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What are fighting games?

For as long as we’ve been competing with one another, fights have taken place. Back in Roman times, it was gladiatorial contests; nowadays, it’s mixed martial arts. But whether we’re crowding around the Colosseum or the octagon, the appeal remains the same – nothing quite gets the adrenaline flowing like a good fight.This most ancient of spectator sports was swiftly introduced into the world of video games, almost as soon as we had enough pixels to properly render fighters. Sega released the first boxing game back in 1976, in the form of the black-and-white Heavyweight Champ. But the one-on-one beat-em-up format didn’t arrive until the following decade, with the launch of Karate Champ by Technos Japan. The game saw two karate fighters face off against one another, – one in a red gi and one in a white gi. The game laid the foundations for the iconic Street Fighter II in 1991.The impact of Street Fighter was staggering. It is one of the highest grossing games ever, with the arcade versions generating $1.5 billion in gross revenue in just two years. At the time, arcade gaming had hit a slump, with home consoles posing a threat. While the original Street Fighter established many of the rules of the genre – health bars and a three-round format – it was the second game that cemented the game we’re now so familiar with.Throughout the 1990s, a range of games provided their own takes on the formula. There were 2D games like Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct and Marvel vs. Capcom. Then there were 3D ones like Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Dead or Alive and Soulcalibur. That’s before we even consider the lesser-known games of the genre, like Gang Beasts, Lethal League and Super Smash Brothers.Our range of HTML5-capable fighting games can be found here. They can be played on any device with a web-browser, so why not get started right now?

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