Mortal Kombat 2
I don't consider myself that huge on fighter games, but I did play the classics quite a bit. Like all kids my age, I was instantly enamored by the violence that the Mortal Kombat franchise offered. I don't know how I managed to get my mom to buy the second game for SNES, but it was instantly a favourite of mine. Since I owned the game, I quickly became the best at Mortal Kombat 2 among all my friends. It would be a small little confidence boost, for sure, but I remember that I tried really hard not to be that obnoxious kid who would brag or rub it in my friends' faces.
The game was pretty controversial, being one of the most violent games released at the time. This was of course amplified by the character sprites which used real actors that were filmed and put into the game. This was a drastic difference from the cartoon violence that the pixel-based sprites offered in other fighters. Also, Mortal Kombat 2 offered a wider variety of gory 'fatality' finishers that helped fuel both the controversy as well as adolescent interest.
Mortal Kombat 2 was my favourite of the MK series, and I feel it was that perfect balance of cool and campy between the first and third iterations. Thinking back, I have probably sunk more hours into MK2 than any fighter game since.