There's no doubt that fighting games are popular. Whether its Mortal Kombat II or Tekken 5, you're sure to have a favourite fighting game. We've rounded up the 18 best ever fighting games. Read on to see what made the list.

18: Fighters Megamix

Fighters Megamix wasn't a game of epic worlds clashing or legendary heroes meeting for the first time on the battlefield. No, with characters from Virtua Fighter Kids, Sonic: The Fighters (the oft-forgotten Sonic the Hedgehog brawler), and even a Hornet from Daytona USA as playable combatants, Fighters Megamix looked more like Sega's entire think-take dumped a hodge-podge of random ideas into the tried-and-true Virtual Fighter engine. And it was awesome.

Don't believe me? Try battling it out with the entire cast of Fighting Vipers as a Mexican jumping bean named ‘Deku', and tell me that's not ten flavours of awesome.

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17: Tobal

Square's first PS1 game was called Tobal No. 1, which was a 3D fighter amongst 2D pretenders. Whereas most fighters back then and today purport to be 3D despite relegating almost all movement to just left and right, Tobal allowed and encouraged you to move towards and away from the screen, in addition to approaching and retreating from your opponent. The graphics, while extremely blocky, ran smoother than any other fighter of the 32-bit era, which allowed the diverse movesets of the unique characters (designed by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama) to truly shine.

If other audiences had gravitated towards this game, we'd probably be extolling the virtues of the Japan-only Tobal 2, which improved the graphics in a big way, while boosting the Quest Mode to RPG length, and increasing the playable character roster to over 200(!) characters.

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16: Killer Instinct

Ah yes, who can forget the cheese-filled awesomeness that is Killer Instinct? Developed by Rare, this fast-paced fighting game is like Mortal Kombat on speed. On top of the announcer yelling out "ULTRAAA COMBOOO" when a chain of hits on your opponent was successfully achieved, Killer Instinct is also remembered for its colorful cast of combatants.

KI featured a velociraptor, a sword-wielding skeleton, a creature made out of ice, and a buttload of other memorable characters. Hell, the game even let you play as a Tibetan Monk.

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15: Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

One of the strangest video game collaborations ever, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe not only brought the infamous series back to its off-the-wall cheese ball roots, but it did so with Batman. Beat that. Even with the game's outrageous premise, the sheer amount of characters, stages, and insane special attacks, including a number of old favourites, was more than enough to make up for the game's unfortunate Teen rating.

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NEXT PAGE: WWF No Mercy and Fight Night Round 3

  1. The must-have games if you like fighting
  2. WWF No Mercy and Fight Night Round 3
  3. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and Guilty Gear X2
  4. Our top five fighting games

For more games news, reviews and free games downloads, see Games Advisor

If you're a fan of fighting games then check out our round-up of the 18 best fighting games ever.

14: WWF No Mercy

WWF hit the pinnacle of its popularity around the beginning of this decade, with its video games following suit. Whereas early 3D wrestling games were crude and clunky, and modern ones are crazy and complicated, AKI's wrestling engine was perfect for the squared circle.

No Mercy featured an amazing amount of moves (but kept the control scheme simple), boasted a large amount of match types while making them all enjoyable, and offered an extremely deep (yet approachable) create-a-wrestler mode. Like Goldeneye, No Mercy is a game that keeps drawing gamers back to Nintendo's two-generation-old console. It's just that good.

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13: Fight Night Round 3

With immensely popular franchises like Madden, FIFA, and Tiger Woods, EA has been the leader in making the best realistic sports video games for a long time. And their boxing series, Fight Night is no exception as the boxing franchise that only gets better with each new edition. If you've never played Fight Night Round 3, you should. It's the strongest game in the series, introducing bone-crushing Impact Punches and mind-blowingly realistic boxers.

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12: Virtua Fighter 5

Like most fighting games, Virtua Fighter 5 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 pits two players against each other in a tournament, introducing new and familiar characters from the series. The implementation of a ranking system differs from the previous series with a pseudo-RPG element of gaining experience points to achieve a prestigious title depending on the winning percentage. It's come a long way since the original title with blocky polygonal shapes, making this arcade series an all-time hit with the fans.

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11: Dead or Alive 4

The first new-generation fighter to be released, Dead or Alive 4 still makes a strong case as the best one. With a plethora of fine fighters - including a bevy of bosomy babes and a Halo character cameo, amazingly fun multi-tiered stages, and a robust online versus mode, Dead or Alive 4 was the pinnacle of Team Ninja's Xbox 360 output.

Dead or Alive 4 has the accessible gameplay and titillating graphics of the previous entries, coupled with a great batch of new features. This is a fighting game that can stand in the ring with any major series.

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10: Fatal Fury - Mark of the Wolves

Taking place 10 years after the original Fatal Fury, 1999's Mark of the Wolves chronicled new and old SNK characters alike in one of the most intense fighting games to date. With a brand new fighting engine unique to the franchise, Mark of the Wolves also featured some of the finest 2D animation to date. With one of the most diverse yet evenly balanced casts of any fighting game, Mark of the Wolves was a revolution for not only the Fatal Fury franchise, but the fighting genre itself.

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NEXT PAGE: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and Guilty Gear X2

  1. The must-have games if you like fighting
  2. WWF No Mercy and Fight Night Round 3
  3. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and Guilty Gear X2
  4. Our top five fighting games

For more games news, reviews and free games downloads, see Games Advisor


If you're a fan of fighting games then check out our round-up of the 18 best fighting games ever.

9: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out

From start to finish, Punch-Out is a unique fighting experience that no other game (its sequel excepted) has really matched. Featuring Little Mac, gaming's greatest underdog, squaring off against a cast of memorable characters with unique moves, Punch-Out is a game that's equal parts fighter, rhythm, and puzzle. Figuring out when an opponent will throw a punch and how to counter it best is done in an extremely different way than most brawlers, and we're confident the upcoming Wii iteration will uphold that tradition.

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8: Guilty Gear X2

Despite all of the other 3D fighting games at the time of its release, Guilty Gear X2 stays true to the 2D comic book look, inspired by Heavy Metal, with an eclectic character-driven story mode, featuring new and bizarre characters such as the seductive I-No and the androgynous Bridget. The culmination of combos and attacks form the greatest explosion of graphical eye-candy and provides one of the best rock/thrash/metal soundtracks to accompany the game.

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7: Street Fighter IV

It finally happened. After six separate arcade releases of Street Fighter II, a live-action movie, an original animated film, and a couple television series later (not to mention a little game known as Third Strike in between), Capcom finally buckled down and created the fourth installation in the legendary Street Fighter franchise - and, man, what a long way we've come! The World Warriors are back in glorious 3D with the fourth installment of the Street Fighter franchise, seeing a firm return to series roots.

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Based in a 2D environment, Street Fighter IV plays like coming home; a familiar cast of characters (not to mention an amalgam of kick-ass new ones), memorable special attacks with next-gen overhauls, and beautifully detailed stages are all prominently featured in this epic title. Don't believe us? We challenge you to one round of button mashing, fireball-flinging gameplay, and we can almost guarantee an instantaneous conversion.

6: Super Smash Bros Brawl

A typical fighting game consists of two players battling against each other over 2-3 rounds, but Super Smash Bros. breaks out of that tired convention, allowing a variety of crossover characters in a brawl with up to four players at once. The side-scrolling and interactive stages add an additional challenge to the battle system, where each iconic character may use different abilities based on their original attributes without getting knocked out of the boundaries. SSBB has an ever-expanding cast of original Nintendo characters and third-party cameos, making it easy to jump in and knock-out a buddy or two with one of your favourite brawlers.

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NEXT PAGE: Our top five fighting games

  1. The must-have games if you like fighting
  2. WWF No Mercy and Fight Night Round 3
  3. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and Guilty Gear X2
  4. Our top five fighting games

For more games news, reviews and free games downloads, see Games Advisor


If you're a fan of fighting games then check out our round-up of the 18 best fighting games ever.

5: Soul Calibur

A Dreamcast classic and the second addition in the Soul series, this timeless game is practically untouchable. With an eight-way directional system so you can kick ass from all ends, 20 memorable and incredibly detailed characters that only grow better with more use, and the illustrious tech roll to top it all off, how can you go wrong? Sure, Soul Calibur IV is by far the graphically superior iteration in the series, but the original Soul Calibur will always be our favorite in the franchise.

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4: Mortal Kombat II

MK2 is perhaps best remembered for possessing some of the most violently bloody digital sprites of the entire fighting game genre. With the introduction of memorable new characters such as Baraka and Kitana, the moves get increasingly more ridiculous in addition to new fatalities, babalities, and friendship finishers. Nothing is more satifying than landing a combo on a dazed and helpless opponent, winning the round with the ultimate finishing move.

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3: Marvel vs Capcom 2

Where gamers have spent the past year debating the logic of placing DC comic book characters into a Mortal Kombat game that issue of believability, never really seemed to be an issue for Marvel vs. Capcom. To be completely honest, the 'why' and 'how' was the least of anyone's concerns. When you line up a team consisting of Iron Man, Strider Hiryu and Spider-Man himself, the 'why' doesn't even come close to mattering.

The snap-backs, assists, and ridiculously over-the-top team-based attacks, however? That's what mattered. Complimented with amazing gameplay, smooth 2-D graphics and an enormous roster of characters, Marvel vs Capcom 2 changed the way gamers looked not only at company crossovers, but fighting games in general.

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2: Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection

This always-solid series added two key features when it jumped to the PS3. The high-def visuals were a major improvement upon the already amazing-looking PS2 version of Tekken 5. The online gameplay boiled down the multiplayer experience to its arcade essence. You watch two people fight, then belly up to the (online) machine and try your luck.

If you lose, you go back to watching. Of course, there's a great deal of offline depth, as well as tons of replay value for those who enjoy customizing their character, which makes Tekken 5 the top title available on the PlayStation Network Store. Now where's our Tekken 6, Namco?!

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1: Street Fighter II

Do we really need to explain why Street Fighter II, the ultimate example of a kickass fighting game, is at the top of this list? In many ways, Street Fighter II is responsible for shaping the fighting genre. Even to this day, Capcom's 2D one-on-one brawler is played as fervently as when it was released way back in 1991.

With a solid art design, blistering-fast-paced fighting, a roster of memorable characters, and signature special moves like Ryu's Hadouken, Street Fighter II did just about everything right. Like chess, tic-tac-toe, and bloody knuckles, Street Fighter II is a game that will never get old and things will only get sweeter once Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix hits PSN and XBLA.

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  1. The must-have games if you like fighting
  2. WWF No Mercy and Fight Night Round 3
  3. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and Guilty Gear X2
  4. Our top five fighting games

For more games news, reviews and free games downloads, see Games Advisor