Gaming’s most satisfying uppercuts

Balrog’s Dash Upper

Balrog is probably right up there with Zangief as a Street Fighter character that nobody but the truly hardcore ever want to play. When the original version of Street Fighter II hit, he was the weakest of the four boss characters, and he couldn’t even kick. But he does have some interesting, devastatingly powerful moves, and while it’s hardly Street Fighter’s most iconic or famous uppercut, the Dash Upper still packs a pretty nasty wallop. Especially when used to smash in an opponent’s jaw from across the screen.

Kazuya’s Lightning Screw Uppercut

This attack’s been part of the Tekken series about as long as Kazuya Mishima has (so, since the beginning), and its utter useless ridiculousness is matched only by the thrill of actually getting it to connect. Simple to pull off, it sends Kazuya into a crouching spin, during which he charges up his lightning and is totally vulnerable to attack.

Above: Ha ha, what?

Then – assuming your opponent hasn’t kicked you in the face and had a good laugh about the whole thing – he springs up, unleashing an electrically charged knuckle sandwich into your foe’s gaping jaw.

Simple, elegant and completely silly. In short, it’s everything we’ve ever liked about Tekken.

Above: Also it looks super-badass in the upcoming Street Fighter x Tekken

Dan Hibiki’s Hissho/Shisso Buraiken

Speaking of completely silly, there’s this classic combo deployed by Street Fighter’s resident weakling/joke character Dan Hibiki, in which he basically throws himself at his opponent with a flurry of rapid-fire kicks and punches. The best part? It ends with a Koutatsuken (Dan’s weaksauce version of Ryu’s dragon punch), a humiliating little exclamation point for anyone slow enough to actually get caught in the combo. In Street Fighter IV, it became a full-fledged Ultra Combo, as well as Dan’s most entertaining move:

The best part here isn’t the uppercut at the end, though; it’s the uppercut in the middle, which you probably missed because it goes by so fast:

Sending your opponent sprawling to the ground is all fine and good, but actually deforming their faces with a single punch to the jaw? That’s satisfaction.

Above: Also, it’s one of the few times you’ll get to see Bison make a duck face

T.J. Combo’s Winding Uppercut

Seeing as it took heavy inspiration from Street Fighter, it’s not surprising that the Nintendo/Rare arcade sensation Killer Instinct would feature a few moves that clearly imitated Ryu’s classic dragon punch, most notably from Ryu stand-in Jago and villainous robot/other Ryu stand-in Fulgore.

Above: Fulgore’s was better, though. He had laser claws 

For our money, though, the best uppercut in the game belonged to boxer/obvious Balrog stand-in T.J. Combo. Pulling it off meant charging one of the attack buttons for three seconds, after which he’d start winding up. Then it was just a matter of hitting punch again when he’d sped up enough, and you’d launch your opponent into the stratosphere.

This was even better if you did it (or any other character’s special uppercut) near the ledge of a building when your opponent was on his or her last bit of energy, as it could send them flying over the edge and into some lava, or a smashable car, or some other, equally unpleasant fate.

Above: BLURP


  • Robx - September 28, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    A nut-punch followed by an upper cut? That's just brilliant... ...and cheap...
  • ventanger - September 28, 2010 10:14 p.m.

    Hahah! Cody's uppercut is the wallpaper on my phone. Great article Mikel, when I read the title I knew it was probably you.
  • SeattleSound - September 28, 2010 10:19 p.m.

    Mortal Kombat takes the cake.
  • Drawed - September 28, 2010 10:20 p.m.

    There's an Assassination in Reach that is an uppercut with a knife. It's pretty damn satisfying to spin somebody around and uppercut them upside the head with a knife/Energy Sword.
  • paganpoet - September 28, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    Ryu's Metsu Shoryuken and Cammy's Quick Combo are the two SSFIV ultra combos that make me wince a little.
  • Valcrist - September 28, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    Mmm, isnt the uppercut in the last part of Dan´s super/ultra actually a Koryuuken?
  • Redeater - September 28, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    I'm waiting for the article gaming's most satisfying dongs.
  • FNG - September 28, 2010 10:28 p.m.

  • mEgAzD - September 28, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    You forgot the Ume Shoryu, the Daigo variation of the Shoryuken lol.
  • TheWebSwinger - September 28, 2010 10:39 p.m.

    GamesRadar never finds ceases to find silly gaming minutiae for Mikel to turn into an article. Thank god for that. Awesome, awesome article. @RedEater: #1 - Brett's.
  • sutrebla15 - September 28, 2010 10:41 p.m.

    You forgot Gouken's! Which is basically Ryu's, but still!
  • 510BrotherPanda - September 28, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    Hooray, another concise, informative article by Basque-paraz about punching stuff!
  • Nin10DOH - September 28, 2010 11:01 p.m.

    Allright! Dan is awesome!
  • Tenfey - September 28, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    All great uppercuts involve Jungle cats.
  • 8bitBaby - September 28, 2010 11:16 p.m.

    nothing beats a good kidney punch. NOTHING.
  • ShittlesMcDuckstain - September 28, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    Breakdown on the original xbox had some pretty satisfying uppercuts. First-person-lightning-flowing-through-your-fists satisfying.
  • batman5273 - September 28, 2010 11:22 p.m.

    This article is totally biased against the Roundhouse Kick. The upper cut must have paid Mikel a ton of money. That must how they afforded Vegas on their meager editor salaries!
  • Kouin - September 28, 2010 11:41 p.m.

    Kazuya is actually doing the Electric Wind God Fist in the Street Figter x Tekken screen shot. I think that's more satisfying that landing the Lightning Screw Uppercut. Especially when you connect 4 or 5 in a row in one juggle!
  • MrSuitMan - September 28, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    You guys actually put in Lightning Screw Uppercut? Sweet. I thought the majority of Gamesradar HATED Tekken.
  • belthasar - September 29, 2010 12:05 a.m.

    What about Donkey Kong's awesome uppercut in Donkey Kong Country 2?! That one was EPIC! 03:40 - 03:50 in this vid:

Showing 1-20 of 45 comments

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