KOF 98 Tier List: All Characters Ranked

KOF 98 Tier List: Who Will Be Crowned the King of Fighters?

The 90s was a golden age for arcade gaming, especially in the fighting game genre, with notable titles like Tekken, Street Fighter, and The King of Fighters (KOF) series. KOF 98 is the fifth edition in the series and is known for revolutionizing the fighting game genre. This article provides a KOF 98 Tier List divided into five tiers, with characters in the S-Tier being almost perfect and those in the D-Tier being trash.

The article is subjective and based in the author’s opinion, formed through their understanding of the game. It is aimed at those who remember the simpler times of gaming and want to know more about the game.

Key Points

  • There are a total of 40 entries on our list.
  • Each has been ranked according to their team, element, moves, and other factors.
  • Among the highest ranks, you will find Kyo Kusanagi, Goro Daimon, Iori Yagami, and Orochi Chris.
  • The lowest tiers contain the likes of Clarke Still, Lucky Glauber, Chin Gentsai, and Brian Battler.


We will list all entries in a short table below.

S RankA RankB RankC RankD Rank
Kyo KusanagiChizuru KaguraBlue MaryMatureClarke Still
Goro DaimonBenimaru NikaidoKingChoi Bounge Lucky Glauber
Iori YagamiTerry BogardYashiro NanakaseShermieChin Gentsai
Orochi ChrisJoe HigashiRyuji YamazakiHeavy D!Brian Battler
Rugal BrenstineOmega Rugal ViceShingo Yabuki
Billy KaneHeidernSie Kensou
Ryo SakazakiRalf JonesYuri Sakazaki
Saisyu KusanagiChang Koehan
Athena AsamiyaTakuma Sakazaki
Robert Garcia Andy Bogard
Leona Heidern
Mai Shiranui
Kim Kaphwan

Learn more about each character below.


The best KOF 98 Characters in the Tier List
S Tier.

First up is the S-Tier or the Superb Tier which contains the best-performing fighting characters from King of Fighters 98. The characters that are added to this S-Tier of the KOF 98 Tier List, are some of the most well-balanced characters picks in the game, with exceptionally well attacking and defensive stats. 

Kyo Kusanagi

  • Team: Hero / Protagonist Team
  • ForteFire Element, Blazing Strike 
  • Ultimate Combo: Shiki Kuma Ho For
  • Controls: (Right, Down, Right) C+D

The Lore of the Sion of Fire, the heir to ruling the Kusanagi clan, Kyo Kusanagi. Originally, Kusanagi was supposed to look like Ryo from Street Fighter. However, unlike Ryo, who is the custodian of hard work and sheer will, Kusanagi had a slick appearance and oozed pure raw talent. The Kusanagi Clan is among the three brave clans who took part in the vicious battle to seal Orochi 1800 years ago, according to the franchise storyline.

Due to his relation to the legendary Kusanagi household, Kyo wields the power to control the element of fire and can deal some flaming hot blows to the opponent in combat, his fighting consists of a secret technique of martial arts known and mastered only by the members of the Kusanagi Clan.

Goro Daimon

  • Team: Hero / Protagonist Team
  • Forte: Brute Strength, Stomping Earth, Wave Vibration  
  • Ultimate Combo: Kumo Tsukemi Nage
  • Controls: (Down, Left, Up) A – When the enemy is in the air 

Up next in the S-Tier we have, Goro Daimon, the character its first appearance in the original King of Fighters 94 game, and was an instant fan favorite.

The character shows an impressive amount of power to simply manhandle his foes in duels, during the development, game designers wanted a character in the game roster that would represent judo as a part of its fighting persona, which ultimately became a hit as the fans grew fond of Daimon and the brute strength that came with him. With a background in Judo fighting style, Daimon specializes in numerous grapple and throw combos.

Iori Yagami

  • Team: Yagami Team 
  • Forte: Flame Attacks, Slashing Claws 
  • Ultimate Combo: Kim Shiki Ya Otume 
  • Controls: (Left, Down, Right) A+C

Making his first appearance in King of Fighters 95, Yagami has seized his place under the spotlight as a great villain to the babyface Kyo Kusanagi. He fights with the ancient Yakasi technique of Mixed Martial Arts, which is a great pick for close-quarter combat.

Orochi Chris

  • Team: Orochi Team
  • Forte: Orochi’s Blood
  • Ultimate Combo: Hareu Goka
  • Controls: (Down, Left) + (Down, Left) C

The true hare to the throne of Heavenly King, Orochi Chris made his first appearance in King of Fighters 97, as a sub-boss. He is one of the main leads in the gaming series storyline, When Chris realizes that he is the true Heavenly King, he along with Orochi Shermi and Orochi Yashiro forms the Awaken Orochi Team, to revive Orochi from the dead into the living.

Just like Kyo Chris uses fire attacks against his enemies, possessed with screeching flames and immense power Chris is one of the best King of Fighters 98 characters.

Rugal Brenstine

  • Team: Boss
  • Forte: Brute Strength, Energy Beams 
  • Ultimate Combo:  Dead End Screamer 
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) A+D

Rugal Brenstine is a King of Fighters original, who made his appearance in King of Fighters 94 as a sub-boss. Rugal is one of the most difficult characters in the game to overcome. The character has immense power at his disposal, making him a great offensive pick for the players. His ultimate combo Dead End Screamer can deal a total damage of up to 60 health points.

Similar Read: FOTM Tier List


kof 98 um ol tier
A Tier.

Next up is the A-Tier, and the characters listed here are also considered good when it comes to gameplay. However, having said that, these characters may not be at the same level as those in the S-Tier, this may be due to multiple shortcomings in the character aspects, such as movement, damage, and combos. Overall, still a good choice for any player willing to play the game in its entirety.

Chizuru Kagura

  • Team: Women Fighters Team
  • Forte: Clone Mirage, Physic Fortune
  • Ultimate Combo: Katsu Otsu Isshi
  • Controls: (Down) + (Down) Any Button

First introduced by the Franchise in King of Fighters 96, Chizuru Kagura is a member of the Yata Clan, the same clan who along with the Kusanagi and Yasakani Clan, sealed Orochi after a fierce battle, 1800 years ago. Her fighting has some class to it, she can make a number of clones of her, in midst of battle as a decoy to confuse her enemy. A great ability to have in the arsenal.  She uses a wide array of chops and hand strikes.

Benimaru Nikaido

  • Team: Hero / Protagonist Team
  • Forte: Lighting Blitz 
  • Ultimate Combo: Taikuu Raiko Ken
  • Controls: (Down, Left, Up) + (Down, Left, Up) C

Benimaru Nikaido is an original character that has been a part of the franchise since its inception. With a strong source of lightning, Nikaido is a character meant for players with good reflexes and long-range combat. He is among the better characters in the King of Fighters 98 characters roster.

Terry Bogard

  • Team: Fatal Fury Team
  • Forte: Nature Energy, Sensory Navigation
  • Ultimate Combo: High Angel Gyser 
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) B+D

Terry Bogard was originally a Fatal Fury Character, who made his way to the King of Fighters and has featured in every single game the franchise has put forward. Terry has a mixed fighting background in Mixed Martial Arts, Kung Fu, and Boxing. Terry also has enhanced sensory abilities and can easily detect enemies in the surrounding, also being a master of nature energy Terry can deal some serious damage to his foe.

Joe Higashi

  • Team: Fatal Fury Team 
  • Forte: One Strike, Agility, Movement Speed
  • Ultimate Combo: Hurricane Tiger Kakadu
  •  Controls: (Down, Right, Down, Left) A+C

Just like Terry Bogard, Joe Higashi is a character that originated from the Fatal Fury Series and was added to the King of Fighters as a cross-over character by the developing company. Joe Higashi uses the Thi Muang fighting technique of Mixed Martial Arts. The character is capable to hit the opponent with long-chain combos of several hits to punish the opponent.

Omega Rugal 

  • Team: Boss
  • Forte: Brute Strength, Chi, Energy Punch 
  • Ultimate Combo: Gravity Smash
  • Controls: While Airborne (Down, Right) A-C

Omega Rugal is the persona of his former self, Rugal Bernstein, as was first showcased by the franchise as the final boss of King Of Fighters 95. The character has great strength at his disposal and can land a serious punch on his foe.

Billy Kane

  • Team: Fatal Fury Team 
  • Forte: Heavy Shaft, Fire Shaft  
  • Ultimate Combo: Ka Raiuu Kon
  • Controls: (Down, Left)  B

Billy Kane was also a Fatal Fury character, and eventually made his way to the King of Fighters character roster, Kane is shown as an enemy to Terry Bogard, in the franchise storyline, He is your average run-of-the-mill bad guy who has a thirst for easy money. His fighting style is more street fighter and simultaneously rocks a heavy shaft to use as a weapon against the foe. Overall a strong contender for KOF’s 98 best characters.

Ryo Sakazaki

  • Team: Art of Fighting Team
  • Forte: Gathering Nature Energy, Multiple Strikes
  • Ultimate Combo: Tenchi Hah ken  
  • Controls: When in the air (Down, Left) + (Down, Left)

Ryo Sakazaki is a character that prefers close-range combat, because of his almost brutal hand strikes, his long chain of attacks can easily overwhelm the opponent in the blink of an eye.

His fighting stance mostly employs the use of normal karate. Having said that, much like his offensive capabilities Ryo is also good at defense and can easily evade enemy attacks. The character has also played the role of the main lead in the King Of Fighters universe as he is the first champion of the KOF tournament.

Saisyu Kusanagi

  • Team: Oyaji Team  
  • Forte: Fire Wall 
  • Ultimate Combo: Uri 108 Shiki Orochi Nagi
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) Ahold

Up next in the average category of the King of Fighters 98 Tier List is Saisyu Kusanagi, who was first seen as a mere victim of Rugal Brenstine’s bizarre actions in King of Fighters 94, having said that it took the game developers five years to add him as a regular character in the game, his first appearance as a full-fledge fighting character is in King of Fighters 98 and it is safe to say that the character has surely buffed up as compared to his initial days.

He has a combat background in martial arts and due to his affiliation with the Kusanagi clan, Saisyu has mastered the Kusanagi ways of fighting, meaning he has full control of the fire element and makes flaming attacks.

Athena Asamiya

  • Team: Psycho Soldier Team
  • Forte: One Strike Attacks 
  • Ultimate Combo: Phoenix Fang Arrow 
  • Controls: When in the air (Down, Left, Up) + (Down, Left, Up) B+D

Athena was a much-awaited character when the developers announced her induction into the King of Fighters franchise. Athena was a complete hit, she soared in every aspect and had all the necessary attributes required to make an iconic fighting character, from the flashy outfits to the fighting style Athena had it all.

Her fighting technique campuses of Wung Chi style of Kung Fu, due to which the character excelled in close-quarter combat. Rather than relying on super-strength the key to the effectiveness of this character lies in movement and agility.

Robert Garcia 

  • Team: Art of Fighting Team
  • Forte: Gathering Nature Energy, Energy Beams, Quick Strikes
  • Ultimate Combo: Haoh Shokh Kin 
  • Controls: Left + (Right, Down, Left) A+C 

King of Fighters is a gaming franchise that surely has showcased a number of cross-over characters from other games, among them Robert Garcia is a prominent name. Originally Garcia was from the Art of Fighting game series but was added to the King of Fighter character roster. He is a character that wields some devastating combos and breathtaking grapple combos. 

Leona Heidern

  • Team: Ikari Team
  • Forte: Explosives, Piercing Claws 
  • Ultimate Combo:  Gravity Storm
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right)

Moving on, next in the A-Tier we have Leona Heidern, an iconic fighting character that made her first appearance in King of Fighter 96. She is said to be a descendant of Orochi and can make full use of the Orochi Power, when fighting Leona uses vicious blades that can easily rip apart the opponent’s flesh, making her a fierce competitor to fight against. She can also gather energy and use it as explosives.

Mai Shiranui

  • Team: Women Fighters Team
  • Forte: Concrete Deception, Stealth
  • Ultimate Combo: Musesabi no Mau
  • Controls: While Airborne (Down, Right) A or C

Mai Shiranui is one of the most iconic and popular female fighting characters in the fighting games fanbase. She has featured in a number of games including Fatal Fury and Dead or Alive among many others, yet the community can’t get enough of her. The character is equipped with some pretty decent combos in her move set, ranging from single-strike attacks to grapple throws and medium-length combos. Overall a good character to consider among the KOF 98 best characters.

Kim Kaphwan

  • Team: Korean Justice Team
  • Forte: Agility, Movement
  • Ultimate Combo: Houboh Tembu Kyaki
  • Controls: While Airborne (Right, Down, Left) D

Kim Kaphwan is another name from the list of cross-over characters in the game. He has featured in both Fatal Fury and King of Fighters. Generally speaking very well-balanced character, with some impressive offensive and defensive stats. Kim has an appearance of a typical fighting sub-protagonist character and has a fighting background in taekwondo, which enables him to perform some notable combos and grappling throws.


kof 98 um ol tier
B Tier.

The B-Tier represents Mediocrity. It is completely impossible for any game developer to design characters that are equally the same, there are going to be some exceptionally overpowered ones, some mediocre ones, and some relatively weaker ones.

Blue Mary

  • Team: 97 Specials Team  
  • Forte: Energy Strike, Inhuman Strength
  • Ultimate Combo: M Typhoon
  •  Controls: Near Enemy (Left, Down, Right) + (Left, Down, Right) B+D

The first character is Blue Mary, a community favorite, and a character that uses the Sambo combat technique when fighting. When paired with immense reserves of power and fast movement mechanics, the character becomes deadly and can overpower any opponent, However, the downside is that Mary can be difficult to master, due to fairly complex controls to execute combos and grappling throws.


  • Team: Women Fighters Team   
  • Forte: Energy Beam
  • Ultimate Combo: Illusion Dance 
  •  Controls: (Down, Left) + (Down, Right) B+C

King is a cross-over character that has featured in both the Art of Fighting and King of Fighters titles published by the SNK. In the original design, the king was portrayed as a mystery character and no one knew about his identity.

Over the course of the entire game series, King has undergone some development, in the King of Fighters 98 there were some small tweaks in the character movement, having said that the fighting style remains the same, and Tai Maui mixed martial arts, has some notable single strike attacks, King is a rather decent character pick, ahead of many in the character lot.

Yashiro Nanakase

  • Team: Orochi Team   
  • Forte: Wind Step, Movement Speed
  • Ultimate Combo: Wind Stream Bash  
  •  Controls: (Up, Left) + (Down, Left) Tapping A

Next in the mediocre tier, we have Yashiro Nanakase, who is a member of the Orochi Team, it was his struggle along with Shermie and Chris, to start a rebellion with the goal to revive Orochi from the dead into the living.

From the looks, the character is quite impressive, but its fighting skills may not be up to the mark,  as the character has fairly difficult combos to master and is definitely not a character meant for a novice gamer. Not the character one would imagine when thinking of the KOF 98 best characters.

Ryuji Yamazaki

  • Team: 97 Specials Team  
  • Forte: Energy Beam, Blood Spread, Dark Energy
  • Ultimate Combo: M Typhoon
  •  Controls: Near Enemy (Left, Down, Right) + (Left, Down, Right) C

Ryuji Yamazaki was first introduced as a sub-boss in the King Of Fighters. Ryuji was a rather unique concept implemented by the game developers, instead of relying on a fighting technique and flashing combos, the character used brute hands to completely dismantle his opponents with some simple one-hit attacks.


  • Team: Yagami Team  
  • Forte: Snake Strikes, Energy Beams 
  • Ultimate Combo: Withering Serpent 
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) A+C

Vice made her first appearance in King of Fighters 94, in the series storyline, she is shown as a descendant of Orochi, which is a great justification for her violent tendencies and raging personality. Later she formed Team Yagami along with Mature and Iori Yagami. In combat, Vice does fairly well, with grapple throws being her to-go attacks, along with some other one-strike attacks.


  • Team: Oyaji Team  
  • Forte: Piercing Hands, Dark Aura 
  • Ultimate Combo: Final Bringer
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) C

Heidern made his first appearance in King of Fighters 94 and portrayed the role of a soldier, the character design and concept are fairly impressive as it has a certain appeal to them. Heidern has a mixed martial art fighting background, which is suitable for the players that prefer close-quarter combat.

In his move set Heidern has some powerful one-hit hand strikes along with some middle-length combos. which is good but not enough to make it past the mediocre tier.

Ralf Jones

  • Team: Ikari Team  
  • Forte: Fire Punch, Multiple Strikes
  • Ultimate Combo: Galactical Phantom 
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Left, Down, Right) + (Down, Right) A

Ralf Jones is a cross-over character that has featured in several titles including Ikari Warriors and Metal Slug, before making his way to King of Fighters. His arrival at the KOF was not very well received by the gaming community, as the character was accompanied by his Ikari Warriors mechanics and movements, which felt extremely awkward in the overall feel of the game, having said that his special combo “Galactical Phantom” is one of the most powerful Kings of Fighters 98 characters special combo, dealing total damage of 70 to 80 health points.

Chang Koehan

  • Team: Korea Justice Team  
  • Forte: Inhuman Strength 
  • Ultimate Combo: Tekkyo Dai Bousou
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Right, Left, Down, Right) A+C

Moving on we have a grant from the King of Fighters character lot, Chang Koehon. Chang is among the very few characters in the game that fights using an actual weapon, this ties his choice of weapon is a rumbling ball of steel. The character has no particular fighting style, to begin with, just relying on his inhuman strength to deal powerful blows to his foe.

Takuma Sakazaki

  • Team: Oyaji Team  
  • Forte: Nature Energy, Energy Beams
  • Ultimate Combo: Shin Kishin Geku
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) C

Next in the B-Tier of King of Fighters 98 Tier List is Takuma Sakazaki, a crossover character featured in both Art of Fighting and King of Fighters. Takuma Sakazaki is the brother of Ryo Sakazaki, he is the master of natural energy and a black belt in Karate, meaning that the character can perform rather lethal pinpoint strikes at his opponent.

Andy Bogard

  • Team:  Fatal Fury Team  
  • Forte: Brute Strength, Energy Beams, Fire Attacks  
  • Ultimate Combo: Hishi Ryusei Ken
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Down, Right ) + (Down, Right ) C

Andy Bogard is a fighting character that has featured in both Fatal Fury and King of Fighters games published by the SNK, he is the brother of Terry Bogard and together they form two-thirds of the Fatal Fury Team. Andy has mastered the ancient Japanese martial arts techniques and fluently uses Ninjutsu when fighting, Overall a decent pick for the players.


Character from the second lower tier form KOF 98 Tier List.
C Tier.

Moving on to the C-Tier, the characters in this tier are significantly weaker as compared to the rest of the character roster. Let it be the sluggish movement, weal attacks, or the fighting stance, these are doomed, to begin with. Their performance, no matter how exceptionally skilled the player is are below average in their prime.  


  • Team: Yagami Team  
  • Forte: Slashing Claws, Serpent Limbs 
  • Ultimate Combo: Heaven Lights
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) B or D

Mature is a King of Fighters original and made her first appearance in the King of Fighters 94. Mature is a character that is preferable for players with high reflexes and plays on counterattacks. Movement speed and agility are the strong points however the attacks are not as lethal as one would like, making her a below-average character.

Choi Bounge  

  • Team:  Korea Justice Team  
  • Forte: Lethal Piercing Claws
  • Ultimate Combo: Houou Kyaki 
  • Controls: ( Right, Down, Left) B

Choi Bounge is an original King of Fighters character, that has been a part of the franchise since its inception in 1994. Choi fights with a pair of lethal fang gloves that pierce through the opponent’s flesh in an instant, making him one of the most destructive characters in the game.

The character design is also quite impressive, having said that the character is a major disadvantage when it comes to movement speed and fighting stance, Choi fights with an open stance and slow and slow movements which make him a sitting duck for any counterattacks from the enemy, not a great circumstance for any player to be in. Causing him a place in the below-average category.


  • Team: Orochi Team  
  • Forte: Orochi’s Blood, Lightning Thunder 
  • Ultimate Combo: Shermie Fiesta  
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Right, Down, Left ) + (Right, Down, Left) A+D

Next in the C rank of the KOF 98 Tier List is Shermie, a member of the Orochi Team and a great adversary of Benimaru Nikaido in the series story plot. Overall a very technical character, and is fairly hard to master as a main. The fighting style is grappling throws, which can look good when executed correctly, Having said that, it makes the character pretty much predictable which is a serious disadvantage to the player.

Heavy D!

  • Team: American Sports Team  
  • Forte: Shadow Boxing 
  • Ultimate Combo: D Magnum   
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) B or D

Moving on, next in the C-Tier is Heavy D, the leader of the American Sports Team, who made his first appearance in King of Fighters 94, the original concept behind the character design was to create a character that revolves around boxing who knows to land a punch on his opponent. In his move set, this brash boxer has a number of decent one-hit attacks which may sound good but is far from the ability and power of other KOF characters.

Shingo Yabuki

  • Team: Single Entry  
  • Forte: Fire Strikes, Reversals 
  • Ultimate Combo: Burning Shingo    
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Right, Left, Down, Right) A

Shingo Yabuki is a DLC character added by the publisher SNK in King of Fighters 97 as a single entry, but slowly and gradually he got his place in the hero team. Shingo can replicate several of Kyo Kusanagi’s attacks, which leads to the conclusion that he is a master of fire element which is the trademark of the Kusanagi clan. Having said that Shingo Yabuki is a new character and still has ways to go to become a mainstream character and gain the franchise spotlight.

Sie Kensou

  • Team: Psycho Soldiers Team  
  • Forte: Psychic Chi, Multiple Strikes   
  • Ultimate Combo: Niku Man O Kuu 
  • Controls:  (Left, Up) + (Left, Up) D

Sie Kensou is an active member of the Psycho Soldiers Team. He is still relatively a new member of the character roster, the game designers wanted to freshen up the story plot and tried to add a new perspective to the game, which ultimately led to the birth of Sie Kensou. Kensou resides at the young spectrum of the graph of King of Fighters 98 characters. He is a Shaolin-type fighter and has psychic powers in combat. Having that the character needs a lot of development and boost-up stats by the developers.   

Yuri Sakazaki

  • Team:  Art of Fighting Team  
  • Forte: Nature Energy, Multiple Strikes   
  • Ultimate Combo: Haoh Shoko Ken
  • Controls:  (Left) + (Right, Down, Left) A+C

Yuri Sakazaki is the sister of Ryo Sakazaki and a member of the Art of Fighting Team. Despite King of Fighters, the character has appeared in numerous other fighting games published by the SNK. An overall new addition to the character lot, with some passable stats for a fighting character.

Yuri Sakazaki is the only women fighter in the game that wields the power of Kokugengoru Tai Jutsu but is not a master of such immense power and can only perform the simplest of moves, which is a letdown, considering the expectations of many players.

Up Next: LOL Twisted Treeline Tier List


The amazingly poor characters.
D Tier.

The characters that are added to this specific tier are completely nerfed and are out of their league. They are a complete mismatch and can easily be overwhelmed by the other characters.

A player opts to play with the characters present in the D-Tier without a doubt at a serious advantage and the mercy of the opposing player.  These characters need a serious buff from the game developers if there is going to be any chance to attain any sort of popularity in the gaming community. Having said that let’s proceed with the D-Tier.

Clarke Still 

  • Team: Ikari Team  
  • Forte: Inhuman Strength 
  • Ultimate Combo: Ultra Argentine Back Breaker 
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Left, Down, Right ) + (Left, Down, Right ) C+B

Continuing in the lowest tier, we have Clarke Still, a DLC character that, featured in Metal Slug and Ikari Warriors before he was added to the King of Fighters character roster.

He is one of the main grapplers of the game, having most of the attacking moves revolve around throws and reversals along with some rather weak basic attacks. Generally, with a character of this nature, the movements and agility play an important factor, however, the developers haven’t paid much attention to that aspect, due to which the character is at a serious advantage when compared to other King of Fighters 98 characters, earning him a place in the D-Tier.

Lucky Glauber

  • Team: American Sports Team  
  • Forte: Movement Speed, Flame Attacks  
  • Ultimate Combo: Lucky Driver    
  • Controls: (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) D

Lucky Glauber is a member of the American Sports Team and made his first appearance in King of  Fighters 94. Originally the designers wanted to add a young face to the character lineup, and that ambition came into existence in the shape of Lucky Glauber. Lucky is portrayed to be a former basketball player who joins the King of Fighters tournament in order to aid his friend Lucky D.

With a fighting style of Karate, Lucky has some one-hit attacks in his move set which is absolutely below par considering the competition he has to face from others characters, and is added to the D-Tier of the King of Fighters 98 Tier List.

Chin Gentsai

  • Team: Psycho Soldiers Team  
  • Forte: Psychic Chi, Wisdom    
  • Ultimate Combo: Kaitin Tekis Kuo Totsu Ken
  • Controls: (Down, Down) D

Chin Gentsai is one of the game’s original designs and has been a part of the franchise since its launch in 1994. The character’s age and appearance are the main features. Chin uses Chinese Shaolin Martial Arts and Drunken Paws Taijutsu techniques, being a member of the Psycho Soldiers Team, Shin can also use mind powers to attack his enemy, having said that the main drawback of the character is his movement pattern, which is a dual-sided sword, as it is completely out of sync and takes some time adjust with.

Brian Battler

  • Team: American Sports Team  
  • Forte: Energy Strikes, Super Strength   
  • Ultimate Combo: Big Bang Tackle   
  • Controls: Near Enemy (Down, Right) + (Down, Right) A+D

Moving on next in the lowest Tier of the King of Fighters 98 characters we have Brian Battler, a strong football player who forms the American Football Team along with Heavy D and Lucky Glauber.

The character is given a fighting style of wrestling, which indicates that grappling throws are his forte, however, Brian is accompanied by a major flaw, his movement speed, due to which it is fairly difficult to connect a grapple, or even worse leaves him vulnerable to a counter-attack from the opponent.

Comparison Table

CharactersTiersTeamForteUltimate Combo
Kyo KusanagiSHeroFire Element, Blazing StrikeShiki Kuma Ho For
Goro DaimonSHeroBrute Strength, Stomping Earth, Wave VibrationKumo Tsukemi Nage
Iori YagamiSYagami Team Flame Attacks, Slashing Claws Kim Shiki Ya Otume
Orochi ChrisS Orochi TeamOrochi’s BloodHareu Goka
Rugal BrenstineSBossBrute Strength, Energy Beams Dead End Screamer
Chizuru KaguraAWomen Fighters TeamClone Mirage, Physic FortuneKatsu Otsu Isshi
Benimaru NikaidoAHeroLighting Blitz Taikuu Raiko Ken
Terry BogardA Fatal Fury TeamNature Energy, Sensory NavigationHigh Angel Gyser
Joe HigashiAFatal Fury Team One Strike, Agility, Movement SpeedHurricane Tiger Kakadu
Omega Rugal ABossBrute Strength, Chi, Energy Punch Gravity Smash
Billy KaneAFatal Fury Team Heavy Shaft, Fire Shaft Ka Raiuu Kon
Ryo SakazakiAArt of Fighting TeamGathering Nature Energy, Multiple StrikesTenchi Hah ken
Saisyu KusanagiAOyaji Team Fire Wall Uri 108 Shiki Orochi Nagi
Athena AsamiyaAPsycho Soldier TeamOne Strike Attacks Phoenix Fang Arrow
Robert Garcia AArt of Fighting TeamGathering Nature Energy, Energy Beams, Quick StrikesHaoh Shokh Kin
Leona HeidernAIkari TeamExplosives, Piercing Claws Gravity Storm
Mai ShiranuiAWomen Fighters TeamConcrete Deception, StealthMusesabi no Mau
Kim KaphwanAKorean Justice TeamAgility, MovementHouboh Tembu Kyaki
Blue MaryB97 Specials Team Energy Strike, Inhuman StrengthM Typhoon
KingBWomen Fighters TeamEnergy BeamIllusion Dance
Yashiro NanakaseBOrochi Team Wind Step, Movement SpeedWind Stream Bash
Ryuji YamazakiB97 Specials Team Energy Beam, Blood Spread, Dark EnergyM Typhoon
ViceBYagami Team Snake Strikes, Energy BeamsWithering Serpent
HeidernBOyaji Team Piercing Hands, Dark Aura Final Bringer
Ralf JonesBIkari Team Fire Punch, Multiple Strikes Galactical Phantom
Chang KoehanBKorea Justice Team Inhuman Strength Tekkyo Dai Bousou
Takuma SakazakiBOyaji Team Nature Energy, Energy BeamsShin Kishin Geku
Andy BogardBFatal Fury Team Fatal Fury Team Hishi Ryusei Ken
MatureCYagami Team Slashing Claws, Serpent Limbs Heaven Lights
Choi Bounge CKorea Justice Team Lethal Piercing Claws Houou Kyaki
ShermieCOrochi Team Orochi’s Blood, Lightning Thunder Shermie Fiesta
Heavy D!C American Sports Team Shadow Boxing D Magnum
Shingo YabukiC Single Entry Fire Strikes, Reversals Burning Shingo
Sie KensouC Psycho Soldiers Team Psychic Chi, Multiple Strikes Niku Man O Kuu
Yuri SakazakiCArt of Fighting Team Nature Energy, Multiple Strikes Haoh Shoko Ken
Clarke Still DIkari Team Inhuman StrengthUltra Argentine Back Breaker
Lucky GlauberDAmerican Sports TeamMovement Speed, Flame Attacks Lucky Driver
Chin GentsaiDPsycho Soldiers TeamPsychic Chi, Wisdom Kaitin Tekis Kuo Totsu Ken
Brian BattlerAAmerican Sports Team Energy Strikes, Super StrengthBig Bang Tackle


It is obvious that the 90s was a pinnacle time for the fighting games genre to thrive, and among such games, there was a game title named King of Fighters that absolutely dominated the whole gaming scene throughout the 90s. In our list, we present to you a critical review of the fifth installment of the game. Unlike most fighting games, King of Fighters 98 did not have a story mode, but only an arcade mode and multiplayer mode in which the player would compete in a team of three players for some hardcore fighting actions.

With such a wide variety of character selections, the article aims to categorize all the characters from the King of Fighters 98 into definite tiers based on multiple factors. Having said that please note that the list is a mere opinion, and is open to any sort of contradictions and thinking. 


How many characters are there in KOF 98?

Well there are a total of 42 characters in the game, 39 regular characters along with Orochi variations of Chris, Yashiro, and Shermie as the special characters, with each character having its own unique abilities, and strengths, weaknesses, and play style.

Who is the best KOF 98 Player?

King of Fighters definitely has a legacy of great players. KOF 98 is the fifth installment of the franchise and came out way back in 1998. Over the period of time many players have competed fiercely to attain the title of the best KOF 98 Player but above all stands the name Xiao Hai, a Chinese pro gamer who has a total of more than 100k from competing in 45 tournaments.

How to unlock special characters in KOF 98?

In order to unlock the special characters in KOF 98  go to the character hold the start button and then select the character, in this way the player will pick the special character to play the game.

How do combos work in KOF 98?

King of Fighters 98 is a fairly technical game, with relatively fast-paced gameplay, combos are a big part of the game’s combat system. A player can perform different combos by giving commands through the input device with respect to the selected character.