Shacknews Best Fighting Game of 2017: Injustice 2

One game stood out above the rest in an increasingly resurgent genre, as Shacknews names Injustice 2 its Best Fighting Game of 2017.

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This has been an amazing year for fighting games. New challengers have entered the arena, existing games have been progressing at a steady pace, and new and exciting fighters are set to arrive next year. But there's one game that stood out above the pack in as the Best Fighting Game of 2017. It was the game that stood as a great fighting game, but also set out to be something more. That was Injustice 2.

One of the areas where NetherRealm has outclassed the competition in recent years is in providing a single-player experience that's well above its peers. Injustice 2 not only provides a hard-hitting Story Mode, but it further builds on the complexities of the original game and gives players even more ways to view the heroes they've grown up with. Is Batman the paragon that he believes himself to be? Is Superman truly so far gone as a single-minded dictator? And have our heroes become so bitterly divided that they can't come together when an even more powerful force from the outer reaches of space invades our world? And while one of the ultimate goals is to experience all sides of the story, NetherRealm strikes a chord with its dual endings, showing that while justice can prevail, the definition of what "justice" even is in the modern day has changed wildly from person to person.

For those not interested in the story, the other standout from Injustice 2 is the classic Arcade Mode. But NetherRealm has made the Arcade ladder into an expanded world, one that changes on a daily and weekly basis. New ladders are introduced, fights are mixed up with new rules and themes, and there are even ladders that coincide with DLC releases and movie tie-ins. For the solo player, there's always something worthwhile to do.

That's because part of the joy of Injustice 2 is earning gear for your favorite character. It's dressing up Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman in cool armor pieces or classic outfit pieces. It's in finding new ways to buff your character for the single-player experience or it's in finding ways to look sleek against online opponents. This is a system that could have easily been abused or broken in a different developer's hands, but NetherRealm knew how to strike the balance between earning an edge in single-player fights and evening the playing field against humans.

Speaking of that even playing field, that allows me to get into Injustice 2's merits as a fighter. It further builds on the foundation set in Injustice: Gods Among Us, building on the combo system and refining elements from the first game like the combo breakers and the Clash system. But the game also feels more accessible than ever, with an intuitive tutorial system that teaches not only the basics of Injustice 2, but the fundamentals of fighting games as a whole. And while the tutorial does start out with Batman, there are customized tutorials for each of the game's characters, all of which are thorough and easy to follow.

For pure accessibility, a phenomenally satisfying single-player story, and for grasping what it means to be a fighting game in the modern day, Shacknews proudly names Injustice 2 our Best Fighting Game of 2017.


Be sure to keep up with the rest of The Shacknews Awards as we celebrate the Year of the Games: 2017.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty

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    December 29, 2017 10:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Shacknews Best Fighting Game of 2017: Injustice 2

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      December 29, 2017 10:05 AM

      what fighters have even come out this year other than Injustice 2?

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        December 29, 2017 10:09 AM

        * MVC: Infinite
        * Arms (this counts as a fighting game, right?)
        * Tekken 7 - technically this isn't true, but it was released to consoles in 2017
        * That Street Fighter game for the Switch
        * I guess you could slide GG Xrd Rev 2 in there

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          December 29, 2017 10:41 AM

          It was a tough choice between this and Tekken 7, honestly.

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            December 29, 2017 12:44 PM

            Both are excellent. Injustice 2 is the best single player fighter ever. Tekken 7 is just fantastic in the gameplay department.

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          December 29, 2017 10:53 AM

          Rev 2 was an update but also had a standalone release.

          I'd still probably pick it for best fighting game this year even though it's just an evolution of a game from 2014. It's really really good.