Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown

In the year 2020, rumors circulated about a new Virtua Fighter title. In September 2020, Sega released the "Virtua Fighter x eSports" teaser trailer confirming the company was indeed up to something. In early 2021, CEO of Sega, Haruki Satomi, said the project will "begin in Japan" and is part of Sega's 60th anniversary celebration. On May 25th, Sega officially announced Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown (AKA Virtua Fighter eSports in Japan), releasing on exclusively on PS4 June 1st as a free-to-play title for PlayStation Plus subscribers. An arcade version of VF5:US will also release in Japan on June 6th. Throughout 2021, Sega promoted an official pro tour in an attempt to bring VF back into the competitive scene.

The VF5: Ultimate Showdown character select screen... room for more?

As part of Sega's 60th Anniversary project, the "definitive edition" of Virtua Fighter 5 features reworked graphics and other new console features, remade for a new generation of fighting game fans. Along with Sega AM2, Yakuza series developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio also worked on the game. The "remastered" visuals were achieved using the RGG Studio Dragon Engine. VF5: Ultimate Showdown launched as a PlayStation Plus title on June 1st, 2021. After the game leaves PS+ it was priced at $30 USD.

Lau-Chan aged more years than the entire cast combined.

FEATURES:  Reworked visuals include: remastered character models, stages, the addition of hit sparks (for the first time in series history), and new UI. All stages were given new BGMs and visual elements. Character Customization features color edit mode and around 2,000 types of items. The game's main menu features recent online match replays that players can enjoy watching at any time.

Online features include: Private Lobbies with up to 16 players, Online Tournament, League Match, and Spectator Mode where players can communicate with others in the lobby using real-time visual "stamps". Online does not use rollback netcode, but early reports have said the game is relatively stable and playable even for players in different regions.


Crispy new visuals & hit sparks breathe new life into 2012's Final Showdown.

A day one DLC pack containing Retro Skins based on the original low-poly VF1 character models was made available at launch at costs $10. The Legendary Pack DLC includes beautifully remastered 1993-inspired, low-poly character models for all 19 playable fighters. The DLC pack also includes an old school VF1 stage and even comes with a "Classic UI" option.

In December 2021, Sega announced new DLC costumes and content for Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown based on the Yakuza series. This new content did not appear any previous versions of Virtua Fighter 5. In Marc 2022, Sega announced a TEKKEN collaboration for VF5: Ultimate Showdown which added TEKKEN 7 costumes to the game. The TEKKEN collaboration content also includes "Round 1 - Fight" visuals and Lifebars in TEKKEN 7 style.


Retro skins for all 19 fighters! The 1993 vibes are REAL.

Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown
chief producer Seiji Aoki told Famitsu that Sega currently has no concrete plans to begin development on Virtua Fighter 6. He said the success of VF5: Ultimate Showdown will be taken into consideration on the possibility of a new installment.

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Page Updated: February 22nd, 2024
Developer(s): Sega-AM2, Ryu Ga Gotoku
Publisher(s): Sega
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Arcade
Designer(s): Seiji Aoki    Producer
Release Date(s): June 1st, 2021         PlayStation 4
June 6th, 2021           Arcade
Characters Akira Yuki, Jacky Bryant, Kage-maru, Lau Chan, Jeffry McWild, Sarah Bryant, Wolf Hawkfield, Pai Chan, Shun Di, Lion Rafale, Taka-Arashi, Aoi Umenokouji, Vanessa Lewis, Lei Fei, Brad Burns, Goh Hinogami, El Blaze, Eileen, Jean Kujo, Dural
News Links March 2022: VF5: Ultimate Showdown x TEKKEN 7 Costumes
Dec. 2021: VF5: Ultimate Showdown x Yakuza Costumes

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Related Games: Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Fighter 5 R, Virtua Fighter 5: Final ShowdownVirtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter Remix, Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter Kids, Virtua Fighter 3, Virtua Fighter 4, VF4 Evolution, Fighting Vipers, Fighting Vipers 2, Fighters Megamix, SoulCalibur 6, Dead or Alive 6, Street Fighter 6, TEKKEN 7, TEKKEN 8

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Final Words:

As history would have it... Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown was NOT the "final" installment of VF5. (Never trust long video games titles, they usually lie.) Alongside Street Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter 5 is officially one of the longest-running single numbered installments of any fighting game series to date.

If you look at the timeline of Virtua Fighter release history, it's actually pretty shocking (and borderline depressing in some ways). Between 1993 and 2005, VF1 through VF4 were released innovating and revolutionizing the genre in more ways than one. From 2006 to 2021... VF5, VF5R, VF5: Final Showdown, and now Ultimate Showdown are released. That's... 15 years of VF5. Ready for more?

While the definitive build of Virtua Fighter 5 is one of the most technical and competitively-balanced fighting games known to man, the series has struggled to remain competitive and relevant during the rise and modern "boom" of esports. There are a few reasons for this, the fact that VF5 is a "difficult" game to get into (and very hard to master) is one of those reasons. The fact that the game saw much more support in Japan than overseas is another. Now's your chance to show what you can do, VF... and VF community! If this game succeeds, a Virtua Fighter 6 (and potentially exciting cross-over title possibilities) down the line seems highly likely.

It would be foolish to not mention a certain 3D fighting game that redefined the modern genre over the past 5 years, TEKKEN 7. While Virtua Fighter is the grandfather and pioneer of 3D fighting games as we know them, TEKKEN 7 took the genre to new heights achieving a level of popularity and success matched by no other 3D fighting game to come before it. Since 2017, the player base exploded with TEKKEN 7 matching (if not succeeding) SF4's rise in 2009 with the rebirth of the mainstream tournament scene. All this to say... you've definitely got your work cut out for you, Virtua Fighter guys. A lot has happened since you've been gone. Welcome back!

It's nice to see Sega finally making moves in the fighting genre again. Releasing a visually remastered VF5 on PS4 as a free-to-play PlayStation Plus title is a pretty good way to start off on the right foot. The updated visuals will breathe some new life into the series, and hopefully the competitive scene.

~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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