There's pixel art, and then there's pixel art. You might not realise it--understandable given how they're never the player's main focus--but fighting game backgrounds comprise some of the most impressive, most technically accomplished, and flat-out most artistically imaginative work in all of games. But no-one ever gets to appreciate how good they are, because of all the HUD gauges, health bars and actual fighting going on in front of them.
That's the ironic thing. A lot of this stuff is good enough to work as visual art entirely on its own, but the very nature of its existence means that that potential is always buried. Well no more. I've collated a gallery of some of my favourite fighting game background art, completely free of clutter, so click through, take your time over each one, and get a real look and feel for these places for the first time. And for the love of all that's scared and holy, please click on the 'expand' icon in the top-right of each image for the full-screen versions.