A renewed interest in the fighting game genre seems to be giving it a resurgence. Some popular classics and new titles appeal to both veterans and new fans looking to experience the genre for the first time. From remastered classics to niche anime revival games and immortal legacy competitive titles, the fighting game genre has started to blossom again in 2021, with an even brighter future ahead.
Here are the best fighting games available in 2021.
Guilty Gear Strut
Guilty Gear Strut was recently named best fighting game at the Game Awards 2021, and rightly so. Although the series has been with previous titles like Guilty Equipment Xrd and Rev 2, these years Guilty Gear Strut has managed to attract a new audience of fighting game veterans and new fans that has surpassed any other current game in the genre.
Developed by Arc System Works, the latest installment is true to the anime-inspired aesthetic of the series and has made the gameplay more accessible to reach a larger audience. With stunning characters and unique mechanics, Guilty Gear Strut has proven to be the perfect entry-level title for new fans looking to join the fighting game community.
Guilty Gear Strut was released in June 2021 and is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Street fighter v has been around for five years and is still considered the king of all fighting games. Released in 2020, the Champion Edition included 40 different World Warriors and added new mechanics that have kept the title at the forefront of the fighting game community for both competitive and casual gamers.
Street fighter v is the legacy of the fighting game community and one of those titles that will always be a top contender for new fans and veterans. With additional character favorites like Akira, Luke or Dan and Rose, Street fighter v has proven itself to be one of the best ongoing fighting games ever.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition was released in 2020 and is available for PlayStation 4 and PC.
Demon Slayer (Kimetsu No Yaiba): The Hinokami Chronicles
There are fighting games that are more like competitive play, and there are fighting games that are more suitable for casual gamers. The Hinokami Chronicles are the latter. This is another anime arena fighting game that has been hailed for its vibrant aesthetic and is true to the anime it was taken from.
Developed by CyberConnect2, Demon Hunter (Kimetsu No Yaiba): The Hinokami Chronicles was only released worldwide last October. Although the game has been criticized for its small list, the latest update added more characters to the game and a new 60 fps mode for next-gen consoles. It may not be suitable for more competitive players, but fighting game fans looking for a more casual experience might find exactly what they are looking for in this title.
Demon Slayer (Kimetsu No Yaiba): The Hinokami Chronicles was released in October 2021 and is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and PC.
Mortal Kombat 11
Developed by Netherrealm Studios, Mortal Kombat 11 was released in 2019 and is still considered one of the most popular fighting games for both competitive gamers and those more interested in the narrative aspect of the series. Its critically acclaimed Story Mode offers fans an amazing end to the story and an engaging battle between Earthrealm warriors and Kronika’s forces. With a list of 37 characters and a large number of popular guests such as Rambo, The Joker or The Terminator Mortal Kombat 11 is one of those games of the genre that every fighting game fan should try out.
Mortal Kombat 11 was released in 2019 and is available for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ was released worldwide in 2018 and developed by the same creators who recently launched the critically acclaimed Guilty Gear Strut.
Based on the popular Dragon ball Franchise allows players to choose a team of three characters, and features an impressive combat system and extensive character roster. The base list includes 21 different characters and 19 other characters released through FighterZ Passes and DLC, for a total of 43 characters to choose from. The game has sold over eight million copies worldwide and is still considered one of the best fighting games of the past few years and was named best fighting game at the Game Awards the year it was released.
Dragon Ball FighterZ was released in 2018 and is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown
Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown is Sega’s fifth part in Virtua fighter Series and was released as an exclusive title for PlayStation 4 just this year. The series has been around for decades and features some of Sega’s most classic fighting games.
The game comes with updated graphics and some significant improvements to its competitive elements. With 17 returning characters and three additional new ones, this improved, remastered version of the original game was released on the occasion of Sega’s 60th anniversary. It comes with a “Legendary Pack” that contains the music from all of the games in the Virtua fighter Franchise and new items for character customization.
Virtual Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown is available for PlayStation 4.
Melty Blood: Lumina type
Melty Blood: Lumina type is a 2D fighting game developed by French-Bread. As the fifth part of the Melty blood Series, most of the game mechanics are very similar to their predecessors. However, the game includes several new elements, such as the Rapid Beat auto-combo and special movements in the New Moon systems. The addition of more modern systems such as the valuable Rollback Netcode and a new lobby system have given this title renewed popularity this year.
Based on the Japanese visual novels known as Tsukihime, Melty blood Series is known for their unique anime art style and some eccentric character designs that make this one of the niche anime fighting games out there.
Melty Blood: Lumina type was only released last September and is available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.