What are the best fighting games? The fighting game community is one of the most passionate and competitive in all of gaming, and 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. Some of them even make up the best PS5 games and best Xbox Series X games right now.
So what are the best fighting games in 2023? Well from heavy hitters like Street Fighter 6 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
- Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Tekken 7
- Injustice 2 Legendary Edition
- Guilty Gear Strive
- Street Fighter 6
1. 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 favorite character that you can then use in any of the games’ versus modes. Each of these makes this one of the best fighting games for hardcore fans and casuals alike.
We also recommend playing this game before the Mortal Kombat 1 release date rolls around, so you can start practicing!
2. 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 to up to eight people at once, Ultimate gives some of the other games on this list a run for their money. Smash is arguably one of the best games series of all time, at least for how it brings friends together and it’s stellar competitive scene.
3. 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 defense, 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?
While a lot of attention at the moment is focused on the upcoming Tekken 8 release date and the roster of Tekken 8 characters, Tekken 7 is still doing a stellar job at holding the fort before the next installment arrives.
4. Injustice 2 Legendary Edition
Superheroes play a big part in current pop culture and entertainment, so it is no surprise that one of the best fighting games right now takes beloved superpowered characters and pits them against one another.
Developed by NetherRealm Studios, who already have a place on this list with Mortal Kombat 11, Injustice 2 takes plenty of DC characters and lets them fight it out in a range of game modes, from the story mode to the Multiverse. The Multiverse features varying rounds of enemies to fight, with adjustments that can make each fight interesting.
Injustice 2 also features a Gear system, with each character having a range of interesting equipment that can offer simple bonuses to complete move changes. The Legendary Edition is the complete package of the game too, with all DLC characters, some premium skins, an increased character level cap, and more.
5. 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 an 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.
6. 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.
7. Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter 6 has seen a major return to form for developer Capcom. The legendary fighting game series’ latest installment features a refreshed art style, a brand new Drive fighting system, and, as we note in our Street Fighter 6 review, a “revolutionary” approach to the traditional fighting game story mode.
With 18 unique Street Fighter 6 characters to choose from, mixing faces old and new, there’s sure to be a fighter for you. And if there isn’t… then just make one using its fantastic suite of customization tools.
That completes our list of the best fighting games right now. If you’re looking for something different to play, you can find our lists of the best PS5 RPG games or the best Xbox RPG games and find something new to play. Have fun!