This year, we saw a good mix of old and new among fighting games, from the humble beginnings of Skullgirls to the respectable continuation of genre giant Tekken.
With any award, it's always interesting to see readers gravitate toward one choice in particular. While consensus was not necessarily achieved -- is that even possible, given everyone's individual preferences? -- more than in some of our other categories, there was a good deal of agreement for best fighter of 2012. Did we reach the same conclusion?
As a reminder, here are our nominees for best fighting game of 2012:
And the winner is ...
Persona 4 Arena
There were no guarantees that a Persona fighting game would turn out to be something great not only for long-time series fans, but for genre fans as well. Far from it, in fact. Although Atlus teaming up with Arc System Works was a reassuring starting point, it wasn't until positive impressions started flowing in that we really knew where this collaboration was headed.
With a story that builds on its JRPG foundation, the game presents an all-around package that manages to look, sound, and play well while staying true to its source material. Add in some much-appreciated accessibility, and you've got the makings of the year's best fighter. Prior to release, this might have seemed like a longshot. In retrospect, however, Persona 4 Arena couldn't be a better recipient of top honors.