7 Best Fighting Games you need to play in 2024

Melvin Mathew
Jin Kazama, Ryu and Scorpion

From Street Fighter 6 taking the helm as one of the best fighting games to Mortal Kombat 1, 2023 was an amazing year for fighting games. With the release of Tekken 8 right around the corner this year, we’ve compiled a list of the best fighting games you need to immerse yourself in.

Be it the Shoryuken or the brutal fatalities, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that fighting games have had a huge influence on gaming history and pop culture as a whole. 

From movie adaptations to iconic collaborations, fighting games have been around since the 1970s,  when Sega released the first game to feature fist fighting called Heavyweight Champ.

This was when the golden age of arcade video games began. The likes of Tekken and Mortal Kombat were still far off, and what ruled the roost were classic retro games like Space Invaders and Street Fighter II.

After almost 50 years of releases, there are definitely some fighting games that stand out when compared to the rest. Let’s take a look at some of these games.

Mortal Kombat 1

mortal kombat 1 fight screen
Mortal Kombat 1 is the latest entry in the beloved franchise.

What better game to start off the list than the one that literally became the cause of age ratings back when it was first released? There have been a total of 23 Mortal Kombat games since the first game came out in 1992. While there are certainly some better than the rest, Mortal Kombat 1 serves as a good starting point for the series.

After 11 mainline games, Mortal Kombat has accumulated a ton of stories and rich lore, which, even though it is really fun to immerse oneself in, might overwhelm new players. Mortal Kombat 1 resets the timeline after the events of the last game serving as a soft reboot to the franchise.

Furthermore, the game even has a road map set for various DLC characters from pop culture media, such as Homelander from The Boys and Omni Man from Invincible. If not for the brutality, Mortal Kombat 1 definitely deserves a try for its diverse roster of characters.

Guilty Gear Strive

Guilty Gear Strive gameplay
Guilty Gear Strive is a fantastic fighter with anime artstyle.

Being over the top might prove to be quite a hassle when games like Mortal Kombat are out there. However, Guilty Gear Strive strikes the perfect balance setting the gold standard of anime-style fighting games with intricately designed characters and fast-paced action-packed fights.

Although Guilty Gear Strive isn’t the first game in the series, Arc System Works’ flagship game didn’t achieve widespread success until Guilty Gear Strive, and for good reason. It’s brash, extravagant, and features some of the whackiest characters ever put on screen.


cover art for Brawlhalla
Brawlhalla is a great free-to-play fighting game.

If Mortal Kombat 1’s DLC characters weren’t enough to hook you in. Worry not, as Brawlhalla features probably one of the biggest and most diverse rosters of characters, ranging from Ben 10 to Shovel Knight. Brawlhalla is an amazing game to play with your friends, as the game supports up to eight players at a time.

Unlike other games on this list, Brawlhalla is free and supports cross-platform gameplay, which essentially means that you can play the game even on your phone or handheld console, even if your friends are playing it on PC or PlayStation.

Street Fighter 6

A screenshot from the game Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter 6 is the newest entry in the franchise.

Almost every time fighting games are talked about, the first image your mind might conjure up would be Ryu and Ken fighting in 2D poses as Ryu strikes with a Shoryuken. This is a testament to the level of impact Street Fighter has left on fighting games as a whole; some might even call the franchise a cultural media milestone.

Street Fighter 6, the latest entry in the legendary series, doesn’t disappoint and goes over and beyond to deliver a phenomenal fighting game experience that continues the legacy of Street Fighter while also making a name for itself. The game goes on to refine the already distinctive visual flare that established the series, making it one of the best next-gen fighting games to experience.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Z fighters fighting Cell, Buu and Frieza in Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 2D fighter featuring iconic characters from the Dragon Ball franchise.

Anime fans have always been lucky when it comes to fighting games, with games like Granblue or even Guilty Gear providing exquisite gaming experiences. Dragon Ball Z, the Shonen cult phenomenon, has had a plethora of fighting games throughout the years, with the likes of Budokai Tenkaichi still being praised by fans to this day.

FighterZ stands apart from other Dragon Ball games in this regard. Developed by the same team as Guilty Gear Strive, Arc System Works, FighterZ is a game in the vein of Mortal Kombat that offers a good mix of technical fighting and brutal combat. The game allows you to pick from an ensemble of characters drawn from every chapter of the Dragon Ball saga. It’s among the greatest fighting games ever made, even better than its predecessors. 

Tekken 7

Bandai Namco Entertainment
Tekken 7 is one of the most celebrated games in the series.

With Tekken 8 set to release in 2024, players are looking forward to seeing Jin Kazama go face-to-face with his father, Kazuya Mishima, in what seems to be the final confrontation of this renowned duo. While we’re yet to see how the game will fare when compared to its predecessors, until then, you can count on Tekken 7.

Bandai Namco wanted to show that it was still the best at 3D combat, and with Tekken 7, they certainly delivered. With precision-based controls and a large roster of characters to choose from, Tekken 7 is one of the finest games in the series, with some even comparing it to the critically acclaimed Tekken 3. Whether the game is better than the legendary Tekken 3 is up for debate, but it definitely delivers when it comes to brutal combo systems and an overall enjoyable fighting game.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Cover art for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a great fighting game crossover!

Ever wondered who would win in a fight against Rocket Racoon and Phoenix Wright from Ace Attorney? Well, now you can find out thanks to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3! Capcom delivered what can be considered the most outlandish game on this list, as it allows you to pit well-known Capcom characters such as Dante and Vergil against the whole host of Marvel characters.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 lets you focus on using your teammates and special powers rather than worrying about remembering combos and buttons. This means you can just mash buttons and see your favorite characters brawl it out on the screen.

Those were 7 of the best fighting games you should play in 2024. For more gaming content, check out some of our other recommendation lists below:

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