Battle Arena Toshinden (Batoru Arīna Tōshinden) is a fighting game for the PlayStation. It was one of the first fighting games to boast polygonal characters in a 3D battle arena, rather than the traditional side-to-side fighting space that had been popular since Street Fighter II. The player could use the L/R trigger buttons to step "toward" or "away from" the camera to dodge attacks or get a better angle for an offensive strike. It was an early killer game for the PlayStation, and Sony promoted it eagerly. However, they soon left the series, which was published by Playmates Interactive. By that time, fighting games like Tekken started emerging and Battle Arena Toshinden quickly lost popularity and was completely forgotten by the public after spawning Battle Arena Toshinden 2, 3, and 4.
Battle Arena Toshinden was the first 3D weapons fighter, and was succeeded in spirit by Soul Edge and other games of the genre.
Battle Arena Toshinden also had an anime based on the game.
For one year, Master Swordman Eiji Shinjo has been haunted by the memory of his battle with the renegade champion, Gaia - a battle that was cut short by the forces of the malevolent syndicate known as "The Organization." Denied victory, Eiji left the tournament followed by his opponent's mocking laughter. Worse still, Eiji walked away no closer to finding his long-lost brother, Sho.
But now, a mysterious warrior is hunting down the champions of the previous tournament and using their own moves against them.
Who is this powerful, new foe and who will be his next target? Eiji and Kayin - his closest friend and greatest rival - attempt to unravel the mystery before they, too, join the ranks of the defeated. The answer lies at the heart of the Organization and its plans. At last, the ultimate battle between the greatest fighters in the world may be decided.