Soulcalibur has been a brawler game for almost two decades now. If you count Soul Edge as part of the series (which you really should) then it’s even been with us for just over 20 years. With Soul Edge released back in 1995, this particular Souls series has become a beat-em-up unlike any, other with fantastic characters and levels that really pose a medieval style fantasy to the overall feel of the game. Now, without any further ado, let us begin defining the best guys in Soulcalibur.
Zasalamel is a somewhat flighty character in the Soul series. He didn’t make his appearance on the roster until Soulcalibur III, and stayed on it for Soulcalibur IV as well as its portable remake Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. As a man, he follows his convictions at all costs and makes alliances with no one. Hopefully, his status as a loner doesn’t prevent him from being left out in future games.
Though not a recurring character as most, Zasalamel is a fan favorite in both Soulcalibur III and Soulcalibur IV. He is after all the only character wielding a full on deathscythe and who doesn’t love one of those? Despite having the ability to draw a character into close range his attacks are heavily focused for mid to long-range combat. He does decent damage, but it’s extremely hard to string together a long combo. As a result, he’s a character best suited for more experienced players.
Appearing first in Soulcalibur and returning for each title since, Maxi has proven himself to be a thrilling fighter. He’s fast, flashy, and truly cuts a fine figure in the arena.
Maxi's fighting is similar to that of a Jeet Kune Do practitioner. His attacks are extremely fast and chain together in incredibly high hit count combos that will put a lot of pressure on an opponent. However, such speed comes from the fact that his weapon of choice, the nunchaku, have an extremely short range. Besides the need to close the gap between your enemy, while playing with Maxi, one must always be careful around the edge of a stage, especially newcomers. His combos have him jumping through the air and drumming on the air in crazy displays of skill, which also tend to fling him over the edge or leave him open to a counter. Thankfully, his kicks and throwing maneuvers keep him and his opponents in check.
8. Raphael Sorel
It wasn’t until Soulcalibur II that Raphael made his debut appearance. Born into the noble Sorel lineage, Raphael can present himself as quite the pretentious and haughty character. Never one to back down from an insult, Raphael pierces his enemies with both rapier and word. Despite being an antagonistic character in most titles, and quite the frustrating one at that, he does have a tremendous amount of love for his foster daughter, Amy.
Fast and taunting, Raphael is a great character to choose if you want to troll your friends. This is especially true in Soulcalibur II when his regular thrust attack (triangle button) could be mashed alone until victory was achieved. Yes, a tactic for newcomers and really only effective against other noobs and the computer. However, in competitive battles his defensive abilities can practically shut down most players, when in the right hands. Honestly, just picking him is enough to get a groan from a friend.
Haunting almost every single installment of the Soulcalibur series is the infamous Voldo.
Whether or not you care to admit it, you’ve probably tried your hand at playing with Voldo once. This gangly mass of limbs and prominent codpiece is a terror that’s hard to take your eyes off. With a quirky, body-bending fighting style, which is accompanied by the most guttural hisses and grunts, Voldo’s attacks are some of the most interesting to play around with in training. His body simply moves in terrifying ways and can string together some surprising combos. He is, after all, the only character who can attack with his back facing you, and despite having an extremely short range and a knack for missing faster opponents, most still consider him high-tier character.
Mitsurugi is one of the most well-known characters in the entire Soulcalibur franchise having appeared in each title since Soul Edge in 1995. Despite only wanting to be the strongest, Mitsurugi is a surprisingly honorable and neutral character. He literally wants to be strong for the sake of being strong and has no other motive, good or bad, for seizing power. In fact, in one ending, he denies Soul Edge as a source of power claiming that true power can only come from the warrior.
A recurring character since Soul Edge, Mitsurugi is a strong and stable character. His speed and power are extremely well-balanced and his strikes, especially his low attacks, can be chained together to devastating effect when handled correctly. However, he isn’t the easiest character to run around with for newcomers. Not as quick and flashy as some nor as brutally powerful as others, Mitsurugi is best for those who understand how to navigate the battlefield and strike with precision.
An honorable title from the Manji clan, Yoshimitsu is actually the name given to the clan’s leader. Nonetheless, those who have claimed such a title have proven themselves to be honorable and kind-hearted through and through. In battle, they are even quite comedic as they pull off insane antics.
Competitively, Yoshimitsu is pretty similar to Mitsurugi. His style is well-balanced and is more focused on navigating the field to strike. However, when playing for fun or training, Yoshimitsu is very much a wild child. His techniques are wild and flashy, ranging from using his sword as a pogo stick to spinning it fast enough to hover above the ground. Though his attacks aren’t as creative as let’s say Voldo’s move set, he is definitely less offensive to the eyes.
Appearing first in Soulcalibur II, Yun-seong took on the fighting style of his predecessor Hwang Seong-gyeong. A handsome and fiery man, whose legwork is just as skillful as his swordplay, Yung-seong clearly deserves the nickname “The Patriot of the Flashing Leg.”
Yun-seong is the perfect choice for people who prefer speed, or happen to be tae-kwon-do aficionados. His feet are deadly and the speed behind several of his attacks make him a flashy and fun first pick for many players starting out. His kick combos in particular are easy and enjoyable to unleash, as he flings himself across the stage. Admittedly, the simplicity behind his strength has led many in the competitive world to call him a “cheap “character, as players can claim victory through button smashing.
Though not in Soul Edge, Kilik has been a beloved protagonist in every subsequent title of the Soulcalibur series. The quintessential good guy, Kilik mainly portrays himself honorably in both word and deed. Often he hides himself away when he believes his power has gotten out of hand, and is one of the more rigorous when it comes to training.
If you can’t tell by the picture above, the guys a looker and his style in combat is just as impeccable. Famed for using a Kali-Yuga, a lengthy bo staff, Kilik’s skills are perfect for fluid combos and attacks that keep your enemies at a safe distance from yourself. His tactics are extremely easy to adapt to for most beginning players. At the same time, his attacks are the easiest to destroy inexperienced players with as they will never be able to get close to him.
The primary antagonist of Soul Edge as well as a force of chaos to be reckoned with in almost every single title, Cervantes is a badass. He is foul-mouthed, cruel, and immortal (as evident by his nickname “The Immortal Pirate). He also happens to be the father of the similarly vicious Ivy.
Visibly, Cervantes is a man to be reckoned with. Cloaked and dressed as a ghost pirate with all the accouterments, you know you’re dealing with a man of action and adventure. Brutally overpowered in some of the Soulcalibur games, Cervantes decimates his opponents with his sword and dagger/dirk swordplay. His moves are aggressive and, in the hands of an experienced player, almost too fast and powerful to defend against. Nonetheless, he is an extremely enjoyable character to play, especially for those wishing to dabble on the dark side.
This duo represents the essence of the Soulcalibur series. When seen separately in the newest of the series, they are the absolute essence of light vs. dark. However, these two have been so entwined in the past that they also represent the moral decay that ties itself so well into the series. Siegfried was after all the first person to become Soul Edge’s host and turn into the Azure Knight (aka Nightmare).
Both of these characters for the most part are slow powerhouses, with the exception of Nightmare in Soulcalibur IV, where an unseen speed accompanied his attacks to the point of being overpowered. Despite having similar strength and speed for most of the titles, the two do depend on different strategies in battle. Siegfried's fighting style depends on one’s ability to memorize his vast array of moves and stances to confuse the opponent. Nightmare on the other hand is a bit more user friendly and relies on guard breaking.
Overall, both are extremely attractive to newcomers to the series as they are visual representations of the “white” and “dark” knight respectively, with Siegfried donning glorious crystal-like armor and Nightmare being a mesh of dark aura.
When composing this list, certain factors were taken into consideration. Battle prowess, playability, looks, and even some elements of the character’s backstory were weighed and evaluated. So characters had to be recurring to some extent, which is why you won’t find any special characters such as Darth Vader, Link, or Kratos on this list. With than in mind are there any Soulcalibur guys you love to play with and think deserve a spot on this list?