While 1st person shooting games and sports games get a majority of the mainstream love, nothing beats a great fighting game. While Street Fighter is the series that is played the most in tournaments and professionally, there are a number of titles that offer fun and unique fighting game experience. Here’s our list of the 20 best fighting games ever made. Before we get started, check out some great titles that make our honorable mentions list: Injustice 2, Tekken 6, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Mortal Kombat (2011), Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Mortal Kombat X, Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
20. Street Fighter x Tekken – This isn’t a title usually discussed when going over the best fighting games of all time, but Street Fighter x Teken did a great job of blending the two worlds created by previous Street Fighter and Tekken titles while placing characters in a game engine similar to the popular Street Fighter IV’s. The gem system to me was a dud but besides that, the game is well-balanced and fun to play through, once.
Available for: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Playstation Vita
19. Street Fighter Alpha 3 – Street Fighter Alpha 3 remains one of the most popular Street Fighter titles to date. Credited with breathing new life into the fighting game world, the game shipped with 28 characters and the Gameboy Advance Version had even more characters. Introducing the franchise to Karin, Cody, and R. Mika, the combo system and air recovery system in Street Fighter Alpha 3 make the game a real pleasure to run occasionally.
Available For: PSone, Arcade, Game Boy Advance, PS2, Sega Saturn, and Sega Dreamcast.
18. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is essentially what the initial Marvel vs. Capcom 3 should have been. With a very interesting line up that served to introduce players to lesser-known heroes like Rocket Raccoon and Doctor Strange, the game doesn’t disappoint for either fans of Capcom or Marvel’s mythology. Overall, the game is a blast to play but it could have used more game modes to keep the community alive.
Available For: Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita
17. Injustice: Gods Among Us – Although this isn’t generally listed with other great fighting game titles, the game is equally as fun as it is frustrating. Somehow the titles places the superhero Superman in a somehow fitting villain role with Batman working with his team to foil Superman’s plans. With a cool yet outrageous story mode, the game has plenty to offer players including multiple game modes, fun local versus play and online versus play.
Available For: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, PS4 & Mobile
16. Super Smash Bros WiiU – The Wii U version of Super Smash Bros is a formidable fighting game title and one of the best Smash Bros. games in the franchise. Shipping with 35 characters and another 12 unlockable characters, Super Smash Bros Wii U captures the hearts of both the general fighting fan game and Nintendo fanatics alike.
Available For: 3DS, Wii U
15. King of Fighters XIII – King of Fighters is a fan favorite among fighting game fans though it wasn’t until King of Fighters XIII that the title won numerous awards across the fighting game community. The gameplay and speed of King of Fighters is very similar to that of Street Fighter IV though the game is much more difficult to master.
Available For: Arcade, PS#, Xbox 360, PC, Mobile
14. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown – Virtua Fighter 5 launched only costing $15! The low price tag doesn’t mean that the game was “cheap”. The game contained a surprising amount of depth and felt nearly impossible to master regardless of how much you played.
Available For: Arcade, PS3, Xbox 360
13. Super Smash Bros Melee – HAL Laboratory definitely did their thing on the Gamecube edition of Super Smash Bros. This game essentially created the fighting system that is still used in Super Smash Bros today. Shipping with 25 playable characters, including many Nintendo favorites. Super Smash Bros Melee will always hold a special place in fan’s hearts.
Available for: Nintendo Gamecube
12. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 – Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 won over Mortal Kombat fans with it’s extensive roster including Cyrax, Nightworld, Smoke, Kabal, and more. While it wasn’t generall received well, UMK3 makes this list due to the introduction of now iconic Mortal Kombat characters.
Available for: Arcade, Saturn, Genesis, SNES, GBA, Nintendo DS, PS2, PC
11. Killer Instinct – The original Killer Instinct title was a great game. With unique characters and face paced action, players spent countless hours working to master combos. Borrowing elements from the popular Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat series, somehow Killer Instinct always felt like it presented gamers with a unique fight game experience.
Available for: SNES, Arcade, Game Boy
10. Primal Rage – One of my favorite titles growing up, Primal Rage was a game that users first lined up at their local arcade to master before the title made it’s way to the home video game consoles. Allowing players to fight as beasts, Primal Rage was praised more for it’s premise than it’s gameplay. Allowing players to choose from a roster the chaos ensued from the second the screen flashed RAGE! Primal Rage never received a follow up so may the classic Primal Rage live on forever.
Available for: Arcade, PlayStation, PC, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, SNES
9. Blazblue: Calamity Trigger – Instead of the standard 3 round fighting game set up, Calamity Trigger introduced 5 round matches. Sadly the title only shipped with 12 characters, though the game was animated with a unique anime style, and the online play was phenomenal. It’s too bad Street Fighter IV was released around the same time ultimately outshining the strong title.
Available for: Arcade, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, PC
8. Mortal Kombat II – Introducing the brutality into the Mortal Kombat series, Mortal Kombat 2 debuted many fan favorite Mortal Kombat characters including Kung Lao, Baraka, Jax, and more while returning classic characters such as Johnny Cage and Scorpion. Next to Street Fighter II Turbo, MKII was the 16 Bit fighting game to own.
Available for: Arcade, SNES, Game Boy, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
7. Tekken 3 – Tekken 3 was the title that originally made fighting game lovers fall in love with the Tekken franchise. One of the first games to allow users to fight on a 3 dimensional field, Tekken 3 introduced players to the sidestep which added an entirely new element to the genre.
Available for: Arcade, PlayStation
6. Soul Calibur IV – A very complex game, Soul Calibur IV is an extremely difficult game to master. Giving users the ability to fight as characters such as Star Wars’ Yoda and Darth Vader really made this title stand out to me as the graphics were amazing and the opponents were challenging. Soul Calibur IV is easily my favorite title in the Soul Calibur franchise.
Available for: PS3, Xbox 360
5. Street Fighter Alpha 2 – Introducing Street fighter fans to Rolento and Sakura, Street Fighter Alpha II was a very well received Street Fighter title. It is fun to play through and the coloring and shading of the sprites is amazing.
Available for Arcade, SNES, PlayStation, Saturn, PC
4. Tekken Tag Tournament – Tekken Tag Tournament’s graphics were top of the line for it’s time. The animations and character moves still look amazing today. The game contained over 35 characters and even introduced fans of Tekken to new characters. Often hailed as one of the best PS2 games in general, Tekken Tag Tournament is the best edition to the Tekken franchise.
Available for: PS2, Arcade
3. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 – It was difficult for me to place Marvel vs. Capcom 2 at number 3 on this list and not at number one. Containing over 50 playable characters including fan favorites from both Marvel and Capcom’s worlds, the game easily has the best roster of any fighting game to date. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is also easily the best Marvel based video game released to date as well according to critic and fan reviews. Although the game had a superior character selection, the balance was also a little off but the game is extremely fun to play even today.
Available for: Dreamcast, Arcade, PS2, Xbox
2. Super Street Fighter II Turbo – Super Street Fighter II Turbo is a classic title that gave gamers a fast paced fighting experience that still took plenty of skill to master. This was the first Street Fighter title to add powered-up Super Combos, changing the Street Fighter landscape forever and Air Combos are a joy to pull off on your friends. For the first time in the series, the game had an adjustable speed setting so you can slow down the game if Turbo mode is too much for you. Hadoken!
Available for: Dreamcast, SNES, Game Boy Advance
1. Super Street Fighter IV – Super Street Fighter IV captures the classic Street Fighter spirit while providing enough innovation to create a fresh gaming experience. Credited with reviving the Fighting Game genre, Street Fighter IV still has many competitive players world wide. I still pop in my old copy of Street Fighter IV as opposed to practicing my Street Fighter V skills due to IV’s superior fighting system and character selection.
Available for: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, 3DS, Arcade