About Fighting Games
Fighting games generally involve one-on-one combat against an opponent, in a duel to the death. Rather than using eye-hand coordination or dexterity, players are required to memorize a character's "combos" or a chain of button or directional presses that execute some kind of death-defying move on the enemy. The earliest versus-style fighting games were Karate Champ and The Way of the Exploding Fist, both released on Atari home consoles in the mid 1980s. It wasn't until the Street Fighter series began in 1987, that fighting games were redefined and experienced a resurgence of popularity.
The Street Fighter franchise was just the spark that the cash-embattled arcades were looking for, and although the popularity was short-lived, the series created many facets of the fighting genre that are popular to this day, including unlockable characters, special moves unique to that character and a ladder of champions to fight with each opponent becoming increasingly harder to defeat.
In 1992, the Mortal Kombat series was the first to introduce fatalities, a bloody finish to a fight that could only be performed if a certain combination of buttons were pressed. In recent years, fighting games have evolved to include custom fighter creation, 3D models and stage creation to add more flair and excitement to the game.