How would you rank all King of Fighters games from best to worst?

tangemo

Lazy SNK Employee
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Sep 10, 2019
Posts
57
I mostly played the KOF ports on Sega and Sony consoles. Now that I am playing them on Neo Geo, I really like the old ones (to me the visuals and gameplay have aged a lot better than other fighters from the time) and I find that 97 was overhyped but 98 is legit! I haven't played too much 02 or 03.

How about the 3D versions on PS2, KOF Maximum Impact?
 

city41

Genam's Azami Sharpener
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Dec 27, 2010
Posts
1,510
Yeah I felt they went a bit "MUGEN" by that stage. Still love it though

I generally feel this way about all SNKP Neo Geo games, but especially the KOFs. Also seeing as I haven't played a KOF competitively in well over 2 decades, that leaves me with

95
94
97
98
96
99


Strictly single player and nostalgia talking. I don't really like 2000+ at all.
 

Missile

Another Striker
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Posts
311
I will go for 02,98,96 and 95 but apart from those I haven't play every game enough to really know.

I will say I think 98 looks the best. 02 doesn't have the best backgrounds and can seem a bit dull in comparison at times. Wish it had been more vibrant.
 

andsuchisdeath

General Morden's Aide
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Oct 2, 2003
Posts
7,574
I like KOF 97 because you can whiff and cancel crouching A's into things that aren't supposed to juggle.
 

mikejmoffitt

Mickey's Coach
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Feb 6, 2014
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578
I really like 99's backgrounds and overall presentation. It has a few decent music tracks. I thought 95 was pretty chill in similar ways. I tried to like 98, but I find that I have trouble appreciating it much at all. Overall, I think KOF is a bit of a wasteland with music, with a few standouts.

I guess I'll say I like 95 the most out of the series as a whole.
 

sirlynxalot

Neo Bubble Buster
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Apr 10, 2019
Posts
47
I like them all for different reasons, but my preference for the MVS KOFs is probably something like this:

2003
1996
2000
2002
2001
1997
1998
1994
1999
1995

1996 is imo one of the best of the 1990s KOFs. Good character selection when there was still an emphasis on the FF vs AOF formula, boss team is great, story, graphics and bosses were pretty impressive for the time, and its got the start of the more modern gameplay with rolls and running. I remember checking out 97 after 96 and being very disappointed (no boss team, no music on several stages, and the story and graphics were getting a little too goofy for my taste with the portrayal of riot of the blood, orochi team killing themselves, and Chris and Shermie didn't seem like serious enough fighters to be able to go up against FF and AOF characters much less being some kind of super powerful orochi warriors, Orochi seemed less interesting than Goenitz too).
 
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Neo Rasa

Whip's Subordinate
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Mar 26, 2001
Posts
1,771
'99 and 2000's feel really grew on me over time. Looking at pop culture when they dropped they really show how much SNK had their finger on the pulse. Like from when they started designing K'/etc. it means they were going for that look and sound and story before Matrix Reloaded and the 2000 X-Men movie came out which is pretty impressive when so much stuff was the other way around.

My own rank would go something like this. I absolutely love the KoF series and there's many I like just about equally so instead of doing a strictly ordered rank I figured tiers would be best:

S Tier:
'02 UM
'98 UM
'98
'96
'02

A Tier:
'00
XIV
XIII
XI
'99
'97
'95

B Tier:
'03
Maximum Impact 2/Reg A
NeoWave

C Tier:
'01
'94
XII
Maximum Impact 1
 

adaup1

New Challenger
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Posts
22
based on the ones I've played, I would go with...

02
98
97
03 (I didn't love it at first)
96
XI
95
94
01
00
99

As you can probaby tell, I am not at all a fan of the 4v4 games. The tag team element of 03 and XI grew on me over time. I liked the inclusion of an incredibly different roster on XI. I have not played XII onwards but would like to.
 

awbacon

Mizuki's Demon
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Posts
3,032
2002
98
2003
97
96
95
94
99
2000
2001

I put 2002 over 98 ONLY because thats the first AES KOF game I owned, so I spent a crazy amount of time playing it. Really I could say first place is a tie, but I like the stage art better in 2002

2000-2001 I acquired to full set KOF. They are fine, but low on my list.
 

Neo Alec

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20 Year Member
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2002 stage art? The one with the animals reclining watching the match?
 

Bill Kilgore

Sent Rot A Secret Santa.Didn't Get Banned.FOOKIN A
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Jul 14, 2014
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1,086
Based on the ones i have currently:

95
97
99
01
94

95 and 97 are almost interchangeable depending on the mood i'm in.
Definitely planning on buying 98 in the future.
 

heihachi

Astra Superstar
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Posts
662
Changes frequently depending on mood, but right now from best to worst it’s:

95
96
98
97
99
00
94
03
02
01

I really like the simplicity and high damage of 95. If 94 had team edit, it’d be right up there. The play more games are fun but I think they’re so ugly visually I’m a little biased against them.
 
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city41

Genam's Azami Sharpener
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Posts
1,510
If 94 had team edit, it’d be right up there.

The lack of team edit makes it pretty unique and I find the constraint fun. I mean I get the desire to edit teams, but I really like that we got one KOF that doesn't have it.
 

LlorensBlood

Mr. Big's Thug
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Posts
209
This is my rank:
97
96
98
2000
94
95
2001
2002
2003

I really enjoy the story mode in KOF saga, more than Vs mode, and apart from other things like nostalgia, I have played KOF 97 a lot because of its story mode, with sub bosses included. Really enjoyable.
 

Evan

Hardened Shock Trooper
Joined
May 31, 2016
Posts
434
For the ones I have played it would go:
98
2003
2002
96
XI
99
Neowave
2001
95
94
97
 

Bill Kilgore

Sent Rot A Secret Santa.Didn't Get Banned.FOOKIN A
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
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1,086
Seems like 97 is either way on top or down below, i gues it's a love or hate it game.
 

yagamikun

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20 Year Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2000
Posts
1,843
Been playing KOF avidly since 1994, so here is my top 5 list - I like all KOF games, though, and own most in the series in original format:

98 (One of the most well rounded fighters ever - and one of my top 3 favorite fighting games overall)
95 (I have a history with this game, and it is 95 that got me to originally purchase my AES in the late 90s)
2K (I love the update to the Striker system mechanics, as well as all the "extra strikers" that celebrate SNK history)
99 (Mostly just from an artistic perspective - The overall presentation, music, and sprite work was awesome)
NeoWave (a better version of 2K2 imo - there is so much I dislike about 2K2, mostly in presentation)

I haven't played much modern KOF after 13, but what I have played of 14 I found kinda meh. I think I'm just old and jaded and prefer classic KOF because nostalgia. :)
 
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donluca

Camel Slug
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Aug 19, 2015
Posts
515
If we're taking this out of the neo-geo ballpark, I'd say that XIII is the absolute pinnacle of the series and I was sorely disappointed with XIV.
 
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