The game is a simple port of King of Fighters '95, with 8 playable characters, unusually set up in several different teams of 3 combinations. About half the roster is missing, which only contains Kyo, Mai, Ralf, Clark, Choi, Chin, Andy and Robert.
There are two major revisions of this game; one contains a final boss and ending, while the other is missing both and just loops infinitely.
There are also two hacks of this game, called The King of Fighters 98 and The King of Fighters 99; each replaces the 7 in the title screen with a crudely drawn 8 or 9, and updates "Announcing the 1997 King of Fighters tournaments" in the intro to contain its respective year.
- Unusually, there is a "TM" next to the KoF '97 logo.
- This game is sometimes known as "Colour 2001 Streetfighter II" based on a cartridge label found on an NT release.