There are a lot of fighting games out there, and a story for every fighter in every game.  But do we need a story in fighting games?  My personal opinion is yes, fighting games should have stories, and can greatly benefit from having good stories.  If I beat a fighting game and instead of an ending video, picture, story, or anything, the screen just says, "Congratulations, you're the best fighter on earth!"  I kind of lose my desire to play the game

The sad part is, most fighting game series has a confusing mess of a story.

Why do fighting games have poor stories?  In an article called Why Fighting Game Stories Lack Substance ( the writer suggest that part of the blame is the arcades.  Little time was spent on stories, because in the arcade there was basically a non-stop rotation of players fighting each other.  That's perfect for the arcade and for online modes today.  But it doesn't add much life to the single player experience.

Another problem in fighting games is the amount of storylines in a game.  Every character has a story and an ending, but only one is the canon ending.  So basically you don't know what happens until the next game.  The article in the link above goes into much more detail on these 2 points, it's well worth reading.

Other articles I read were less helpful.  One said that fighting game stories are worthless and if you like them, you must be retarded (her words not mine).  Moving on.

Just felt like a good time for another pic.  Anyways.

Series might start with a good story.  Street Fighter II started out with a nice simple storyline.  Some people want revenge, and some just want to test/prove themselves.  Those 2 reasons alone probably cover more then half the cast. 

Now it's "this guy killed that guy who is that girl's brother who is that guy's friend who is that guy's teacher who accidentally cut off that girl in traffic who was on her way to meet up with that guy who once loaned money to that guy who is the grandchild of the first guy."  Did you get all that?

These stories get so long and so messed up that the writers start to forget what happened before.  In Tekken, some characters have a devil form.  The problem is that the series can't seem to decide if it's an actually devil that possessed the characters, or if it's a gene in the Mishima bloodline.

When M. Bison made his first appearance in Street Fighter II, he was just an evil dictator trying to take over the world.  Now he's basically some kind of super powerfully energy thingthat has to keep making new bodies (they keep getting destroyed), and wants to possess Ryu because his body can Maintain a huge amount of power.

Series like Tekken, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat seem to make a habit out of repeatedly killing and then reviving characters.  Sometimes the same character is killed numerous times.

The link I listed above talked about how some series become so confusing that the company has to release movies, comic books, novels, and create official websites just so fans know what happened game to game.

Again, a good time for a pic.  Besides, I love Akuma!

The old formula of beat a series of opponents and the boss only to watch an ending that may or may not be canon is still fun.  But if we're going to ever have fighting games with good, easy to follow stories, then we need a new formula.  There have been a few games over the years that tried to break from the norm.

Tekken 6's Scenario Mode was......not that great.  It would have been a fine extra mode for when you didn't feel like playing the main mode, but instead it WAS the (crappy) main mode.

On the other end of the spectrum, a poor game with a good idea, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.  Ignore for a moment that it wasn't that good of a game.  The Story mode guided you along, and you played as characters that were pre-selected for you.  This setup allows you to see exactly what's going on in the story and doesn't waste your time with non-canon videos.

I had to throw this pic in.  I believe there's a little over 3200 characters in that pic!!!  That's just crazy!  Ok, I got to finish this so I can get ready for work.

So what do you think?  Should fighting games have stories?  Should  developers change the formula or stick with a "if it's not broken don't fix it" type stance?