Since 1994, Tekken has been the leading franchise in 3D
fighting games. While not the first game to do this, an honour that goes to
SEGA’s 1993 game Virtua Fighter, it is certainly the most popular and long
lasting franchise to feature this style. The original Tekken game features 17
playable characters, 9 of which were unlockable, the same number of fighters
that was featured in the fifth release of Street Fighter II, 1994’s Super
Street Fighter II Turbo.
The number of characters featured on the roster has been ever growing in subsequent releases, with 65 original playable characters across the many releases of the franchise. As well as this, Tekken also features five guest characters. In Tekken 3, Gon from the manga of the same name appears as a playable fighter. In Tekken 7, Akuma from Street Fighter, Geese Howard from Fatal Fury, Noctis Lucis Caelum from Final Fantasy XV and Negan from the Walking Dead all appear as guest fighters.
The rich cast of original characters have made a place for themselves in gaming culture. Dedicated fans stick by their favourite characters through every iteration of the franchise, and cry out for their favourite legacy characters to return in subsequent releases. But out of all the characters, who stands out among the rest as the true King of Iron Fists in the eyes of fans?
10. Robert “Bob” Richards
First Appearance: Tekken 6
A relative newcomer to the series, Robert Richards is an overweight karate master who prides himself on having the “Perfect Body”. Richards, who often goes by the name Bob, made his debut in 2007’s Tekken 6 and returned for 2015’s Tekken 7. He is one of the most popular new additions to the franchise, along with Tekken 6’s Alisa Bosconovitch and Tekken 7’s Leroy Smith.
Originally, Bob was a slimmer fighter (seen in the character of ‘Slim Bob’ in 2011’s Tekken Tag Tournament 2) who despite being a martial arts prodigy was unable to best fighters who were large in size. However, after years of “training” he returned to the fighting scene with an overweight body large enough to match any opponent. Despite this transformation, he has kept his initial speed as well as gaining new power. Bob entered the sixth King of Iron Fist Tournament to prove to his fans that he was still a great fighter.
With his humorous backstory and skill in fighting, he became a fast favourite in the Tekken community. Bob's uniquely comical gameplay gives him the edge to hold his own against a variety of opponents, and has cemented him a spot on the roster of future Tekken games - to the delight of his fans.