Tekken 7 is the ninth entry in the long-running fighting game series that started back in 1994. Though it was only recently released on consoles and PC, it has been available in arcades since 2015. The original Tekken 7 launched in March 2015. The one we have now, in terms of content, is technically Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, an updated version of the original released last year.

Tekken 7 continues the series' familiar 3D fighting system where each of the four face buttons is assigned to a specific limb. The simplicity of the controls makes it accessible to newcomers who have never touched a fighting game in their lives prior to picking up Tekken 7. But as always, it takes a lot to truly master the system. Sure, you can button-mash your way to victory (hello, Eddy Gordo). But that can only take you so far, especially in online multiplayer where veterans can easily counter such tactics.

There are over 30 characters available, each with their own set of commands and combos. The roster is largely composed of returning characters such as Bryan Fury, Paul Phoenix, and Nina Williams. Among the newcomers include Lucky Chloe, who has a dancing-inspired fighting style, and Katarina Alves, who practices the French martial art "Savate." Akuma from Street Fighter is also a playable guest character, and surprisingly, his fighting style fits well in Tekken. Having Akuma in Tekken 7 is probably the closest thing we have right now to Tekken X Street Fighter, which has long been in development hell.

The fighting system, like in previous Tekken titles, is meticulous but rewarding. It requires patience to find an opening and deliver bone-crushing blows. Pulling off elaborately long juggle combos is a bit less rewarding in this game, though. The damage has been reduced, making shorter but more powerful combos a better option in many situations. However, long combos can launch opponents toward the wall, which deals additional damage.

The sidestepping movement in Tekken 7 has been tweaked. Characters now move slower than before when sidestepping, making dodging, back-walking, and blocking now the prominent means of avoiding damage. This means sidestepping opponents to quickly get a clean shot is no longer as effective. You'll find yourself taking more damage than dealing it in this game if your style strictly hinges on sidestepping tactics.

The Rage system from Tekken 6 returns in Tekken 7. When a character's health bar goes down to critical, which is signified by a glowing red aura, he or she will enter Rage Mode and will deal more damage than usual. A new addition to the Rage system is Rage Arts, which are similar to super moves in other fighting games. Rage Arts deal a lot of damage. But in exchange, the character will lose Rage Mode and the damage boost that comes with it. It's a pretty fair trade-off.

Rage Arts aren't all that visually fancy, though. Some are awesome to watch. But the majority are not that special, which is actually right in line with the series' more realistic approach. The inclusion of Rage Arts allows players to pull off dramatic comebacks, which is always entertaining to watch. But don't bank on it to save your ass all the time, though, since it can be easily avoided or nullified. If you mistime a Rage Art, get ready to take a lot of punishment. Rage Arts are risky to use and are obviously designed as desperation moves. Be very careful when using them, as mistiming a potentially game-changing Rage Art will lead to dire consequences for your vulnerable character. If you want a safer Rage-consuming move, you can go for Rage Drives instead, which are basically powered-up versions of regular attacks. Rage Drives are less powerful than Rage Arts, but they are more reliable.

Another new gameplay feature is Power Crush. It's a special move that can't be interrupted by incoming attacks, though whoever is executing it will still take damage. However, a Power Crush will only power through high and mid attacks. Low attacks and throws will stop a Power Crush in its tracks. Like Rage Arts, a Power Crush can be a devastating move when timed correctly. It's quite handy when you're trapped in a corner, especially since sidestepping is no longer a reliable way to escape punishment.

Overall, the fighting system in Tekken 7 offers loads of fun, with the aforementioned features adding more depth and strategy to a tried-and-tested formula that has been around for over 20 years. But Tekken 7 does have some glaring flaws, which get more noticeable the longer you play single-player.

Tekken 7 features an uninteresting story mode that, once again, centers on the Mishima family. That's right, nine Tekken titles in and we're still being treated to the never-ending saga of that damn family. The story mode is a bore to go through, which basically confirms that Bandai Namco had zero interest in it in the first place. Of course, if you mainly play fighting games for the multiplayer, then this shouldn't bother you that much.

But if you don't really like playing competitively, you might get disappointed with Tekken 7. The game doesn't have a lot of single-player content. Aside from story mode and arcade mode, there's not much else to do other than fighting endlessly in Treasure Battles and hoarding dozens of character customization items, which you can show off when you do decide to engage in online multiplayer. There are dozens of items in the game, which range from really cool ones to downright hilarious add-ons. If you like collecting items, you will definitely have fun unlocking all the customization items for each character in Tekken 7.

Though Rage Arts, Rage Drives, and Power Crushes are welcome additions to an already deep fighting system, Tekken 7 doesn't really add significant improvements to the core gameplay. It's still fun, engaging, and an overall solid fighting game that both series veterans and newcomers will have a great time in. Online multiplayer is its main draw, so if you're more about single-player content, we recommend looking into Injustice 2 instead.