Every year the world’s top fighting game players gather to battle for supremacy at the annual Evolution Championship Series (EVO for short). And while fans clamor to see the best of the best face off in all the long-standing competitive fighters like Street Fighter, Smash Bros., and Mortal Kombat, it’s got us thinking about all those fighting franchises that have fallen along the way. Sure, most of the games on this list would likely seem pretty tame and clunky when compared to the flashy fighters in circulation today, but many of them, at one time or another, represented the pinnacle of console and arcade gaming. And regardless of how well some of them have aged, you’ll probably want to dust off your old fight stick after you recognize a few treasures that have long since retired from the forefront of fighting games.
Even though Clayfighter might not have been the biggest breakthrough for the fighting genre, its wacky character designs and cool claymation style made it a pretty fun oddity. It was always meant to be more of a cheeky parody of traditional fighters than it was a serious game (where else would you get the chance to see Santa Claus get beat up by a fat Elvis impersonator?), and for that it will always have a special place in hour hearts.
After ClayFighter 63 1/3 was delayed for what seemed like an eternity, it eventually came out and disappointed a lot of fans who were expecting something a little better from a Nintendo 64 title. And despite the more polished ClayFighter: Sculptor’s Cut which came out as a Blockbuster exclusive rental, the series had lost a lot of traction. There were even plans to release an updated version for the WiiWare a few years ago, but that fell through likely due to lack of interest.