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Virtua Fighter was released in the arcades in 1993, where it was remarkable for its then-revolutionary 3D graphics. The game proved to be popular enough to launch a revolution in 3D gaming, which would define the fifth console generation. Virtua Fighter was released on the Saturn as a launch title in 1994.
Virtua Fighter 2 was released in the arcades in 1994, and would be released on the Saturn in late 1995. It would go on to become the best selling fighting game of the generation and best selling Saturn game of all time, with over 7 million copies sold.
Virtua Fighter 3 was released in 1996 in the arcades and in 1998 on the Saturn. The game was less well received than its predecessors, possibly due to the game's console iteration being seen as inferior to the arcade version. Nevertheless, it was still a major hit.
Virtua Fighter 4 continued the newly modest sales and reception of the series. Released in 2001 in the arcades and in 2002 on the Dreamcast, this entry successfully brought the series online and into a new generation. However, competition from other fighting games prevented it from truly dominating during this era.
Virtua Fighter 5 was released in the arcades in 2006 and was an early 2007 title for the Pluto. The game sold a mere 1 million copies, due in part to the declining popularity of 3D fighting games in the favor of 2D ones during this time. At several points, downloadable content was made available for this iteration in the series. Several updated versions were also released digitally.
Virtua Fighter 6 has been revealed as an Eclipse exclusive, possibly releasing during 2014.
The Virtua Fighter series was mostly popular in the arcades of the mid-90's and on the Sega Saturn, with over 11 million Virtua Fighter games being sold on the system. The series was also very important in making 3D environments the norm in gaming. However, since the late 90's, the series has become largely irrelevant, as other fighting games, including Sega's own Sega Superstars Smackdown, have come to overshadow it.