Rollback netcode has become a talking point in the fighting game community. Older fighting games have experienced a revival because of it, and games with bad netcode are losing players without it. Here are the best fighting games with rollback that you should play.
What is Rollback Netcode?
Many fighting games use a system called delay-based netcode, which will wait to receive players’ inputs before continuing on. If there’s a packet loss, then the game will stop until it receives the packet. During these stops, the game will reject any inputs, which can spell disaster for players.
Rollback netcode performs inputs almost immediately (with a small delay). In addition, rollback will also predict your opponent’s next move. If the prediction is incorrect, then the game will roll back a few frames to get the correct input. In short: it’s better!
1. Guilty Gear: Strive
Guilty Gear is Arc System Works’ flagship series. Strive is the latest addition and features drop-dead gorgeous art and a soundtrack that slaps harder than it has any business to.
Veterans of the series will note that gatlings have been shortened and damage across the board as been increased, leading to the dominance of short yet surprisingly painful combos. These short combos also make learning Strive much easier compared to other entries in the series. Players also spend more time interacting in neutral rather than getting stuck in long combos or getting stuck in block.
Universal mechanics and a condensed move list also streamline the learning experience. Every character has an overhead, an anti-air, and a low. No matter what character you choose, they will always have some basic tools to help them, regardless of how bad the matchup is.
2. Street Fighter V
The granddaddy of fighting games, Street Fighter popularized fighting games for the masses. Today, Street Fighter V continues the franchise’s trend of popularity.
Street Fighter made a name for itself through easy-to-learn mechanics, but hard-to-master interactions. Compared to other games, Street Fighter has preserved the strategic heart behind fighting game interactions. This concept is best seen in how Street Fighter handles its neutral game. There are no shortcuts to win neutral; players have to learn footsies and proper spacing if they hope to be a decent challenger.
Street Fighter V introduces a new V-gauge that can be used for character-specific moves or to extend combos. In Season 5, V-shift was introduced, allowing players use one bar to parry incoming attacks.
3. King of Fighters XV
The latest addition to the King of Fighters series has been praised for its well-made reliance on classic fighting game fundamentals while also keeping what made these games so popular. It’s well-known for its 3v3 (not tag) combat, where each fighter’s health and meter will carry over into the next round, running contrary to other fighting games where characters recover health between rounds.
The reviews so far have been wonderfully positive. King of Fighters XV takes well-known mechanics from other games, like EX attacks, push blocks and focus attacks, and seamlessly blends them with classic series mechanics like its variety of jump options. As a result, the newest King of Fighters excels not by innovating an old genre, but by refining what’s already there and executing it well.
4. Blazblue: Central Fiction
If you’re looking for a traditional anime fighter with plenty of personality and a simplified control scheme, then you should play the Blazblue: Central Fiction.
Contrary to most non-tag-team fighting games, Blazblue’s simplified control scheme has four primary buttons – weak, medium, heavy, and Drive. While the control scheme is simple, the mechanics, combos, and pressure strings have an enjoyable flow to them that few other fighters can easily replicate.
However, Drives are what bring out the personality in Blazblue. Each character has a unique mechanic tied to the Drive button that defines who they are. One character can steal their opponent’s HP through their Drive attacks, while another can control a second character through their Drive. What’s impressive is how no two Drives play alike. Each one is a unique take on how fighting game mechanics can be manipulated, which in a roster of 36 characters is quite the feat.
5. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
Power Rangers: Battle For the Grid is a 3v3 tag-team game that features the 90s darling franchise, Power Rangers, and its extended universe.
It stands out with how well it takes tag team ideas like takeovers (where the player can take control of the assist character) into its gameplay while still keeping fundamentals at the forefront.
Battle for the Grid shares a few important similarities to Cross Tag. Players in both games have to keep an eye on each assist that appears because they can become the active fighter at any moment. Both games also keeps individual character controls on the simpler side so players can flow better between their characters. However, Battle for the Grid’s focus on three characters and easier inputs adds a different brand of chaos for players to enjoy.
6. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
Rollback hasn’t been officially released for Cross Tag yet, but its first public test is happening on February 23.
Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle has a similar appeal to Smash Bros, in that it’s a crossover game between multiple franchises including RWBY and Persona. Fighting game fans, however, will fall in love with its chaotic 2v2 gameplay.
Cross combos allow players to control both of their characters at once, creating long pressure situations, while active switches allow players can take control of the assist character at any time.
When played together, these two mechanics allow for up to four different characters on screen blasting away at one another. On top of that, players now have to keep track of where all four characters are at all times since any character on screen can become an active threat, and bad positioning can lead to a deadly 2-v-1 scenario.
Still got some fight left in you? Check out our Guide to get better at Fighting Games, or the top upcoming indie games you should look out for!