The best fighting games to play in 2022

Fastest fingers at the ready, these are the best fighting games you need to pick up right now and play, regardless of your abilities

best fighting games: various fighting game characters stand on a Tekken stage

What are the best fighting games? Although the fighting game community has had a touch time in the last couple of years, the genre continues to grow in popularity and accessibility. There are few things in gaming that provide a high-intensity, one-on-one experience like a good fighting game, and today there are more choices for the best fighting games than ever before.

But while the field of fighting games is vast and only continues to expand, the whole genre still has a pretty small player base when compared to other competitive games. Still, some of the best fighting games are mammoths in their own right, and learning to master them is all part of the fun.

So what are the best fighting games in 2022? Well from classics like Street Fighter V to indie options like Skullgirls, fighting game fans are spoiled for choice. So get practicing your combos, because these are the best fighting games right now.

The best fighting games are:

  • Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
  • Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
  • Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Tekken 7
  • MultiVersus
  • Killer Instinct
  • Guilty Gear Strive
  • Skullgirls

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate

NetherRealm Studios’ latest iteration of the Mortal Kombat franchise is easily the most content-rich fighting game of the last five years. The Ultimate edition wraps all of its new characters and game modes in a single package to get new players right up to speed.

Inside, players will not only find a sprawling, 37-character roster full of Mortal Kombat classics and special guest characters like Robocop and The Joker but also a plethora of side content that leaps far past the competition.

Suppose you’re not interested in online competition. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate has an impressive, eight-hour cinematic story mode and a whole boatload of unlockable to customize your favourite character that you can then use in any of the game’s versus modes. Each of these makes this one of the best fighting games for hardcore fans and casuals alike.

best fighting games: Sora and Mario shake hands in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of the best fighting games of all time and that’s because it features one hell of a character roster. With over 80 playable characters from Mario, Ness, and Kirby to leads from iconic series like Final Fantasy, Minecraft, and Street Fighter – there’s something for everyone in Ultimate.

Plus, with offline and online modes that can cater up to eight people at once, Ultimate gives some of the other games on this list a run for their money.

best fighting games: a fighter looks at the palm of his hand

Tekken 7

If you’ve always been a Tekken fan, then naturally you’re going to gravitate towards Tekken 7. It’s still a 3D fighter, offering some of the best movement in the genre. If you’re looking for a fighting game that offers you more creativity in attack and defence, then Tekken 7 is for you.

Plus, with a grounding in martial arts, you can pick a character that fits your fight style – and what’s better than that?

best fighting games: Adventure Time in MultiVersus

MultiVersus

MultiVersus is the newest game on this list and while it’s just finding its feet, it’s certainly made a big first impression. If you’ve ever wanted to slap someone as Shaggy or spin someone into submission as Taz, then this is the game for you.

With dozens of characters from the Warner Bro’s universe, including the world of DC, Looney Tunes, and Cartoon Network, MultiVersus’ offerings is honestly incredible.

And the best bit of all? It’s free.

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition

Similar to Mortal Kombat 11, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition consolidates four seasons’ worth of content into a single package.

Since its arcade origins, Street Fighter has been a cornerstone of the fighting game community, and Street Fighter V is no different. With explosive but straightforward, ground-focused gameplay, the lessons you learn in Street Fighter V easily transfer to other games.

Due to its old-school origins, you’d be hard-pressed to find a fighting game player who doesn’t know how to play Street Fighter, so if you’re interested in learning and growing as a player, consider picking this up.

Just be sure to either upgrade your existing Street Fighter V game with the Champion Edition upgrade pack or purchase the standalone edition, otherwise you’ll have to buy the majority of the game’s 40+ character roster separately.

best fighting games: killer instinct players fight against one another

Killer Instinct (2013)

2013’s Killer Instinct is a beloved game for many reasons – from its incredible rollback netcode to hyperactive gameplay that hits a perfect balance of reads versus reactions, there’s something for everyone.

Where combos in other fighting games are largely a one-player experience where the attacker gets to display their execution mastery and the defender gets to prepare themselves for the next interaction, Killer Instinct’s combo breaker system keeps both players involved and active at every moment of the match. There are few games that will make you flip from feeling like a genius to an idiot across the span of 30 frames.

While the game’s age means that randomly queuing up for a match will take some time, there’s a diehard community full of players who keep the game alive, making Killer Instinct a very personal game.

best fighting games: two characters fight in guilty gear strive

Guilty Gear Strive

Strive is the second Guilty Gear game on this list and the newest in the franchise. Guilty Gear Strive maintains all of the style, creativity, and flair that the franchise is known for and sands down the edges to make for an experience that’s every bit as kinetic as previous games but less demanding on the execution front.

There’s nothing quite like getting in on the ground floor of a new fighting game and learning and developing alongside the rest of the community. Strive is also another game on this list with exemplary netcode.

Getting into it at launch will place you at the perfect point to learn a new fighting game, because there will be no shortage of people to play at whatever skill level you’re at. So if you’re looking for a fast game with a young community, look out for Guilty Gear Strive when it launches.

best fighting games: Skullgirls Squigly fights against peacock

Skullgirls 2nd Encore

This indie fighting game has seen a miraculous resurgence. After eight years, it received its first season pass, adding four additional characters to its eight character roster, breathing new life into the game in the process.

As a game, Skullgirls is an incredibly creative team fighter, not unlike Marvel Vs Capcom. While its roster is small, each character can provide a variety of different things to your team because, uniquely, Skullgirls allows you to use any attack in their move list as an assist. This, a solid tutorial, and the ability to pick your team’s size, make Skullgirls one of the easier team games to get into.

Whether you’re new to the genre or a veteran looking for something new to play, you can’t go wrong with any of these picks. They are, after all, the best fighting games you can play right now.