Best Fighting Game
With its strong online component and interesting, varied gameplay, Mortal Kombat: Deception stands out as 2004's Best Fighting Game.Best Platformer >>
The game's online component is easy to jump right into, and with the additional Archon-like chess mode, you can drop the game's fighting engine into something a little bit deeper. The game's characters use a wide variety of fighting styles, and have special moves that need to be feared and respected, especially because many of them open you up to the game's combo system, which can be very damaging. But the game balances these combos out pretty nicely with an intuitive combo-breaker system that gives you three "get out of jail free cards" per match, letting you get out of a combo or juggle before things get too serious.
The quality of the characters is always a big part of a fighting game's appeal, and Mortal Kombat: Deception does a really great job here. From returning favorites like Raiden, Nightwolf, and Ermac, to newer inclusions like Kobra, Ashrah, and Kira, MK: Deception's roster is another one of its high points. Did we mention that Liu Kang is a crazy zombie with chains on his wrists and fireballs at the ready? Great character design is a large part of what makes Deception such a memorable fighting game.
While the game's finishing moves might not have much to do with the actual fighting, fatalities and hara-kiris give each match a satisfying conclusion--provided you've learned how to execute the moves, of course. Brutal finishers that splatter blood all over the place provide some of the series' trademark sense of dark comedy, and the hara-kiris, where you finish yourself off instead of giving your opponent the satisfaction, are especially fantastic.
With a big chunk of content, lots of unlockable items, and a fighting engine that's both fun and unpretentious, Mortal Kombat: Deception helped breathe new life into the fighting genre this year, and that's just another reason why it's the Best Fighting Game of 2004.