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Top 50 Most Iconic Fighting Game Characters - Part 8

Elizbar Ramazashvili
6 min

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Top 50 Most Iconic Fighting Game Characters - Part 8
Big boys and a tree

Fighting games are very old in terms of video game age, and through these decades, we've seen hundreds of games with thousands of characters come and go. Some of these characters become fan-favorites, while the others are forgotten. But there also are those whose legacy will remain etched in the history of the FGC forever. This is the eigths part of the new project that celebrates the Top 50 Most Iconic Fighting Game Characters.

However, it's essential to note that while this list aims to highlight some of the most iconic characters within fighting games, the inherent subjectivity of such rankings means that many other characters may not find themselves among these fifty names. Fighting games are as diverse as the amount of existing opinions, so pardon us if one your favorite isn't on the list eventually!

In today's edition, we have big boys and a... tree?



It’s not easy to stand out in a game where each character is its own special kind of weird and quirky, but Nightmare does just that in Soulcalibur. The big bad, the ultimate antagonist, the host, and the personification of Soul Edge.

Nightmare is what many other villains only dream of being – an actual threat and a cool character all in one. He’s merciless, ruthless, but not cartoonishly so. It also helps how every other character treats his appearance within the story.

This hulking Azure Knight is also immortalized as a logo of the team responsible for the creation of Soulcalibur games – Project Soul – with his recognizable silhouette, bulky armor, and gigantic one-eyed sword.


Mortal Kombat

Goro is one of the most creative designs Midway and NetherRealm Studios have ever come up with. A four-armed Prince of the Outworld, he was more often cast in the role of an antagonist or a sub-boss than being playable himself, but this didn’t hinder his popularity one bit.

Seeing him on the opposite side of the arena was always an “Oh shit” moment, and in those games where he is playable, they conveyed the power fantasy of playing as a giant Shokan quite well.

While he’s not the most iconic Mortal Kombat character, he will always be the first one that comes to mind when you think about any creature with four arms, despite the creators’ attempt to recapture the same essence with Sheeva and Kintaro.


Street Fighter

A funny man with a funny mohawk, funny beard and chest hair, dressed in funny red wrestling trunks, who breaks your spine in half. Zangief is the ultimate grappler, someone who has become the face of the entire archetype of fighters across any fighting game.

He is an ultimate stereotype but done in such an endearing way that no one bats an eye at this point. Scars from wrestling with brown bears? Yeah, okay. Dancing hopak and eating borscht? Sure, why not? Reading books and listening to classical music as a hobby? Yeah… wait, what?

Zangief is beloved by everyone (even those who can’t do the 720° inputs), even when he’s not that strong, up until the point where they have to face a competent player who knows how to bring out the most out of this mountain of a grappler. Then he becomes problematic and grapplers suck. Isn’t that right?


Marvel vs. Capcom

Now, we usually don’t include any fighters that didn’t originate within the fighting games themselves, but we couldn’t ignore Sentinel either.

He’s one of the most prominent, popular, and recognizable characters in the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and partly Marvel vs. Capcom 3 eras.

Sentinel is all about the contrast between his appearance and his gameplay. Look at him; he’s a hulking goliath of pure metal that’s supposed to be moving slowly, but he isn’t. He’s very agile and fast, has great movement, flying and reflying ability. He can also be an infuriating opponent to face because of his projectiles and keep-away game.

Overall, Sentinel is just an all-around powerhouse that’s been at the top of the competitive leaderboard time and again. One of the few characters that became iconic for the sheer overpowered state they were in, and probably the only character like that who has made our list.



The concept of the fighting game characters mimicking or otherwise copying other fighters’ movesets or appearances isn’t new. It has been here forever, implemented in various ways in different game series. Tekken has arguably the most iconic representative of this… archetype, if you will – Mokujin.

Mokujin looks like just a training dummy, a wooden doll used to practice your moves against. And it was, up until the God of Fighting awoke, awakening Mokujin as well. He’s the representation of the good side in the struggle against evil, a guardian of sorts.

And everything about him is iconic – the sounds that he makes, his weird movements before each round when he copies a character, even his absurd but endearing story mode endings.

It’s no wonder that lots of people are asking Harada to bring this wooden dummy back!

Join us next week to find out who the next five characters are!

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