Beat 'em ups and battle royale brawlers are among some of the most popular types of multiplayer video games on the planet. It's because of this, that platforms like the Switch — a console known for being big on co-op gaming — has employed more fighting games than any of its rival systems. And 2022 alone, believe it or not, has seen a surge in interest in the genre, especially on the beloved handheld device.
It's no secret that the Switch has a wide selection of fighting games fastened to its core. Plus, it's a known fact that the console employs some of the best brawlers in the business, with Super Smash Bros being just one of the many award-winning sagas players can indulge in. But that's just one of the fighting series that make up the fleshy nexus of portable greats. The question that remains, of course, is which others from the stack are equally as compelling?
For those looking to boost their Switch libraries without dipping into their pockets, Brawlhalla is a perfect choice, as well as a hearty alternative to Nintendo's home-brewed Super Smash Bros. Thanks to the game being free-to-play, players can enjoy the fruits of its labor without being forced to splash out on lofty cosmetics and in-game currencies. That is, unless you're wanting to go the extra mile and upgrade your experience for the sake of harnessing a few unessential bells and whistles.
Brawlhalla is a classic 2D platformer brawler with a wide selection of crossover characters, special move sets, and diverse locations to boot. As one of the easier fighting games in the book, competitors can pick up and play without having to endure a lengthy training montage full of sluggish tutorials and drawn-out prologues. It's simple fun, and it's best served with a side of multiplayer madness over one of its many action-packed modes including Kung Foot, Strikeout, and Dodgebomb.
4. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
Another fighting game that immediately springs to mind when we think of quirky little brawlers is, of course, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. SpongeBob fan or not, there's no reason for anyone to pass up the opportunity to sink teeth into this stupidly chaotic fighting chapter. And if you're particularly interested in games with huge rosters made up of iconic crossovers, then it's a definite win-win.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl brings high-octane combat to a wide range of instantly recognizable locations. Boasting a huge selection of vibrant platforms and game modes, this childish yet universally accessible smash hit delivers far more than ten indie fighting flicks combined. And honestly, fan of the network or not, there's plenty of fun to be had here — especially on its Switch port.
3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is arguably one of the best fighting games ever released for the Switch. Even to this day, four years after its release, the brawler continues to garner high praise from multiplayer fanatics all over the globe. The reason for its critical success, of course, boils down to the wide range of crossovers the series employs, which harbors more best-selling franchises than the vast majority of its competitors.
From Link to Luigi, Bayonetta to Bowser, Ultimate shares the stage with some of the most popular heroes, villains, and sidekicks in the world. Add this impressive roster to an iconic and irrisistably melodic world, and you've got yourself the basic ingredients for an award-winning handheld exclusive.
2. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Edition
Only few fighting franchises have been able to strive for the same level of quality as Street Fighter. Those that have dared to make such a feat have, of course, often fallen flat at the final hurdle. The simple truth to this is that, contrary to popular belief, there is no other series in the world that could dare replicate the raw power of the arcade phenomenon.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Edition assembles a long lost crew for one final cluster of action-heavy bouts. With 13 games included in the package, players can immerse in one of gaming's most spectacular timelines, in which engaging one-on-one battles are brought to life through authentic martial art styles and techniques. Although somewhat dated compared to most modern brawlers, it's more than worth reliving on Switch consoles — if only to witness one of the industry's best-kept sagas in action for the millionth time.
ARMS is a one-of-a-kind 3D fighting game that sees you taking part in high-octane tournaments full of mind-boggling action sequences, unavoidable hazards, and more multiplayer madness than a bunch of 2D platformers all bundled into one. But, unlike its rivals, ARMS puts a unique spin on the gameplay itself, in which players use extended arms to battle their opponents. And we're not just talking mechanical arms with boxing gloves attached to them — but fully equipped arms with otherworldly powers and abilities.
On top of its imaginative choice of high-powered weaponry, ARMS also features a number of destructible locations for combatants to toy with. Add this to a genuinely inviting technicolor world full of heart and vigor, and you've got yourself one of the most memorable fighting games ever seen on the small screen. Plus, if you're wanting to cash in on some of the best games on Switch, in general, then it's definitely worth looking into.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any fighting games we should know about? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.