Tekken 7 might not have been as great as Tekken 5 – which was the last incredible Tekken game – but it was certainly a huge improvement of Tekken 6. The game has the most characters on the roster and you can pick your favorite as your designated fighter.
What you should know is that these fighters have been equipped with certain moves and combos that make them better than certain others; we’re here to inform you which ones are the best. For this list, we’ve also considered the storylines of these characters to rank them as that makes them more interesting to play through. So, here are the Tekken characters ranked in terms of both story and their fighting potential.
Updated December 13, 2020, by Thomas Bowen: There are few fighting franchises that have been able to stand the test of time quite as well as Tekken. Since its debut all the way back in 1994, the series has developed to become one of the very best in the genre – leaving once bitter rivals like Virtua Fighter and King of Fighters trailing in its wake. With Tekken 7’s 4th season having released fairly recently, now seems like a great time to take another look at the game’s greatest fighters.
15 Leo Kliesen
Leo made his first appearance in Tekken 6 and has gone on to become one of the series’ best fighters. Despite what his outward appearance might suggest, he can pack quite the punch and can be absolutely devastating when in the right hands.
He fights using the Bajiquan style of martial arts, which was first popularized in video games by Virtua Fighter’s Akira Yuki. Although there are other fighters in the series who utilize this style, Leo is the only one who doesn’t mix it with other fighting styles — making him somewhat unique.
14 Ling Xiaoyu
Tekken 7 marked Xiaoyu’s fifth appearance in a mainline Tekken game, but it was perhaps the first where she felt like a truly viable option. As she has aged and matured as a character, so too has her fighting style to the point where it has never felt more clearly defined.
She has some nice combos at her disposal and a few different launchers with which to tee them up. Fighters with good range and mid-pokes can make life tough for her, but she still has more than enough in her locker to hold her own. The fluidity of her movement can at times be a joy to behold and her story arc is fairly interesting as well.
13 Sergei Dragunov
Dragunov made his first appearance in the Dark Evolution update of Tekken 5 and has appeared in every mainline Tekken game since. He’s been one of the standout fighters in each of the games he’s appeared in, thanks largely to his incredibly offensive fighting style and raw power.
His iWR2 move is one of the best in the game and can make him an incredibly frustrating fighter to come up against. He also has some great lows and pokes and is just as useful in the hands of a cautious player than in those of an offensive one. This versatility makes him incredibly popular amongst the player base.
King probably has one of the coolest backstories in the whole of the Tekken franchise, which, considering the bizarreness that is the Mishima family, is really saying something. His mentor was an alcoholic priest who dressed like a Mexican wrestler to raise money to fulfill his dream of building an orphanage and he himself is doing the same in order to keep that dream alive.
Motives aside, he also happens to be one of the best fighters in Tekken. He has some strong basic punishes and a nice variety of combos that provide plenty of options. He can be pretty average in the hands of a beginner, but surprisingly effective in those of somebody who knows what they’re doing.
11 Paul Phoenix
Paul is one of only a handful of fighters to have appeared in every single mainline Tekken game and there’s a very good reason for that. He’s a classic brawler type with an easy to use move set which makes him perfect for beginners. Many see him as a cheap fighter for this reason, but everybody’s gotta start somewhere, right?
It might not take a lot of skill to get results with Paul, but that’s not to say that there’s a lack of depth to his fighting style. Simple execution may make stomping noobs a trivial task, but getting the very best out of him will require great timing and a good understanding of where his strengths and weaknesses really lie.
10 Lei Wulong
A late addition to the game, Lei Wulong brought his usual offense to the table, despite looking like a divorced dad forced to pay alimony in Tekken 7. Lei’s greatest advantage is his ability to sweep the opponent off their feet.
This allows the player to capitalize on a grounded opponent and begin Lei’s combo set, most of which involves flinging the fighter in mid-air repeatedly. On the story front, Lei didn’t have anything to shine in Tekken 7 and his new voice actor wasn’t that great. But choosing him as your fighter does give you sweeping offense, which can never be taken lightly.
9 Bryan Fury
Bryan’s scenario mode remains as uninteresting as ever, but this time he comes back with a genuinely cool new look. To go with this no holds barred appearance, Bryan’s offense has been greatly amplified to the point where you can win battles if you learn how to spam his punches.
Once Bryan’s punches start rolling, you can almost guarantee victory since it’s an all-out barrage. It can be countered if one can sweep Bryan off his feet, but your move should be to focus on the punching barrage, which will make you the winner. Unfortunately, the game just doesn’t make his storyline interesting enough.
Hwoarang is the kicking counterpart to Bryan in Tekken 7. As with previous games, you can use Hwoarang to unleash a rain of kicks toward your opponent. What he does better than Bryan is his ability to launch his opponents in the air.
Hwoarang’s offense allows you to jump in mid-air and continue attacking your opponent, without letting them fall back to the ground for a good chunk of time. You can even spam his kicks if you can’t master the combos. Hwoarang was made slightly more interesting in this game’s story as he did something other than chase Jin around solely for once, but it still wasn’t canonical.
7 Steve Fox
Steve’s scenario was done justice as this time it focused on him finding out the identity of his mother, Nina. Apart from that, Steve is once again the silent weapon seasoned players can use to blindside their opponents.
You might get turned off as he doesn’t have kicks, but that’s your mistake since his ability to dodge attacks is crucial in many instances. People who like to spam attacks won’t have an answer to Steve’s dodging as his moves are equipped with counter attacks as well. Still, casual players might not want to choose Steve since he takes quite a bit of getting used to.
6 Nina Williams
Nina has always been the more interesting Williams sister, and in Tekken 7 she furthers this by having an interesting plot line. While she doesn’t develop the way you wanted her to, Nina still offers some diversity in her story compared to others.
On the fighting front, Nina’s main attack should be where she can use her combo to repel her opponent to the edge of the screen; this allows you to run straight for them while they’re down and incorporate Nina’s flexibility to continue bamboozling your opponent. Nina’s moves don’t really spell out a pattern, which is great if you want to be unpredictable.
5 Marshall Law
Law doesn’t offer much variety in his move sets, but it is the power he brings in these moves that will be the deciding factor in your battles. Law’s story once again is more of a joke than serious business, but his chemistry with Paul Phoenix means you’ll still be entertained.
Law’s go-to offense is by tossing his opponent in the air, and repeating this move to your heart’s content. While this can be blocked, you use Law’s downward pounding punch to break this defense and then resume attacking your opponent with Law’s highly powerful set of kicks.
Capcom clearly wanted Akuma to stand out compared to Tekken characters and made him arguably the purely strongest character. His ability to take powerful attacks with minimal damage is what contributes to his own powerful offense.
While he’s not very fast, he certainly can dodge attacks very well. Once you get Akuma on a roll, the opponent just can’t recover to counter those heavy damages Akuma delivers. Akuma is also one of the handful characters who is relevant in Tekken 7’s story; this makes him a character you want to select to understand the plot further. He’s definitely one your top choices if you’re not too experienced and want a shot at victory through power.
3 Heihachi Mishima
After overlooking Heihachi’s importance, and making him a comedy act, in Tekken 5 and Tekken 6, Tekken 7 finally made him relevant again by placing Heihachi as the main character. He’ll be the one you pick to play the scenario campaign and unlock the secrets of the Mishima clan; so ultimately, he’s the one with the most development.
As far as fighting ability is considered, Heihachi isn’t the most versatile, but he also packs a wallop due to his enhanced abilities. The best way for you to get the first shot in is by employing either Heihachi’s headbutt, or by blasting your opponent afar through Heihachi’s fist combo.
2 Kazuya Mishima
The other main character of Tekken 7. Kazuya always offered more in variety compared to Heihachi. His greatest move has to be his cycle kicks, which not only knocks the opponent down, but then flings them up in the air as well.
Kazuya’s moves are just as powerful as Heihachi and Akuma’s, making his punches just as deadly. Kazuya is the antagonist in the story mode, so you’ll be keeping close to him throughout. This also makes Kazuya another one of the few characters who offers something of substance in the story. Kazuya’s an old favorite of Tekken gamers, so his moves will feel right at home for most.
1 Jin Kazama
Jin Kazama was the hero of the games from Tekken 3 to Tekken 5, before turning into the villain and eventual anti-hero in Tekken 6 and Tekken 7, respectively. While Tekken 7 makes him a supporting character, you’ll be most invested when he’s in the story.
Jin’s offense is the most developed; the creators clearly wanted his moves to feel as if they belonged to the main character. Jin is the complete package as you can use his combos to unload a severe beating through Jin’s fists, or use his vast array of kicks to knock around your opponent. Making it even sweeter is that you can use both fists and kicks to unleash a complete flawless victory.
NEXT: Tekken 7: 8 Reasons It’s The WORST In The Series (And 7 Ways It’s Amazing!)
- Tekken 7
Saim Cheeda is an entertainment writer covering all of Film, TV, Gaming and Books. He’s been a writer for The Gamer, Screen Rant and CBR since 2017, contributing 100+ articles for a variety of topics. Saim also covers entertainment articles for Fansided.
Apart from freelance writing, Saim is a lifestyle blogger, co-owning the blog 3 States Apart.
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