Yoda – Soul Calibur 4
Adding Star Wars characters to Soul Calibur seemed like a fun idea and, from a casual perspective, it really was. Soul Calibur 4 players on PlayStation 3 had access to Darth Vader while players on Xbox 360 had the chance to play as Yoda. In terms of Yoda’s actual move set, it wasn’t particularly impressive or overpowered. The problem, however, comes in the fact that Yoda is a very, very short character in a game where horizontal movement is everything. The real challenge was finding a way to get your hands on Yoda since the average attack easily whiffed over his head. Instead of being able to unleash the same combos that would work on other opponents, characters matched up against Yoda had to crouch and then try to go on the offensive. This obviously puts them at a huge disadvantage since Yoda can easily chip away at your kneecaps by mashing buttons.
Scorpion – Injustice: Gods Among Us
Cross overs in fighting games are usually a welcomed addition but developers have to be careful about how they adapt a character’s tools to a new game with new mechanics. This is the very reason why some players have reason to be nervous about SubZero’s upcoming release in Injustice 2. Unfortunately, NetherRealm Studios has slipped up in this area in the past when it introduced Scorpion to Injustice: Gods Among Us. There were multiple elements to Scorpion’s kit that were met with backlash but the vast majority of the controversy came from Scorpion’s ability to quickly teleport behind his enemies. The reason this move is so overpowered in Injustice: Gods Among Us is that, unlike Mortal Kombat, Injustice requires players to move back to block.
Scorpion is coming from a game where blocking is triggered with a button instead. Since Scorpion can so quickly teleport behind his enemies in Injustice, the actual direction a player has to hold to effectively block against Scorpion changes very rapidly and very frequently. It makes it nearly impossible to have an effective defense against a player using Scorpion in Injustice—and this wasn’t just an issue for casual players or novices either. Pro Injustice players rallied together and almost unanimously asked for Scorpion to be banned from use at EVO in 2013.
Shadow Mewtwo – Pokken Tournament
Shadow Mewtwo is actually the final boss in Pokken Tournament but players do have the ability to unlock him as a playable character. Once you do that, you’ll rarely find yourself losing another match in the game. As more players started unlocked Shadow Mewtwo, more and more message boards, forums, and YouTube videos were spawned with the sole purpose of venting about how broken Shadow Mewtwo was. There are certain things, like large health bars and exponentially more powerful attacks, that alone can make a character feel cheap. Well, Shadow Mewtwo has essentially everything that can make a character feel overpowered. A large health bar, powerful attacks, stunning agility and, of course, a combo that will drain an enemy’s entire health bar without even giving them a chance to respond. Shadow Mewtwo was so overpowered that he required some sort of nerf each and every time the game received an update.
Akuma – Super Street Fighter II Turbo
It just takes two words to explain why Akuma was so overpowered in Super Street Fighter II Turbo—aerial fireballs. While newer Street Fighter games have multiple characters that can fire off projectiles in the air, Akuma was the only character in Super Street Fighter II Turbo with this ability. Remember that you also can’t block in the air so jumping at all in a match against a half-way decent Akuma was easily and frequently punished. Combine this with how much health Akuma had and his ability to throw out a dragon punch right after hurricane kick to almost always guarantee a dizzy and you have one seriously overpowered character. While adjustments were made to the series overtime to allow players to better deal with Akuma’s kit, he was initially banned from tournaments due to his ability to easily dominate even in the hands of a novice.
Bayonetta – Super Smash Bros. 4
Bayonetta was a pretty balanced character after she finally got nerfed but when everyone’s favorite vixen witch brought her lethal shoes to Super Smash Bros. 4, the welcome wasn’t a warm one. Bayonetta boasted some combos that were unprecedented for the game and a decent player could easily zero-to-death you. While she was never officially banned from any major tournaments in the States, the esports community in Spain seriously considered it and she was officially banned from major tournaments in Russia. Bayonetta simply had too many moves that were able to be easily strung together to create a combo that not only deals a ton of damage but is also incredibly difficult to escape from. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for her to receive a much-needed nerf. While she still stands as a relatively annoying character to deal with she finally requires a pretty decent skill level to dominate matches.
Phoenix – Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
To be clear, it’s not necessarily Phoenix herself that is completely OP. It’s Dark Phoenix. Sure, Phoenix doesn’t necessarily have a solid defense and her low health seems like Capcom’s best effort to justify the presence of Dark Phoenix in the game. If Phoenix has a full Hyper Combo bar when she is initially defeated, the wrath of Dark Phoenix is unlocked. This secondary version lives up to the comic book world’s impression of her as one of the most powerful beings in the entire X Men series. Unfortunately, that also opens the door for some serious balancing issues. Activating Dark Phoenix grants the character a whole new full health bar while also drastically improving the strength of Phoenix’s attacks. While some players quickly respond to complaints of Dark Phoenix with the usual “Just snap Phoenix in and eliminate her before her Hyper Combo bar fills up,” this is a task easier said than done. Let’s not forget Phoenix also has the ability to heal herself. She may not have the kind of stamina that runs through players before she turns into Dark Phoenix but, technically speaking, all she really has to do is buy time for those bars to fill up. Phoenix can do that incredibly well.
Gill – Street Fighter III: Third Strike
Yet another boss character that becomes playable and brings all his overpowered brokenness into matches to frustrate players everywhere. Gill eventually had to be banned from major tournaments and a quick glimpse at his move set will easily explain why. Seriously, he is one of the few fighting game characters who is almost generally understood to be broken by the vast majority of the fighting game community. While every other characters in Street Fighter III: Third Strike forces a player to pick only one super, Gill gets to come into the match with all three of his. This might possibly be acceptable in the event the supers weren’t necessarily incredibly strong game changing abilities, but, you guessed it, Gill’s were some of the best in the game. All three of them.
Meteor Shower dealt a significant amount of damage and could be pretty tricky to avoid. Seraphic Wing could not be parried, dealt tons of damage and was nearly guaranteed to land every time given the large area effected by using this super. If, somehow, you managed to survive a Gill player having access to these supers just be prepared that you’re going to have to defeat them twice. Gill’s third super is a passive move called Resurrect and it does exactly what you think it does. If Gill dies with a full bar he gets to come back with a full health meter and spam fire and ice attacks at you all over again.
Meta Knight – Super Smash Bros. Brawl
A key factor to consider in any Super Smash Bros. match, no matter which game it is, is figuring out how to send your opponent flying off the map. Knocking someone off the stage is a quick way to have the cards turn in your favor even if your opponent hadn’t taken nearly as much damage as you. Well, knocking Meta Knight off any stage is quite the task considering the fact that this little evil doer can fly. The set of recovery moves he has and the different ways he can always find his way back to solid ground are probably the most annoying things you will ever witness Super Smash Bros. Brawl. But even that would just be enough to make him annoying, not overpowered. Meta Knight is given even more advantages in terms of impressive speed and moves that deal out crazy damage. So to summarize here, Meta Knight is powerful, fast, hard to knock off the stage, and can recover better than any other character in the game. That’s exactly why this little guy is now banned at major tournaments.
Pet Shop – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future
Pet Shop is one of the most hilariously broken characters to ever grace a fighting game. There’s just something about seeing a bird land an infinite on you that’s just as funny as it is frustrating. Pet Shop’s description as a character just sounds like he would be incredibly cheap— a small falcon that has been granted ice powers. So, yes, Pet Shop zooms around the stage with solid speed and agility while also being a small target with the ability to hurl ice attacks at his opponents from the other side of the screen. He can pretty much spam these ice attacks until your health bar is slowly and surely chipped completely away. The only thing worse than having ice attacks hurled at you, however, is the guaranteed doom that will befall you if you get close to a decent Pet Shop player. Once you close the gap between that annoying bird, you have opened yourself up to Pet Shop’s notorious infinite combo. There’s no way out unless your foe just happens to drop the combo and the combo is so easy to pull off that it’s just not likely that will actually happen.
Ivan Ooze – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition
Ivan Ooze is known throughout the fighting game community as one of the most broken characters of all time and he certainly lives up to the title. Perhaps his most broken mechanic comes from the simple fact that, in a game where everyone else is grounded, he can fly. Not “fly” as in, use a move that allows him to hover higher in the air before coming back down. “Fly” as in he never touches the ground and can reach any corner of the screen easily and stay there as long as he so pleases. Want to float in the top corner of the screen where nobody can reach you and hurl projectiles down? Go ahead. With Ivan Ooze anything is possible. The world is your oyster. His flying mechanic also means low attacks are pointless against him and players can’t grab him. This makes him broken already but Ivan Ooze is truly as absurdly broken as it gets. One of his basic attacks, emphasis on a basic attack, is Energy Ball. Energy Ball is a homing projectile that absorbs any other projectile that may be coming at Ivan. Best part, it hits multiple times and allows Ivan Ooze players to easily stun opponents and follow up with a combo.
Ivan Ooze can also cause giant columns of fire to appear out of nowhere. These fire walls also eat any projectile coming his way. This is particularly troubling because the best way to try to hit a man who can always fly is to hurl projectiles at him. So why would developers then give him a kit to block any and all projectiles with ease? Who knows. His entire kit is filled with problematic attacks so we won’t go into detail with every move but nobody can ignore the move that is literally called Invulnerable Strike. Invulnerable Strike creates a field around Ivan that will damage any foe near him while simultaneously unleashing a barrage of fireballs at them. So in the event your opponent somehow manages to close the gap, Invulnerable Strike will quickly and easily give them a reason to back up and resort to dodging for their life. Ivan Ooze simply has it all and he has it all in a game where everyone else has a basic kit with no tools even remotely capable of dealing with him. When it comes to being broken, Ivan Ooze is still easily and by far the poster child.