13 Best Fighting Games for Competitive Gamers | Fight Like a Pro


Fighting games have been the reason for establishing friendships and many great childhood memories. The fighting game genre is also responsible for a heavily competitive scene that has been going on for decades, whether in arcades, consoles, computers, etc.

The fact is that entertainment just never stops with these games. From Street Fighter to Super Mario Smash Bros. and Mortal Kombat to Tekken, these games have captured our imagination. 

So, once again, I’m here with a list of action-packed fighting games that have no limitations of adrenaline rush and absurd excitement. But before going through the list, I would like to say fighting games are more than just punches, kicks, and jumps. So,

What are Fighting Games?

Fighting scene between elf and werewolf

Fighting games consist of a battle domain, a playable character, and one or more opponents you would be fighting against. Each character has a health bar and is given a different set of abilities to use in a fight; as you can guess, the winner must drain the opponent’s health bar, or they must have a higher health pool before the time ends.

Fighting games traditionally have a side-view given to the player in 2D or 3D graphics. From martial arts to superpowers and the sheer pleasure of fighting one-on-one alongside or against your friends. Wow, I can feel the adrenaline rush just by writing such lines.

Moreover, raging and teasing your friends or some online players is a bonus for fighting games. But don’t forget to take frequent breaks. Not to mention character balancing and its consequences in the gaming community have always been controversial. So, after reading this, there must be a question popping into your mind, and that is

Two teams on sides playing virtual computer games

Let me take you back in time; the year is 1976 when SEGA developed the world’s first fighting game called Heavyweight Champs. So it was a two-player controlled fighting game. Since then, the world has seen the rise of a new gaming genre. 

Today, the fighting game genre is one of the most loyal gaming genres. Every year, we get to see a developed version of our beloved games. And if I have to talk about popularity, then just look at these numbers: 

These numbers are just amazing. By just looking at it, you can say that the world is mad about the fighting games. Now, let’s dive into some of the best fighting games that will suit your taste for the competitive playstyle.

Mortal Kombat (2011)

Source: Steam

Fighting games will not be complete without mentioning Mortal Kombat 2011, the ninth main title in the Mortal Kombat series. This Mortal Kombat game is a gem, giving off an atmosphere of the early 2000s that we all appreciate.

The fans are experiencing online multiplayer for the first time in the Mortal Kombat series. For Mortal Kombat fans, this game was a colossal reboot and filled up the expectations for most of them.

I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: this game is not for the faint-hearted and definitely not for kids. As a big grown man (which I am), some scenes from the game make me go bonkers! But that’s the specialty of the Mortal Kombat series. As the game says, if you have what it takes, then “Get Over Here”.

Release Date: April 19, 2011

Developer Name: NetherRealm Studios

Publisher Name: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

➡️ Check it out on Steam.



Disclaimer: Don’t fall for the cute nature of the Skullgirls; their comic-style fighting skills will annihilate you in seconds. 

Skullgirls is a 2D fighting game released in April of 2012. It was released on the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Arcade. In Skullgirls, players compete against one another in teams of one to three characters to eliminate their rivals or have the most health when the clock runs out.

Skull Girls consisted of beautiful hand-drawn 2D animations and backgrounds, acting as a medium between artistic expression and the fighting genre. So this is definitely recommended to those who love comics and don’t prefer much blood and gore in video games. But keep the disclaimer in mind. 

Release Date: April 11, 2012

Developer Name: Lab Zero Games

Publisher Name: Autumn Games

➡️ Check it out on Steam.

Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown


Nothing can beat the excellence of SEGA. Virtual Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown is the remastered version of VF 5. Moreover, the remastered version has taken things to a whole new level. The enhanced environment, the action sequences, the character development, and whatnot. 

Additionally, Ultimate Showdown offers downloadable content in the form of the “Legendary Pack”, which contains all of the background music tracks from the earlier Virtua Fighter games, a variety of character-customization costumes and items, and cosmetic options based on the first Virtua Fighter, such as different health bar, U.I. graphics, Jacky’s classic stage, and low-polygon 3D models for each character.

Release Date: June 1, 2021

Developer Name: Sega AM2

Publisher Name: Sega

Killer Instinct (Xbox One)

YouTube video

As they say, every element and force of nature is deadly. Actually, they are talking about Killer Instinct. One of the key highlights of the games is that there are characters inspired by the elements of nature like Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, and many more. 

Killer Instinct offers a unique gameplay design where instead of a single energy bar and two rounds, you are offered double energy bars in a single game.

The fans dreamed of a sequel for years; their wish was granted with this new entry, which has the fusion of the old and the new and also welcomes newcomers and veteran characters. Overall, it is one of the best classic modern F2P fighting games to date for everyone looking into the fighting genre.

Release Date: November 22, 2013

Developer Name: Double Helix Games and Iron Galaxy Studios

Publisher Name: Microsoft Studios

➡️ Check it out on Xbox.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

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I know most of you have been waiting for this: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a 3D fighting game, straight out of the box from Capcom Studios, which is a crossover between Marvel and Capcom and features some of the most iconic characters from both universes.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an update to the original game. The ultimate version of the game featured a staggering character count of 50 and even introduced newer faces like Nova, Rocket Raccoon, and Phoenix.

Preview Product Rating Price
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 - Playstation 3 Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 - Playstation 3 No ratings yet $81.49Amazon Prime

The game soon established itself in the area of intense gaming competition. Moreover, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournaments and events turned players into masters of their craft, executing mind-blowing combos and strategies. And, if you own a PS4, this is one of the best PS4 fighting games you can get today!

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Developer Name: Capcom

Publisher Name: Capcom

The King of Fighters XIII

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A milestone in the King of Fighters (K.O.F.) series is The King of Fighters XIII, which was released in 2010. The exquisitely hand-drawn 2D graphics in KOF XIII were among its most notable aspects. This is must must-play game for anime lovers out there cause the dialogues, the story, and the action will give you a taste of a classic anime battle. 

Preview Product Rating Price
The King of Fighters XIII [Japan Import] The King of Fighters XIII [Japan Import] No ratings yet $55.16

The attention to detail in the character sprites, the backgrounds, and its animations gives out the ‘behind the scenes’ dedication; they went with quality over quantity for this one. The game stands strong as a pillar among its competitors, giving out nostalgic-classic 2D fighter gameplay and a deeply immersive combo mechanic.

Release Date: July 14, 2010 (Arcade), November 22, 2011 (Console)

Developer Name: SNK Playmore

Publisher Name: Atlus (Console)

Dragon Ball FighterZ

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Do I have to define the popularity of the Dragon Ball Z franchise? Dragon Ball FighterZ is the first game we will check out, which has 2.5D (basically 2D with some scenes in 3D) graphics. Dragon Ball FighterZ (released in 2018) is an excellent option for Dragon Ball fans and offers a unique play style with every character being different.

Preview Product Rating Price
Dragon Ball FighterZ Nintendo Switch Dragon Ball FighterZ Nintendo Switch No ratings yet $24.66Amazon Prime

You can play up to 3 people in a team. The game is made in Unreal Engine 4, so it delivers that immersive Dragon Ball experience through its graphics. It never got into the competitive scene, sadly enough, but it seems to have a potential for it.

Release Date: January 26, 2018

Developer Name: Arc System Works

Publisher Name: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Tekken 7

Source: Steam

Tekken has been a fan-favorite series in the fighting game scene for a long time. It is the seventh main title we receive through its developers, Bandai Namco, released in 2015 in the arcades and in 2017 in consoles and P.C.

The plot continues from Tekken 6 in the form of a reporter’s perspective. The game has an excellent couch multiplayer game for 2 people and won’t let down on one’s expectation with the storylines and the gameplay mechanics it has to offer.

Preview Product Rating Price
Tekken 7 PS4 - PlayStation 4 Standard Edition Tekken 7 PS4 - PlayStation 4 Standard Edition 3,454 Reviews $20.20Amazon Prime

Tekken is one of the most lore-intensive and beloved fighting series in the fighting genre of video games and offers all the previous nostalgic characters to play and explore. Moreover, it is widely acclaimed as one of the best eSports games, and many e-sports tournaments are played every year. 

Release Date: March 18, 2015 (Arcade), June 2, 2017 (Console)

Developer Name: Bandai Namco Studios

Publisher Name: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Guilty Gear Strive

Source: Steam

Guilty Gear Strive is a 2D fighting game, technically the 7th main title in the Guilty Gear series, and upon its release in 2021, it took over the gaming community and player base by storm. This is a PS4 anime game that you can’t afford to miss. 

One of the key features of the game is that it allows players to manipulate time and space, and as a result, this game’s strength plays a significant part in the complexity of the game and its mechanics. Don’t worry. It also includes a “Simplified Control” option for efficiently performing complex moves.

Preview Product Rating Price
Guilty Gear Strive (PS5) Guilty Gear Strive (PS5) No ratings yet $59.99

The fluidic animations and graphical fidelity maintain the series’ iconic aesthetic while welcoming newcomers and pleasing veterans. Utilization of the Unreal Engine 4 and 2D art style has created a blissful interaction between the player and the game.

Release Date: June 11, 2021

Developer Name: Arc System Works

Publisher Name: Arc System Works

Street Fighter III: Third Strike

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Disclaimer: Don’t go on the graphics of the game or the retro look. This game is one of the most sophisticated fighting games of all time. 

Street Fighter III: Third Strike is considered the franchise’s most technical and hardcore entry. This game never had the mass appeal that Street Fighter 2 and 4 had. Those games were beginner-friendly, unlike Street Fighter III, which required you to be a seasoned franchise veteran.

Preview Product Rating Price
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike No ratings yet $203.95

If you want a mechanic-heavy fighting game with hundreds if not thousands of combos and counter combos, with Third Strike’s online practice mode to hone your skills against the A.I., this game is for you.

Release Date: May 12, 1999 (Arcade), October 4, 2000 (Console)

Developer Name: Capcom

Publisher Name: Capcom

M.U.G.E.N Souls

Source: Steam

M.U.G.E.N Souls is a free-roaming battle environment with turn-based combat and vast levels of customization and advancement to enhance player enjoyment.

Explore the vast worlds at your leisure to discover their treasures and other objects. Monsters are roaming the area, so be cautious, or confront them head-on and turn them into your obedient servants 

Free-roaming battle maps: Make excellent actions with your buddies by using combo strikes! To activate Hyper mode, destroy Crystals on the battlefield!

Release Date: October 22, 2015

Developer Name: Idea Factory

Publisher Name: Ghostlight LTD

➡️ Check it out on Steam.

Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[cl-r]

Source: Steam

Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[cl-r] was released in May 2015 on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. With mechanics similar to Guilty Gear and Melty Blood, it uses 3 attack buttons, with the 4th programmed to the “G.R.D.” meter. Characters below 30% health can use a super called Infinite Worth E.X.S.

Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[cl-r] has 10 playable fighters, but the roster reveal of the sequel showed that the game is expected to have 24 soldiers.

Preview Product Rating Price
Under Night In-Birth Exe Late(ST) (PS4) Under Night In-Birth Exe Late(ST) (PS4) No ratings yet $28.86

Release Date: September 20, 2012 (Arcade), July 24, 2014 (Console)

Developer Name: French-Bread

Publisher Name: Arc System Works

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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The ultimate crossover fighting game with platforming, everything about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a fever dream of every Nintendo fan. Nintendo heroes such as Kirby, Mario, Pikachu, Captain Falcon, Link, and Donkey Kong, along with a few “outsiders” with Xbox’s Banjo Kazooie, Final Fantasy’s Cloud, Sega’s own Sonic the Hedgehog and many more.

Dive head first into the fast-paced melee action with platforming maps from various Nintendo worlds and aesthetics. Each character has unique abilities that set them apart, which gives the game some vast variety. Launched in 2018, the game is still going strong with its regular updates, new crossover characters, and eSports tournaments at the highest levels. This is one for the collections.

If you have a Nintendo Switch console (and friends), then this is one of the best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games you can play right now!

Release Date: December 7, 2018

Developer Name: Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd.

Publisher Name: Nintendo

Author’s Verdict

Fighting games suit every scenario. Had a bad day at the office? Release your frustration with fighting games. Furthermore, want to spend some quality and fun time with friends and family? Play some fighting games.

No wonder fighting games are so popular. Lastly, the games listed in this post will fulfill your requirements for fun and can satisfy the competitive junkie inside you.

And, if you’re a massive fan of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you should also check out our list of the best Mario games on Nintendo Switch!

Ritesh Jha
Ritesh Jha
Hey there, I remember back in 2007 when I got my first computer and discovered the wonderful world of gaming through playing Mario. From then on, gaming has been a huge part of my life, and it's crazy to think that it's now my career! I love writing about all kinds of games and making sure my articles are both fun and accurate. By the way, if you ever want to challenge me to a game, I'm up for it!

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