games / Columns

The 8 Ball: The Top 8 Guest Characters in Fighting Games

July 26, 2017 | Posted by Marc Morrison

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. With the recent announcements that Geese Howard is going to be in Tekken 7, and they are making that BlazBlue crossover game, I thought it might be good to look at some of the best guest characters in fighting games. I’m sticking primarily to games that have their own rosters, or are their own franchises, but they have one or two guest characters in them, save for one pick on the list (which I explain below). Games like Marvel vs. Capcom, or Super Smash Bros don’t really count since they are entirely about being games with guest characters. Let’s begin:

#8: Spawn (SoulCalibur 2)

Of the three guest characters in SoulCalibur 2, Spawn is in the middle of them. He’s not terrible like Heihachi, but doesn’t fit as well as the other character further down on this list. Spawn is a bit of a slow character, but not as much as Nightmare or Astaroth. He does have a few unique moves also, like an anti-air attack, he can fly around, and (most notably) shoot hellfire either on the ground or from the air flying. Bonus points also for getting Keith David to do the vocal work for him, since he also did the VO work in the Spawn animated series.

#7: Bad Box Art Mega Man (SF x Tekken)

This is a crossover game which would usually disqualify it from this list but with a twist. Mega Man, decidedly isn’t a part of Street Fighter, yet he’s in the game as a bonus character in the PS3/Vita version of the game. And what Mega Man character did they choose, original Mega Man, X, Mega Man Volnutt, etc.? No, they picked the Mega Man from the box art of the NES game. Brillaint! He’s overweight, looks to be in his 40’s and packs a piece, so you know he means business. It is such a goofy and audacious inclusion that I can’t help but be impressed by it. The only downside is that he’s only in the PS3/Vita versions, and not the 360 or PC ones.

#6: Kratos (Mortal Kombat 9)

There have been a fair amount of guest characters in the recent Mortal Kombat games but they are almost always horror/scifi movie characters that don’t fit into style of the franchise at all. Kratos rides this line quite carefully, he definitely doesn’t look like a MK character, but his move-set is pretty interesting. He uses a lot of the same moves from God of War, like Apollo’s Bow, Helios’ Head, and the Hermes Dash to tackle foes. Plus, at least he gets his own ending in the game, which shows it wasn’t some half-assed cash grab.

#5: Akuma (Tekken 7)

Akuma in Tekken 7 might be the only bit of evidence that the long delayed (and likely cancelled) Tekken X Street Fighter game might still be in development. Really, Akuma plays as you would expect, the Hadouken (with fire variant), hurricane kick, shoryuken, etc. He can enhance his moves so they become EX moves to deal more damage, and even has his Raging Demon super move. All in all, it’s a very good Akuma, which shows some hope for Tekken X Street Fighter, if it ever comes out.

#4: Ezio (SoulCalibur 5)

Ezio is the only SoulCalibur guest character that actually really fits into the aesthetic of the game series. There’s always been a regal/armored look to most SC characters and Ezio fits into the mold rather nicely. Aside from that, his weapons also make the transition fairly well into the game, either short range with the hidden blades, medium range with a sword, or long range by using the crossbow to harass enemies from afar. Plus, the remixed theme music from Assassin’s Creed really stands out in the game.

#3: Sakura (Rival Schools)

Unlike a lot of guest characters in fighting games, it makes perfect sense for Sakura to be in Rival Schools. She is literally a high school student, so it makes complete sense for her to show up here. Unlike later Capcom fighting games who go Hadou-character heavy (SF4 as an example), there aren’t too many Ryu-style characters in Rival Schools. Of the 20 character roster, only about 3 are the traditional fireball type of characters, and that includes Sakura. She doesn’t take place in the main story, but she does have an ending if you beat arcade mode with her. Her own moves are the same as ever, the large, dissipating fireball, and charge uppercut.

#2: Link (SoulCalibur 2)

Yeah, of course Link is on here. While Link is a tad more cartoonish than a SoulCalibur fighter, his weapons and equipment made him a deadly fighter in the game. Using bombs to launch foes into the air, you could use your boomerang or arrows to annoy other fighers from afar, which was a decided advantage in a generally-close range weapon fighting game. Really the only downside to Link, and the reason he’s not number one, is because you have to use the Gamecube controller to play the game, and that is not exactly an ideal controller for a fighting game.

#1: Hornet (Fighters Megamix)

It’s a fighting Daytona car, what more could you want?! Hornet essentially uses his back wheels to stand and kick while his front wheels to throw punches and grab opponents. When Hornet gets damaged, body work from the car starts flying off, instead of clothes like regular Fighters Megamix characters. While there is a good Daytona USA song as you fight as Hornet, it isn’t the song you want (Let’s Go Away), but still fits into Daytona vibe. The only alternate number 1 pick would be Pepsiman for Fighting Vipers, but he didn’t come out in America, so I can’t put him here.

For comments, list which guest character you like In fighting games and why.

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Top 8 Character Cameos in Games