The King of Fighters XIV

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The King of Fighters XIV Game Poster Image
Great, deep fighing game has lots of mature content.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Although focal point is a fighting tournament, other themes pop up in characters' individual stories. Positive themes such as friendship, competition, overcoming evil; negative themes such as revenge, power.

Positive Role Models & Representations

With a roster of 50 diverse characters, vast range of personalities. Some characters are heroic, others villains. Also characters that don't fit either category, simply joined tournament to compete.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; but blind button-mashing will only get you so far. To excel requires patience, practice to learn, execute special moves, combos.


This is a fighting game, so violence is its major component. Characters fight with a variety of martial arts moves, unique special abilities (fireballs, lightning). While violence is constant, characters react to getting hit, there's no blood or gore. Instead, character damage represented by bright flashes of light, special effects.


While no nudity, many female characters shown in low-cut, revealing outfits, with focus on cleavage, backside and often bouncing, posing provocatively.


Frequent use of "s--t," "d--k," and "a--hole."


Latest entry in The King of Fighters franchise. Also features characters from other SNK arcade franchises (Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting). Has different tie-in merchandise, including manga, anime series, toys, costumes, card games, more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters shown to be smoking cigars, drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The King of Fighters XIV is the latest entry in the popular fighting-game series. While the basics of fighting are relatively easy to pick up, fully becoming successful against skilled players or AI-driven opponents requires climbing a more complex learning curve. Most female characters are presented in a sexualized manner, and there's a lot of profanity, drinking, and smoking throughout the game. Parents also should be aware that, due to its online features, there's a risk of exposure to offensive language and conversation via party chat.

User Reviews

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Teen, 16 years old Written byJekru December 16, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written byDevilWarrior December 11, 2017

A Good Game

KOF XIV is a very good game to play with friends,players con play on 1vs1 or 3vs3 matches with amazing characters

What's it about?

In the world of KING OF FIGHTERS XIV, the KoF Tournament is big business. Brawlers from all over the globe come together and compete for the honor of being named the best of the best, taking home the title of the King of Fighters. But after years of high profits and spin-offs, the brand has begun to lose its luster. That's when an eccentric billionaire, Antonov, decides to buy up all the rights to the tournament, launching a new competition with unprecedented global reach and naming himself as the champion to be beat. With a roster boasting 50 fighters, each with their own motivations, the time has come once again for fighting fans to duke it out in three-on-three team battles and prove once again who is truly the King of Fighters.

Is it any good?

The latest entry in this fighting franchise doesn't just walk the line of giving fans what they want and enticing newcomers; it uppercuts the competition out of the way. Thanks to the game's move from 2D sprites to full 3D models, the characters almost jump off the screen but still hold on to the unique style and personality that fans have loved for nearly 20 years. Fighter animations are fluid and responsive, with combos smoothly transitioning between moves. While The King of Fighters XIV definitely has a new look, it's the gameplay that's going to make or break the experience. SNK added some interesting tricks to the formula this time around, including a Rush feature for beginners. By tapping the light-punch button quickly, as well as rhythmically moving the analog sticks, players can string together specific combos. These combos are weaker than normal combos, though, so players are still motivated to learn the actual moves.

There's an interesting Party mode, where players fight in three-vs.-three team battles, with each player controlling one member of their team. Finally, the game comes with options for online spectating, full tutorials, challenges, and a single-player story mode. Admittedly, story mode feels somewhat convoluted, with the plot unfolding in sporadic cut scenes and through short interactions when specific character combinations face off. Unfortunately, no matter how many times you play, it always feels like you're missing something important. Despite this, it's hard to argue with how much pure content SNK packed into The King of Fighters XIV. The result is a surprisingly robust fighting experience and a well-deserved fresh start for a classic, if underrated, franchise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games such as The King of Fighters XIV. How does the over-the-top violence of fighting games influence a child's view on realistic violence?

  • Talk about the portrayal of characters in entertainment. Does the sexualized representation of women in games represent a real-world expectation? Do actions such as smoking and cursing in games and movies make those actions seem more acceptable to kids?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fighting

Themes & Topics

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