Retro PlayStation One fighting games fans have just gotten the best news of their lives

Tekken 3
Image via Namco

You can’t beat a good fighting game, and the venerable PlayStation One can boast some all-time greats amongst its roster. Top of the pile are the Tekken games (particularly the masterpiece that is Tekken 3), but following not too far behind are Soul Edge, a heaping pile of Street Fighter titles, Rival Schools, curios like Warpath: Jurassic Park and the Bloody Roar games, and, the still awesome Bushido Blade franchise.

The only fly in the ointment is that these are all a whole bunch of fun with friends, but convincing people to come round for an evening spent with quarter-century-old fighting action can be a tall order. Well, now you don’t have to. Popular PlayStation emulator Duckstation has just implemented “rollback netcode,” meaning PSOne games can now be played online with almost no latency.

The specifics of how rollback netcode works aren’t important (okay, fine, we admit we don’t understand exactly how this magic works), but the upshot is that it makes sure both players remain in perfect sync with one another online. The idea is that it predicts what you’re going to do next, prepares all possible outcomes and then shows the best one. If players’ input differs from what the code predicted, it’ll “rollback” to the right state seamlessly.

So yeah, basically it’s programming magic. The fighting game community regularly calls for all new releases to feature this, as even high-profile games like Street Fighter V have tripped themselves up with shoddy netcode.

Here’s how it’s going down online:

A controversial take:

Bring it on:

Here’s hoping this gives these dusty old games a new lease of life. Now, if you’ll excuse us we’re going to hop online and see if there’s anyone who wants a few rounds of Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi. … Hello? Is anyone out there?