The King of Fighters 2003 is the newest release from the King of Fighters series. The game was released to Japanese arcades in December 2003. It was the last game in the series to run on the Neo Geo platform.
The series maintains its traditional format of a three-on-three battle along with six new characters and four classics who make their return. The system and rules have changed on the game: A "Multi-Shift" system has been added into the game, which allows players to change the team members even during the matches.
The "Tactical Leader System" allows players to pick a leader from the team. The leader can use the especially mighty "Super Special Leader Move" - this is more powerful than the "Super Special Move". In this game, there is no fresh start when a character is knocked out. When time runs out, the match is decided by the remaining amount of life energy of the surviving members.
There are a total of 32 characters available in this edition of the game. Teams and characters include; Hero Team: Ash Crimson, Duo Lon and Shen Woo Fatal Fury Team: Terry Bogard, Joe Higashi and Griffon from Garou: Mark of the Wolves (Tizoc) Art of Fighting Team: Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia and Yuri Sakazaki< Korea Team: Kim, Chang Koehan, Jhun Hoon Ikari Team: Leona, Ralf and Clark Outlaw Team: Gato, Billy Kane and Ryuji Yamazaki Women Fighters Team: King, Mai Shiranui and Blue Mary Benimaru Team: Benimaru Nikaido, Shingo Yabuki and Goro Daimon High School Girls Team: Athena Asamiya, Hinako Shijo and Malin K'Team: K', Maxima and Whip