Dozens of Dragon Ball fighting games have dominated the market and helped make its star, Goku, a major gaming icon. There are still plenty of established fighting franchises like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, but there’s also been a healthy push towards anime-inspired fighting games that highlight series like One Piece and Dragon Ball.
The video game fighting genre has been an evergreen area for competitive players who crave intimate challenges that test their skills. There are usually multiple versions of Goku in any Dragon Ball fighting game. Thanks to Goku’s popularity, even reaching beyond anime fandoms, gamers would love to see the character appear in other fighting franchises.
10 Super Smash Bros.
Nintendo has done incredibly well with their crossover fighting franchise, Super Smash Bros., which has grown from a niche N64 title into one of their most successful series. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has one of the biggest rosters for a fighting game and the title’s roster has even expanded to include guest characters from outside first-party Nintendo series like Final Fantasy VII‘s Cloud Strife or Metal Gear Solid‘s Solid Snake.
There’s always a lot of excitement that surrounds Super Smash Bros. roster announcements and Goku has become a commonly requested character across the last few entries due to the many Dragon Ball fighting games on Nintendo consoles. Goku’s addition to Super Smash Bros. doesn’t just seem possible, but inevitable.
9 Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct started as Rare’s aggressive arcade fighter alternative to Mortal Kombat, but the series really started to take off after its home console releases. Rare’s acquisition by Microsoft has helped reboot the violent fighting series and turned it into a must-play for Xbox owners.
Taking a page out of other fighting series’ books, Killer Instinct has included a few surprise guest fighters, like Rash from Battletoads. This means that a Goku appearance is technically possible and a superpowered and courageous hero might be exactly what Killer Instinct needs to exterminate its evil forces.
8 Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat has endured for over three decades and Mortal Kombat 1’s current success is proof that the franchise’s fans aren’t going anywhere. The ultra-violent fighting series has gradually embraced gratuitous guest characters that have included the likes of Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Terminator‘s T-800, Alien‘s Xenomorph, and even more recent violent superhero subversions like Homelander and Peacemaker.
Goku seems far too kind-hearted to show up in a Mortal Kombat game, but the series could slightly cheat and include Goku Black, Dragon Ball Super’s genocidal Saiyan doppelgänger. Goku Black has the same zest for carnage and mayhem as any of Mortal Kombat’s greatest villains.
Soulcalibur helped put the Dreamcast on the map and its innovative blade-based fighting system has kept the series alive for six mainline games and several spin-offs. Guest characters started in Soulcalibur II with console-exclusive fighters that included Zelda‘s Link, Tekken‘s Heihachi, and even Spawn. These guest fighters have gone on to feature heavy Star Wars representation as well as characters from Assassin’s Creed, The Witcher, and Samurai Showdown.
Admittedly, Goku tends to fight with his fists and strong energy attacks, but for decades he made prominent use of his extendable Power Pole, which would make for a unique addition to the Soulcalibur franchise. Goku could also fight with a ki-based Spirit Sword, if necessary.
6 Guilty Gear
Guilty Gear is an early fighting franchise from Arc System Works that started on the PlayStation and has found a cult following over the years that most recently resulted in Guilty Gear Strive. Guilty Gear is a fighting franchise with anime sensibilities and a flair for theatrics that’s set in a world where magic reigns supreme.
Guilty Gear‘s diverse and casual roster feels akin to Akira Toriyama’s creations. Goku’s ki energy isn’t quite magic, but it’s still easy to picture him in this world, fighting off Instant Kills.
5 The King Of Fighters
The King of Fighters has become SNK’s reliable fighting series that’s been around for nearly thirty years. SNK’s signature fighting franchise operates like a faster Street Fighter that puts an emphasis on a unique combo system and a 3v3 gameplay style that reinforces strategy just as much as it does strength. The King of Fighters has featured crossover with many other SNK series, as well as several Capcom franchises.
The series clearly isn’t too precious when it comes to its guest characters and its fast-paced mechanics would be a natural fit with Goku. The King of Fighters XV came out in ‘22 and the next entryshould take a big swing and bring in Dragon Ball’s best.
4 Dead Or Alive
Dead or Alive is a dedicated franchise that’s been subject to some controversy due to its gratuitous representation of its female characters, which has fully evolved into Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. These impulses aside, Dead or Alive is a fighting series that’s fun to play. It’s also taken an interest in guest characters in its more recent games.
These have featured crossover from series like Virtua Fighter,The King of Fighters, and even Samus Aran from Metroid and SPARTAN-458 from Halo. These cameos are no more ridiculous than a Goku appearance and if nothing else it’d be entertaining to watch him use a Spirit Bomb in a volleyball match.
Arc System Works’ BlazBlue is considered to be a spiritual successor to the company’s earlier fighting franchise, Guilty Gear. Both titles firmly stand on their own, while dealing with comparable gameplay and fighting mechanics. BlazBlue borrows a lot from anime’s heightened nature and the game’s combat practically feels like it’s a fight from Dragon Ball Z.
It’s for exactly this reason that Arc System Works would go on to develop so many Dragon Ball fighting games, including the current hit Dragon Ball FighterZ. Goku’s appearance in a new BlazBlue game would be a fun way for Arc System Works to come full circle and pay thanks to the trust that Dragon Ball has given them.
2 Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Persona is a unique RPG that’s playfully explored diverse spin-offs that indulge in completely different genres, like a dance rhythm game or a fighting title, like in the case of Persona 4 Arena and its sequel, Arena Ultimax. Persona is such an unpredictable franchise that laughs in the face of formula and expectations, which would strangely make Goku the perfect foil for the game’s characters.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax improves upon many of its predecessor’s features to become the definitive Persona fighting game, but it also goes for broke with its characters. Persona characters have found their way into other fighting games as guest characters, so one would hope that they’d be just as receptive to showcase Goku.
1 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R
Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has become a shonen sensation that’s on par with Dragon Ball‘s success. There have been a handful of JoJo fighting games across the years and the recent upgrade of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R for modern consoles is a true love letter to the franchise. There’s a lot in common between JoJo and Dragon Ball.
Their franchises haven’t crossed over, but Araki and Toriyama are both masters of their trade. All-Star Battle had a guest character from Araki’s Baoh and JoJo’s ongoing DLC characters could include Goku in a similar capacity. Goku’s Super Saiyan or Great Ape forms could even function as his Stand ability.