As most mainstream fighting games aim to complexify their systems while making the basics accessible. Enter Footsies, a fighting game that will show the power of proper timing and spacing the hard way. It’s not exactly easy, but it’s simple, and will hopefully teach you proper timing and spacing the hard way.
The game is about landing a special move on your opponent to win the round. Special moves can tough to land, so you can cancel a neutral or forward/back attack into them. You also have access to a Shoryuken-style uppercut, though this one can’t be canceled into and serves more as a way to capitalize on predicting your opponent’s next attack and countering it. You can also dash forward or backward. Block is allowed, but discouraged; you can only block three attacks per round.
This puts an emphasis on moving back and forth on the small field, making sure you not only press the right attack button at the right time, but aren’t just mashing buttons and can follow up any stray move into a special and win the round. It’s a neat back-to-basics fighting that not only acts as a teaching tool, but could be fun in its own right. You can download the game for free here.