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Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct Logo.png
Series title-card, circa 2013
Platform(s)Arcade, SNES, Game Boy, Nintendo 64, Xbox One, Windows
First releaseKiller Instinct
October 28, 1994
Latest releaseKiller Instinct
November 22, 2013

Killer Instinct is a series of fighting video games originally created by Rare and published by Midway, Nintendo, and Microsoft Studios. The original Killer Instinct was released for arcades in 1994; the game was then released for the Super NES and Game Boy in 1995. Its popularity led to a sequel, Killer Instinct 2, which was released for arcades in 1996; the game was then released as Killer Instinct Gold for the Nintendo 64.

The series was rebooted with the release of Killer Instinct (2013) for the Xbox One.


Killer Instinct (1994)

Main article: Killer Instinct (1994 video game)

An arcade fighting game developed by Rare and published by Midway. Initially released in arcades in 1994, the game advertised it would launch in 1995 for an intended "Nintendo Ultra 64" home console. The Ultra 64 eventually materialized as the Nintendo 64, but never received a version of the original Killer Instinct. Instead, the game received a high-profile launch on the SNES which bundled a CD of remixed game tracks with a limited edition black-colored cartridge, as well as a release on the Game Boy handheld the following year. Both the SNES and Game Boy versions were published by Nintendo. A digital port, titled Killer Instinct Classic, was released as part of a bundle with its 2013 sequel's first season on Xbox One.

Killer Instinct 2 and Killer Instinct Gold (1996)

Main articles: Killer Instinct 2 and Killer Instinct Gold

A 1996 arcade-only game developed by Rare, licensed by Nintendo, and manufactured by Midway. It was the sequel to Killer Instinct. The game was also ported to the SNES, but never released.[1] Like its predecessor, the game features two 8-way joysticks with six buttons each for attacks (three punches and three kicks), allowing for both a single player mode or a two player versus mode. It was later ported to the Nintendo 64 console under the name Killer Instinct Gold, and the port was published by Nintendo. A digital port, titled Killer Instinct 2 Classic, was released as part of a bundle with its 2013 sequel's second season on Xbox One. Killer Instinct Gold was also included as part of the Rare Replay compilation release.

Killer Instinct (2013)

Main article: Killer Instinct (2013 video game)

A reboot of the Killer Instinct series, developed by Double Helix Games under supervision of Ken Lobb, and the first game in the series to be published by Microsoft Studios, was released in November 2013 as a launch title for the Xbox One.[2] Following the acquisition of Double Helix Games by Amazon, Iron Galaxy Studios took over the development of post-launch content.[3] A Windows 10 version was released in March 2016 on the Windows Store,[4][5] and via Steam in September 2017.[6]


Killer Instinct is a fighting game featuring one-on-one combat. The game borrows the attack set of Street Fighter and is also inspired by the finishing moves from Mortal Kombat.[7]

There are also several features that distinguish it from other franchises:


Main article: List of Killer Instinct characters


There are two comics series inspired from the Killer Instinct saga, the first is from 1996, from Armada, and the second is from 2016-2017, from Dynamite Entertainment, best known for The Boys comics, in a partnership with Microsoft.


  1. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (October 13, 2011). "Ex-Rare dev's Killer Instinct 3 vision". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2015-08-04. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Killer Instinct Video – E3 2013: Double Helix Interview". GameTrailers. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  3. ^ Sarkar, Samit (2014-03-27). "Killer Instinct gets a new developer, Fulgore title update arrives April 9". Polygon. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  4. ^ Belland, Christian (June 16, 2015). "[Updated] Killer Instinct Coming to PC, Will Feature Cross-Play and Cross-Buy". Game Informer. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Buy Killer Instinct: Season 3 Ultra Edition". Microsoft Store.
  6. ^ "Killer Instinct is now available on Steam". Shoryuken. 2017-09-28.
  7. ^ "Xbox One Review: Killer Instinct finally fulfills the potential of a mostly forgotten series". financialpost.