Top 10 fighting games to get into in 2022

As far as multiplayer titles go, fighting games are the most enjoyable of the bunch, as players can challenge each other to test out their skills or settle real-world beef in a relatively less hostile manner. These games can have two or more players battle it out in an arena environment, from which only one side can leave victorious.

Fighting games have been around since the dawn of gaming and were some of the most popular titles in arcades, where kids could get into a bout of friendly competition with their friends. These days, fighting games come with an online mode that allows players to challenge people from all over the world as well as their IRL friends.

Throughout the last decade or two, there have been many fighting game releases that are either part of a long-running series or completely new titles. In 2022, players can choose from a plethora of fighting games to get into if they are looking for a competitive game to play with their friends. Here are 10 of the best fighting games to check out this year.

Note: This article reflects the writer’s opinion.


10 fighting games that showcase the best the genre has to offer

1) Tekken 7

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Tekken is an age-old fighting video game series that has its origins back in 1994. The game centers on the Iron Fist fighting tournament, which is also the literal English translation of the Japanese word, Tekken. The series has thrived since its inception and has seen many sequels, with the most recent one being Tekken 7 from 2015.

Tekken 7 consists of a large roster of playable characters, many of which are iconic to the franchise. Characters like the Jaguar mask-wearing King, the freestyle dancer Eddie Gordo, and the martial artist who was modeled after Bruce Lee himself, Martial Lee, are some of the most well-known names from the series.

Each character has a distinct fighting style and moveset, the intricacies of which are always different. Learning how to use a character to its full potential requires time, although the result is truly rewarding, as players will be able to access moves that astound their opponents.


2) Guilty Gear Strive

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The Guilty Gear series was first launched in 1998 by developer Arc System Works. It has since become quite popular and has expanded into a media franchise with manga releases and drama CDs. The main series of games consists of seven titles, with the most recent being Guilty Gear Strive, which was released on June 11, 2021.

The fighting game franchise is iconic for its technical gameplay, music, and artwork. Characters are depicted in an anime-like style that is designed to make them look immensely cool. In fact, the series’ fast-paced gameplay and design led to the foundation of an “anime” subgenre of fighting games.

Guilty Gear Strive, however, changed many mechanics from the originals, seemingly for the better. It removed many of the overtly technical aspects, introduced a new combo system, and balanced out a few moves to provide a better experience.

Its interesting cast of playable characters is still present, with their quirky and unique personalities, which makes character selection a fun dilemma.


3) Street Fighter 5

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Possibly the longest-running fighting game series, Street Fighter has been around since 1987. However, it was not until 1991 that this Capcom franchise saw a rise to prominence, with highly refined gameplay, the introduction of combos, and a large roster of characters to choose from.

Since then, Street Fighter has become a common household name when it comes to fighting games, as it has received many sequels and spinoffs that have kept the spirit of the game alive. Street Fighter 5 is the latest game to be released, although Street Fighter 6 is due to arrive sometime in 2023.

The previous title debuted with 16 playable characters, but the roster gradually increased to a total of 46 after five seasons of added content. With a mix of new and old characters, Street Fighter 5 remains one of the best fighting games in the genre, with its sweet-looking combos, character fighting styles, and iconic special moves.


4) Rumbleverse

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Released on August 11, 2022, by developer Iron Galaxy, Rumbleverse is a free-to-play battle royale fighting game. It does not function like any typical fighting game or battle royale game, as it is a full-on melee brawler. Players must completely rely on fighting opponents one-on-one or participate in a free-for-all brawl to be the last one standing.

Like battle royale titles, a total of 40 players are dropped onto a large open world, wherein they must loot and find items. In Rumbleverse, players will come across special unblockable moves that they can learn in each match, in addition to their basic attacks. These moves become part of their arsenal and must be utilized when they intend to fight opponents.

Like fighting games, players must deplete an opponent’s health gauge to perform a Knockout (KO), by using the moves that they have equipped. Melee weapons can be found around the map, which can give players an edge in battle, while they may use potions to refill their health & stamina or increase their strength.


5) Mortal Kombat 11

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Closely followed by the success of Street Fighter came another fighting game in 1992 that would also establish a franchise. Mortal Kombat took a different tone to distinguish itself from Street Fighter with an emphasis on gore, a fact that was gruesomely highlighted in the characters’ finishing moves, known as fatalities.

Fast forward three decades and Mortal Kombat is the go-to game for players who enjoy basking in their victories, possibly a tad too much. Mortal Kombat 11’s visceral take on combat is the best the series has to offer, with some truly spine-chilling fatalities (sometimes literally when it comes to Sub-Zero).

Aside from all the fighting though, Mortal Kombat 11 does contain some great fantasy lore in the background, which involves supernatural entities, various dimensions, and even time travel. The main characters are given some good character arcs and a few surprises are in store for those who are familiar with previous games.


6) Dragon Ball FighterZ

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Dragon Ball Z is one of the most popular anime to grace the global screens and thus has quite a large fan following. While there have been many fighting games that take place in the world of Dragon Ball, the most recent of these, and the most artistically brilliant to look at, is Dragon Ball FighterZ.

The game is a 2.5 D versus brawler, where players can pick characters from a large roster of Z warriors and their enemies to battle each other or go up against AI opponents. The cell-shaded art style captures the look and feel of the anime, while also greatly increasing the wow factor of the combat and super moves.

Dragon Ball FighterZ has an original plot that does not relate to the main story of the anime and manga. It does get updates that add new characters from the original works while also expanding upon the game’s story.


7) Injustice 2

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The sequel to the popular DC fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, was released in 2017 and served as a significant upgrade to its predecessor. Injustice 2’s roster of characters was increased to twice the size of the first game, while it also improved upon many existing characters and their movesets.

The game adds a gear system, using which players can unlock different cosmetic and functional gear for each character. Since the gear drop is a random factor, all of player’s characters look distinct and have a different loadout, depending on the gear they are equipped with.

The fighting in this game is quite addictive as it involves some great combos that are specific to each character. Button mashing would not be the solution here as different characters function differently and have unique passive or active abilities along with a super move.


8) Skullgirls 2nd Encore

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Skullgirls 2nd Encore is a 2D fighting game that is the current version of the game that was originally known only as Skullgirls. The game was developed by Reverge Labs and released on April 12, 2012, for PlayStation and Xbox users. It later got upgraded releases for PCs and PS4, when it was renamed Skullgirls 2nd Encore.

The story revolves around an artifact known as the Skull Heart that grants wishes to women. However, if someone with an impure heart were to use it, she would be changed into a monster known as a Skullgirl. The playable characters in the game each seek out the Skull Heart, as they have their plans for it. While some wish to destroy it for good, others only want to use it for their own needs.

Gameplay is modeled after Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, wherein players can control a different number of characters. They may either take part as a team or as a single character, with both options having their pros and cons. A mobile version of the game that incorporates RPG-like progression, customization, and deck-building mechanics is available for Android and iOS devices.


9) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Super Smash Bros. is a long-running fighting game series by Nintendo that started in 1999. It featured several characters pulled in from different IPs that Nintendo owned and was in partnership with, but no official explanation as to how they are interacting has ever been given.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the latest entry in the series, which sees the addition of several new characters, new stages, and powers. Unlike traditional fighting games, players are not required to deplete their opponent’s health bar. Instead, they have to knock them off the stage by constantly dealing damage.

A number of different modes exist for the player to choose from, where they can play locally or online. They can participate in a group, in team matches or solo, in an all-out last-one-standing scenario in free-for-all rounds. All characters have alternate outfits and colors that they can equip, as well as utilizing attacks and items iconic to the world that they hail from.


10) MultiVersus

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Since Smash Bros. is a Nintendo property, it remains a Nintendo Switch exclusive, meaning that PC, Xbox, and PS users will be missing out on that particular experience. However, with the release of MultiVersus just a few days ago, PC and console users alike can enjoy a very similar experience.

The game is basically Super Smash Bros. but with characters from IPs owned by Warner Bros. (seeing as the game is from WB Entertainment), such as DC, Game of Thrones, Scooby Doo, and many more. It is a free-to-play title and is now available in select locations around the world.

The gameplay is quite similar to Nintendo’s fighting game and sees up to four players battle it out in a 2D platforming arena. The goal is to knock off as many opponents as possible, with the player having the least KOs winning the match when the timer ends.

While MultiVersus currently has 17 playable characters, more will be added in the coming weeks.


Q. Do you enjoy playing flighting games?


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