If you've played a fighting game in the last thirty years, chances are it was one of either Tekken, Soulcalibur, Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. Since their staggered arrivals on consoles from the SNES onwards, Namco, Netherrealm and Capcom's four properties have become synonymous with the genre, with new versions of each releasing every few years to a typically positive reception. Pretenders to their throne have come and gone, but as we near the end of the current generation of systems, each of the four remain strong and immensely enjoyable.
As each franchise has developed, so too have their casts. It's not uncommon for a game to boast upward of thirty fighters, a huge increase from the single digit figures that each started with. Old favourites continuously jostle with new creations that may or may not have staying power, with an increasing number left on the shelf to make room.
There will always be Scorpion, Sub Zero, Heihachi, Ryu and Ken and creepy as he is, Voldo is always going to haunt your nightmares. So many of their counterparts have drifted into varying degrees of obscurity, however.