Bandai Namco’s Tekken series is arguably the most popular 3D fighting franchise ever. Nothing has come close to the unique characters and crazy storylines that followed each entry. It’s no secret that a sequel, Tekken 8, is on its way after eight years of waiting, and the hype around its fanbase is taking over the fighting game community, one awesome character trailer at a time. At the same time, it’s always good to prepare for the coming battle.
New and returning players are likely wondering when’s a good time to get into the series. Well, it’s never a bad time to start learning the basics of gameplay and the possible character matchups. Of course, if you only want to play for fun, these options boil down to what characters are fun for you, and we’re taking style and aesthetics into account, not just gameplay. We’ll look at the best fighters for beginners or those looking for a possible return to the franchise after a long hiatus.
While many competitive gamers may disagree, Ling is probably the most player-friendly character in the series for casual play. Her attacks are awkward and fast, she’s hard to hit, and her recovery is quick on basic attacks. So, if you want to spam buttons, her combos are generally plus on hit, so you can get them out safely without fear of losing exchanges. Of course, she’s a cute, stylish character, so outfits for her are pretty great. Don’t get confused, she’s a hard character to master for higher competition, but you should try her if you’re looking for a unique but fun time.
If anyone is looking to satisfy their Bruce Lee fantasies, Marshall is a must for casual play. His lightning-fast strikes are a sight to behold, and the constant yelling can make your gameplay feel more awesome than it is. Like Ling, Marshall can be difficult to play competitively against pros and online veterans, but if you can figure out his combos and improve your reaction speed, he’s very top-tier overall. Did I mention his outfits are reminiscent of Bruce Lee?
This pick will probably be the first character on the list that everyone can agree with. Paul has been in every Tekken game to date. He’s also simple when executing combos and relentless attacks. He’s also seen in high-level competitive play, so sticking with him is viable if you plan to play at a high level or in tournaments. Usually, he’s dressed in a karate uniform, so don’t mind the angry “Karen” like hairdo he’s sporting for the upcoming eighth chapter.
Kazuya is the original poster boy for the series, so logically he should be a beginner-friendly character. If we’re being fair, he’s really good for casual play and relatively easy to learn, but he has a few attacks that even pros struggle to use. Even still, he’s a fun character for everyone, including new players looking to get into the series. As for his look, well, you see him right, he’s dressed to kill.
King is a change of pace from the others due to his unique look and fighting style. King is a grappler, which means most of his biggest attacks are from grabs and holds. This focus may be advantageous for some players, as the longer animations give your fingers a break. His outfits are always fun and festive, so if you’re into Mexican wrestling attire or just pro-wrestling, we think we may have found the right person for you.
Asuka is great for players familiar with other fighting games like the Dead or Alive series. Her main gimmick is the ability to reverse her opponent’s attacks, causing them to take damage. This feature is fun when fighting against button mashers. Asuka’s appearance has changed multiple times throughout the series, but her character is around school age, so the outfits tend to reflect a younger look if you’re into that aesthetic.
Leroy is a DLC character from Tekken 7, so unlike the others on this list, he may not be available to some players. With that said, he’s an excellent character if you decide to purchase him. He’s known for his “drip,” a modern slang word for his attire, and is accompanied by a cute bulldog to help him get around. Fortunately, he can get around a fight just fine with his quick combos and has an easy-to-use parry for bad situations.
Claudio is also a new character that made his debut in Tekken 7. His playstyle is unique amongst 3D fighting games due to his use of projectiles and his link to exorcism. Overall, his attacks are safe and powerful to use, and the amount of damage he can do in a short period is rage-inducing, especially when playing other new players. Outfit-wise, he’s usually dressed in all white to match his exorcist theme, so if you want to play a holy-esque warrior, his aesthetic may fit you.
A fan favorite, Hwoarang is known for his crazy number of kicks and crazy cool looks. If you like to kick, Hwoarang is the guy for you, with his fast attacks and long-distance pokes. Please keep in mind, he’s not an easy character to master, so once you graduate from beginner play, you should decide if you’re committed to his playstyle, as there are other characters with similar characteristics. Despite Tekken having similar characters with the same playstyle, Hwoarang remains the coolest by a long mile.
Jack is a unique character because he’s technically been in every entry, but at the same time, he hasn’t. Each Jack model is pretty much the same gameplay-wise, so don’t let the numbering fool you, or make you think it’s somehow faster or stronger than the other models. Gameplay-wise, he’s pretty simple to learn combos with, but his slow movement and wide stature make him easy to hit. As for his looks, well, Jack is always “jacked” and full of massive weaponry that should appeal to mecha and cyberpunk fans alike.