Before we get into this I just wanted to make one thing clear: Tekken 7 is awesome and it has always been awesome. With that said, it somehow became even more awesome this year thanks to its integration of some seriously excellent netcode. Which, as of right now, is probably one of the strongest features that a competitive online fighting game could have.
This year has been rough on everyone for a number of reasons, and esports was one of the many facets of regular life that took a blow right on the chin. With in-person tournaments and events becoming a thing of the past for the moment, games have had to be reliable in online competitions in order to continue to be both fun and entertaining.
Now, one would think that fighting games would’ve already been ahead of the curve when it came to online play, since so many people already play these sorts of games with complete strangers over their WiFi. And yet, here we are. Fortunately, the folks over at Bandai Namco seem to know what they’re doing and integrated some of the best netcode we’ve ever seen and made Tekken 7 that much better. Players all over the world can now connect and beat the crap out of each other with massively fewer hiccups that become even rarer when plugged directly into the internet versus playing over wi-fi.
While long-running fighting franchises like Smash Bros. and Street Fighter are still struggling to properly connect folks in online matches, Tekken 7 is making the dream of impeccable netcode a reality. And, in a post-COVID world, good netcode is akin to having a giant pile of gold. Tekken 7 was already my number one fighting game series of all time, but its dramatically improved netcode and this award for Most Improved Game of 2020 will more than likely convince more than one fighter to conform to my way of thinking.
Check out the other winners from The Shacknews Awards 2020 in our Year of the Games: 2020 article.