Which Fighting Game Has The Most Characters?

A limited selection of playable characters is one of the biggest things against a new fighting game. The lack of matchup diversity can make things dull, even if you never intend to play as more than one of them. Street Fighter 5 launching with sixteen characters was a massive blow to its public reception, from which it never fully recovered. The King of Fighters 15 launched with thirty-nine characters, and the general reaction from fans is that’s still not enough.

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Related: Best Fighting Games From The 2010s

SF5’s roster has almost tripled in size since its launch. Still, a few classic fighting games from the early 2000s have set unfair expectations about how many characters we should expect. So, without further ado, here is our list of the fighting games with the most characters.

This list does not include anime arena fighters, such as the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series, which are known for featuring massive rosters. We made this decision for the sake of clarity and brevity.

Updated October 18, 2023, by Chris Sanfilippo: Several games on our list gained new DLC since our last update. We re-ordered our list based on these changes. Additionally, we added new spec boxes detailing each game’s Franchise(s), Launch Date, Platform(s), Developer(s), Publisher(s), and ESRB Rating.

18 Ultra Street Fighter 4

44 Characters

Forty-four world warriors grace a map in Ultra Street Fighter 4's character select screen. Player 1 has chosen T Hawk. Player 2 has chosen Decapre.

Ultra Street Fighter 4

Franchise: Street Fighter


Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Windows


Released: 2014-06-03


Developer(s): Dimps, Capcom


Publisher(s): Capcom


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Violence, Suggestive Themes, Alcohol Reference, Mild Language


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The original Street Fighter 4 launched with a considerable roster size for a 1v1 fighter. The arcade port featured nineteen characters: the eight original world warriors and four grandmasters from SF2, four new fighters, and the boss characters Akuma, Seth, and Gouken.

However, the fighting game’s roster continued to expand. First, Capcom added six characters to SF4’s console port. Then, not long after, Capcom added ten more fighters in the standalone update, Super Street Fighter 4. After that, Super SF4: Arcade Edition added another four fighters. Finally, Ultra Street Fighter 4 upped the roster to its final total of 44.

17 Dragon Ball FighterZ

44 Characters

Super Saiyans and Androids are some of the characters in Dragonball FighterZ's 44 fighter roster.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Franchise
Dragon Ball

Platform(s)
PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Released
January 26, 2018

Developer(s)
Arc System Works

Publisher(s)
Bandai Namco Entertainment

ESRB
T for Teen: Cartoon Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes

Dragon Ball fans and fighting game fans had plenty to celebrate with the launch of Dragon Ball FighterZ. Finally, after several ruined attempts at a 2D Dragon Ball fighting game, Arc System Works made a fun, mighty, and frantic game worthy of the beloved manga/anime series.

Arc included a cornucopia of Dragon Ball’s esteemed characters throughout the game’s lifespan, from mainstays like Goku to fusions like Gogeta. The game even added a new character to the series, Android 21, developed by series creator Akira Toriyama.

16 Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition

45 Characters

The newest street fighter Luke, and Twelve's ancestor, Eleven, face off in the Street Fighter 5 Character Select screen.

Street Fighter V

Franchise
Street Fighter

Platform(s)
PC, PS4

Released
February 16, 2016

Developer(s)
Capcom

Publisher(s)
Capcom

As mentioned earlier, Capcom had to redeem its reputation with fans after Street Fighter 5’s launch on the PlayStation 4 and PC. The game lacked standard features, like an arcade mode, and its roster was one of the series’s most minor in quite some time. In many ways, the game felt unfinished.

It took five seasons of DLC characters and two updated titles to amend Street Fighter 5’s original mistakes. Finally, however, the game surpassed its predecessor by one character, Luke, who plays a significant role in Street Fighter 6. In addition, if you include the random-select character Eleven, that total bumps up to 46 characters.

15 Samurai Shodown 6

47 Characters

The player 1 icon hovers over Enja and the player 2 icon hovers over Yoshitora on Samurai Shodown 6's character select screen.

Samurai Shodown 6

Franchise: Samurai Shodown


Platform(s): Arcade, PS2, PS3, PS4


Released: 2005-09-14


Developer(s): SNK Playmore, Yuki Enterprise


Publisher(s): SNK Playmore, Sega


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Crude Humor, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Samurai Shodown 6 was the series’ last 2D entry, launching in 2005. In what feels like a “last hoorah” for the series, its PS2 port features every character from the previous NEO GEO installments. So yes, everyone from the referee to Nakoruru’s pets are playable in this game.

The game also featured a “spirit select” system, which allowed players to choose their favorite fighting system from the past five games and a few new ones. In turn, this bursts the capacity of this extensive roster even further! Plus, one of the new characters is a puppet soldier. How neat is that!

48 Characters

The Character Select Screen for Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millenium 2001

Capcom Vs. SNK 2: Mark Of The Millenium 2001

Franchise: Capcom Vs. SNK


Platform(s): Arcade, Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube


Released: 2001-08-03


Developer(s): Capcom


Publisher(s): Capcom


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Suggestive Themes, Violence


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Capcom Vs. SNK 2 resulted from years of collaboration between the two fighting game titans. Their collaboration paid off, and the game has aged incredibly well. These characters are all cut from the same cloth. Seeing so many of them together in one game gave off the vibe they’d known each other for years.

Related: The Best Capcom Fighting Games

It’s a shame that Capcom and SNK haven’t reunited in over two decades, especially considering how many new characters the companies created in the past two decades. However, we wouldn’t count on them coming out the gate on day one with an enormous fighting game roster in this era of DLC and long-term support.

50 Characters

A roster of fifty video game icons and comic book legends clash in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3's comic book style character select screen.

Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

Franchise: Marvel Vs. Capcom


Platform(s): Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS Vita


Released: 2011-11-15


Developer(s): Capcom, Eighting


Publisher(s): Capcom


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Mild Blood, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence


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Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is Capcom’s third-largest roster in a crossover fighting game, behind Street Fighter X Tekken and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. However, in a game that plays as well as UMvC3, those six fewer characters from MvC2 are not missed.

However, while the game has an official roster of 50, its PC version is still growing. This growth is due to contributions from the game’s modding community, which has found a way to develop new characters over existing models from the roster. So, if you wish to return Captain Commando to the series, now’s your chance!

12 Tekken 7

51 Characters

The Character Select Screen for Tekken 7

Tekken 7

Franchise
Tekken

Platform(s)
PS4, Xbox One, PC

Released
March 18, 2015

Developer(s)
Bandai Namco Studios

Publisher(s)
Bandai Namco Entertainment

ESRB
T for Teen: Crude Humor, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Tekken 7 is in the running for the fighting game with the longest-running developer support, starting with 37 characters in 2017 and adding 14 more since. Technically, the support has lasted since the arcade version first appeared in 2015.

Twelve are new original Tekken characters, with four guests from other series. New stages, modes, and features have also come along with them. But, believe it or not, it still isn’t the most extensive Tekken roster of all time.

11 BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

53 Characters

The Character Select Screen for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

GAME

Franchise(s): BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, RWBY, Under Night In-Birth, Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, Akatsuki Blitzkampf


Platform(s): Arcade, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, Amazon Luna


Released: 2018-05-31


Developer(s): Arc System Works


Publisher(s): Arc System Works, PQube


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence


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Oh, your fighting game is a crossover between two fighting game series? That’s adorable. BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle started as a four-way crossover between BlazBlue, Persona, Under Night In-Birth, and RWBY. By the end of its lifespan, the game also featured characters from fighting games like Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf.

After the success of Guilty Gear: Strive and Dragon Ball FighterZ, Arc System Works may never return to 2D sprite-based characters again, making BBTAG the final send-off and celebration of an entire era for the king of anime fighting game developers.

10 Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS And Wii U

55 Characters

The Character Select Screen for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS And Wii U

Franchise: Super Smash Bros.


Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, Wii U


Released: 2014-09-13


Developer(s): Bandai Namco Studios, Sora Ltd.


Publisher(s): Nintendo


ESRB: Rated E10+ for Everyone 10+ due to Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes


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Almost everyone was here, but not quite. Furthermore, Sakurai and crew hadn’t consolidated characters like Lucina and Dark Pit under the “echo fighter” category. Therefore, the proper total unique character count would technically be 53.

Related: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: All Bosses, Ranked By Difficulty

As Nintendo’s first foray into post-release DLC characters for Smash, they made huge waves with prominent third-party guests like Cloud and Bayonetta—an impressive fighting game roster. Still, no Smash fan would anticipate its sequel breaking the record for the fighting game with the most characters.

9 Street Fighter X Tekken

55 Characters

The Character Select Screen for Street Fighter X Tekken

Street Fighter X Tekken

Franchise(s): Street Fighter, Tekken


Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Windows, iOS, Android, PS Vita


Released: 2012-03-06


Developer(s): Capcom, Dimps


Publisher(s): Capcom


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence


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The legacy of Street Fighter X Tekken is that of one of the biggest dupers in fighting game history. In short, the game launched with its DLC characters locked on the disc. The public’s reception to this decision salted the earth for a Bandai-Namco-developed Tekken X Street Fighter game. Still, you have to give credit where credit is due: the final roster is one of Capcom’s largest fighting game rosters, representing a comprehensive history of two legendary series.

The total character count falls to 50 on non-PlayStation platforms. However, except for Pac-Man, fans won’t miss those PS-exclusive characters (Toro, Kuro, Cole from Infamous, and “Mega Man”)sed that hard by nearly anyone.

56 Characters

The Character Select Screen for Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes

Franchise: Marvel Vs. Capcom


Platform(s): Arcade, Dreamcast, iOS, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360


Released: 2000-02-24


Developer(s): Capcom, Backbone Entertainment


Publisher(s): Capcom


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence


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Capcom’s sprite work from the Street Fighter Alpha series, Darkstalkers, X-Men: Children of the Atom, and Marvel Super Heroes combined into one beautiful mess known as Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. MvC2’s character roster was so large developers cut several frames of animation from the original sprites to fit all of the data onto one disc.

History has proven that this was the right call; MvC2 is one of the most beloved fighting games of all time, and it spoiled us with the number of characters it gave you upfront before the concept of DLC ever existed.

7 The King Of Fighters 15

58 Characters

The character select screen for The King Of Fighters 15 as of October 2023.

The King Of Fighters 15

Franchise: The King Of Fighters


Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows


Released: 2022-02-17


Developer(s): SNK


Publisher(s): SNK, Koch Media


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence


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SNK’s The King Of Fighters series has several entries on this list for a good reason. The original KOF was one of the first crossover fighting games and featured characters from several SNK titles, like Fatal Fury, The Art Of Fighting, Ikari Warriors, and Psycho Soldier. Over time, the series recruited fighters from other SNK properties, including Garou: Mark Of The Wolves, Samurai Shodown, Metal Slug, and more! With so much IP to draw from, it’s no surprise these games feature extensive rosters!

Compared to other mainline KOF titles, The King Of Fighters 15’s launch roster was considerably thin, featuring 39 playable characters. However, the game launched 19 DLC characters since, with more on the way!

6 The King of Fighters 14

58 Characters

The Character Select Screen for The King Of Fighters XIV

The King Of Fighters 14

Franchise: The King Of Fighters


Platform(s): PS4, Windows, Arcade


Released: 2016-08-23


Developer(s): SNK


Publisher(s): SNK, Atlus USA, Deep Silver


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence


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Launching a fighting game with 50 playable characters may not quite have approached the standards set by MvC2. Yet, in the modern era of post-release DLC support, that’s still a pro-consumer power play that deserves recognition. Even if you were to exclude the eight DLC characters, The King Of Fighters 14 is one of SNK’s largest fighting game rosters.

Related: The Best SNK Fighting Games

The game itself is often maligned for its underwhelming visuals, especially compared to the beautiful 2D sprites of The King of Fighters 13, but no one can claim that SNK didn’t give players their money’s worth.

5 Tekken Tag Tournament 2

59 Characters

The Character Select Screen for Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Franchise: Tekken


Platform(s): Arcade, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U


Released: 2011-09-14


Developer(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment


Publisher(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence


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Tekken Tag Tournament 2 had a fully comprehensive cast that featured every playable character in Tekken’s history. Only one character (Gon from Tekken 3) was left behind. And that absence is because Bandai-Namco couldn’t regain the rights to the character.

However, this is one of the more egregious examples of “clone characters” padding a fighting game roster. Even though characters like Marshall Law and Forest Law occupy different slots on the character select screen, they’re functionally identical in gameplay, so the total unique character count is technically closer to 50.

4 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R

59 Characters

The character select screen for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R as of October 2023.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R

Franchise: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure


Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Nintendo Switch, Windows


Released: 2022-09-02


Developer(s): CyberConnect2


Publisher(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Language, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence


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It’s not common for a game from ten years ago to re-emerge with one of the hugest fighting game rosters on the market. However, this feat is exactly what JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R accomplished. The original ASB touted forty-one characters after DLC. However, ASBR launched with ten additional characters, raising the total to 51 characters at launch. DLC raised this total to 59 fighters, with more combatants on the way!

Regarding its roster, ASBR does a fantastic job at making each character feel unique. The game has various styles and techniques reflecting each character’s story arc and abilities. For instance, playing as Hamon and Stand users feels like contrasting games. Yet, the grooves weave rather well into ASBR’s overall battle system.

3 Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

64 Characters

The Character Select Screen for Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

Franchise: Mortal Kombat


Platform(s): PS2, Xbox, Wii


Released: 2006-10-09


Developer(s): Midway Games, Just Games Interactive


Publisher(s): Midway Games, WB Games


ESRB: Rated M for Mature due to Blood and Gore, Intense Violence


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Who needs DLC? Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is a PlayStation 2/Xbox game from 2006, and none of NetherRealm Studios’ other Mortal Kombat or Injustice games come close to this fighting game’s gargantuan roster. It didn’t matter how weird or unpopular a character was; every playable character in series history was here, with no exceptions.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the only positive attribute. Armageddon may have been the Mortal Kombat fighting game with the most characters. But it had the least unique fatalities. Instead, each character had an identical “Create A Fatality” system that targeted certain limbs based on button input.

2 The King Of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match

66 Characters

Kyo is one of many characters from The King Of Fighters 2002 UM's massive roster of sixty-six characters.

The King Of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match

Franchise: The King Of Fighters


Platform(s): PS2, Xbox Live Arcade, PS4, Windows


Released: 2009-02-26


Developer(s): Eolith, SNK Playmore, DotEmu, Code Mystics


Publisher(s): SNK


ESRB: Rated T for Teen due to Blood, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence

KOF has a few remade titles launched by SNK over the years. For instance, KOF ’94 Rebout launched on consoles to commemorate the series’ tenth anniversary. Similarly, KOF ’98 Ultimate Match launched four years later with a roster boasting 64 characters. Still, The King Of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match holds the most extensive roster in a King Of Fighters game with 66 characters!

The original KOF 2002 was one of SNK’s “dream match” titles. This designation meant that characters who canonically died or were irrelevant to the series story still appeared in the game. Furthermore, KOF 2002 UM was like a dream match on top of a dream match, adding characters from KOF ’99, 2000, and 2001.

1 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The Largest Fighting Game Roster

86 Characters

The final roster for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, featuring 86 fighters in total.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Franchise
Super Smash Bros.

Platform(s)
Switch

Released
December 7, 2018

Developer(s)
Bandai Namco Entertainment

Publisher(s)
Nintendo

ESRB
E for Everyone: Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Suggestive Themes

You can relax now, Mr. Sakurai. This fighting game roster is plenty. Not only does Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s roster size trounce any other fighting games by at least ten, but it does so even while excluding echo fighters like Daisy and Dark Samus.

And whatever third-party obstacles kept Solid Snake out of Smash for Wii U, they wouldn’t stop Sakurai and Nintendo this time. “Everyone is Here!” isn’t just a tagline; it’s a promise. The fulfillment of this promise makes Super Smash Bros. Ultimate the fighting game with the most characters.

Next: Fighting Games With The Smallest Rosters

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