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->'''Jinpachi Mishima:''' ''"By the way, old friend, didn't you die after beating Azazel last time?"'' \\
'''Wang Jinrei:''' ''"That's right. I did die. My awesome existence allowed me to cheat death and stand before you now."'' \\
'''Jinpachi:''' ''"They were this close to killing off a no-name character like you. The only reason you're still here is because those wussy game developers didn't have the heart to go through with it. You'll never figure anything out until you start facing reality."'' \\
'''Wang:''' ''"Hmph! That's a lot to say coming from a guy who turned into sand in my very hands that one time."''
-->-- ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Tag Tournament 2'', {{breaking the fourth wall}} [[LampshadeHanging to explain the circumstances of the game itself]].

In a FightingGame, it is rare to see two competitors go head-to-head ''[[BadassNormal without]]'' [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower the use of superhuman skill]]. These fighters also have the miraculous ability to [[MadeOfIron seemingly recover from even the most fatal of wounds]]. As such, PlotlineDeath tends to be rare in fighting games.

Sometimes, however, not even being MadeOfIron can save characters from [[KilledOffForReal kicking the bucket for]] ''[[AllDeathsFinal good]]'', be it in the name of [[TonightSomeoneDies drama]] or just to ensure that the BigBad can no longer carry out their evil plans.

This can be problematic, especially in [[VideoGameLongRunners long-running franchises]], for {{fan|dom}}s. In fighting games, a good deal of a series' identity comes from the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters cast]], as well as their [[TellMeHowYouFight fighting styles]]. Maybe there is a FinalBoss who is so [[EvilIsCool undeniably cool]] that they gained an extremely loyal fanbase and merits a [[PromotedToPlayable playable spot on the roster]]. Maybe there is a really badass side character [[EnsembleDarkhorse who has become an overnight hit with the fandom]]. Or maybe there is just a particular character that fans [[PerverseSexualLust find]] [[MrFanservice really]] [[MsFanservice attractive]]. Either way, their exclusion may prove to be [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks an]] [[BrokenBase unwise]] [[InternetBackdraft decision]].

To remedy this, many series decide to [[{{Fanservice}} write the ultimate love letter to their fans]] [[TheBusCameBack by bringing back]] ''[[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters the entire cast]]'' for one grand battle royale.

Usually, a Dream Match Game has no bearing on the main plotline of its series, as [[CanonDiscontinuity the next proper installment will disregard this one to pick up from where the preceding iteration left off]]. Despite this, it will still contain many [[ContinuityNod nods to the series' mythos]]. {{Nostalgia Level}}s tend to pop up quite frequently in games like these, [[RemixedLevel albeit sometimes in a new form]]. A Dream Match Game itself may have an ExcusePlot, rarely, but not too often, turning out to be a byproduct of one of the character's [[AllJustADream dreams]] or [[DaydreamSurprise imagination]]. It may also be used as an opportunity for various [[AlternateUniverse What If?]] plots and to explore [[ForWantOfANail different paths]] the main story could have taken if characters had made different decisions.

UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny games are like this too, only instead of bringing back everyone in the series they [[IntercontinuityCrossover bring characters from many series together]].

See also FakeCrossover (a crossover that has no bearing on either series' plot).

Not at all related to ''Series/MatchGame'', which is a GameShow.



[[folder:Fighting Games]]
* Creator/{{SNK}}:
** [[TropeNamers Named for]] ''[[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters The King of Fighters '98: The Slugfest]]'' (more specifically, its Japanese subtitle, ''Dream Match Never Ends''). The fifth title in a series that up until 2003 ''had a new game released each year'', this ''KOF'' was touted as a "special edition" of sorts. The game did not feature a storyline that year, as the {{Orochi}} [[StoryArc Saga]] ended the previous year (for the record, the number of causalities had amounted to 8 by this time). Instead, Creator/{{SNK}} took the time to include (nearly) every character from the previous games, notably SNKBoss ''[[TropeCodifier par excellence]]'' ([[OneWingedAngel Omega]]) Rugal (who died via SuperpowerMeltdown back in ''[='95=]''), the [[CoolOldGuy Oyaji Team]] ([[ColonelBadass Heidern]], [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Takuma]] [[BunnyEarsLawyer Sakazaki]], and [[RetiredBadass Saisyu]] [[PlayingWithFire Kusanagi]], who all also last made a playable appearance in ''[='95=]''), [[DarkActionGirl Mature and Vice]] (Iori Yagami's [[LovelyAngels team]][[EvilDuo mates]] from ''[='96=]'' who he accidentally killed at the end of the game), the [[PowerTrio New Faces]]/Orochi Team ([[UndyingLoyalty who died]] [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning resurrecting]] Orochi the previous year), and the [[ButtMonkey American Sports Team]], who [[PutOnABus hadn't been seen since their]] ''[='94=]'' debut. With its well-balanced, refined gameplay, many video game publications are quick to note this edition as the best entry in the series. [[VindicatedByHistory To this day]], ''[='98=]'' is still fairly popular in TournamentPlay.
** Its UpdatedRerelease, ''[='98=]: Ultimate Match'', took things a step further. Not only did ''UM'' include all of the characters from the original game, but it added in the few characters left out: [[BlowYouAway Goentiz]] and [[PhysicalGod Orochi]] (the bosses of ''[='96=]'' and ''[='97=]'', respectively), [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Eiji]] [[{{Ninja}} Kisaragi]] from ''[='95=]'', [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Kasumi]] [[LadyOfWar Todoh]] from ''[='96=]'', the entire ''[='96=]'' [[MiniBoss Boss Team]] ([[EnsembleDarkhorse most of all]], [[VideoGame/FatalFury Geese]] Howard; alongside him were [[VideoGame/FatalFury Wolfgang]] [[WrestlerInAllOfUs Krauser]] and [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Mr.]] [[DualWielding Big]]), [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Orochi Iori and Orochi Leona]], as well as various EX versions of pre-existing characters. While not as critically acclaimed as its original version (since it ''is'' just ''[='98=]'' with a shiny new paint job), ''Ultimate Match'' is still seen as a very technical, very fun game to play.
** ''The King of Fighters 2002'' discarded the "[[AssistCharacter Striker]]" system found in the previous three games, [[AuthorsSavingThrow returning to its roots]] as a 3-on-3, "last man standing" affair. In addition, its gameplay mechanics were revamped to more closely resemble ''[='98=]''. While many of the characters found in-game came from the current arc, older characters such as the New Faces Team, ''[=97=]'' [[VideoGame/FatalFury Special Team]] (an {{odd|Friendship}} [[PowerTrio trio]] consisting of [[WearingAFlagOnYourHead Billy]] [[SimpleStaff Kane]], [[TokenGoodTeammate "Blue"]] [[ActionGirl Mary]] [[MurderousThighs Ryan]], and [[AxCrazy Ryuji]] [[PsychoForHire Yamazaki]]), Mature, and Vice made a reappearance. Omega Rugal ([[TheOtherDarrin now voiced by]] Creator/NorioWakamoto) even reared his ugly face as the FinalBoss. The home ports added [[HeroWorshipper Shingo]], [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Ki]][[KickChick ng]], Geese, Goenitz, and Orochi Iori (the latter three only present in the [=PS2=] and Xbox ports and being taken from the technically earlier-released ''[[VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos]]''). Although a snazzy tagline ("Be the fighter!") and retooled gameplay didn't earn ''2002'' the same praise as ''[='98=]'', it does have its fair share of supporters and is seen as one of the series' more notable entries. Not bad considering this was released [[DorkAge during the interim that SNK had to pair up with Aruze/Eolith due to their bankruptcy.]] [[note]]It should be noted that the one "new" character from ''2002'' (Kusanagi, an evil doppelgänger of series protagonist Kyo Kusanagi) [[CanonImmigrant would be adapted into the next canonical entry]] (although his backstory was retconned from being one of NESTS' [[CloningBlues guinea pigs]] to a creation of Chizuru Kagura's [[MagicMirror Yata-no-Kagami]]).[[/note]]
** ''The King of Fighters: Neowave'' is essentially a reworked version of ''2002'' with a few changes. The most significant would be the addition of ''VideoGame/{{Art of Fighting}} 2''-[[{{Bishonen}} era]] Geese Howard as the FinalBoss, [[UnexpectedCharacter a decision that came out of left field for many]]. This game also added [[ExtremityExtremist Jhun Hoon]] and Saisyu Kusanagi, complete with new [[DesperationAttack HSDM/MAX2]] attacks for them.
** Its ''proper'' UpdatedRerelease, ''2002: Unlimited Match'', decided to [[UpToEleven go for the gusto]]. If a character was fully playable (this even includes the ''alternate movesets'' of certain fighters) in ''[='99=]'', ''2000'', or ''2001'', but missed the cut for the original ''2002'', you can bet your ass that they made it in for this game. Also, [[Manga/{{Akira}} Tetsuo]] CaptainErsatz K9999 [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute was replaced by]] [[NoNameGiven Nameless]], a more balanced character with a [[TheWoobie tragic backstory]] who has been better received by the fans than his predecessor. The end result? A whopping total of ''[[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters 66]]'' playable characters, quite possibly the ''largest'' in 2D fighting game history. (Not counting the bosses, EX characters, or other characters that were outright banned takes it down to a much lower 52, but that's still a HUGE number in its' own right, and the additional EX characters don't hurt.)
** While ''The King of Fighters XII'' is called a dream match, it was InNameOnly. The roster was scaled back to 20 characters (with 2 additional characters in the home version), many of them comprising the cast of earlier iterations of the series. The game was admittedly lacking terms of replayability, although it was [[DummiedOut blatantly clear]] that it was [[ObviousBeta stomping grounds]] for ''XIII''.
** ''[[VideoGame/FatalFury Fatal Fury Special]]'' and the later entries of the ''Real Bout'' subseries (''Special'' and ''2''; the first ''Real Bout'' was actually canon, culminating with the death of [[BigBad Geese Howard]]) brought back the majority of the series' cast. ''Special'' also included [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Ryo Sakazaki]] as a BonusBoss, which jumpstarted the idea for the MassiveMultiplayerCrossover that was the aforementioned ''KOF''. ''Real Bout Special'', in particular, was infamous for introducing gamers to [[OneWingedAngel Nightmare]] [[TrueFinalBoss Geese]], a nightmare of both the [[YourMindMakesItReal literal]] and [[SNKBoss figurative]] variety. The next ([[{{Vaporware}} and currently final]]) title (''[[BroadStrokes Wild Ambition]]'' notwithstanding), ''Garou: Mark of the Wolves'', picks up [[TimeSkip 10 years]] after ''RBFF''.
** ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown V Special'' offers little in the way of a storyline, instead focusing on gameplay. The 28-man roster was heavily composed of series' regulars.
** ''Samurai Shodown VI''. All of the cast of ''V Special'' returned, as well as seven characters from the first two games that didn't reappear in later incarnations of the series (Genan Shiranui, Cham Cham, Earthquake, Nicotine Caffeine, Neinhalt Sieger, Wan-fu, and Kuroko) and four new fighters (most notably the NinjaMaid Iroha, who became ''[[EnsembleDarkhorse very popular]]'' despite only being a one-shot character). The game is set in an unknown year in a [[AlternateContinuity parallel timeline based upon the previous entries]], and the game's producer even called it a "festival game." The title also introduced a gameplay mechanic called the "spirit select" system, which allowed players to choose between six different fighting styles based on all previous installments similar to the Grooves from ''[[VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium Capcom vs. SNK 2]]''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'':
** ''[[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Tekken Tag Tournament]]'', a game made during the transition from ''Tekken 3'' to ''Tekken 4'', boasted 39 characters (the highest in the series before the release of ''Tekken 6''), many of whom were missing from the third game. Kazuya Mishima, the most heavily promoted character of the game, was [[EnsembleDarkhorse highly popular]] with the fans despite his absence after ''2''; this status [[SavedByTheFans allowed the story to work around his presumed death]] and have Kaz [[TheBusCameBack make a triumphant return]] in ''Tekken 4''. As more of a compilation of the last three games, ''TTT'' was non-canon (although there is the case of [[OriginalGeneration Unknown]], [[EpilepticTrees thought to be a]] [[DemonicPossession demon-possessed]] [[MissingMom Jun Kazama]] [[note]]according to WordOfGod, she was meant to be Jun's sister, although this was dropped when the game became a SpinOff[[/note]]) and noted for its fun factor (new moves were added to every character, you could mix and match several of your faves, and [[MiniGame Tekken Bowl Mode]] [[SidetrackedByTheGoldenSaucer was a blast]]). In a case of WhatCouldHaveBeen, ''TTT'' was originally supposed to be a true sequel to ''Tekken 3'', before being changed in development.
** ''Tekken Tag Tournament 2'': [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse Remember a certain someone named Jun Kazama?]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieWp4FvXxk8 Yeah, she's back. (Again.)]] The console version brought back even more characters in the form of DLC, among them Kunimitsu, Michelle Chang, Angel, and Ancient Ogre (Ogre's base form from ''T3''). Alex, Prototype Jack, Tiger Jackson, and Forest Law were also brought back. A later update added Sebastian (Lili's butler who employs a variant of Lili's moveset), Miharu (Xiaoyu's gal pal, playable only once before as a PaletteSwap of Xiaoyu in ''4''), Violet (Lee's CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown stint in ''4''), Dr. Bosconovich (returning as a playable fighter from ''3'' with a revamped moveset), Slim!Bob (from his ending in ''6'', representing how Bob looked before he gained weight), and Unknown (who was previously an unplayable boss in ''TTT'' and ''[=TTT2=]'').
** ''[=TTT2=]'' presents a rare case of a non-canonical game that could possibly influence the next main entry in the series, with the several {{Sequel Hook}}s running rampant, ranging from Heihachi's regenerative serum to [[spoiler:Jun and Unknown being one in the same]] to [[spoiler:Leo's mother Emma being Steve's caretaker/maternal figure, as well as a supervisor for the Mishima Zaibatsu's Devil Gene program.]]
* [[CapcomSequelStagnation In a very strict sense]], there's ''Vampire Hunter 2'' and ''Vampire Savior 2'', [[UpdatedRerelease upgraded/alternate]] versions of the second and third ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' games that had little more than aesthetic changes to the roster, the more definitive versions including everyone. However, ''Vampire Savior'''s port to the [=PS2=] as part of ''Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection'' introduced Dee, Donovan's SuperpoweredEvilSide (as evidenced by his DownerEnding in the second game) which looks like [[PaletteSwap Donovan's head placed on Demitri's body]]. His story (where he encounters an older version of Anita, the very girl he lost himself to darkness to protect) brings up the theory that there's some sort of [[AlternateUniverse timeline split]] after ''Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge/Vampire Hunter''.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'':
** More or less, ''Franchise/MortalKombat Trilogy''. It follows the same basic story of (''[[UpdatedRerelease Ultimate]]'') ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombat3 MK3]]'', but contains all of the characters present in the previous games. You can even pick retro versions of Raiden, Kano, Jax, and Kung Lao.
** Another rare canonical example would come from ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon Armageddon]]'', with 61 of the 63 characters hailing from previous games. The UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} version also features Khameleon from the UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}} version of ''Mortal Kombat Trilogy'', [[PopularityPower back by]] [[EnsembleDarkhorse popular demand]]. The reason for ''Armageddon''[='=]s canonicity is that it was [[http://www.gamesradar.com/xbox360/mortal-kombat-8/news/next-gen-mortal-kombat-reaffirmed/a-2007100312233076023/g-20070205122339792042 supposed]] to TorchTheFranchiseAndRun with a "new generation" cast for the next game by killing off nearly everyone present at the conflict, but this idea fell through by virtue of Midway going belly-up. ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' does start with nearly everyone dead at the end of ''Armageddon''... only for a dying Raiden to push the ContinuityReboot button in an attempt to prevent Armageddon, thus TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, from even happening. The new cast would debut in the following game, ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX''.
** As a reboot visiting altered versions of the [[VideoGame/MortalKombat1 first]] [[VideoGame/MortalKombat2 three]] [[VideoGame/MortalKombat3 games]], ''[=MK9=]'' qualifies as a canonical example, as its roster is basically ''Trilogy'' minus "Cyber" Smoke, Motaro, and the bosses, but with [[VideoGame/MortalKombatMythologiesSubZero Quan Chi]], [[ForWantOfANail Cyber Sub-Zero]], and new character Skarlet (plus {{guest fighter}}s [[VideoGame/GodOfWar Kratos]] and [[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Freddy Krueger]]).
* A non-standard example: ''VideoGame/OnimushaBladeWarriors'', which consists of characters from the first three games (plus {{Guest Fighter}}s [[VideoGame/MegaManZero Zero]] and [[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork MegaMan.EXE]]) duking it out. [[{{Interquel}} The game is set months after the second game, and 11 years before]] ''[[{{Interquel}} 3]]''.
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' can be boiled down into a simple formula: bring back all the [[EvilIsCool dead-but-awesome]] [[BigBad bad guys]] and all the [[TheHero main characters]], [[ExcusePlot give some kind of plot about them all being pulled from their respective universes by either]] [[PowersThatBe an evil god or a not-so-evil goddess]], [[RuleOfCool and make a fighting game]].
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'' does this for the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series, where [[OriginalGeneration newcomer]] [[TimeMaster Aeon]] brings several heroes ([[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI Simon Belmont]], [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse Trevor Belmont, Grant Danasty, Sypha Belnades, Alucard]], [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood Maria Renard]], [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines Eric Lecarde]], [[VideoGame/{{Castlevania|64}} Cornell]], and [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia Shanoa]]) and even a few villains ([[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI Dracula, Death]], [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest Carmilla]], [[TokenGoodTeammate and]] [[WhatMeasureIsAMook Golem]]) into [[PlaceBeyondTime the Time Rift]] so he can [[EnemyMine unite them]] in an attempt to stop an usurping by [[TheStarscream Galamoth]] (of ''VideoGame/KidDracula'' and ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight SotN]]'' fame). It's unknown exactly how much leverage ''Judgment'' has on the rest of the series; [[TimeyWimeyBall several characters have been pulled from times before, during, or after their quests]], and many endings hint at plot points introduced in later games.
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'':
** ''Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition'' is a [=15th anniversary=] revision of ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' that was released for the arcades, [=PlayStation 2=], and Xbox in 2003 (almost a decade after ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo''). It allows players to use the character roster from any of the [[CapcomSequelStagnation five previous]] ''Street Fighter II'' installments (''The World Warrior'', ''Champion Edition'', ''Hyper Fighting'', ''New Challengers'' and ''Super Turbo'') and duke it out.
** The ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha [[CompilationRerelease Anthology]]'' has a similar unlockable game titled ''Hyper Street Fighter Alpha''. This is a much purer example, as by the time ''Alpha 3'' hit home consoles, the series featured the entire roster from ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo'' (Guile and the other "New Challengers" from ''Super Street Fighter II'' besides Cammy, were not present in the arcade version), along with all the other characters from previous ''Alpha'' installments (both original and from previous games). Some of the characters from the [[VideoGame/StreetFighterI 1987 original]] were still missing, along with all the new guys from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII''[[note]]the only exception being Yun, who was in the portable versions of ''Alpha 3'' with [[VideoGame/FinalFight Maki]] and [[VideoGame/StreetFighterI Eagle]] (all three characters ported over from ''Capcom vs. SNK 2''), plus [[VideoGame/CapcomFightingEvolution Ingrid]] in the PSP version[[/note]] and all the original characters from the ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterEX EX]]'' series.
* ''VideoGame/{{MUGEN}}'', naturally.
* ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2 Marvel vs. Capcom 2]]'' featured not only the entire roster from the original ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfTheSuperheroes Marvel vs. Capcom]]'', but it also features nearly everyone from [[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom every previous Marvel-licensed fighting game by Capcom]] (''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom'', ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroes'', ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter'' and ''[[VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroesVsStreetFighter Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter]]'') along with many additional characters (including a few [[OriginalGeneration originals]]) for a 56-man roster, the only absentees being the PaletteSwap {{Secret Character}}s from previous ''Vs.'' games, {{guest fighter}}s [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Anita]] and [[OriginalGeneration Norimaro]], and all of the non-playable assist characters such as [[Comicbook/TheMightyThor Thor]] and [[VideoGame/ForgottenWorlds the Unknown Soldier]], as well as the large bosses Apocalypse and Onslaught; [[VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroesVsStreetFighter Cyber-Akuma/Mech-Gouki]] was also noticeably absent. Oddly, there are two Wolverines (one representing his playstyle from ''Children of the Atom'' and the other, dubbed "Bone Claw," his original ''Marvel vs. Capcom'' style).
* ''VideoGame/KamenRiderClimaxHeroes'':
** ''OOO'' sort of qualifies, as its main draw besides the inclusion of ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'' (while retaining everyone from the past two games) is the addition of absolutely everyone from ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'', pulled straight from the game of ''Ryuki''[='=]s American adaptation ''Series/KamenRiderDragonKnight'', which ran on the ''Climax Heroes'' engine and released on the same year as the preceding ''Climax Heroes'' game... in America only.
** All ''Climax Heroes'' games from ''OOO'' onward somewhat qualify, as the rule is to axe only the final unlockable character of the previous game (who is always a variation of the lead Rider preceding the current one at the time of each game's release).
* ''VideoGame/NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStormGenerations'': Along with [[MeetYourEarlyInstallmentWeirdness the "young" version of certain characters being present]], there are plenty of playable characters in the game who have already been killed off in the ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' manga/anime. The most prominent examples are probably Zabuza and Haku, as several advertisements for the game have made note of their presence.
* The ''VideoGame/GundamVsSeries'' from ''Gundam vs. Gundam'' and onward no longer restricts their roster and plot any single ''Gundam'' series, preferring to include the most memorable characters and Mobile Suits, and pit them against each other in a battle royale.
* ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle'' brings together a large number of characters from [[Franchise/JoJosBizarreAdventure the 25-year-long manga of the same name]] (in fact, it was created for the 25th anniversary of the series) for battles of grand proportions. Possibly a subversion, since the Story Mode actually segregates characters by their part of origin. [[spoiler:DoubleSubversion with the ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureJoJolion JoJolion]]'' Story Mode; since that part is still running, its plot revolves around [[FanNickname Gappy]] running into each of the previous main characters as he investigates the Wall Eyes.]]
** Played straight in the sequel ''VideoGame/JojosBizarreAdventureEyesOfHeaven'', though. The story involves the character traveling though time and universe between parts and meeting/fighting each other.
* ''VideoGame/BodyBlows'': In this more obscure series that was made for Amiga brand computers, Ultimate Body Blows (the third and final installment) had all the characters from the prior games on a single roster. Considering that Ultimate Body Blows came out in 1994 (four years before the TropeCodifier), it may be [[OlderThanTheyThink the earliest instance of this trope]].

[[folder:Other Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi'', Koei's MassiveMultiplayerCrossover between ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' and ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors''. [[ExcusePlot Yes, there is a plot, but it is really nothing more than a means to bring together a greater portion of both series' stables]], even though they exist about '''[[AnachronismStew a millennium apart]]'''. ''Warriors Orochi 3'' ups the ante with {{Guest Fighter}}s. And coincidentally for this trope's origins, including fighting game characters such as [[VideoGame/SoulSeries Sophitia]], and Kasumi plus a handful of other ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive'' characters.
* Similarly, ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsGundam'' does this with all the different ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchises.
* ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'', which does this with ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''. The scope of series representation here, however, is more limited compared to other ''Warriors'' games: outside of the recurring Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, and Impa (all of whom [[CompositeCharacter incorporate traits from various previous incarnations]]), only characters from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarine of Time]]'' (Sheik, Darunia, Ruto), ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' (Midna [[note]]with her true form as DLC[[/note]], [[UnexpectedCharacter Agitha]], Zant), and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' (Fi, Ghirahim) are present, with the rest of the cast filled by OriginalGeneration characters. A later DLC pack and the 3DS port, ''Hyrule Warriors Legends'', rectified some of this with seven additional faces ([[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Tingle, Young Link, Skull Kid]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Tetra, King Daphnes, and Toon Link]], plus a DistaffCounterpart of Link's named Linkle who is vaguely inspired by his ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' and ''VideoGame/LinksCrossbowTraining'' self)--eight if [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Epo]][[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess na]] is counted, so time will tell if any other titles will see their day in the sun in-game. And they did, with the latter DLC adding [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Medli]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Marin]], [[TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Toon Zelda]], [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds Ravio, and Yuga]], all but one coming from the handheld titles of the franchise.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDespair'' is this trope applied to the series' usual {{Metroidvania}} shtick. The playable characters are Alucard, [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Soma Cruz]], [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin Jonathan Morris, Charlotte Aulin]], and Shanoa, with [[DownloadableContent DLC]] in the form of Julius Belmont, [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Yoko Belnades]], [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood Richter Belmont]], Maria Renard, ''[[{{Retraux}} 8-bit]]'' Simon Belmont, [[GuestFighter and]] [[VideoGame/GetsuFumaDen Getsu Fuma]]. In other words, you have characters from 1476, 1691, 1792, the early 1800s, 1944, and 2035/2036, as well as Alucard (effectively immortal, but theorized to have been born in the 13th, 14th, or early 15th century), all interacting with one another. Bizarrely {{justified|Trope}} in that the events of the game take place within a cursed book called the Grimoire, where both Castlevania and the various heroes and villains across time have come to life.
* ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' is a car enthusiast's Dream Match Game. Where else does a gearhead get to see the rarest, most ultra-exclusive multimillion-dollar hypercars trade paint and battle for position?
* In ''VideoGame/{{Forza}},'' that's where. What can be better than seeing the rarest, most ultra-exclusive multimillion-dollar hypercars trade paint and battle for position? By making them the [[Series/TheDukesOfHazzard General Lee]] and [[Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit Bandit]], or slapping on your favorite motor sport team's colors, or competing with the ''Franchise/JamesBond'' cars, or take the cars from Need for Speed and have them go up against the ones from ''Series/TheFastAndTheFurious,'' or ''VideoGame/RidgeRacer'', heck Forza 6 actually did just that.
* Wrestling/{{WWE}}'s games occasionally added "Legend" characters to their rosters but the first straight example of a full "dream match" would probably be ''Legends of [=WrestleMania=]'' in 2009, which had a lineup of classic WWF characters to play as from the company's heydays as well as the ability to import present-day wrestlers from ''WWE [=SmackDown=] vs. Raw 2009'' (which is what vaults it into this territory). The first game to use this concept as an entirely standalone premise (not requiring the player have a copy of a different game to achieve this) would be ''WWE All Stars'', although it was less of a wrestling game and more of an exaggerated fighting game. Nowadays everything is played straight in the core series (currently known as "''WWE 2K''") where not just legend wrestlers are on the roster but so too are classic venues and classic attires.
* The ''VideoGame/NBA2K'' series has been the mainstay of dream match sports titles that have seeped into other franchises such as ''VideoGame/JohnMaddenFootball'' where you can have the 72 Bucks, 96 Bulls, 99 Lakers, 80 Lakers, heck the actual DreamTeam of your choice complete with throwback and old jerseys.