''When I was younger, Street Fighter II, in all its variations, was the undisputed king of fighting games. Mortal Kombat had the gore factor going for it, but in terms of sheer fighting mayhem, Street Fighter II was it. As that series waned, no individual title stood up to take the role of king of fighters. Heck, there was even a series called King of Fighters, and it didn't amount to much. There's also Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom (a great fighting game that died on the vine after its second installment), a slew of one-off fighting titles, and a little game known as Soul Edge that garnered quite a bit of notice when it was released on the Sony Playstation in 1995. In 1999, the sequel, Soul Calibur, popped up on the Sega Dreamcast. For the first time since Street Fighter II, a legitimate heir to the fighting game throne had appeared. The game received great acclaim, and is still referred as one of the best fighters of all time.
In 2003, the world saw the release of Soul Calibur II, which featured an exclusive character for each of the three gaming systems available at the time. Of the three, Link from The Legend of Zelda fit into the game the best, offering the best balance with the Soul Calibur-branded characters. Despite the game selling well, the next installment, Soul Calibur III, was only available on the PS2. Most noted for its extensive character creation system, III made less of a splash than II, but was still well received critically. The series has enough of a pedigree that when the fourth (fifth if you count Soul Edge) was announced, anticipation ran high, especially when Namco announced a few surprise characters.''