It takes a lot to make a good fighting game; airtight mechanics, a great art department, and something that will ensure you stand out after twenty-plus years of innovation. And that's just to get off the ground. However, if you want to make a truly great entry in the genre, you need an impeccable roster. Without a stable of fighters that makes the player want to keep coming back for more, the rest of the experience doesn't matter. The roster is the very heart of the experience, and it above all else will ultimately determine a series' place in history. If you fall in love with the characters, you fall in love with the game. It's that simple. What is a great fighting game roster, though? Is it a game packed with as many characters as possible? Does it produce characters worthy of magazine covers and banner ads? Or is it maybe just striking a perfect balance between everyone on offer, so they each bring something to the experience and stand out in their own unique way? Truthfully, a great roster can mean a lot of different things, and has done over the years - but here is a definitive look at the true cream of the crop.
10. Tobal 2
Sheer roster size isn't the determining factor when trying to identify the best fighting game rosters, but when you've got a roster the size of Tobal 2 it's hard to go wrong. With over 200 fighters at your disposal, the character select screen of Tobal 2 can be fairly daunting. Now to be fair, not every one of those 200 characters are all-time greats and the game they are in isn't exactly the best fighter ever made either. But what is impressive beyond the absurd number of participants is the developers actually putting the effort into creating unique fighters, rather than colour-swapping the same base animations like many others in the genre with substantially smaller rosters have. I mean, how can't you love a game that makes a point out of pitting a triceratops and a surface-to-air missile launcher against each other?