There are no shortages of fighting games being brought out into the market. From iconic franchises that have been around for decades to new indie hits, the fighting genre is filled with games to pick from. In this list, we’re going to focus on the best fighting games available for the PlayStation 4.
#20 Dead or Alive 5: Last Round
Platform: Arcade, PC, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360
Release Date: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 February 17, 2015
PS3 February 24, 2015
PC March 30, 2015
February 17, 2015
October 3, 2016 (Steam)
Dead or Alive may get attention mainly due to its fan service, but beyond that, it’s a solid fighting franchise. One of the best installments is Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. This game came out in 2015 which is the final update to the Dead or Alive 5 based releases. Overall, you’re getting all of the content in here from the Dead or Alive 5 along with more character customization options, additional characters, and new stages. This is an arcade-style fighting game where both players that enjoy button mashing to seasoned tournament technique fighters will have quite a bit of fun.
Another aspect Dead or Alive is known for is the interactive levels, players will find that this game will throw players into levels and there’s a lot of them here. From throwing your opponent into a train, to tossing them off a skyscraper building, it’s always a treat to see just how the level will change up depending on your attacks.
#19 The King of Fighters XIV
Platform: PC, PS4, Arcade
Release Date: PS4 August 23, 2016
PC June 15, 2017
After making its debut in 1994, The King of Fighters franchise has dominated the 1990s through the 2000s. However, after 2010, we had to endure a long gap of missing installment releases, but that changed in 2016 with the release of The King of Fighters XIV. This is a 3D fighting title that has a rather robust selection of over 50 fighters. Fighters are all a bit different so it’s best to take the time and get an understanding of each character to know how to assemble a team during matches.
Overall, this is a fast-paced combo heavy game, and the only flack we’ve seen from this particular installment was the visuals. Fans of the franchise likely already dove into this game but at the very least, it’s a title that you can pick up today and get used to while we wait for the next installment, The King of Fighters XV which is already set to launch sometime later this year.
#18 Samurai Shodown
Release Date: PS4, Xbox One June 25, 2019
Stadia November 19, 2019
Switch February 25, 2020
PC June 11, 2020
Xbox Series X/S Q4 2020
SNK is a well-known developer that’s put out quite a few iconic fighting franchises over the years. One of those was Samurai Spirits, or otherwise known as Samurai Shodown, a relatively popular series since the 1990s but had a long gap of absent titles. The last installment we have seen for this franchise before the current release was in 2009, called Samurai Showdown Anthology, but in 2019 we got a brand new installment titled just Samurai Shodown.
This has been a reboot of sorts for the IP which used Unreal Engine 4 which also features a few returnees such as Haohmaru, Nakoruru, Galford, Earthquake, and Tam Tam. The developers even went on to make seasons for this game which means that players received quite a few other fighters added into the roster and it’s still receiving content with season 3 in the works. It’s not a game you can just jump into and button mash if that’s your kind of thing. Instead, this franchise is more about carefully planning attacks out with a more keen influence on defense rather than straight on offense.
#17 WWE 2K16
Platform: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android
Release Date: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 October 27, 2015
PC March 11, 2016
WWE is quite the popular entertainment sport franchise and it has seen a slew of video game installments as well. For this list we picked WWE 2K16. WWE 2K16 offered quite a few changes over its predecessor WWE 2K15 such as a new submission type mini-game where you’re working the joystick around in a circle in a cat and mouse chase sort of feature rather than just button mashing. Likewise, there’s also a limited stock of reversals that you can pull off. It makes it a bit more strategic going forward deciding when you should trigger a reversal against your opponent.
While the roster is also pretty stacked, you might find yourself being drawn to making your very own wrestler. Thanks to the diverse set of customization options players can create their own wrestler, an entrance, moves, among other attributes. There’s quite a wide range of unique fictional and historical figures players have created up and shared online. For those interested, this installment does feature the 2K Showcase which highlights an individual wrestler with WWE 2K16 centered around Stone Cold Steve Austin.
#16 BlazBlue: Central Fiction
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Switch, Arcade
Release Date: PS3, PS4 November 1, 2016
PC April 26, 2017
Switch February 7, 2019
BlazBlue: Central Fiction came out in 2015 for arcades but made its console debut the following year, 2016. If you’ve been following this BlazBlue franchise then this installment concludes the Azure Saga and is the last game with Ragna as the central focus protagonist. This is also the latest mainline installment to the BlazBlue video game franchise but unfortunately, the first to not feature an English dub. This is a 2D anime-style fighting game and there are quite a bit of game modes to chew through.
While there is the story mode to go through with a recap option to catch new players up with previous narrative events, there’s a variety of practice game modes along with competitive game modes. Not to mention, there’s the network option to take the competition online. Those that are familiar with the previous games can go through the title in what the game calls a Technical mode. This is a control setup that’s designed for experienced fighting players. However, there’s the Stylish mode that offers a more simplified control setup giving newcomers some flashy action without necessarily needing to know all the specific button combinations.
#15 Street Fighter V
Platform: PC, PS4, Arcade
Release Date: Original PC, PS4 February 16, 2016
PC, PS4 January 16, 2018
PC, PS4 February 14, 2020
Street Fighter V, the fifth main installment to the Street Fighter franchise, features the same style of gameplay the IP is known for although, there are some slight changes added to the overall gameplay. This title brought the introduction of V-Gauge which tosses in three new techniques: V-Skills, V-Reversals, and V-Triggers. When the V-Gauge is built up, players can access the three new techniques which allow their character to deliver powerful attacks or allow them to avoid these attacks from their opponent.
Just like other installments, Street Fighter V has a few different kinds of editions. For instance, the edition to go for is Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, or otherwise known as the Street Fighter V: Champion Edition. This not only comes with all of the previously released DLC characters but it adds additional game modes along with some balance changes. At the time of writing this description, Street Fighter V happens to be the last installment released so far, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before we start hearing news regarding when we can expect Street Fighter 6 to hit the marketplace.
#14 Injustice 2
Platforms: Android, iOS, PS4, XBO, PC
Release Date: May 11, 2017
NetherRealm Studios not only delivers the Mortal Kombat franchise but they’ve also brought out a fighting title based on DC Comics characters. Injustice: Gods Among Us, is a game that followed a timeline in which Superman took the world by force and made some strict laws and regulations when the Joker tricked the hero into killing Lois Lane. Now with a broken Superman, Batman manages to bring in the Justice League from another universe to help stop his regime.
Each character has their own set of moves along with the title featuring a diverse set of level backdrops. We even got a sequel with Injustice 2 which had the same gameplay mechanics as its predecessor but with a storyline that follows after the initial installment, but we’ll refrain some spoiling anything here. Gameplay is similar to the Mortal Kombat series and characters even come packed with their own big cinematic attack when triggered correctly.
#13 BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
Platform: PS4, PC, Switch, Arcade
Release Date: June 5, 2018
The BlazBlue franchise has been a strong fighting series over the years and we have another installment to add into the mix with BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. This time around the video game will feature 2v2 battles with a tag-in system. During the match players will be able to switch between characters on-the-go or automatically switch to their secondary character once their starter is knocked out.
You can expect a series of characters to return from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, along with RWBY. Currently, this is the latest installment available for the console platforms as well so you can likely expect the community to be pretty active still with this installment.
#12 Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3
Release Date: PS3, Xbox 360 November 15, 2011
PS Vita February 22, 2012
PS4 December 3, 2016
PC, Xbox One March 7, 2017
There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of Marvel Vs. Capcom video game titles. This franchise has been around since 1996 and over the years we’ve seen new installments released into the market in small bursts. In the late 1990s, we had a collection of titles launch then again in the early 2010s. For this list in particular we’re going to be focusing on Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. This video game came out for the PlayStation 4 on December 3, 2016, which as the title suggests, brings a crossover fighting event between Marvel and Capcom characters.
This is a 3v3 fighting title where players make up their teams and attempt to defeat the opposing side. Because of the wide range of characters, there’s quite a flashy animation showdown during battles. Everyone has something unique to bring to the table and best of all, the PlayStation 4 version of the game comes packed with all of the characters released including DLC characters that have since been removed online such as Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath.
#11 Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Release Date: February 4, 2016
PS4, Xbox One February 9, 2016
PC February 5, 2016
Switch April 24, 2020
Naruto is a massively popular manga and anime series. However, alongside the franchise is a slew of video games such as Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. This is a 3v3 style of fighting game where players can select from a large roster of iconic characters from the Naruto Shippuden franchise. Battles are just as flashy and stylish as you would see from the animated series, not to mention the ability to quickly swap characters to deliver a barrage of attacks is satisfying. Combat is simplified as well and it’s set across all the characters so there’s no need of learning every character’s move set. Not to mention that there are items that can be used during battles that could buff your health or even projectiles that can be thrown at your opponent.
Release Date: PC, PS4, macOS October 17, 2017
Xbox One, Switch November 6, 2018
Android, iOS August 6, 2020
Brawhlhalla has become essentially the free version of Super Smash Bros. Players are going to get a platform fighting game that takes a wide range of characters along with item drops to use as they duke it out with their opponents. There are even some notable characters from other IPs included in the mix. For instance, players can find characters from Shovel Knight, Tomb Raider, The Walking Dead, and Adventure Time just to name a few franchises.
It’s been a bigger hit as well these past few years. While it launched in 2017, the franchise is continuing to find new players today and it’s even become an Esports title. To top it off, this is a free to play video game so if you don’t already have it installed, nothing is stopping you from enjoying the game right now.
#9 Nidhogg 2
Release Date: PC, macOS, PS4 August 15, 2017
Xbox One July 18, 2018
Nintendo Switch November 22, 2018
Nidhogg was a breakout indie hit when it first launched. The game was simplistic where players were tasked with reaching the end of a level while facing against a combatant. Through the use of swords, players would go through the game with intense fencing matches and it wasn’t long after that we got a sequel. Nidhogg 2 makes some slight changes to the visuals and combat. Players are again tasked with a duel to reach the end of the level, but there’s a variety of moves that further expands on the combat. You have new weapons such as knives and bows, while retaining the fun intense gameplay the first Nidhogg installment was known for.
#8 UFC 3
Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: February 2, 2018
MMA has blown up over the years and with the help of promotional companies such as the UFC fans worldwide tune in to see some of their favorite fighters compete. The franchise doesn’t have a long line of video game installments to look back on but one of the better installments to have released is UFC 3. This game came out in 2018 where players could take control of their favorite fighters featured against other iconic athletes.
When you are not doing exhibition matches with established fighters, there is a career mode available. This is where you’ll make an MMA fighter and attempt to make it big in the UFC. Outside of fighting which feels overall fluid, there are a bunch more aspects that go into your fighter. You’ll have to train in various areas of fighting along with selling the fight itself. This is done through the likes of social media where you can overall just hype up the fight or feud with another fighter.
#7 Dragon Ball FighterZ
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: PC, PS4, Xbox One January 26, 2018
Nintendo Switch September 28, 2018
Dragon Ball FighterZ, at the time of writing this description, is one of the more recent video game installments for the Dragon Ball franchise. The video game was developed by Arc System Works, who also has been mentioned in this list for the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series. Within the title, players will choose three characters to fight and switch through during matches. However, for the story narrative, the game will follow a newly revived Android 16 and his army of androids that are designed to look like various characters.
There’s no shortage of Dragon Ball video game titles, but we can recommend this installment for just an overall solid 2.5D fighting gameplay experience. It can be easy to pick up for newcomers but also provide a solid challenge to those that wish to master their skills.
#6 Granblue Fantasy: Versus
Platform: PC, PS4
Release Date: PC March 13, 2020
PS4 March 3, 2020
Granblue Fantasy: Versus is a fighting game that’s based on the turn-based RPG, Granblue Fantasy. It’s developed by Arc System Works and made to be a bit unique or easy to understand with newcomers to the fighting genre. Overall, just like any fighting game, the goal is to eliminate the opponent, but you won’t have to rely on complex button combinations to defeat the enemy. Instead, with just a few taps of a button, you can pull off a generic combo attack.
There’s even a simplified system for special attacks that are set up for the directional pad. From there, you can execute a powerful attack that will enter a cooldown period. This title even has a beat ‘em up style story mode where players will fight against different enemy types as the progress towards boss battles. This title only came out in 2020 and there’s character passes in the works to give players even more fighters to add to their roster.
#5 Guilty Gear XRD: Rev 2
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Arcade
Release Date: Sign
PS3, PS4 December 16, 2014
PC December 9, 2015
PS3, PS4 June 7, 2016
PC December 14, 2016
PS3, PS4 May 26, 2017
Guilty Gear XRD comes from Arc System Works, a developer who we’ve mentioned before a couple of times in this list. They are pretty known in the video game industry for their fighting games and this particular IP can be a bit confusing if you’re new to the series. After starting in 1998, the Guilty Gear franchise received mainline installments, spin-offs, and even updated versions. This installment in particular is part of the updated version category of Guilty Gear games.
In particular, this is an updated version of Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- which is a follow-up title to Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- again we know this series can be a bit confusing with the titles. It’s your typical kind of anime fighting game, where its fast paced and filled with flashy fluid animation. As mentioned, this is an updated version of the game so players are not only going to receive balance changes to the character but new After Story gameplay and even two new additional characters added into the roster, Baiken, and Answer.
#4 Soulcalibur VI
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox one
Release Date: October 19, 2018
The Soulcalibur franchise has been around for years now. This franchise got its start back in 1995 and has continued to see new video game installments since with the latest at the time of writing this description being Soulcalibur VI. It’s a great game to jump into this franchise as well since it’s essentially a reboot to the series that cover the first two video game installments. Regardless of the narrative, it’s really about the combat and just as this franchise is known for, players will find that the game features combatants that all wield a unique style of weapon.
This game is pretty easy to jump into as well and it can feel very much like an arcade fighting game. It’s fluid and the wide range of characters to choose from will have you going through several matches to see just how each player handles. There’s also the added benefit of iconic guest fighters such as 2B from Nier: Automata and The Witcher’s series, Geralt of Rivia.
#3 Guilty Gear Strive
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Arcade
Release Date: June 11, 2021
Another installment to the Guilty Gear franchise came out in 2021. Guilty Gear Strive was developed to be a new thrilling take for the franchise, although the developers at Arc System Works didn’t throw out the playbook here. Instead, they offered some revamped mechanics and features, including more notable in fighting video games. That includes the environment transitions.
When a player executes a specific move within the different locations, it can trigger a character being smashed into a different environment. Of course, if you have been following the narrative for Guilty Gear, the Strive installment will continue with the narrative from Guilty Gear Xrd. So here we get the conclusion to Sol Badguy’s saga. Visually, the game is stunning, and reception has been positive since the installment was launched.
#2 Tekken 7
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Arcade
Release Date: Arcade
March 18, 2015
July 5, 2016 (FR)
PC, PS4, Xbox One June 2, 2017
Tekken is one of the more recognizable arcade fighting games out there. The series was started in 1994 and is still receiving new mainline installments and spin-off games. In terms of mainline games, Tekken 7 is the latest available and if you’ve been following the narrative, this game picks up after the events of Tekken 6 where Heihachi Mishima and Kazuya are going through their final battle. Fortunately, you don’t have to be into the narrative to have a ton of fun here.
As mentioned, this is an arcade-style video game. It’s easy to pick up and play, not to mention that there are quite a few different characters to pick from. Additionally you’ll find some notable new features added into this gameplay as well such as Rage Art. It’s a new move that can only be done when a character is in Rage mode but if pulled off successfully, you’ll enter a cinematic that ultimately causes 30% of damage. However, if you miss the shot then you won’t be able to perform another Rage Art until the next round.
#1 Mortal Kombat 11
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, XSX, Stadia, Switch
Release Date: PC, PS4, Xbox One April 23, 2019
Nintendo Switch April 23, 2019
Stadia November 19, 2019
PS5, Xbox Series X/S November 17, 2020
Mortal Kombat is one of the most iconic fighting video game series out there. The franchise has been around since 1992 and it received installments over the years along with even some cinematic film adaptations. Currently, the latest installment of the franchise is Mortal Kombat 11 which throws in a good variety of fighters both old and new. The big appeal for this game is the vs mode as its still a 2.5D fighting video game full of brutal fatalities, easy to pull off move sets, and again as mentioned a long list of characters you are likely familiar with such as Raiden, Sonya Blade, Liu Kang, Kitana, and Baraka to name a few.
Keeping things spoiler-free, this game narrative focuses on time and you can expect quite a bit of nostalgia throughout the storyline from past Mortal Kombat games, but again, I won’t spoil anything here. Overall, whether you’re a casual or competitive player, there’s a ton to love with Mortal Kombat. With that said, don’t expect a button mash style of gameplay. You’ll need to take some time and get a feel of the characters and moves to go through the game.
Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[st]
Release Date: September 20, 2012
PS 3 February 24, 2015
PC July 12, 2016
PS3, PS4, PS Vita February 9, 2018
PC August 20, 2018
PS4, Nintendo Switch
February 20, 2020
PC March 27, 2020
Under Night In-Birth was originally released in 2012 for the Arcades in Japan. This title took off with fans and its strong following allowed the indie title to get worldwide attention. Since then there have been updates to the game bringing it to other consoles such as Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] which released for the PlayStation 4 platform. This is an anime-style 2D fighter that will be appealing to casual fighting fans. Overall, the game was developed to allow inexperienced players for the fighting genre to deliver some powerful combo attacks.
This is due to the game allowing combos to be mixed between light, medium to heavy attacks rather than having players focus on an order for the combos. Likewise, the title features a component called GrD Guage. This is a shared meter between the two opponents that can trigger stronger attacks for a short period. Think of this mechanic as a tug of war, where depending on who has the meter filled the most when the GrD Gauge triggers will be rewarded with the buff.
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown
Release Date: June 1, 2021
It’s been a while since we had seen a new Virtua Fighter game hit the console platform. Virtua Fighter 5 launched in 2006, but there was a remastered edition that launched in 2021. Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown brought out upgraded visuals, a new UI, soundtrack, and unique online features. However, the downside for fans of the franchise is that this game is an exclusive release for the PlayStation 4 platform. Those of you who want to take part in the game will purchase this remastered edition for about $30. With that said, if you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, then you’ll get the game for free.