Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
At this point, Deadly Alliance is the best arcade fighter on Xbox. It’s not as pretty as Dead or Alive 3, and it lacks the comic book appeal of X-Men Next Generation, but Deadly Alliance still knocks them both flat. The core gameplay and balance, a combination that makes or breaks a fighter from the start, are exquisitely well crafted, allowing player of all levels to step into the ring with reasonable success. After a few hours of practice, advanced players will recognize that the three attack styles add considerable depth and strategy to the game’s dynamic. Better yet, the focus is now on relatively short combos and careful attacks rather than over-the-top special moves. A grittier feeling Mortal Kombat than most, Deadly Alliance is a worthy successor to the series, redeeming a lot of the previous installments’ failures.