The Dead or Alive series has often been praised, and criticized, since the very beginning of the franchise in the late 90s. Despite all of the ups and downs over the years, it's managed to hold up pretty well.
Currently, the latest installment in the franchise, Dead or Alive 6, offers 27 fighters, most of which have long been a part of the game's rich lore; however, it also features a few new faces that you may or may not have heard about before.
While many of the characters are good and will fit multiple playstyles, not all of them can be the best.
If you're having a hard time choosing a main for yourself, then consider our list of the top-tier Dead or Alive 6 characters.
The first time we saw Raidou was in the original, 1996 arcade version of Dead or Alive. Here, the dark lord returns to the DoA universe in the form of a modified cyborg, who is now more powerful than ever before.
This time he utilizes a new and modified Mugen Tenshin Ninjutsu fighting technique that allows him to copy the styles of other fighters. One of his best move sets is the throw combo, which uses counter-clockwise motions that can break any defense mechanisms.
Outside of player-to-player fights, Raidou doesn't disappoint in DoA 6's story mode either; he is one of the most overpowered antagonists in the game.
But DoA games do have a long history of extremely hard bosses, so it isn't really surprising at all.
The leader of the dragon clan, Ryu Hayabusa — who is also the star of the Ninja Gaiden series — is also back in prime form for DoA 6.
Hayabusa's combo challenge is one of the hardest in the game, which indicates his extremely high power level. But as with all top-tier fighters, he shines only in the hands of very skilled players.
If you can master his Fatal Stun ceiling combo, then you can call yourself the Hayabusa master. Otherwise, just go with the more traditional down-forward move set, where you need to press and hold down-forward with a slight delay and then use H+K.
Many fighters on DoA 6's entire roster have hard-edged fighting combos. Ayane is a great example of one that does it better than most.
Ayane's backstory is dramatic and exciting; although she appeared in the Sega Saturn version of the first game, it was only as a training dummy. After making her first in-ring appearance during the 1998 PlayStation port, Ayane's moveset has, unsurprisingly, changed from then to now.
However, she's still one of the most powerful fighters in the game.
She has a huge number of amazing 10 and 11 hit combos, but one of the simpler and more powerful ones is the K into 6P+K by the wall combo, which is both stylish and deadly.
Despite being one of the fastest and most powerful characters in the game, Christie also has some of the longest combos, some upwards of 20 hits.
Christie first appeared in DoA 3 and since then, she has become a fan favorite. It's not surprising, though, since those that master her fighting style can keep up combo chains as long as they want — and do them so fast that opponents never have a chance to respond.
With such a unique skill set, Christie is ought to be in the Top 10 DoA characters ever.
Kasumi is probably DoA's most iconic character. The leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan, Kasumi was the main character of the first two games in the series.
She is a typical rush-down fighter that can create a lot of pressure in the close-quarters combat. One of the distinctions of her combos is the reliance on proper delaying, which, if done well, can empower any combo — or could ruin it if done wrong.
Kasumi is also very good at countering her opponents, and dealing critical stun blows in the process.
This trick can easily immobilize opponents, making her a significant threat in DoA 6.
An opera singer turned fighter, Helena easily managed her way into the DoA 6 roster of fighters. A master of the trademark Low Bokuho stance that allows her to smoothly counter her opponent's attacks, Helena is a dangerous fighter.
She has a number of simple yet effective combos that can create enough distance between her and opponents, such as 3KK, 8K, (BKO) 4PK, 9PKP.
And if you care what she has in her break blows arsenal, then use this one for some incredible animations: 2014 P4P, BT 4PPK, BB.
Until now, we've been dealing with tried and tested characters from the rich history of the DoA series. But now let's look at a new fighter: Nyotengu.
Using her wings, she can pull off some incredible moves, like grabbing onto her opponent before swiftly rising into the air. The end of this combo finishes in the most devastating manner: by dropping down on the ground and dealing massive amounts of damage.
Nyotengu has some very short but very sweet combos, too, such as 66P, PPK, SSS, 2K, 2T, as well as some very elaborate ones, such as 46P+K, K, 8k, 8PPP, P+K, PPP, 6SH, 8k, 8PPP, P+K, PPP, 46P+K.
NiCO is another brand-new character in DoA 6. A scientist turned fighter, she is sometimes called the Lightning Technomancer, because she uses a pair of electrically charged gloves that help her dole damage during fights.
Just like Kasumi, NiCO is a rush-down offensive character that utilizes the Pencak Silat fighting style. While that may mean her moveset isn't as visually stunning as some other fighters, it does mean her power level is high.
If you're a new DoA player, then you will probably enjoy NiCO as your main.
Shinobi fighters, such as Hayate, are usually very powerful, but they also tend to be very impractical in terms of input. However, veteran players looking for challenging mains will love Hayate for his obscure combos.
For example, his infamous Raijin move is so complex that many players just give up on it without even realizing the true power behind it. Some fighters are simply not meant to be played on your typical gamepad.
In any case, Hayate is a pro-level character that will surely prove his potential during the upcoming DoA world championship.
If you've been playing the Dead or Alive series since its inception, then you may remember the karate martial artist Ein, who was then replaced with Hitomi in DoA 3.
Since then, an overwhelming number of DoA players have made Hitomi their main because of her perfect balance of offensive and defensive mechanisms.
The best part about her is that she hasn't really changed much, meaning that veteran players will most likely be comfortable with her fighting style.
Generally speaking, Hitomi is a straightforward character with strike heavy fighting style that has great speed and some rather simple yet strong combos.
Mila is a returning MMA character from DoA 5. Her fighting style is one of the most unique and unexpected in the whole series considering her mixed martial arts background. One of her combo strings allows her to mount opponents and shove them to the ground while punching them in the face.
There are two versions of this combo: one ends with a series of kicks and the other with punching. The first one is 4P, P, 6PK, 3T while the other is 4P, P, 3P, 3K, 66T.
It's a really neat trick that is very hard to break from, so if this kind of brutal attacking combo fits your style, then Mila should definitely be in consideration for your main.
Which of these Dead or Alive 6 characters do you find to be the strongest ones? Who did we leave off that should be added?