Virtua Fighter 2
VF2 Flyer JP.jpg
Virtua Fighter 2 Japanese arcade flyer
Developer Sega AM2
Gaibrain (Mega Drive)
Arcade System Sega Model 2A CRX
Platforms Arcade, Sega Saturn, Mega Drive, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date Arcade
  • November 1994
  • July 1995 (ver 2.1)

Sega Saturn

  • JP: December 1, 1995
  • NA: December, 1995
  • EU: January 26, 1996

Mega Drive/Genesis

  • EU: January 1997
  • NA: March 4, 1997

Windows 95

  • JP: September 5, 1997
  • NA: September 30, 1997
  • EU: 1997

PlayStation 2

  • JP: October 14, 2004

PlayStation 3 (PSN)

  • JP: November 28, 2012
  • NA: November 27, 2012
  • EU: December 5, 2012

Xbox 360 (XBLA)

  • November 28, 2012

Virtua Fighter 2 is the sequel to Virtua Fighter and the second game in the Virtua Fighter series. It was created by Sega's Yu Suzuki-headed AM2 and was released in the arcade in 1994 and to the Sega Saturn in 1995. A 2D remake of the game was released for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive in 1997. In 1996, a super deformed version of the game, Virtua Fighter Kids, arrived in arcades, ported to the Sega Saturn in the same year.

Virtua Fighter 2 was known for its breakthrough graphics and animation, rendering 3D characters and backgrounds with filtered texture mapping and introducing motion capture animation technology to the game industry.[1] It used Sega's Model 2 arcade hardware to run the game at 60 frames per second at a high resolution with no slowdown (by comparison, the original Virtua Fighter ran at 30 frames per second).[2]

Hardware and Gameplay Features

VF2 was known for breakthrough graphics at the time. It used Sega's Model 2 arcade hardware to run the game at 57.5 frames per second at a high resolution with no slowdown. It was also the first game to render 3D characters with texture mapping and animate them with motion capture technology.[1] The Saturn version was also extremely impressive for its time, especially given the system's 3D programming difficulties. The arena size could be adjusted up to a very small platform or all the way to 82 meters, which in the genre is considered very large; this is the only game in the series - other than Virtua Fighter Remix - that could have such size adjustments.

The physical energy meter could also be adjusted to infinity as well, giving you the advantage when beating opponents in the game or practicing moves against the computer player. Incidentally, players discovered that adjusting the arena to a smaller size and giving the characters infinite health could lead to mock sumo matches, wherein victory is achieved by knocking the other player out of the ring.


Returning Characters

New Characters


  • Towers (Lau)
  • Colosseum (Sarah)
  • Raft (Shun)
  • Palace (Pai)
  • Mausoleum (Lion)
  • Beach (Jeffry)
  • Temple (Kage)
  • Hills (Jacky)
  • Mountains (Wolf)
  • Statue (Akira)
  • Underwater City (Dural)


Virtua Fighter 2 was developed alongside the Sega Model 2 arcade system board, which itself debuted in 1993. In order to produce the game's filtered, texture-mapped characters and backgrounds, Yu Suzuki turned to Lockheed Martin, formerly General Electric Aerial & Space, which charged $2 million to use the texture mapping chip of their flight simulation equipment that cost $32 million overall. Despite some reluctance on Sega's part, Suzuki managed to convince them to buy the chip for $2 million, and he then worked with his AM2 team to convert it for video game use. Using the Lockheed Martin technology, his AM2 team eventually managed to create a graphics chip that could be mass-produced for $50 each. As a result, he was able to use texture mapping for the Virtua Fighter 2 characters.[3] In order to produce better animations for the characters, Suzuki also utilized motion capture animation technology,[1] which had previously been limited to the healthcare industry and never used before by the video game industry.[4]


Upon release, the Virtua Fighter 2 video game arcade cabinet cost £6000 for arcade operators[5] (equivalent to £10,412 or $16,475 in 2014). For players, the arcade game cost £1 per play[6] (equivalent to £1.74 or $2.74 in 2014).

Virtua Fighter 2.1

An update to the arcade version which featured re-tweaked gameplay, slightly enhanced graphics and the ability to play as a newly-designed Dural. In all but the Mega Drive/Genesis port, it is possible to switch to the 2.1 gameplay mechanics, but 2.0 is always the default.

Version 2.0:

  • Unblocked P K combo causes character to fall
  • No pauses when running backwards
  • Player and CPU-controlled opponents of Shun and Lion automatically track (face towards them) when Shun or Lion scoot around behind the opponent
  • 2P (right side) Lau floats higher when kicked, and is slower getting up

Version 2.1:

  • Unblocked P K combo causes characters to stagger, but not fall
  • Pause introduced between steps when running away (harder to attack, then run away until time runs out)
  • Player and CPU-controlled players do not automatically track Shun and Lion when they scuttle sideways around their opponents
  • Both Laus react exactly the same to kicks and getting up
  • Kage's Koenraku-thrown characters don't float as long, making it harder to get off attacks before they land
  • Jacky's recovery from the bicycle/back kickflip is longer (by 1/5 of a second), making him more vulnerable afterwards
  • If hit during a backdash, the character staggers
  • Height of Kage's Koenraku adjusted
  • Recovery from staggering after elbow, sidekick attacks now easier to do with lever, buttons
  • Lever controls made easier. (Moves will still work with small misses)
  • In the case of an attack which involves falling to the ground (ie. Shun's various moves), a down attack can hit even if Shun is not completely down on the ground
  • The stopping distance after a long-distance run changed from 3.0 meters to 1.5 meters
  • Shun-di now able to get master ranking in ranking mode.[7]


Following the arcade release, it was subsequently ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995. The Saturn version added an option for remixed music, and a "learning" feature where the AI would adapt to the player's abilities. Due to hardware restrictions, the framerate was changed to 60 from the arcade's 57.5, and the 3D backgrounds were changed to 2D bitmaps. The Microsoft Windows port in 1997 was based on the Saturn port, but also ran at a higher resolution.

In 2004, it was converted to the PlayStation 2 as part of Sega's Ages 2500 series in Japan.[8] This was a near-perfect port of the arcade version, including options for the Saturn's arranged BGM and the arcade version's 57.5 framerate. In 2012, it was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as a downloadable title with online play.[9]

Mega Drive/Genesis

In 1997 it was ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis by Gaibrain, but because the hardware couldn't handle the complex visuals of the arcade version, it was re-made as a 2D fighter. The port was re-released several times; on the PS2 and PSP in 2006 as part of Sega Genesis Collection, on the Virtual Console for the Nintendo Wii on March 20, 2007 (Japan) and April 16, 2007 (North America), on PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2009 as part of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, as an iPhone game with touchpad controls in 2011,[10] and on PC in 2012's "Sega Genesis Classics Pack".[11] Shun Di and Lion Rafale are not featured in this version of the game however.


Famitsu had given Virtua Fighter 2 a 39/40 for the Saturn version and fans regarded it as the best game in the series as well as one of the best fighting games of all time. The Saturn port was the best-selling title for the system. Virtua Fighter 2 is considered to have made a revolution in 3D fighting just as Street Fighter II did for 2D fighting.

It became a huge hit in Japan and sold relatively well in other markets notably the UK, where The Prince (Hatim Habashi) was crowned by Sega Europe as the Official UK Virtua Fighter 2 Champion.

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Scores
Sega Retro 94%[12]
(2 scores)
(26 scores)
(5 scores)
(3 scores)
GameRankings 93%[14]
(3 scores)
(6 scores)
(2 scores)
Review scores
Publication Scores
AllGame 4.5/5[17] 4/5[18] 1.5/5[19] 3.5/5[20]
Computer and
Video Games
93%[21] 97%[22] 3/5[23]
Consoles + 96%[24]
Edge 9/10[25]
10/10[14] 6.5/10[26]
Electronic Gaming
Famitsu 39/40[28]
GameFan 294/300[29]
Game Informer 26.25/30[30]
GamePro 5/5[14]
Game Revolution A[31]
GameSpot 4.3/10[32] 8.1/10[33]
Games World 96%[34]
IGN 4/10[35]
Mean Machines
97%[5] 77%[36]
Next Generation 5/5[37]
Player One 98%[38] 45%[39]
Sega Power 96%[40]
Sega Saturn
Ultimate Future
95%[6] 92%[42]
Entities Awards
Gamest Awards
Game of the Year,
Best Fighting Game,
Best Graphics
Gamest Awards
Best Director (6th),
Best VGM (3rd)
GameFan Megawards Saturn Game of the Year,
Fighting Game of the Year[43]
Next Generation, EGM,
IGN, Famitsu, Stuff
Best Games of All Time
Complex Best Arcade Games of
the 1990s

Arcade Version

The arcade version was well received. The January 1995 issue of Computer and Video Games gave the arcade version a score of 93%.[21] The February 1995 issue of Ultimate Future Games magazine gave the arcade game a score of 95%, describing it as "quite possibly the best thing ever." They praised the graphics, noting they are better than the original Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA, and stated that it is "finally approaching a photographic quality" and "the backgrounds are the lushest we've ever seen." They also praised the gameplay, noting new moves, new characters such as "the Drunken Master" Shun Di, and "overhauled and improved" older characters, resulting in "a much better balance." They criticized the price of £1 per play but stated it is "the best beat 'em up £1 can get you at the moment." They concluded that Sega AM2 as "the most innovative and technically brilliant design team in the world" and that Virtua Fighter 2 is "the best combat game of all."[6] The June 1996 issue of Computer and Video Games stated Virtua Fighter 2 "is still the most visually amazing arcade game around" along with Virtua Fighter 3.[44]

Home Conversions

For the Saturn version, Sega reported pre-orders of 1.5 million units for Virtua Fighter 2 in Japan, which is nearly as many of the number of Saturns that had been sold in Japan at that point.[45][22] At the time of its release, Virtua Fighter 2 was the top-selling game for the Saturn, and remains the best-selling Saturn game in Japan, with 1.7 million copies sold.[46] In addition, it sold over 500,000 copies in the United States,[47] adding up to over 2.2 million units sold in Japan and the United States.

The Saturn port of Virtua Fighter 2 received positive reviews. In Japan, among Famitsu's panel of four reviewers, one gave it 9 out of 10, while the other three each gave it a full 10 out of 10, adding up to a near-perfect overall score of 39 out of 40. This made it one of the magazine's three highest-rated games up until 1995, along with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Ridge Racer Revolution.[28] In Europe, the December 1995 issue of Sega Saturn Magazine gave the Saturn version a 98% score, citing the smooth frame rate, the realistically varied reactions to blows, the huge variety of moves, and the addition of features such as Team Battle Mode.[48] The January 1996 issue of Computer and Video Games (published in December 1995) gave the Saturn version ratings of 95% for graphics, 98% animation, 90% music, 93% sound effect, 98% gameplay, and 97% value, with a 97% score overall. They stated that it is "the greatest arcade game ever" and "now the greatest console game ever made." They concluded that it is the "singlemost incredible happening in the console industry yet" and that it "rules."[22]

In North America, the January 1996 issue of Next Generation gave the Saturn version a perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars, calling it "the ultimate arcade translation" and "the best fighting game ever."[37] The magazine cited its "accurate representation of 10 very distinct and realistic fighting styles", "remarkable AI", and "a general attention to detail that sets a new mark for quality game design."[49] In its January 1996 issue, Game Informer's Reiner, Andy and Paul gave it scores of 8.75, 8.5 and 9 out of 10, respectively, adding up to 26.25 out of 30. They praised Virtua Fighter 2 for its depth and variety, but criticized inferior background details in the Saturn port, while Paul felt that the original Virtua Fighter required more strategy.[30] In its February 1996 issue, the four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly felt the port was not as arcade perfect as it could have been, but highly praised the wealth of options and modes, with two of their reviewers declaring it by far the best fighting game on the Saturn thus far. Two of the reviewers gave it 8.5 out of 10, while the other two gave it 8 out of 10, adding up to 33 out of 40 overall, or 8.25 out of 10 average.[27] In 2004, praising the variety of moves and the accuracy of the port, Game Revolution gave the Saturn version an A and concluded that "Virtua Fighter 2 for the Saturn looks better and smoother than any other polygonal fighting game for the next generation systems. This just might be the best home console fighting game ever."[31]

GameSpot gave the PC version an 8.1 out of 10. Praising the game's realism, depth, and opponent AI, and the PC version's inclusion of online multiplayer, they deemed it "unquestionably the best fighting game on the PC, and certainly one of the finest fighting games of all time", adding that the PC version "rivals even the excellent Sega Saturn console port." The reviewer Greg Kasavin also noted that it "theoretically allows you to recreate" the Model 2 arcade game, but the "high-level graphics options simply aren't practical" even on "a top-of-the-line MMX-powered Pentium" PC.[33]


In Japan, the arcade version won several Gamest Awards, including Game of the Year, Best Fighting Game, and Best Graphics. It was also nominated for the awards of Best Director, for which it came 6th place, and Best VGM, for which it came 3rd place.[50]

It has been listed among the best games of all time by various publications. Next Generation ranked it the 6th best game of all time in 1996,[51] and the 8th best game in 1999.[52] Electronic Gaming Monthly ranked it the 79th best game of all time in 1997,[53] the 59th best in 2001,[54] and 37th in 2006.[55] IGN ranked it the 68th best game of all time in 2003,[56] Famitsu ranked it the 47th best in 2006,[57] and Stuff ranked it 89th in 2008.[58] Virtua Fighter 2 was also ranked as the 19th best arcade game of the 1990s by Complex in 2013.[59]



See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Yu Suzuki recalls using military tech to make Virtua Fighter 2, Gamasutra, October 23, 2014
  2. "Preview: Virtua Fighter 2", GamePro, issue 68, March 1995, page 20
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mean Machines Sega, issue 39, pages 58-61
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ultimate Future Games, issue 3, pages 38-39
  7. US Saturn Virtua Fighter 2 manual, pg.33
  8. SEGA AGES 2500シリーズ Vol.16 バーチャファイター2 | プレイステーション2 | 家庭用ゲーム | SEGA
  9. Virtua Fighter2 | MODEL2 COLLECTION
  10. Virtua Fighter 2 on the iTunes App Store
  11. Virtua Fighter™ 2 on Steam
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2
  17. Virtua Fighter 2 (Arcade), AllGame
  19. Virtua Fighter 2 (Sega Genesis), AllGame
  20. Virtua Fighter 2 (PC), AllGame
  21. 21.0 21.1 Computer and Video Games, issue 158, January 1995
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2
  23. Computer and Video Games, issue 182, page 84
  24. Consoles +, issue 50, pages 76-79
  25. Edge, issue 28, pp. 66-70
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Virtua Fighter 2 Review", Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 79, February 1996, page 31
  28. 28.0 28.1 週刊ファミ通クロスレビュープラチナ殿堂入りソフト一覧, Geimin
  29. GameFan, volume 4, issue 1 (January 1996), pages 20 & 58-59
  30. 30.0 30.1 Reiner, AndrewBlowout!!!, Game Informer, January 1996
  31. 31.0 31.1 Virtua Fighter 2 Review, Game Revolution
  33. 33.0 33.1 Kasavin, Greg, Virtua Fighter 2 Review, GameSpot, October 16, 1997
  34. Games World, issue 20, pages 38-39
  36. Mean Machines Sega, issue 51, pages 74-75
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Platinum Pick: Virtua Fighter 2", Next Generation, volume 2, issue 13, January 1996, page 179
  38. Player One, issue 60, pages 48-49
  39. Player One, issue 70, page 138
  40. Sega Power, issue 75
  41. Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 2, pages 72-73
  42. Ultimate Future Games, issue 14, February 1995, pages 56-59
  43. GameFan, volume 4, issue 1 (January 1996), pages 104-106
  45. Hickman, Sam, "Virtua Sell Out!", Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 3, January 1996, page 7
  46. Japan Platinum Game Chart, The Magic Box
  47. Sega tops holiday, yearly sales projections; Sega Saturn installed base reaches 1.6 million in U.S., 7 million worldwide, Business Wire, 1997-01-13
  48. Leadbetter, Richard, "Review: Virtua Fighter 2", Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 2, December 1995, pages 72–73
  49. "Excellent!", Next Generation, volume 2, issue 14, February 1996, page 160
  50. Gamest, The Best Game 2: Gamest Mook Vol. 112, pp. 6-26
  51. Top 100 Games of All Time, Next Generation, 1996
  52. Next Generation, issue 50, February 1999
  53. EGM Top 100, Electronic Gaming Monthly, November 1997
  54. Top 100 Games of All Time, Electronic Gaming Monthly, 2001
  55. The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time, February 6, 2006, Electronic Gaming Monthly
  56. IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time, IGN, 2003
  57. Japan Votes on All Time Top 100 (March 3, 2006), Edge / Famitsu
  58. "100 Greatest Games", Stuff, October 2008, pages 116–126
  59. Rich Knight, Hanuman Welch, The 30 Best Arcade Video Games of the 1990s,, August 28, 2013.
Virtua Fighter Series
Main Series Virtua Fighter (Remix) • 234 (Evolution, Final Tuned) • 5 (R, Final Showdown)
Related Games Virtua Fighter AnimationVirtua Fighter KidsVirtua Fighter CG Portrait SeriesGG PortraitFighters MegamixVirtua Fighter 10th AnniversaryVirtua Quest
Characters Akira YukiPai ChanLau ChanWolf HawkfieldJeffry McWildKage-MaruSarah BryantJacky BryantDuralSibaShun DiLion RafaleAoi UmenokojiTaka‑ArashiLei‑FeiVanessa LewisBrad BurnsGoh HinogamiEileenEl BlazeJean Kujo
Other Media Virtua Fighter (comic book)Virtua Fighter (anime)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.