Killer Instinct getting 10th anniversary update with Xbox Series X|S support

Killer Instinct Riptor fire breath
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Killer Instinct is the third game in the Killer Instinct fighting game series, developed first by Double Helix and then by Iron Galaxy, and published by Xbox Game Studios. 
  • Releasing in 2013, the game was supported for years with new fighters, including crossover characters like RAAM from Gears of War. 
  • Fans have been passionately asking for updates on the state of the franchise and for further support in addition to a sequel. 
  • During EVO 2023, a surprise announcement revealed that Killer Instinct is getting a 10th anniversary update, with dedicated Xbox Series X|S support. 

Fulgore, T.J. Combo, and Riptor aren't down yet. 

In a surprise announcement during EVO 2023, we learned that Iron Galaxy is working with Xbox Game Studios on a 10th anniversary update for Killer Instinct, the classic fighting game that released back in 2013. The update is set to include improved matchmaking, a balancing pass, and "4K support for Xbox Series X|S."

"You guys made this happen," said James Goddard, designer director on Killer Instinct at Xbox. "This is why we did it, and this is why we're doing a balance update and a major, major upgrade to all PlayFab services so your matchmaking's a lot smoother, tournaments are easier, and more KI for the next 10 years. Let's go!"

The note on 4K support is curious, as Killer Instinct was already updated to 4K on Xbox One X, and plays in 4K in backward compatibility on Xbox Series X. With that said, the Xbox Series S has to play the Xbox One S version of the game, so there are clearly improvements that can be made with a native version of the game. 

Killer Instinct is currently available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Like all Xbox first-party games, it's available on Xbox Game Pass.

Analysis: It's the year of fighting games

With Killer Instinct getting a big update, Street Fighter 6 launching earlier in the year to critical acclaim and commercial success, and Mortal Kombat 1 on the horizon, this is a phenomenal year for fighting games.

Killer Instinct is a special game, as anyone that plays it can attest. Truly nothing hits like hearing "COMBO BREAKER!!"...except maybe when it's immediately followed by "COUNTER BREAKER!!!"

I'm having a ton of fun with Chun-Li and Cammy right now, and I'm looking forward to playing with Sub-Zero and Scorpion, but I'll make sure to give Fulgore and Sadira a spin when this update arrives.

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct is a truly unique fighting game and a standout title from the Xbox One generation. Choose your fighter and unleash deadly COMBO BREAKERS!

Buy from: Xbox

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.