In the last 25 years, there have been several Tekken games and a plethora of other media surrounding Tekken’s King of the Iron Fist Tournament where the characters of Tekken fight for control.
Many characters have been introduced over the years, some excellent, and some downright lame. How do you pick your favorites? Here are our top 15 picks based on how interesting their backstories are, and how fun they are to fight with!
Also known as the Silver-Haired Demon, Lee Chaolan is one of the original characters that has been around for the long haul, he first appeared in the original Tekken, and has appeared in every series since, with the exception of Tekken 3. He also sometimes appears as his dark alter-ego Violet. We love him because of his smug confidence and manipulative style of play. The rivalry between him and Kazuya adds an interesting element.
One of the most recognizable characters as he ever appears without his jaguar masks, King II is one of two characters of the same name (hence the II) that was introduced in Tekken 3. He is a Mexican luchador who takes up the gauntlet of his predecessor when he is killed by Ogre. His signatures moves have been taken from a number of famous wrestlers in the ring, most memorable being Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver.
The head of the Mishima family, Jeihachi is one of the foundational and most important characters in the Tekken cannon. In the first four games, he was one of the driving forces behind all the action. Aggressive players love this karate master as he can do a lot of damage, and he is fun to watch with a collection of over-the-top moves.
The son of Heihachi, he is no fan of his father and plays by his own rules. While he can occasionally be seen as a sympathetic character, he is driven by revenge and lust for power, which sets him up to be a major antagonist across the series. He also carries a Devil Gene, which gives him more than average powers. He can morph into his devil form at will, which allows him to fly and shoot lasers.
Yoshimitsu is a space Ninja who was introduced in the first series and has been a fan favorite ever since. He believes in justice and is always happy to help people in need. He fights with a samurai sword and superhuman abilities thanks to his bionic limbs. He also has the power to befuddle opponents and trick them into making perilous mistakes.
One of the American characters, Paul Phoenix is also one of the comedic characters that tends to have less serious, but nevertheless entertaining, storylines. He is over-confident and not very intelligent and has an implausible desire to prove that he is the best in the universe. His moves are also big ad brutal, best among them being the Hammer of the Gods and the Burning Fist.
Bryan, introduced in Tekken 3, is a force of chaos, and he comes off as overall psychotic rather than working towards some master plan. An American kickboxer, he is also selfish, and often sells out his allies. Players love him for his maniacal laughter, he has some devious moves beyond traditional kickboxing, such as the Fisherman’s Slam.
Alisa only appears in Tekken 6 and is an android made by Doctor Bosconovitch, designed to look like his dead daughter, and there is some suggestion that she contains parts of his daughter in a kind of Frankenstein way. Alisa is fast and powerful, but it takes a lot of skill to control her and get her attacks right. She definitely walks the line between dancing and fighting.
Sergei first appears in Tekken 5 and is a Russian operative who is a member of the Spetsnaz, who call him the White Angel of Death. He is a cold and calculating character that shows few emotions. He has some of the most sophisticated moves in the cannon, for example, he is the only character that can pull off a reversal twist while crouching.
Introduced in Tekken 5, Fen Wei is a Chinese character with a lust for personal power and glory. He fights a style called “God Fist” and killed his own master when he tried to discipline him. He is athletic and powerful and utilizes sequences of palm strikes, and there are lots of references to the Chinese Drunken Master in many of his moves.
Anna is an Irish assassin that takes back to the beginning of the Tekken cannon. She is lethal and doesn’t let her trademark silk dress stop her from pulling off incredible moves. She is playful and flirtatious but also merciless. She has an ongoing rivalry with her sister Nina, to whom she almost always loses out. She has a unique stance known as Chaos Judgement.
An Irish assassin like her sister, she is also the mother of Steve Fox, as she was placed in a Cryogenic sleep, and her ovum taken without her consent. This is also why she remains young throughout the series. She is cold and merciless and has little love for her younger sister. She is a favorite to play because of her speed and combos.
Marshall Law is an American with the American dream of owning his own dojo and own restaurant. Though he often finds himself penniless, he does eventually make it as a successful businessman. He fights from something called the Dragon Signs Stance and delivers strong poking and an excellent mix-up game vacillating between highs and lows that are hard to avoid.
Introduced in Tekken 5, Asuaka is a playful character who fights for sport rather than revenge or glory. That said, she first entered the tournament to find the man who beat up her father, but she stays for fun. She has a good keep out game, and is good at reversing attacks and gaining the advantage.
The father of Heihachi Mishima, he stands out as being the first unplayable boss in the Tekken series, though he later returned as a playable character in some games. He is the founder of the Mishima Zaibatsu, taking advantage of the power vacuum after World War II. He later regrets his actions and tries to unravel the power of the company which his son is now leading.