The 30 Greatest Fighting Games of All Time

On this page you ’ ll find a celebration of the best fighting games of all fourth dimension. Our picks include classics that have stood the screen of time vitamin a well as recent juggernauts that have earned their locate among the elect. We ’ ve weighted our list towards gameplay and durable impact more than anything else, putting feature lists and single-player content on the backburner. We ’ ve included competitors from respective unlike disciplines, but all of them capture that fantastic desegregate of dedication, contest, and all-out fun that have made the writing style so invigorating for decades .
For this list, we focused by and large on traditional active, which means you won ’ thyroxine find wrestle, box, mix soldierly arts, or any games that are based on real-world sports. With that out of the way, let ’ s get to the fight .
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30. Injustice 2  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC • iOS • Android / Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Developer: NetherRealm Studios / Release: 2017
You might not think NetherRealm ’ s ultra-violent sensibilities would mix well with DC Comics ’ all-ages brands, but the studio behind Mortal Kombat knocked it out of the park with the Injustice series. NetherRealm ’ s gory finishers morphed into extraordinary superhero slapstick in Injustice 2, but the tone works amazingly well. While the single-player floor wasn ’ thymine deoxyadenosine monophosphate firm as the foremost crippled, NetherRealm ’ s combat was more dressed, earning Injustice 2 a devoted following on the competitive lap. even after hours of knockout superhero brawl, we inactive giggle with hilarity when The Flash travels through meter to smash Superman ’ s head against a T. king.

29. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Platform: PS3 • 360 / Publisher: Atlus / Developer: Arc System Works, Atlus / Release: 2014
Appealing to two different audiences is no easy feat, but Atlus managed to please Persona fans and fighting game enthusiasts with Persona 4 Arena. As a sequel, Ultimax continued the RPG-influenced floor and refined the original active concepts, resulting in a absorbing fusion. It provided new characters based on a diverseness of novel gameplay mechanics, and it didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate scant on the cutscenes. It sat in an curious center labor between genres, but Ultimax had something for every kind of fan .

28. Dead or Alive 4  

Platform: 360 / Publisher: Tecmo / Developer: Team Ninja / Release: 2005
In the early months of the Xbox 360 ’ sulfur life, the comfort was desperate for quality games to show off what the new coevals could pull off, and Dead or alive 4 fit the bill perfectly. One of Dead or Alive ’ s most mechanically sound entries, the one-fourth entrance featured an in-depth counter system and an impressive charge of fluidity in animation. It was besides the first in the series to feature on-line looseness ( a knickknack in 2005 ) .

27. BlazBlue: Central Fiction   

Platform: PS4 • Switch • PS3 • PC / Publisher: Aksys Games / Developer: Arc System Works / Release: 2016
The stories in fighting games are frequently viewed as inconsequent, but the complicated narrative in BlazBlue is a big character of its appeal. central Fiction served as the satisfying conclusion to a long-running bow, but it besides delivered on the fight battlefront, with 35 playable characters competing in matches that encouraged dysphemistic meet. The highly technical bouts reveled in their complexity, making central Fiction a rewarding entrance for seasoned players .

26. The King of Fighters XIII  

Platform: PS3 • 360 • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Atlus / Developer: SNK / Release: 2011
As most fighting-game series were switching to 3D models and simplifying inputs, the King of Fighters series stuck to its ex post facto guns, and for hard-core fans, the results spoke for themselves in XIII. A overwhelm of chain supers and drive cancels mixed with the series ’ staples of multiple leap out types and three-man teams to deliver one of the most complex, old-school fighters around. The gorgeous 2D sprites and backgrounds, meanwhile, have aged better than most of their polygonal contemporaries, giving King of Fighters XIII a character unlike anything else out there today .

25. Bushido Blade

Platform: PS1 / Publisher: Square / Developer: Light Weight / Release: 1997
Bushido Blade answered the question, “ How farseeing would you concluding in a real swordfight ” with demoralizing clarity : “ credibly not very. ” The PlayStation bet on featured duos battling for domination, but its high-stakes combat was far removed from what the rest of the fighting-game genre was attempting. here, battles could be over in a flash the here and now combatants let their guard down. skilled players could parry, roll, and use the terrain to their advantage, creating fights that felt equally cinematic as they were brutal .

24. Skullgirls  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS3 • 360 • Vita PC • Mac • Linux • iOS • Android • Arcade / Publisher: Marvelous / Developer: Reverge Labs / Release: 2012
A distribute of fighting games are inspired by zanzibar copal, but few look as a lot like a cartoon come to animation as Skullgirls. Before Dragon Ball FighterZ was even a dream, Reverge Labs ’ visually stunning combatant wowed us with chaotic team-based battles and a roll of atrocious hand-drawn fighters. fortunately, Skullgirls ’ complex but approachable combat proved its smasher was more than skin-deep. An extensive tutorial system eased newcomers into advanced tactics, and its fluid action made Skullgirls a hard fighter to put down .

23. Killer Instinct  

Platform: Xbox One •  SNES • Game Boy • Arcade / Publisher: Midway, Nintendo / Developer: Rare / Release: 1994
In an era where “ Mortal Kombat versus Street Fighter ” arguments calm permeated the resort area, Rare brought in a newcomer to challenge the status quo. Killer Instinct ’ randomness visuals and audio were mind-boggling at the time. Ticking up the jazz band meter to absurd heights while the boisterous announcer lost his mind over your accomplishments was always satisfying. The original may not hold up deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as its contemporaries, but its impact is undeniable. Plus, the current Killer Instinct is a well-regarded champion that established a model for updates that many early fighters have followed .

22. Tekken 3  

Platform: PS1 • Arcade / Publisher: Namco / Developer: Namco / Release: 1997
Tekken 3 was one of the most impressive sequels of its clock, shaking up the foundation to the point that the roll offered more new faces than returning ones. Namco besides refined the combat in a number of key ways, such as limiting jump heights and adding new evasive maneuvers ( which include sidestepping ). Executing 10-hit combos felt incredible, and mastering Lei Wulong ’ s numerous fighting stances required a big degree of skill and offered something we didn ’ t see much of in fighters at the time. The truest testament of its place in history : Tekken 3 hush plays capital nowadays .

21. Soulcalibur VI  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC / Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment / Developer: Project Soul, Dimps / Release: 2018
After a brief hiatus following the publish of the solid-but-divergent Soulcalibur V, Project Soul delivered a knock-down return key to form in Soulcalibur VI. A boot that brought back several fan favorites to make the style companion to fans who ’ d lapsed from the series, it besides improved combat by choosing components from every other entry. It wasn ’ triiodothyronine afraid to move forward, either, with a reversal edge proficiency that changed the tempo of each match and singular fictional character traits that gave its classic characters newfound depth .
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20. Mortal Kombat X  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC • iOS • Android / Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Developer: NetherRealm Studios / Release: 2015
We ’ re still big Mortal Kombat fans, and X shows why. NetherRealm simply never stops revitalizing its authoritative series, or the music genre as a solid. While the ghastly x ray attacks and absurd fatalities still delivered the gore MK was founded on, a wealth of modes and multiple active styles for each quality gave fans more ways to compete than always. The Living Towers mode besides added massive doses of replayability, with constantly changing scenarios. Mortal Kombat X ’ s intuitive matches left us wanting more, and with Mortal Kombat 11 out this week, we ’ ra not complaining .

19. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PS3 • 360 • Vita • PC / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom, Eighting / Release: 2011
in the first place seen as a morsel of an oversimplification of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 ’ south freeform jazz band system, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 proved to be its own formidable animal. Armed with one of the most divers rosters this side of Smash Bros., players finally found infinites, glitches, and more ways to extend life-ending jazz band into the hundreds. With some ingenuity, you could combo practically anything into anything. The asymmetry and chaos worked on some strange degree, turning into a game that kept players tinkering and spectators riveted for years .

18. Street Fighter Alpha 3  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS2 • PS1 • Dreamcast • PSP • GBA • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 1998
Arcade-goers expected more of the same from the third iteration in the series, but Street Fighter Alpha 3 shook up Capcom ’ s tried-and-true recipe with the addition of three fighting styles called “ isms. ” Being able to harness the fight run of Street Fighter Alpha : Warriors ’ Dreams ( A-ism ), Street Fighter Alpha 2 ( V-ism ), and Super Street Fighter II Turbo ( X-ism ) wholly shook up the accelerate, discourtesy, and refutation for each quality. Alpha 3 besides added more defensive strategies with perfect stop time .

17. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate  

Platform: Switch / Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Bandai Namco, Sora Ltd. / Release: 2018
Using Ultimate as the subtitle for an entry in a long-running series is dangerous, particularly when the Smash Bros. purists already know their personal darling ( yes, you ’ ll see it belated in this tilt ), but the latest Smash Bros. earns the term. Featuring every quality that has ever appeared in Smash Bros. and more on the manner, Ultimate represents the pinnacle of the series in terms of content. It besides nailed its moment-to-moment combat by hewing closer to the high-speed fight of Melee .

16. Dragon Ball FighterZ  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PC / Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment / Developer: Arc System Works / Release: 2018
FighterZ may be one of the more recently released games on this number, but we ’ ra convinced in its placement and honestly would not be surprised to see it place even higher if we revisit this list in the future. Plenty of Dragon Ball fighting games have come and gone, but FighterZ is easily the best. Along with being a fantastic contend game on its own, it did an amazing problem of emulating and improving on the visuals of the source corporeal. It found a beachhead in the competitive circuit right away, and Arc System Works has only improved the game post-release.

15. Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves  

Platform: PS4 • 360 • PS2 • Neo Geo • Vita • PC • iOS / Publisher: SNK / Developer: SNK / Release: 2001
As proper a bon voyage as any series can ask for, Mark of the Wolves ended Fatal Fury ’ s run before folding wholly into the King of Fighters series on a simple-but-elegant, high note. It featured the Tactical Offense Position ( T.O.P ) system, which asks players to choose whether they want to be powered-up ( and gain entree to new extremely moves ) when their health is high, medium, or low. This forces you to make a gambit before a match flush starts : Do you want to establish an early leash, or save room for a clutch rejoinder ? It doesn ’ metric ton trust on besides many detailed gimmicks ; this combatant international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine afraid to stand potent on its fundamentals .

14. Virtua Fighter 5  

Platform: PS3 • 360 • Arcade / Publisher: Sega / Developer: Sega AM2 / Release: 2007
Virtua Fighter has always had a repute for being one the most technically healthy 3D fighters out there, and no submission proved that more than Virtua Fighter 5. The 17 combatants were balanced, rich in moves, and each required a different mentality to control. This is one of those fighters that rewarded you for taking time to understand the nuances of each quality, and the time of their move delivery and animation follow-throughs. You can ’ metric ton push button mash your way through this one .

13. Darkstalkers III  

Platform: PS1 • Saturn • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 1997
This horror-themed series owes vitamin a much to Capcom ’ s work with Marvel Super Heroes as it does to movies like Frankenstein and Dracula. Characters were constantly in motion, closely filling the screen with high-quality ( and much hilarious ) animations. Thanks to the Dark Force System, players could spend a dowry of their super to perform limit particular movies, such as summoning Sasquatch ’ s united states army of penguin pals. While the series has gone dead, characters including Morrigan and B.B. Hood much join the rosters in Capcom ’ s other series .

12. The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS3 • 360 • PS2 • Xbox • Neo Geo • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Playmore / Developer: Eolith / Release: 2005
For King of Fighters 2002, Eolith went back to the basics for a series of three-on-three battles that became the most-polished entry in the series. At the time, KOF 2002 included every character from all former King of Fighters games, giving fans an unprecedented total of dream match-up. This impressive roll made KOF 2002 highly replayable, as players experimented with different teams and had to learn the respective interactions between all fighters. tied a ten and a half late, Unlimited Match placid lives up to its royal title .

11. Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark Of The Millennium 2001  

Platform: PS2 • Xbox • GameCube • Dreamcast • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 2001
Capcom ’ s early, less-famous crossing series went for break as a celebration of fighting games. not lone does its roll deliver a who ’ s-who of the two most reverence developers in the genre at the time, but its identical DNA is a beloved letter. Its six clear-cut “ grooves, ” each bearing one of the letters from the acronym “ CAP SNK, ” basically altered how you played. Want to dish out Street Fighter Alpha ’ s customs combos ? Choose A-Groove. Want Mark of the Wolves ’ Just-Defends and Samurai Shodown ’ second rage meter ? Go for K-Groove. A proportion system besides let you power up your best quality, making for a champion with a stagger degree of customization .
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10. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition  

Platform: PS3 • 360 • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom, Dimps / Release: 2010
When it primitively released, Street Fighter IV was largely responsible for the mainstream revival of fighting games. It garnered an hearing beyond the usual genre devotees, and Super Street Fighter IV : arcade Edition ’ randomness 2012 while represents the pinnacle of that original game ’ sulfur development. With an excellent survival of cool characters, plus libra tweaks that polished battle to a mirror shininess, this is the authoritative direction to experience one of the most influential modern fighters .

09. Samurai Shodown II  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS3 • 360 • Wii • PS1 • Neo Geo • Neo Geo CD • Neo Geo Pocket Color • PC • iOS • Android • Arcade / Publisher: SNK / Developer: SNK / Release: 1994
Weighing in at 202 MB on a Neo Geo cartridge, Samurai Shodown 2 was a sequel built autonomous of the original game, giving developer SNK more freedom to innovate. The changes included a more diverse affect set dwell of the ability to break enemy weapons, dodge roll, and parry. These abilities combined to create singular strategies, with players looking for windows to disarm their opponent or deliver a potent fatal strickle. SNK continues to pump out fighting games, but none have delivered volume on the lapp level as Samurai Shodown II .

08. Guilty Gear Xrd  

Platform: PS4 • PS3 • PC / Publisher: Arc System Works / Developer: Arc System Works / Release: 2014
The Guilty Gear series has long been known for its flood of arcane systems, cancels, and crafty jazz band, but Xrd found an incredible balance between stripping the chaff without losing the essence fans of its aggressively stylish and busy legal action had come to love. Boasting an immaculate anime artwork dash in the Unreal Engine and a roll that constantly asks you to learn new mechanics and approaches without overwhelming you, Guilty Gear Xrd is a champion ’ s active game, and even five years into its life cycle, it can hush rock with the best of them as the crown bejewel in developer Arc System Works ’ diverse fighting-game catalog .

07. Tekken 7  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment / Developer: Bandai Namco Studios / Release: 2017
The latest submission in the celebrated 3D fighting franchise is besides its best. Bandai Namco continued to update and improve the series with a more dynamic and impactful television camera, an expanded ramp organization, and a massive roll full of new and fan-favorite characters. While the floor mode offered an uneven termination of the decades-old competition between Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima, the congress of racial equality gameplay silent had incredible depth for devoted fans, with 100-plus moves to learn and master for every champion .

06. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes  

Platform: PS3 • 360 • PS2 • Xbox • Dreamcast • iOS • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 2000
The contend genre is no strange to mashing up disparate franchises to create games with divers casts, but Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was arguably one of the most ambitious attempts to pit superheroes against television game characters. Each of its 55 characters were meticulously animated with beautiful 2D sprites and you could play with three at a clock to pull off screen-filling jazz band that are mind-bending tied by our mod, true hardened standards. It besides introduced us to the “ I wan sodium take you for a drive ” menu music, which is now stuck in your forefront. You ’ ra welcome .

05. Soulcalibur  

Platform: 360 • Dreamcast • iOS • Android • Arcade / Publisher: Namco / Developer: Project Soul / Release: 1998
Like most classical fight games, Soulcalibur in the first place released in arcades. however, Namco ’ s weapon-based combatant cursorily became synonymous with the Dreamcast thanks to a stellar establish port that actually upped the visuals of its arcade harbinger. Fighting fans fell in love with the freedom of Soulcalibur ’ s eight-direction movement and indulgent jazz band system, and the divers, weapon-focused fight was accentuated by a draw of memorable characters. flush today, Soulcalibur still feels distinct, making it not only the best Dreamcast game of all time, but one of the best fight games, equally well .

04. Mortal Kombat II  

Platform: PS3 • 360 • PS1 • Saturn • Sega 32X • SNES • Genesis • Sega Master System • Game Gear • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Midway / Developer: Midway / Release: 1993
The first Mortal Kombat gained notoriety for its extraordinary ferocity, but the sequel gave it credibility as a fighter. There were still enough of shocking moments and ghastly fatalities, but it was all supported by more lease fight mechanics. It was besides stuffed to the brim with secrets, including banteringly alternatives to finishing your foes, such as babalities and friendships, that broke players ’ brains in arcades .

03. Super Street Fighter II Turbo  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS3 • 360 • Wii U • PS2 • Xbox • PS1 • GBA • Dreamcast • Saturn • 3DO • Amiga CD32 • Amiga • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 1994
Super Street Fighter II Turbo was the climax of a string of incremental updates to Capcom ’ s classical combatant, adding newly jazz band types and introducing the populace to a flame-haired fellow named Akuma. Street Fighter II was in many ways the aboriginal reference point point for the music genre, and this interpretation is its most polish form. As a testament to its relevance, it ’ mho even played competitively at Evo – not bad for a game that ’ s older than many of its players.

02. Super Smash Bros. Melee

Platform: GameCube / Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory / Release: 2001
Super Smash Bros. doesn ’ t function traditional fight game mechanics, and it ’ mho one of its greatest strengths. That, and it features some of the greatest video plot characters of all time all mashed up into one fabulously fun brawler. We adore Smash Bros., with or without items, as there is good something supremely satisfying about taking master of Link and using him to send Mario flying off the side of a floating platform with a absolutely timed Smash attack. Melee stands tall as the fastest and most mechanically polished entrance in the series to the point that even three console generations by and by, it is still a tournament staple .

01. Street Fighter III: Third Strike  

Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PS3 • 360 • PS2 • Xbox • Dreamcast • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 2000
How do you improve on a global phenomenon and writing style discovery like Street Fighter II ? By implementing techniques the genre had birthed since that momentous plot ( such as throw-teching and enhance specials ) to create pitch-perfect pace over three renditions, then throwing in a potent new catalyst : hedge. If you dare to risk it all by pressing advancing preferably back when an attack is about to land, you can turn the momentum of a fight in your favor on a dime bag. Throw in some jaw-dropping fairy animations, a soundtrack that borrowed from a wealth of genres, and a hurl that mixed previous favorites and creep, and you have Street Fighter III : third gear Strike, the best fight game of all meter .
This article primitively appeared in the May 2019 publish of Game Informer .

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