Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 48
  2. Negative: 10 out of 48
Buy On
  1. 60
    King of Fighters XII is fun to play when you're fighting a buddy locally, but everything else about the game is seriously lacking.
  2. The King of Fighters XII is the latest chapter in 15 years of fighting game history. It's also a disappointment.
  3. In the end, the sparse content maims Kof XII. Next time around there better be more stages, characters, modes – more everything. You can’t just rip the five-minute-per-play arcade code straight to consoles and expect people to invest the full $60 over a few coins.
  4. Worth a rental for certain, but only the most diehard King of Fighters fans will want to add this one to their collection.
  5. If you like online play, King of Fighters does it extremely well. However, with only one single-player offline mode, this title feels a little empty overall.
  6. It's neither as interesting as Street Fighter IV or BlazBlue, or as infinitely playable as Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.
  7. It really is sad to see a game like King of Fighters XII turn out this way. It has a solid fighting mechanic and great graphics, but the surrounding features are so meager that they kill everything good about the game.
  8. 70
    Most gamers may not want to pay full retail price for only a handful of light features, despite how pretty the game is, but if you love your fighters old-school and 2D, The King of Fighters XII is probably worth checking out.
  9. 70
    King of Fighters XII proposes to be a new start for the series, and it manages to do it half and half. The graphical change is positive, but it stalls midway, and the price to pay has been losing characters, scenarios and music.
  10. 50
    KOF12 fails to seize the windfall in online matchmaking. It uses an archaic, even backwards, system that serves only to frustrate the player.
  11. 68
    King of Fighters XII is not a bad game; it just came out at a bad time. The re-birth of the franchise really feels like ten steps backwards, and it wouldn't be so bad if the competition wasn't so stiff right now.
  12. games(TM)
    We'd expect a new KOF to offer more depth. [Oct 2009, p.118]
  13. Right now, there’s way too little here to recommend a full-price purchase to anyone. Die-hards should only buy it when it hits the $20-30 range, and everyone else will likely be satiated by a rental. What’s here is done quite well, but there just isn’t enough of it.
  14. In the end, calling this a "rebirth" or even a "reboot" just doesn’t cut it. If one looks hard enough, they can see the ambitions SNK had with this game, sadly outstripped by time and budget.
  15. KOFXII's biggest problem is that the fighting game bar has been raised considerably in the last 12 months, with the release of Street Fighter IV in particular showing how reboots should be done.
  16. A disappointing series reboot, with the new graphics proving more trouble than they're worth.
  17. The King of Fighters XII offers a superb visual section. Unfortunately, the rest of the game gives the sensation to be unfinished: poor artificial intelligence, scarce game modes, online filled with errors.
  18. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    The brawling itself is still solid. [Sept 2009, p.112]
  19. The menus are needlessly tedious to use.
  20. The King of Fighters XII is a typical beat‘em up with a really lame gameplay and short content. The only advantages of the title are the retro music and the nice anime graphic.
  21. So when it’s all said and done, The King of Fighters XII isn’t going to be placed on a mantle above all other fighting games. It lacks proper net code and not everyone is going to enjoy the pixilated graphics.
  22. Although a competent beat ‘em up, it lacks not only the accessibility but the depth of Street Fighter IV, the classic gameplay of Mark of the Wolves or Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and the hardcore technical side of Blazblue.
  23. While the game is a bit thin on play modes and the online battles are a complete write-off at the moment, the fundamental gameplay is still fun and true to the series.
  24. If you're looking for only one full fledged fighter loaded to the brim with goodies, BlazBlue is what you get. Unless you're a hardcore fan, wait a bit before splurging on this $60 game. Give it time to hit $40 or less.
  25. King of Fighters XII looks good, has great sounds and plays really good, but isn’t a top game. The arcade mode is entertaining, but a little to short. The rest of the modes are boring or missing. In the end we can say that King of Fighters XII is only interesting for the few hardcore players who aren’t satisfied with Street Fighter IV.
  26. As it stands, it's just another fighter that tries – and fails – to knock Street Fighter IV off its mighty throne.
  27. PSM3 Magazine UK
    There's no story, no extra modes and merely functional presentation. [Sept 2009, p.77]
  28. It's hard to decide what's more offensive, the massive changes made to the core gameplay that kept this series different or the complete lack of options outside of the useless online play. Either way, fans of and newcomers to the series both lose.
  29. The fighting at the center of King of Fighters XII is totally fine, but with everything surrounding that action coming off so half-cocked, there are a lot of annoying little barriers to enjoying that fighting.
  30. 65
    The fighting genre is getting crowded and that doesn't help KoF, unfortunately. Playing KoF is like having your dog fetch the morning paper only it comes back all chewed.
  31. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Maybe hardcore fans will appreciate the subtle mechanics at work in KOF XII, but as fighting game fans who aren't devoted enough to count frames of animation and the like, we can't help but feel indifferent. [Aug 2009, p.78]
  32. With a little extra love in the practice mode, some online love and character development, KoFXII could have been a charming fighter for old and new fans alike.
  33. A very limited game that shows mistakes in planning and execution, making it much worse than other offerings in this genre (yes, Street Fighter IV, I'm referring to you).
  34. KOF XII is a bad attempt to bring a fan favourite onto next-gen consoles.
  35. If online can be improved King of Fighters XII will be a much better game, in the meantime though stick to the Xbox LIVE version or one of the recent anthology games for your SNK fighting fix.
  36. The core gameplay of King of Fighters XII is quite good, a thing which is quite hard to mess up nowadays. But the total content of the game is seriously dissapointing, having only an arcade mode and a poorly implemented online mode. There's not much extra material to unlock and the environments are few and dull. King of Fighters XII has not taken over the throne of beat 'em up games this time around, making it only appealing to hardcore KOF fans.
  37. The King of Fighters XII is a somewhat disappointing experience compared to the earlier installments. But even though SNK Playmore have toned down almost every aspect of the game, the game mechanics feels solid enough to attract those who enjoy some fighting and hand-drawn sprites.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 46
  2. Negative: 20 out of 46
  1. Darkstrike
    Oct 6, 2009
    As a long time fan who has played every single title in the series since 94', I am thoroughly disappointed in the latest over-hyped andAs a long time fan who has played every single title in the series since 94', I am thoroughly disappointed in the latest over-hyped and under-delivering iteration. The movelists are paltry compared to the hugely enjoyable predecessors (not to mention the exclusion of many fan-favourite characters). The excuse that every single character has been painstakingly redrawn does not make up for the many shortcomings of this game (no final/mid boss, no intuitive training mode, among others). However, based on the game play, potential remains for the next KOF to make it up to its fans. Full Review »
  2. JuanDiez
    Sep 2, 2009
    Just like I thought! It keeps the original flavour of the series, but playable on a PS3. For me it is a must. I have enjoyed SF IV, BlazBlueJust like I thought! It keeps the original flavour of the series, but playable on a PS3. For me it is a must. I have enjoyed SF IV, BlazBlue and then this KoF. Each one has its pros and cons, but definately I am able to find a time to play each title without being bord. Full Review »
  3. JerseyChris
    Aug 1, 2009
    The essence of KOF had is missing... Don't buy this game, just rent it!!! I rented my copy and on the 2nd day finished all theThe essence of KOF had is missing... Don't buy this game, just rent it!!! I rented my copy and on the 2nd day finished all the characters. No Boss! No Plot! No Story! No Ending! No Secret Characters! & NO GOOD!!! The only good thing is the detailed graphics... :( Full Review »