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The King of Fighters XV: 10 Best Characters, Ranked

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King of Fighters XV

The recent release of The King of Fighters XV has reintroduced players to The King of Fighters franchise. Since the first edition was released in 1994, the franchise has seen many classic heroes, villains, and popular crossover characters, far more than competing fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. 

Keeping up with previous trends, the new King of Fighters XV includes 39 playable characters to choose a team of 3 characters. While the franchise has maintained most of the characters from previous titles, there are minor tweaks that make each individual employ their own special skills. These specialties and difficulty levels make some characters stand out from the rest, and this is how we rank ten of the best characters. 

Without much ado, here are ten of the best characters from The King of Fighters XV, ranked.


10. Athena Asamiya

king of fighters xv

Athena’s Character:

  • Learning level – Medium Difficult
  • Game team – Superheroine Team
  • General skills – Chinese martial arts and psychic skills

Athena is a cute, polite, and friendly girl who values meaningful morals and likes to help those in need. Her skills stem from the Kung Fu style of fighting, though she can very well use her psychic abilities to fight her enemies. In fact, she is most feared for her psychic abilities rather than her fighting skills. 

With speed and effective hits, she can strike down other fighters that may be stronger than her. If combat isn’t enough, she can channel her psychic energy to strengthen her physical combat. These include teleporting, moving things with her mind, or healing herself and others using psychic energy.


9. Kula Diamond

Kula Diamond

Kula’s Character:

  • Learning level – Super Easy
  • Game team – Krohnen Team
  • General skills – Anti-K’ Arts and ice-based skills

Next, we have Kula, an innocent-looking girl who has great taste in the K-style form of combat. Along with her fighting skills, she can channel ice-based powers to defeat other fighters. These powers range from creating slippery floors to creating strong ice shields to protect her from superhuman strengths. There is much room for creativity and exploring what you can do with frozen air, snow, or ice crystals to strike down fighters within range.


8. Yashiro Nanakase

Yashiro Nanakase

Yashiro’s Character:

  • Learning level – Easy
  • Game team – Orochi Team
  • General skills – Hand-to-hand combat and acrobatic kicks

Yashiro is a great character to play if you like to throw high-impact punches at high speeds. Though he only has the power to create a wind ball with his punch towards the end of the title, his punches are still pretty strong. If you add his super-speed, you can defeat fighters with superhuman strengths if you go fast and go hard.


7. Elisabeth’s Character:

Elisabeth Blanctorche

  • Learning level – Medium Difficult
  • Game team – Ash Team
  • General skills – French martial arts and magical light skills

A high-class woman of high stature, Elisabeth has a wide range of skills in controlling light and moving from one place to another at high speeds. Towards the end, she could summon a light bow. It’s up to you to create damaging light and trap opponents in light beams.


6. Krohnen Mcdougall

Krohnen’s Character:

  • Learning level – Super Easy
  • Game team – Krohnen Team
  • General skills – Shape-shifting arm

Using a prosthetic yet polymorphic arm, Krohnen deals damage to his opponents. You can transform his arm to a blade, claws, a gun, or a drill, preferably a weapon that deals the most damage. He can also control fire, though not as advanced. These are limited to creating fire from the ground and using it to strike his opponents.


5. Terry Bogard

Terry’s Character:

  • Learning level – Super Easy
  • Game team – Fatal Fury Team 
  • General skills – Mixed martial and brawling arts

Terry is an adult male who specializes in acrobatic fighting. His style is a mixture of boxing, street fighting, karate, and kung fu, making him a unique and enjoyable character to play. Aside from mixed fighting styles, he has the power to channel energy. This allows him to make his strikes more powerful or punch the ground and generate an area strike called the Round Wave.


4. Iori Yagami

Iori’s Character:

  • Learning level – Easy
  • Game team – Sacred Treasures Team
  • General skills – Ancient martial arts and pure instinct

The ancient martial arts style of fighting enables Iori to deal extra damage using violence and claws. His powers include slashing his opponents using his claws and his ability to control fire. However, he can only control the fires that he creates. So, other opponents can harm him through fire.  


3. Ash Crimson

Ash’s Character:

  • Learning level – Medium Difficult
  • Game team – Ash Team
  • General skills – Acrobatic fighting style with green flames

Ash is a fan favourite for his charming evil personality. His acrobatic fighting style is similar to the French martial arts, which, combined with his fire abilities, makes him an extremely powerful opponent. Besides controlling fire, he can absorb his opponents’ powers. This is seen when he uses teleportation and creates red or purple fire acquired from other fighters.  


2. Kukri

Kukri’s Character:

  • Learning level – Difficult
  • Game team – Ash Team
  • General skills – Sand-based skills

Behind Kukri’s blurred face is a personable story that speaks to his sadistic and rude personality. This makes his storyline intriguing as players get a glimpse of his observant and helpful side in certain scenes. His skills stem from sand manipulation, where he can create sand fists or mountains to sink his opponents. 


1. Ángel

Angel’s Character:

  • Learning level – Hardest
  • Game team – Krohnen Team
  • General skills – Wrestling and Thai boxing

Angel is a bright and playful character who works as an assassin. She takes on her opponents with no mercy using her enhanced superhuman abilities. Her fighting style is that of a pro wrestler, while her powers range from superhuman strength, reflexes, speed, and stamina. 

So what do you think of these top ten characters from The King of Fighters XV? Do you agree with our listing? Is there a specific character you’re looking forward to playing? Let us know in our socials here or in the comments below.

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Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.