The next game in the series is similar to The King of Fighters. Like as before, a player must pick a team of 3 fighters then face other teams before reaching the bosses. However, instead of picking a pre-set team of three, there is now the option to pick anyone from any team opening up many possible combinations.
All fighters from the last game return with the exception of the USA Sports team (Heavy D!, Lucky and Brian) who have been replaced with Team Vengeance: Iori Yagami, Eiji Kisaragi (from Art of Fighting 2) and Billy Kane (from Fatal Fury series).
The bosses of the game are Saishu Kusanagi (Kyo Kusanagi's father) and Omega Rugal.