Hey Poor Player Holiday Buyers Guide 2021 – Fighting Games

Get Ready To Fight

Holiday Buyers Guide

Welcome to the Hey Poor Player Holiday Gift Guide. From Monday, November 8th through Friday, November 19th, we’ll be bringing you a guide to all the games, accessories, systems, and other hot items players will be looking for this holiday season. With Black Friday and other Holiday sales set to start in the coming weeks, we thought now was the perfect time to help draw attention to just what you players should be looking for in the coming weeks. So whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else, or maybe something for yourself, we’ve got you covered. Please keep in mind that as we move into our individual game lists, we’ve limited each game to one list to help spread the word about more great titles released in 2021. So if a game you love shows up on a genre list but not on one for a system, it doesn’t mean we didn’t love it. It just means that let us showcase more great titles.

Are you ready to get your fight on? 2021 wasn’t a banner year for the fighting game genre. This is the only genre list we’re putting out with less than five games, because there weren’t five original fighting games we could recommend to you. That said, there were some excellent titles still which are well worth your time.


Guilty Gear -Strive-


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: PS5 (Our Review), PS4, PC

Price: $59.99

Welcome to the big leagues. Guilty Gear has captured the imaginations of fighting game fans for years, but despite growing stature it was still always a bit on the edge of mainstream success. -Strive- does everything you could ask it to in order to change that. Here’s what I had to say earlier this year:

“If you’re new to the Guilty Gear series, there isn’t a better place to start than -Strive-. If you’re a returning veteran, enough has changed to keep things feeling fresh, but I have a feeling you’ll be up to speed in no time. While definitely complex and at times a bit intimidating, it does a fantastic job of initiating players. Guilty Gear -Strive- never holds back. If you remotely enjoy fighting games, this is a stunner you shouldn’t miss.”


Melty Blood: Type Lumina


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Price: $49.99

Fans of the original Melty Blood knew they wanted this from the day it was announced. I don’t have to sell them. For everyone else, Type Lumina provides a deep and action packed fighting game based on a visual novel. This new entry doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel but it continues to provide a ton of characters, tight mechanics, and a ton of polish. If you’re new to the series its definitely worth checking out.


Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: PS5 (Our Review), PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Price: $49.99

For years the platform fighter space has been Super Smash Bros and a bunch of pretenders. A few indies managed to put out solid titles in the space, but none captured player imaginations and really took off. Nickelodeon is fighting to change that with All-Star Brawl. While its missing out in single player content, it makes up for it with strong mechanics and a ton of cool characters to fight with. Here’s what I said earlier this year:

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl feels incomplete in a lot of ways. It needed more modes, better sound design to provide some personality, a better selection of stages. If the developers take the time to fill the game out further, it could even end up being something pretty special. For now, this is still far better than a Nickelodeon fighting game has any right to be. The most important part of a fighting game is the feel, and the team at Ludosity nailed that.”


Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: PS4 (Our Review)

Price: $29.99

We’re stretching our own definitions here. This is much more of a remaster than it is a remake, with limited new content. Even after over a decade Virtua Fighter 5 still plays fantastically but to call it a new game is a stretch. With how limited this year has been for the genre though, its well worth your time if you have an interest. Here’s what I said about it earlier this year:

“If you have PlayStation Plus, there’s no reason not to check out Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown. Even if it fails to hook you, free is a good price. If you don’t have Plus, there’s very little reason to get it, however. This is especially true since Plus is required to play online, and there’s almost nothing to do if you aren’t playing online. While it is a shame that so much content from past games isn’t here, this is still one of the best playing fighting games ever made.”


Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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