The Marvel vs. Capcom series was created out of spinoffs, the natural extension of the collaboration fighting game X-Men vs. Street Fighter. It spawned a host of crossover fighters to come after it, but Marvel vs. Capcom was the original, the blueprint that could never be perfectly recreated. With its trademark speed and flash, full of multi-character combos, assists and bursting at the seams with character, there’s very little like this series.
With the announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite at the PlayStation Experience 2016, the Vs. scene is experiencing a resurrection, as the full-force of a Disney-fueled Marvel meeting Capcom again in a fighting game is already sparking dreamlike speculation. As everyone dusts off their copy of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, or downloads the re-release onto their PlayStation 4 as Paste did, let’s take a trip down memory lane and recount our favorite fighters from Ultimate.
Note: These rankings are calculated using a highly scientific formula, mostly consisting of a few pro-player’s tier lists, competitive use, overall versatility, charisma, usefulness, likeability and whether a friend has beat me with them on several occasions or not.
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50. Hsien-Ko: The bottom-most character on the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 rankings comes to us from Darkstalkers, the gothic stepchild of Capcom's fighting franchise family. Conceptually, Hsien-Ko is a strange looking character, based on the vampires of Chinese folklore. Her main calling card is throwing things at people, flinging them out of her comically large sleeves. It's not really intriguing or intimidating, and playing Hsien-Ko ends up being one of the weaker points of anyone's experience with Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Best to move on to better teammates.
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49. MODOK: This floating face might just be Marvel's answer to Capcom's infamous joke characters, or maybe just a really strange reference to the bad guy from Tron. Standing for Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing, MODOK is better on comic book pages than in a one-on-one fighting game. Lasers and force-fields seem banal in a game where the son of a demon can cross swords with a maverick cyborg or mutant, and lacks in any interesting supers or abilities. He might have seen some relative competitive use, but for 99 percent of players, no one wants to play MODOK. No one.
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48. Deadpool: Marvel's favorite fourth-wall breaking merc with a mouth has had something of a resurrection in the last few years, but you wouldn't know that by looking at his movelist in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. For some reason, Deadpool was not only given a lame batch of one-liners and comments, but a teleporter move that fails on the third use, damaging himself in the process. While it can damage the opponent as well, the setup is tricky to manage and honestly not worth it, when better fighters can deal damage without blowing themselves up. Deadpool deserves better adaptations than this.
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47. Ghost Rider: Suffering from both relative obscurity in the Marvel universe and two rough Nicolas Cage flicks, Ghost Rider isn't the most popular dude on the Marvel side of the lineup. He has some flashy combos and his kit makes wide use of all his abilities (mainly flinging around a chain and riding a motorcycle), but the character doesn't provide a ton to work with, and he's not the best in practice either. Ghost Rider fails to make the cut as both a fighter and hero in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but at least in the scheme of things, it's far from the worst Ghost Rider adaptation.
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46. Nemesis: The T-Type variant of Nemesis joined Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in the Ultimate edition, as a sort of Sentinel-type character for the Capcom side. His imposing presence loses a lot when put on a side-view, one-on-one frame though, and he ends up feeling a little weird in the confines of Marvel vs. Capcom 3's faster pace and responsive action. It's like if Frankenstein's monster suddenly started brawling at Dragonball Z's pace, but still looked like a lumbering, lanky giant. Nemesis gets some points for carrying an actual bazooka around, but not much else.
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45. Taskmaster: In the wide pantheon of Marvel villains, Taskmaster is a little underwhelming. Granted, my Marvel background skewed towards specific heroes rather than the overall universe, so I never read a comic with Taskmaster in it. So when I saw this character for the first time, all I could see was Skeletor from He-Man with a sword and shield. In practice, it's really just that; Taskmaster slashes and bashes, but also has a bow and pistol for some reason? The skull-faced bad guy just ends up being forgettable.
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44. Ryu: Cameo appearances are a big deal for Ryu, because it's an opportunity for him to step outside the carefully laid boundaries for Capcom's poster boy. In Street Fighter, he has to be the standard fireball-blasting, jack-of-all-trades, but in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 he could be something a little more vibrant. The issue is, he's not; this is the same Ryu you've played before, so many times, just a little sped up to match the pace of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. He gets a little more flash, but overall, Ryu feels too similar to stand out.
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43. Iron Fist: The star of an upcoming Netflix series, Iron Fist wasn't the most prominent Marvel hero when he was included in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The master of martial arts with a glowing chi-fist seems a perfect fit for a fighting game, but Iron Fist fails to impress in the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 arena. Though he has a ton of Rekka Ken combos (combo attacks that can be chained together in different orders), he lacks the ability to deal with ranged foes who can zone him out. He wants to be up in your face, laying on the damage, and if he's not doing that he's not doing much of anything.
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42. Thor: The son of Odin makes good use of his hammer, but Thor's overall game is a little weak compared to most. He feels slow at times, with normals coming out at a delayed pace and often falling to faster, smarter characters. It also doesn't help that he's wearing a getup that looks more Ren Fair than Marvel cinematic universe. Sorry Thor, but you're no god in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
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41. Hulk: At this point in the rankings, it's clear that I don't like slow characters in my Marvel vs. Capcom games. With a few exceptions, this is a game about speed and combos, and I like to play the fighters who feed into that concept. Hulk is solid all-around, not too bad but not too great. He has good armor on his attacks, high health and can really deal damage. He's also just crushingly slow, and gets zoned out fairly easily. For the unstoppable force Hulk is usually portrayed as, he has a lot of trouble breaking through a well-played zone game, and that just isn't my kind of fighter.