Metacritic: 73/100
Release: Nov 2013
Reviewed on: XOne

Killer Instinct

Site Score
Good: Basic game elements are free – Great training mode
Bad: Unlocking everything is expensive
User Score
(4 votes)
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Marking the third game in the Killer Instinct this 2013 release served as a free launch title on the Xbox One, eventually also coming to Windows 10. Allowing players to play for free with a rotatable free character while unlocking additional fighters through purchases the game has adopted a unique approach to the fighting genre with its freemium inspired model.


With the additions of new seasons since the initial release the character pool has seen significant expansion along with the story elements of the game which feature story campaign for each of the characters. Those that have played the original Killer Instinct titles will also recognise familiar faces like Jago and Orchid.

Similar to the originals and other fighting games Killer Instinct relies on the formula of traditional combos with the likes of special openers to start a deadly combo and auto-double attacks. The likes of finishers, linkages and even manuals also play a pivotal role for a highly combo driven fighting experience.

Well practised players have all the tools to escape said combos though with the ability to perform combo breakers although even these breakers have a counter breaker to watch out for.


Not seen before in a Killer Instinct title is the Instinct Mode which fills up over time to trigger a unique ability for your character that can boost your speed, damage or defences to overcome a particularly difficult opponent. Alternatively you an use your meter to instantly break out of a combo or reset the knockdown counter during your own combo (which limits the lengths of your combo).

After learning the above mechanics in the detailed Dojo mode which can take you from newbie to master with the likes of tutorials, record-able dummies and even viewable hit boxes you can step into the extensive PvP that uses a monthly league system to give you some tangible progress. The most impressive of the feature list though lies in the Shadow Lab, a mode that studies playstyle and creates an AI fighter based on the information.


  • A combo heavy free fighting game.
  • All the tools to go from starter to master.
  • A character line up that expands each year.
  • Fight for your ranking in the PvP leader boards.
  • Originally for Xbox One and now for Windows 10.

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Killer Instinct, 7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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