Soul Calibur is a game series that is in the fighting genre, with these games having characters with weapons. It mixed the usual one-on-one nature of the fighting genre with much stronger character elements than this type of game usually features.
The Soul Edge itself is an actual type of sword in the game that can be in different shapes.
The games often had huge customization options. Making it so that you could switch out special weapons, outfits, and so on.
There was a lot to love about the series which is probably why it was so popular.
In this article we are ranking the best five SoulCalibur game editions in a descending order with a description and what we liked about each one.
Table of Contents
#5 – Soul Calibur
Although there was a game before this game, called Soul Edge, the original Soul Calibur had a lot going for it that started to set it apart.
It came out in 1999 for arcade as well as the platform that was new at the time, Dreamcast.
It was a 3D fighting game that introduced more ways of moving, with the 8-way run style.
This added a feature of being able to run in any direction, up, down, left, right, and diagonally between all of them. It gave you a lot of freedom.
Before this period, most fighter games, like the original Street Fighters, only moved from side to side, on a complete 2D plane.
The Calibur series, starting with this game, made for much more complex moves since you could get out of the way of weapon blows by moving side to side. You could dance around your opponents this way, in other words.
It had a huge positive response at the time, hitting numbers like 97% for approval, second only to Ocarina of Time.
The game had a more generous “buffering forgiveness” time, meaning that after you finish one move, you could go right on to the next without having to recover from it for longer, like what happened in other games like Virtual Fighter.
The game also improved on a mechanic the series started with called “guard impact,” which meant that if you could time a block perfectly with an enemy attack, you would do something special like knocking their weapon out of the way.
#4 – Soul Calibur IV
Calibur four comes out for PS3 and Xbox 360. Like many of the other games in this series, they included “guest” characters that aren’t from the universe and that are borrowed from some other series.
In this case, they added Yoda and Darth Vader from Star Wars. The exact character you got depended on which platform you were using.
You could even get the Apprentice from one of the Star Wars games, the Force Unleashed.
The game was well-received, and it’s easy to see why. It retains the same fun and balanced gameplay that you come to expect from the series.
One of the great elements of gameplay from the series is about how easy-performing moves are.
Many games have extremely difficult to perform moves as a way for a player to show their skill.
However, in Soul Calibur IV, the trick is more about knowing the exact right timing and situation for when to perform moves.
Sometimes you want to attack, but other times it’s better to just move around the arena to avoid moves that are too hard to block or that might knock you off your feet if you do clock them.
Other times, the best approach is to block or perform special block moves to change the tide in the fight.
Since not too many of the moves are too difficult to perform, you have access to everything, unlike with some games.
Instead, you can see the difference of experience in being able to choose the right move at the right time.
This makes the game particularly fun to play in tournaments and the like since everything seems fair naturally.
#3 – Soul Calibur III
The sequel to one of the more popular games of all time came out for the arcade and PS2 in 2005.
The game had unlockable characters that you could get if you played through the Tales of Souls mode which came from various other series like Xenosaga.
This mode was only for one player, and it was turn-based. You moved your characters around on a board, representing armies, and each time you could either go through it in an RPG way, or it could cut to a more general Soul Calibur duel.
The old characters are all back, along with a few new ones like Tira, Setsuka, and Zasalamel.
The gameplay focused on destructible barriers such as walls in front of bodies of water that you could throw people through.
Another feature here is that you can create your character, starting with a basic skin, but then adding options like extra physical features, armor, clothing, which class you want, and more.
You can change their personality a bit, however, this is only something you can do by altering their equipment.
In general, the plot continues from what was happening in Soul Calibur II, making it an especially fun sequel for those who enjoyed the first one.
One of the most fun and dynamic additions in Soul Calibur is how every character has a completely distinct fighting style from every other character.
None of them is the same. Many games make it so a lot of the characters feel a lot like some other character, not so in Soul Calibur III and in Soul Calibur in general.
#2 – Soul Calibur VI
Soul Calibur VI is one of the more modern versions of the game, and it came out in 2018 for Xbox 4, Xbox One, and Windows.
In addition to the usual 8-way run and the vertical and horizontal attacks, this installment added a new mechanic called reversal edge.
The way it works is that a mini-game is initiated which is sort of like Rock-Paper-Scissors.
Except in this game, you play horizontal, vertical, or kick, with each option being weak to, or beating, another option.
Whoever wins the combo makes the hit, with some combo hits being much better than others.
This adds an extra dimension to the usual mini-game. The hit that comes out of it also depends on the specific character, so we’re talking about a rather deep mind game here that’s pretty fun.
Another new addition is called a Soul Charge. Like other mechanics of this kind, you build up a Soul Charge by landing attacks. Once you fill-up the meter, you can get special attacks and advantages that are also all unique based on the character.
Also, this adds new choices. In other words, you can either gain a buff for a time just by having this on, making you more effective with your moves, or you can use the entire bar to do an extra powerful move.
Plot-wise, the game is a soft-reboot, starting with plot that happened before the beginning of the series. In classic Soul Calibur fashion, they also added the character Geralt of Riva from the Witcher series as a guest character.
#1 – SoulCalibur II
Very few people argue about the best game in the series. SoulCalibur II perfected the game in a way that makes players keep coming back again and again.
Some people consider the game to be one of the best period, even outside of just the fighting genre.
The characters are distinctive enough that people remember them years later.
There’s Kilik, the one who had all of the amazing staff moves, Nightmare, the knight with the huge sword, Mitsuriki, the samurai, Voldo the guy with knives for hands, and so on.
The Weapons Master mode added a story-based option to gameplay. In other words, as you moved through a story, it might say that your character is trapped in quicksand, which would make it so that if you sink too far down, you lose, making it important to keep jumping up.
There might be a level where your opponents have poison, so you keep losing health when you are hit. You can get new weapons and costume options from playing through this option.
The number of options for this game went on and on. You got new characters that expanded on the main characters but still played substantially differently.
The character Sophitia had a sword and shield style with an unlockable character related to her named Cassandra, but though they had similar styles, the way they fought in terms of moves was different.
Getting new weapons, especially in the story mode, was way more than cosmetic. It had real effects and made you move around a bit differently. Plus, even the sheer number of options for moves and combinations was huge as well.
Beyond just performing one simple move after another, combinations could have you flying through the air with a roundhouse kick that left your opponent on their back.
It was nearly endlessly fun to discover.
By Bandai Namco – Amazon, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57671690