The premise of each game in the main series documents the events of the King of Iron Fist Tournament, hosted by the Mishima Zaibatsu. The prize is typically control of the company, which allows the winner to host the following tournament. After beating the game with each character, an ending cutscene is unlocked and usually one of the endings from each game becomes the continuation of the story into the following installment.
The story has largely revolved around the Mishima clan curse, which began narratively with Heihachi Mishima throwing his son Kazuya Mishima from a cliff when he was five years old. Kazuya was nearly killed from the fall, but through the influence of the "Devil Gene" he survived and swore revenge to his father by the time of the King of Iron Fist Tournament.