2021 oprainfall Awards: Best Fighter

Monday, January 24th, 2022

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Previous Winners
2018: Soulcalibur VI
2019: Samurai Shodown

Fighting game releases have been pretty light this year, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get some amazing releases. When the staff were polled this year, these two nominees stood tall and battled it out for the honor of winning our Best Fighting Game of 2021.

Guilty Gear -Strive-

oprainfall | Guilty Gear -Strive-

NA Release Date: June 11th, 2021
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

While I wasn’t a big fan of some of the design changes at first, after I spent some time playing Guilty Gear -Strive-, I grew to love it. It’s a very easy fighter to pick up and play, but with enough depth to keep you coming back for more. The cast of characters we all know and love are back, and that anime style story is still a joy to watch. This is one of the few fighters I’ve ever played online with every matching working flawlessly. It’s very easy to see how this amazing fighter would be on anyone’s list for best games of the year.


NA Release Date: Sep 30, 2021
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

The Melty Blood franchise has been around a while and has a very dedicated group of fans. It is a spin-off of TYPE-MOON’s visual novel, Tsukihime, and has a rich story. With slick looking graphics, an awesome soundtrack, and tight gameplay, this one is a pure joy for fans of 2D fighters. Sporting rollback netcode, this is a great option for players that love to fight online, making it a wonderful overall package. They have recently released two new fighters for the game as free DLC. That is something that doesn’t happen very often these days and should be applauded for sure.

And the Winner is…

Guilty Gear -Strive-!

MELTY BLOOD: TYPE LUMINA put up a good fight here, but Guilty Gear -Strive- was just too powerful in the end. The fantastic character designs and animations alongside some of the best fighting mechanics in years just put it over the top. Arc System Works are still adding content and improving the game, so this already great title will get even better as time goes on.

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.