing a lot of MvC3 and I’ve been practicing a lot of basic theory on how/when to attack and use assists and block etc. I find it extremely enjoyable to practice this. I’ve definitely gotten to a point where I know if I start to develop some solid BnBs that I’d be a lot more effective.

I’m not extremely inventive with combos myself (which I know a lot of people find extremely fun and MvC3 is definitely a good game for that), and I don’t really enjoy practicing executing some excellent documented BnBs (i.e. the Apprentice Combos on SRK) until I’ve mastered them and can use them online.

Realizing that I don’t particular enjoy memorizing long combos in fighting games has made me start thinking: which fighting games don’t really rely on them?

I bought SSF2:HDR off PSN and it seems at first glance that this fits the bill (although nobody seems to play it anymore). Would SSF4 be more suitable perhaps? I do plan on buying it either when a console AE version is announced or they announce to release it solely through DLC.

I’m down for any suggestion (no matter how new or old the game is or what system it’s on).

Thanks a lot!

I think the only major fighting game that even remotely matches what youre looking for is HDR. Pretty much all popular fighting games of the past 15 years have gotten more and more combo centric (although the precision required has lowered).

I’ll leave it to the rest of SRK to give you a laundry list of old fighting games they think you should play that you’ll never find competition for though.

Most KOF’s
Any SF2
Alpha 3 Upper (original A3 is all V-ism combos). Mainly about getting a counter hit, and a small juggle off that.
CVS2. There is some CC stuff in this game, but you can C groove competitively.

Unfortunatley this is true. I think ST (Not HDR) is probably the only true game. It’s big in tourneys, and on GGPO. And when you do find someone that knows anything about these games, you’ll probably get demotivated by how much they know.

I can see where you are coming from OP; I’m not a big fan of long combos either. I can put up with it if the rest of the game is good, but still, I pick characters with the least reliance on combos in those games anyway (usually grapplers). The worst is when the combos also take a long time – it’s why I mostly stopped playing BlazBlue. I really want to see new fighting games that reduce emphasis on long combos, because a large portion of the time, they don’t really add anything to the game.

Probably the best games to suggest, you already know: ST/HDR, and KOF98 and 02. You can also check out some of the more obscure 90s-era fighters, like Breaker’s Revenge, World Heroes Perfect, TMNT:TF, Jackie Chan FOF, etc…basically the games that were made before combos became a big thing. Ironically, a lot of those games have huge combos/infinites due to design oversights, but as far as I know most of those things are impractical for normal play. The problem with these games is, obviously, that hardly anybody still plays them compared to modern games, or even compared to SF2 and KOF.

Samurai Showdown IV

almost all FG after SFII requires you to combo to be at a ‘decent’ level. only one i can think of is maybe bushido blade (correct if im wrong cause i didn’t play it to get good lol)?

Main Dhalsim in SSF4, all of his BnBs are 2-5 inputs max (b.mk>flame to IAT j.fp, b.mk>flame>super). I say this as a 'sim main especially if you like picking your spots, trying to keep people out and punishing mistakes.

edit: I just saw your handle ‘_rushdown’ you can probably disregard my post lol

If you are up to playing 3D games you should give Virtua Fighter a try. Most combos don’t go over 5 hits (unless you get pinned to a wall). Of course you should memorize your characters movelist. (40+) :razzy:

You’re kidding right?

I didn’t play this game much back in the day but I know about the infinites due to using multi slash attacks.

Everything has pretty much all been said. Not a lot of competition with older games unless you can find a sparring buddy. One game I always liked that had a fair balance of comboing vs being more defensive was Darkstalkers. It’s a solid fighter and loads of fun to play and even if you don’t have a fair amount of competition, at least you could learn more characters. Pretty much any of the mid 90’s fighters are going to be your best bet. Of those, Hyper Fighting was my favorite. Probably the best game by far if you need to learn or improve upon fundamentals. Good practice.

You would be better off praticing and getting better at your combos rather than deeming the entire concept as an insurmountable task you’ll never be able to equate to just because you’re brand new to the game.

No fighting game is something you learn in a weekend and you’re good to go at high level. No matter which game you like it takes a lot of effort. In fact combos are the simplest part of most games even MvC3.

That being said maybe after years of playing you still prefer games with minimal combos and to that I would suggest some of the older games like pre ST SF2 but, even in old games the few combos there are can be even more critical to learn because they can do so much damage or stun or something similar that it’s game changing if you get a single hit. Even then it comes down to finding competition.

Old time’s sake: Bushido Blade - that was more of a fighting simulation than a fighting game, but it was awesome. Sometimes a match was over in 1 second with a quick dash and flash of blade. Horribly outdated now though- I think it was for PS1.

I feel the same you do OP. If you do pick up SSF4 try out Zangief. He can do great dmg without long combos… or really much of any combos at all. If you can handle 3 hit combos, Gief is your man. Learning Gief is all about knowing your matchups, learning to beat projectile spam, and punishing opponents for trying to avoid the spinning pile driver.

On the flip side, you could also check out Akuma in SSF4. His gameplay is more about mixups, setups, and mindgames. The tatsu-sweep or tatsu-srk combos are pretty braindead, and its more about maintaining pressure and flow with Akuma than stringing a 20 hit combo together. You just have to have good defense and learn to avoid popular traps since he has really low health.

Great responses everyone, thanks a lot. Definitely going to get SSF4 when AE comes out and main some non-combo centric characters and try out some older fighters for fun too.

I never said getting better at combos was an insurmountable task. I just don’t particularly enjoy practicing them. I don’t find it fun, nor do I find executing them once I’ve mastered them particularly fun. It’s just the least exciting part of fighting games for me and I was just wondering what other options there were out there.

The only other question I have now is:

How does MvC3 compare to SSF4/Blazblue/TvC/other new fighters in terms of combos? Obviously combos are a huge part of SSF4 but would you say it’s less of an emphasis compared to MvC3?

Thanks again!


There’s all kinds of combos you could come up with in MvC3. To me, they’re completely different games. I know the point of playing any fighting game is beating your opponent and combo’s can help in doing that in pretty much any fighting game. The degree of how important it is would be higher in MvC3 than SSF4. Some may disagree, though. Depends on how you’re trying to win.