With its great gameplay and story, the Tekken series set a standard for 3D combat in fighting games. Since 1994, each game in the series has had its own style and celebrated diversity by adding characters from all over the world who fight in ways that are typical in their area. But characters like the huge bear Akuma and the boxing kangaroo Roger show that the show isn’t afraid to get weird.
There are many different games in the series, and each one has its own pros and cons. With so many titles, it’s hard to tell at a glance which one is the best. When you take the average of the scores from Internet Games Database and MetaCritic, though, it’s clear that fans of Tekken like it for one thing: fast-paced fighting game action.
Tekken 7: Fated Retribution – N/A
Fated Retribution was originally an update for Tekken 7 in arcades. It was brought to home consoles as DLC instead of a single update, as had been done in the past. There were a lot of big changes in Fated Retribution, like new arenas, collectibles, and characters, like Lidia Sobieska and Fahkumram, as well as guest fighters like Noctis from Final Fantasy XV and Geese Howard from The King of Fighters. By releasing updates as DLC, this method kept players interested in the game for a longer time, but it also kept it from getting a good critical score like other updates did.
Death By Degrees – 48.5
Tekken’s Nina Williams in Death by Degrees isn’t a fighting game like the other games in the series. Instead, it’s a third-person adventure in which Nina Williams joins a group of criminals. The game is a continuation of the minigames in Tekken 3 and Tekken 4. The game got mixed reviews from critics, mostly because it had an unusual way of playing and controlling it. Combat was only done with the right analogue stick, and attacks were done with simple flicks instead of the usual face buttons. Sad to say, the lacklustre response seems to have put an end to any plans for more solo albums.
Tekken 3D – 59.5
Tekken 3D, which came out for the Nintendo 3DS, was a regular fighter game. The game has all of the fighters from Tekken 6, and the framerate and graphics are great for a portable game. However, critics gave the game mixed reviews. Still, there are a lot of things to collect, but the only game modes are an arcade ladder and a slow multiplayer mode. The game is too simple and doesn’t have enough content to make people want to play it again and again.
Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion – 60
A year after Tekken 6, a major update called Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion came out in arcades. It added some new features to keep players interested. The best thing about the upgrade is the new fighters. Lars and Alisa from the original game are back, and new bosses like Azazel and NANCY-MI847J are added. Bloodline Rebellion is a great improvement, but it’s really just another version of Tekken 6.
Tekken – 75
The original Tekken expanded the growing 3D fighting game trend in big ways. The original game features Kazuya Mishima as the game’s main protagonist, setting up early on just how much the story will eventually change and how the characters will evolve. It also features a whopping 17 characters, many of which are still in games today, like Lee Chaolan. The combat itself is still top-notch and serves as a foundation for future installments. Tekken received positive reviews upon release but now, nearly 30 years later, offers mostly nostalgia compared to its more advanced sequels.
Tekken Revolution – 75
Tekken Revolution was an online fighter game for the PlayStation 3 that was free to play. It came out in 2013. It uses parts from Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and has 29 fighters and different ways to play, such as a ladder in the arcade and online. Overall, the game was fun to play, and it brought the excitement of arcades to home consoles. But the biggest problem was that you had to pay to win. Characters had to gain levels and skill points to get stronger, but they could speed up the process by buying Gold. Revolution is mostly forgotten today because its servers were shut down in 2017.
Tekken 6 – 78.5
Tekken 6 might be the most controversial game in the main series. The gameplay is just as fun as in previous games, but in the story mode, the characters do things that are sad or just not like them. Most infamously, the game features longtime series protagonist Jin Kazama starting a World War, killing millions in the process, to awaken a demon that could rid him of the Devil Gene. Even for an anti-hero like Jin, it seemed like a strange thing to do. Still, the game has great new characters like Lars and Zafina, and it keeps going with the story of the Mishima family.
Tekken 4 – 79
Tekken 4 may be the best in terms of gameplay and story out of all the games in the series. The story keeps going with the fight between the Mishima family, with Jin Kazama going his own way to beat his father and grandfather, and it introduces characters like Marduk and Steve Fox who have become famous. When it came out, most people liked Tekken 4, which was made possible by the switch to PlayStation 2. It’s still one of the most popular games in the series today.
Street Fighter x Tekken – 82
Street Fighter X Tekken was supposed to be a real game-changer. It would let Tekken characters fight in 2D arenas for the first time, and they would also fight with Street Fighter characters. It was a big idea that mostly worked out. Most reviews of the game were positive when it came out, but it did have its share of controversy. After the game came out, it was found that the DLC characters that were supposed to be added later were already done and on the game’s disc. The planned companion game Tekken x Street Fighter was eventually cancelled, but Akuma’s appearance in Tekken 7 keeps this crossover going.
This is the first Tekken game ever made, and it’s a pretty strong start for the series. The game stood out from its competitors because it had new ways to fight, strange characters, and very good graphics.
Very soon, the people who made Tekken took many more great steps that made the game much better. Compared to other games from the same time, the first Tekken is pretty empty and not very well balanced.