Favorite Fighting Game Stages

I have always loved fighting games but not because I’m particularly great at them or able to engage with different systems/mechanics at a high level. The main reason I keep coming back to these games is atmosphere. A lot has been said about “hangout games” on the forum and I love hanging out in practice mode or 2p mode in different fighting games, they contain some of the best 2d pixel art and have a ton of atmosphere. A lot of the best ones have great music too. The visuals have to be enticing and unique enough to make you want to spend your coins when you glance at the attract mode. Fighting games are generally kind of light on the story aspect so the stages usually play a big part in fleshing out the characters they are associated with, this gives the good ones a cool and unique identity. Since the stages don’t scroll (very much) all of the ideas for a stage are packed into a small area and there is usually a lot going on. It’s easy these days to find really nice screenshots of fighting game stages online (sometimes they’re even animated) so I thought it would be fun to have a thread where we share our favorites, I’ll start off with a few of mine.

Hibiki’s Stage - The Last Blade 2
[URL=https://i.imgur.com/bmAVjUu.gif][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/bmAVjUu.gif[/IMG][/URL]

This is arguably the best-looking Neo Geo game (alongside Garou). I was REALLY into the look and feel of it when I was younger and this was always my favorite stage. You’re on a tree-lined mountain pass in Bakumatsu-era Japan overlooking the ocean on a sunny day. There are westerners on horses alongside Japanese townspeople watching you fight. A man sits off to the side smoking a pipe while a baby tries to climb the stone steps below him. This is one that I really think benefits from being displayed on a bright, nicely calibrated CRT arcade monitor. Hibiki’s sprite with her red robe really pops against the washed-out sunny earth tones and it looks amazing. When I think of videogames in general this stage is one of the things that comes to mind. The vibe is strangely tranquil for a violent sword fight.

Kinderdijk - Capcom Vs SNK 2
[URL=https://i.imgur.com/VdY3ACT.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/VdY3ACT.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

I mentioned hangout games above, when CVS2 came out this stage was my favorite videogame hangout alongside the castle in Suikoden II. I spent tons of time in practice mode and playing 2p with my brother in this stage. Another one with a relaxed/tranquil feel to it. It’s a sunny day in Holland with weird swirling green clouds and rolling hills scattered with 18th century windmills. My brother would always play as Ken wearing white and there is a hypnotic quality to watching his spinning hurricane kick float across the screen while the windmills slowly turn in the background. The music is a big part of the atmosphere, I’ll include it [here](https://youtu.be/v04Q7HTM_7k?si=KUGYcStAKM-u0YsA).

Kim Jae Hoon’s Stage - Garou: Mark of the Wolves

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/jkBNjBn.gif][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/jkBNjBn.gif[/IMG][/URL]

The other best-looking Neo Geo game. The background art for SNK fighting games of this period is irresistible to me, so chunky and bright and detailed. The music for this stage immediately enters my mind when I think of Garou. You’re in a Korean open-air market and there’s maybe some kind of festival going on? There’s a huge group of other martial artists who animate while they watch the fight and banners blow in the wind above them. Steam rises from the food being cooked by vendors and chickens peck at the ground. Very cool street scene that is full of life.

I could keep going, there are so many stages I love. Maybe I’ll add some more later. What are your favorite fighting game stages? Share some screenshots and memories/thoughts. I know I talked a lot about 2d games above but 3d fighting game stages are also welcome. Looking forward to seeing some cool stages!

Perfect vibes, perfect song, perfect opening

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/sYHBBfi.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/sYHBBfi.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/uI7eFdJ.gif][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/uI7eFdJ.gif[/IMG][/URL]

A group of people watching a fighting game fight always pumps me up

@“robinhoodie”#p139561

Good one, love the Athena billboards.

@“robinhoodie”#p139561 What's this from?

A pedestrian pick from me.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/RG0Vmlj.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/RG0Vmlj.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

@“whatsarobot”#p139582 King of Fighters '96

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvjg2SCKong

I want to make a diorama of this stage

@“robinhoodie”#p139588 Heck yeah. That's hot stuff. Thanks.



Going for a slightly more modern take, I really like a lot of the stages in Melty Blood: Type Lumina. The way they bring to life the heavily filtered, 20 year old photographed backgrounds of tsukihime is really interesting. The round shelter in the center of the park stage always seemed like such a nice structure, to the point that I (basically unsuccesfully) tried to hunt down the location the original photos come from wandering around Shinjuku

I like Jubei's stage in Fatal Fury Special

[IMG]https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/snk/images/1/1e/Fatal_Fury_Special_-_Jubei's_Stage.gif[/IMG]

Would love a fighting game set in the Louvre with destructible environments.

this youtube channel is pretty good for folks here https://www.youtube.com/@FistsWillFlyatThisLocation

i have a special place in my heart for CvS1 stages because each one gets its own little intro segment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7qekBBG38E

I‘ve always loved the backgrounds in SNK’s games, particularly the pre-MOTW Fatal Fury games! Most stages for every game in the series have variations to them, like time of day or changes in weather. Literally just picking one at random, the Geese stage from RB2 with the ukiyo-e style panels of Geese is quite good:

https://www.fightersgeneration.com/nf9/game/stage/realbout-fatalfury2-geese-tower2.gif

…as is the Sound Beach stage at sunset:

https://www.fightersgeneration.com/nf9/game/stage/realbout-fatalfury-special-stage-usa-beach2.gif


Time for some Tekken 4 Love:

https://youtu.be/6MHTY-HhgCI?si=8VF67ha5_okxBW3Z

I think it‘s amazing that this stage lets you go into the water.

There’s a few other from T4 that stand out, mostly Shinjuku due to it feeling like the most “real” street fighting stage to me for a long time, and airport, but mostly I love airport because of it's theme.

Vampire Savior has this gem:
https://www.fightersgeneration.com/nf9/game/stage/2/darkstalkers3-fetus-of-god-stage.gif

I love that this stage is banned because it's so humongous big.

@“KingTubb”#p139697 I was going to post about Tekken 4 too. The skyscraper level with its angled playfield, the street level where you can toss your opponent into a bus stop and the snow stage with deformable snow all stand out.

KOF XII's France stage, so very Nona:

XIII version too:
[img]https://i.imgur.com/APvj9zB.jpg[/img]

I'll throw one in for some of the new stages in SFVI.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/l6Usxst.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/l6Usxst.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

The new cherry blossoms fall on the fighters stage is pretty great.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/58hhDIN.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/58hhDIN.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

But the French carnival one is my favorite. I love the roller coaster and vibe, but being honestly, [it's also because of its music](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohJM9MZdiB0&pp=ygUVc3RyZWV0IGZpZ2h0ZXIgNiBmZXRl).

@“robinhoodie”#p139588

I played some KOF ‘96 last night bc I really liked this, super fun game. That Goenitz is tough though! Couldn’t figure out the right strategy to beat him.