The fighting genre is the most competitive around. Designed specifically to take on another player, these titles have passionate fanbases that are equal parts passionate and cutthroat. While that can be intimidating for those new to this style of game, players who grew up in the fire adore their franchises and crave the competition.
Dating back to the arcade era, these titles have always been some of the most popular, and now, with online play more accessible than ever, they've only become more recognizable. Distinctive in its own right, each franchise has its own quirks that make it recognizable, and we want to highlight what makes them so great. So, with that in mind, here are 10 Current-Gen Fighting Games You Should Be Playing Right Now.
10 For Honor
Some fans of fighting games may scoff at this, but For Honor is the most unique game in the genre. Pushing away from traditional gameplay elements, players are thrown into a faction featuring historical warriors where they will join the battlefield and take on opposing sides. While moving through the battle, however, players will encounter other soldiers to take on, and that's where the fighting mechanics come in. Interestingly enough, this is another genre revolution of sorts, as players control the direction of their attacks and blocks when they lock into a duel.
Many fans of traditional fighters may scoff at the idea of For Honor being on this list but for all intents and purposes, this game is the biggest genre shifter on this list.
9 Injustice 2
When the DC Universe crosses Mortal Kombat you get... well, you get Mortal Kombat Vs DCU. But if we forget that game doesn't exist, we get Injustice, and its sequel Injustice 2 takes everything the original game created and cranked it to 11. Adding RPG elements to the genre, players can upgrade their fighters after every fight, and even alter their appearances.
Aside from that, the online mode is really fun, and the combat has a weight to it that other fighters simply don't have. This game feels like superheroes fighting, and that's great.
8 Dragon Ball FighterZ
Fans of BlazBlue have been singing the franchise's praises for years, but it's extremely high skill floor and lack of iconic characters always kept it sort of niche. So, when Arc System Works decided to put their high octane fighting game style in the Dragon Ball universe, it was only a matter of time before people took notice.
For those unfamiliar, BlazBlue is a fast-paced, team-based fighter with some beautiful visuals an incredibly competitive community. Dragon Ball FighterZ brings that same level of quality, but with characters from everyone's favorite anime.
7 Pokkén Tournament DX
Pokémon fans get a lot of fun spin-off titles, but none were this good. Developed by Bandai Namco Studios, Pokkén Tournament takes a lot of influences from Tekken. Originally releasing in Arcades and the Wii U, the title was popular, but the limitations of its console port held it back significantly. Now, however, the game is available on the Switch, and the community has only gotten bigger as a result.
To be fair, the mileage you get from this game is directly proportional to how much you enjoy Pokémon, but if you are a fan, there's nothing quite like this experience.
6 Tekken 7
Fans of Tekken know what they're getting into with each new entry in the series. Yet while the games do have a distinct feel, each new entry offers something new to keep players hooked. The newest entry one-v-one fighter is no exception to that rule either offering new fighting mechanics that can help players attack while being hit and dole out more powerful attacks. One of the coolest additions, however, has to be the slo-mo cam. When rounds get down to the wire and both fighters are at the edge of their health bars, the game will slow down for big moves. This adds an extra bit of flavor to a tense moment, making a victory even more impactful.
5 Soulcalibur VI
Soulcalibur has always been a really cool franchise with a fun roster of characters and an intriguing storyline. Yet, that always takes a back seat to the special fighter in every game. Dating back to the second entry in the series — which featured Link, Spawn, or Heihachi Mishima — fans of the franchise are only used to the biggest names in gaming joining the fight. Soulcalibur VI is no different in that regard as Geralt — famous from CD Projekt Red's The Witcher series — is playable from the start.
Bandai Namco marketed Soulcalibur VI as a new era for the franchise, and in many ways, it is. The weapons-based fighter has always pushed the genre forward, and now, with it's newest entry, it has again with the addition of some game-changing mechanics. Most notably, players can now block and reverse enemy strikes — completely altering the way the franchise has traditionally played.
4 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Dragon Ball Xenoverse is really what fans have always wanted in a Dragon Ball fighter. Allowing players to create their own character and customize every little bit of them, they play an integral role in the series' lore as they're tasked with going back in time to correct events of the past. Yet, while the story — which picks up shortly after the events of the original title — is fun, the combat is even better. Inspired by the actual anime, players can launch into the sky to frantically attack their foes in a chaotic fashion.
The real beef lies in online play. The game's servers can hold up to 300 players at once, meaning each area feels full, and there's little chance you won't be able to find a fighting buddy. This should be on any 3D fighting fan's "must play" list.
3 Killer Instinct
One of the big killer apps on the Xbox One, Killer Instinct's price of entry is free. Well, only a portion of the game, anyway. Each week, players can take control of a new fighter, while new characters are available with the purchase of new seasons or players can buy them individually. As a reboot of the popular fighting franchise, the game features a mind-boggling amount of game modes, including a story mode and arcade mode — both of which feature character-specific endings — along with Shadow Lab — which allows players to train CPUs to fight like them — and online/offline fights on top of other modes.
With a massive roster of 29 characters, there's surely a fighter that fits your play style best. And, for long-time players, there are classic skins that harken back to the old SNES days.
2 Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition
Street Fighter V may have been shrouded in controversy upon its release, but that doesn't make it one of the definitive fighters of this generation. In fact, its update, Arcade Edition, rectified most of those issues, completely altering its image in the eyes of players around the world.
In reality, Street Fighter V doesn't really deviate from the norm for the series. Instead, offering a refined experience that players can't get anywhere else. With an iconic roster full of characters as famous as they come — all of whom play extremely different than the rest — there's surely someone who will complement your style best. There's a reason why this is considered the definitive fighting franchise.
1 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Easily the most accessible fighting game on the market, Super Smash Bros. is a love letter to gaming. With a massive roster spanning the highest points of the industry's history, it's easily the biggest game in the series. It's also the best. Playing like Melee, long-time competitive players can hop in with the GameCube adaptor and that classic controller and feel right at home after a few playthroughs.
For newcomers, the roster alone should be welcoming enough, however, the "World of Light" story mode gives a fantastic single player with RPG elements that can ease players into the game pretty easily. Plus, there's a thrill that comes with unlocking the roster that's unmatched. There are hours of replayability in this title.