The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match


STORY:  In terms of plot, KOF '98: Ultimate March does not have a story and was developed as a "dream match" with characters from all previous installments of King of Fighters.


The definitive version of King of Fighters '98.

Originally featuring a total of 38 characters, The King of Fighters '98 was no doubt a surprise hit and a fan favorite installment to the series, thanks in part to the large roster of colorful characters and timeless 2D gameplay. Ten years after its original release, SNK re-released KOF '98 under the new title - Ultimate Match. This enhanced version adds 7 new playable characters to roster, including special EX versions of characters not featured in the original version, along with several new stages and modes.


If you squint, it almost looks like that one game from 1998.


Along with the "Advance" & "Extra" play options from the original, a new "Ultimate" mode is now selectable, which is a customizable style that lets players choose between features from Advance or Extra mode, such as which kind of power gauge to use. A "Neo Geo" mode is also available in the package, which is a direct port of the original Neo Geo console version. The home installment of Ultimate Match also includes Gallery Mode with a variety of classic artwork to browse through.

Eiji is so ninja... he wasn't in the original KOF '98

The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition was released in Japanese arcades in January 2011 and on PC via Steam on December 16th, 2014. This version features several balance tweaks to characters and game mechanics. In Winter 2021 and June 2022, an updated version of the game featuring rollback netcode was released on Steam and PlayStation 4, respectively.

Page Updated: June 27th, 2022
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Artwork By: Hiroaki, Shinkiro    Poster Artwork
Platform(s): Arcade, PS4, PS2, PSN, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date(s): Mar. 18th, 2008               Arcade
June 26th, 2008
Mar. 3rd, 2009
July 1st, 2009                  Xbox 360
Jan. 24th, 2011              Arcade - as KOF '98: UM Final Edition
Dec. 16th, 2014
             Steam - as KOF '98: UM Final Edition
Winter 2021                     Steam - Rollback Netcode update
June 21st, 2022              PS4 - Rollback Netcode update
Characters Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido, Goro Daimon, Andy Bogard, Terry Bogard, Joe Higashi, Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, Mai Shiranui, King, Yuri Sakazaki, Ralf Jones, Leona Heidern, Clark Still, Athena Asamiya, Sie Kensou, Chin Gentsai, Chizuru Kagura, Yashiro Nanakase, Shermie, Chris, Mature, Vice, Iori Yagami, Chang Koehan, Kim Kaphwan, Choi Bounge, Ryuji Yamazaki, Blue Mary, Billy Kane, Heidern, Takuma, Saisyu Kusanagi, Heavy D, Lucky Glauber, Brian Battler, Shingo Yabuki, Eiji Kisaragi, Kasumi Todo, Geese Howard, Wolfgang Krauser, Mr. Big, Goenitz, Orochi, Orochi Chris, Orochi Shermie, Orochi Yashiro, Rugal, Omega Rugal

kof98-ultimate-match-nesicaxlive-screenshot.png (825057 bytes)kof98-ultimate-match-nesicaxlive-screenshot2.png (832757 bytes)kof98u1.jpg (81479 bytes)kof98u2.jpg (79839 bytes)kof98u3.jpg (79556 bytes)

Featured Video:

Related Games: The King of Fighters '98, KOF 2002: Unlimited Match, KOF Collection: Orochi Saga, KOF '94, KOF '94: Re-bout, KOF '95, KOF '96, KOF '97, KOF '99, KOF 2000, KOF 2001, KOF 2002, KOF 2003, KOF XI, KOF XII, KOF XIII, KOF XIV, KOF XV, KOF: Maximum Impact, KOF: Maximum Impact MANIAX, KOF: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A, KOF: Neowave, KOF EX Neo Blood, KOF EX2 Howling Blood, KOF R1, KOF R2

Gameplay Engine

 7.5 / 10

Story / Theme

 7.5 / 10

Overall Graphics

 6.0 / 10


 6.0 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 6.5 / 10


 6.0 / 10

Art Direction

 7.0 / 10


 8.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 8.5 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 8.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 7.0 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 7.5 / 10


 8.5 / 10


 7.8 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version    


Final Words:

For a decade-old 2D fighting game from the arcade glory days... KOF '98 still holds up rather well. In some ways, it does look, sound, and play its age in this modern era of high-def fighting games. For fighting game fans looking to be "wowed" by graphics, animation, or "new" gameplay mechanics... KOF '98: Ultimate Match might not keep your interest for long.

However, if you've never put that many hours into the original KOF '98... this updated version is a great way to experience the classic title and get you acquainted with some of the most iconic characters of the KOF series.

For hardcore KOF players... it's a no brainer. KOF '98: UM Final Edition breaths new life into SNK's classic with new playable characters, features, and modes. While a bit bare bones, the online mode, new stages and character updates keep the game fresh and exciting in a new era.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

FOLLOW    ON: