Jin and Kazuya back to back in Tekken 8
Image by Bandai Namco Games

The 10 Best Games for People Who Like Tekken 8

Tekken 8 is a heavy hitter in the fighting game community. But what are some other fighters worth checking out?

Fighting games are generally regarded as one of the more involved genres out there. From complex button combinations to understanding matchups, these games rarely pull their punches. But none offers as much difficulty as Tekken. With the release of Tekken 8, a new generation has the chance to experience the complex but addictive 8-way fighter. But as is often the case with fighting games, once you’ve got the itch, one game rarely cuts it. So, here are the 10 best games for people who like Tekken 8.

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Soul Calibur VI

Split image of Mitsurugi and Geralt in Soul Calibur 6
Image by Bandai Namco Entertainment

From the same developers as Tekken 8, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Soul Calibur VI offers something very different from Tekken’s stylish martial arts. Instead of fists, weapon combat is the real draw. While not as fast as Tekken, Soul Calibur VI offers speed of its own to outmaneuver the enemy. Alternatively, each stage also allows the enemy to be knocked off.

Soul Calibur VI even has a dedicated block button that allows for much faster reactions. But this also means an equally fast follow-up combo that isn’t always the easiest to master. However, the real draw has always been its guest characters, in this case, Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher. But whether playing for the weapons or characters, Soul Calibur VI is different enough to offer a fresh challenge.

Street Fighter 6

An image from Street Fighter 6
Image by Capcom

The Street Fighter franchise is the foundation of the fighting game genre. However, Street Fighter 6 proved that Capcom isn’t afraid to innovate and elevate. Visually impressive, the look can draw you in even if you aren’t a fan of fighters as a whole. But from the moment the matches start, it’s clear this is a new animal that’s faster and more aggressive than ever while still being open to newcomers thanks to its modern and classic playstyles.

A new feature borrowed from Tekken 8 allows you to create your own avatar and venture into the Street Fighter universe, offering a much-needed variety to the gameplay pattern. Street Fighter 6 may not have gotten as much mainstream attention as Tekken 8, but it’s worth the time.

Dead or Alive 6

Kasumi holding a knife in Dead or Alive 6.
Image by Team Ninja

Similarly to Tekken 8, Dead or Alive 6 franchise utilizes complex moves and an 8-way movement system. While the franchise is best known for its more controversial costume choices, there’s no denying that the gameplay was one of the most unique of its time. This is especially evident when each character has their own complex style.

From its fun grab attacks to its methodic approach to dismantling an opponent’s defense, Dead or Alive 6 has much to offer. Though it’s one of the older entries on this list, you don’t want to miss out on one of the biggest staples in modern fighters.

Mortal Kombat 1

Fighter stands in front of Mortal Kombat dragon
Image via Warner Bros. Games

When it comes to story, Mortal Kombat 1 doesn’t miss as it offers a cinematic outing that could double as a movie. That said, it’s hard not to praise a AAA title without acknowledging its shortcomings, whether it’s with communication between the developers and players or microtransactions. But if you’re interested in a solid Mortal Kombat experience with bloody fatalities and impressive gameplay, Mortal Kombat 1 is the best choice right now.

If you love Tekken 8, this is definitely one of the weirder entries on the list. But from its guest characters to fatalities, it’s hard not to say Mortal Kombat 1 is the whole package. Like Tekken 8, Mortal Kombat 1 isn’t afraid to change things to keep players innovating, and that alone is worth checking out.

Tekken 7

Split image of Heihachi and Kazuya for Tekken 7.
Image by Bandai Namco Entertainment

It may seem strange to include Tekken 7 in this list when, at a glance, it’s hard to say if the previous title in the franchise offers something different from Tekken 8. However, the latter being made from the ground up only further proves how different Tekken 7 is from its successor.

When you boot up Tekken 7, it looks close to identical on the surface, but that’s far from the truth. Tekken 7 built on aspects of previous games that championed defense and juggling above all else. Meanwhile, Tekken 8 evolves beyond that and sets the stage for gameplay that’s focused on aggressive forward pressure and countering, rewarding that style over playing it too safe.

Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown

Akira close-up in Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown
Image by Gematsu

Beating out the debut of Tekken by only a few months, the Virtua Fighter franchise has always been a worthy competitor in 8-way fighters. Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown is the perfect entry to play if you’re looking for the familiar gameplay of Tekken 8 without the stress of constant combos and juggling.

It may not have the same online presence as the games previously mentioned, but it’s a fun way to hone in on fighting game fundamentals. Whether you’re looking for a fun, barebones fighter or a trip down memory lane, Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown is perfect.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Similar to Street Fighter 6 and Marvel vs. Capcom, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 2-D fighter that offers a stylistic look to the late Akira Toriyama’s creation. Whether a 1-v-1 battle or 3-v-3, Dragon Ball FighterZ offers fast-paced action that calls on your knowledge of the franchise to create truly unforgettable experiences.

That said, the game isn’t solely for those who know the lore. Its welcoming gameplay offers a similar visual allure to Tekken 8, while the feeling of connecting hits into a combo is just as rewarding. There’s no denying Dragon Ball FighterZ isn’t like Tekken 8, but it carries a similar energy.

The King of Fighters XV

The King of Fighters XV roster
Image by Reddit

The King of Fighters franchise is a crowning jewel of its developer, SNK. As a result, The King of Fighters XV knows a thing or two about bringing the thrill of battle to life. Another 2-D fighter, the fifteenth installment in the franchise carefully refined its gameplay to allow you the best of what each character has to offer. But what makes it even better is its still welcoming to newcomers.

Like Tekken 8, there will always be a learning curve for a new franchise. However, this doesn’t keep you from understanding the fundamentals quickly and getting right into the battle. Though a bit more methodic than previous entries on this list, The King of Fighters XV is easily the most accessible and entertaining entry here.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Kazuya posing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Image by Shacknews

It’s no coincidence that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate made it onto this list, as it’s one of the strangest fighters out there. A toy box of characters that go beyond its developer, Nintendo, many other guest characters have joined the roster, including Tekken’s Kazuya. But that’s not the only reason this titan of gaming is on the list.

From understanding frame data to learning how to use combos and time smash attacks, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is every bit as much of a fighter as any other. But what it lacks in intensity and brutality, it makes up for with moments that bring anyone playing closer together. Plus, its simplistic gameplay ensures that anyone at any age can hop in and make their own memories.

Killer Instinct

Jago and Sabrewolf fighting in Killer Instinct
Image by Polygon

Where Dragon Ball FighterZ has the intensity and Tekken 8 has style, Killer Instinct is the best of both. From its characters to its gameplay, Killer Instinct isn’t afraid to take you for a ride. On the surface, this entry is the farthest thing from what Tekken offers, especially with its 2-D gameplay. However, the secret connector lies in the one thing all fighting games thrive on: Combos.

With a beat that builds with each hit, you are granted the ability to keep a combo string going even after the round is won, racking up a hit counter that goes to the hundreds. The echoing sounds after each hit are just the start, though, as the real reward is hearing the announcer scream ULTRA COMBO just as the match ends. Killer Instinct may not be Tekken 8, but it captures the joy of nailing a difficult combo.

Check out more articles like this on our Tekken 8 guide hub.


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Author
Nicholas Brooks
Nick is a Freelance Writer at Gameskinny and brings with him over a decade of writing and editing experience from sites like CBR and Gameskinny. He also runs a small podcast called Popsubclub, where he interviews individuals in the entertainment industry as well as talks with peers. Nick's love of video games is only a small part of his passions as he's also an avid fan of movies, comics, music and theme parks. Make sure to follow his Instagram (@Comicsubclub) for more.