There's nothing quite like indulging in a fighting game to help make the slower days feel a little less mundane, especially when being accompanied by some of your close-knit, multiplayer-loving friends. Having such a thing can be a luxury as well as a curse, for sure, as one tournament can either make a friendship bloom, or sever it right at the tip of its root.
It's 2022, which means we've got plenty of titles to flick through on every platform known to mankind. Xbox and PlayStation, of course, being just two of the heavyweights on the board. And so, with that in mind, we can bathe in the fact that fighting games, collectively, will never really falter. But should you be on the prowl for a few of the modern greats on either console, then be sure to check into these five.
5. Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat has never been one to play by the rules, nor is it a series that has cared all that much about lifting the lid on what many would consider controversial. But of course, that has pretty much been the case ever since it paved its way onto the arcade front way back in '92. Since then, the franchise has only continued to push the boat out, using new techniques to further enhance its gore-heavy storytelling.
Mortal Kombat 11 is no different to the other entries in the book. It provides a mouthwatering amount of quality battles, plenty of eye-popping finishers, and a surprisingly well-crafted narrative that rarely deviates from the pulse-pounding action sequences. Combined, it's a real heavy hitter, and an overall monster of couch co-op and online multiplayer gaming. A game that, to be fair, is twice as good on Xbox and PlayStation, given their respective fan bases.
This game is available to Buy or Rent.
4. King of Fighters XV
A series that does unfortunately fly south of most radars is King of Fighters, an episodic adventure that has spun its web in a handful of jam-packed experiences. But for those who do keep in the loop, as well as follow its frequent updates, will know know of its fifteenth instalment, which is supposedly the best of the bunch, and then some.
Where King of Fighters does lack in heartwarming storytelling, it most certainly makes up for in quality gameplay and challenging multiplayer modes. Strewn with an admirable band of veteran fighters and move sets, it becomes far more than your everyday virtual knockabout. It's rich in flavor, and most definitely worthy of flying the colors for an older fighting series.
3. Tekken 7
Tekken has been out of the spotlight for a good few years now, with Bandai Namco refusing to let any details on the next instalment slip. Although we're fully aware of its existence, it seems to us that the vets of fighting games are clutching onto the remnants of Tekken 7, a beloved chapter that came out way back in 2015.
In spite of it being a good seven years old, Tekken 7 is still, without a doubt, a solid game to play, as well as a multiplayer choice that we'd still happily put forward in most competitive situations. Even if it's a slight copy of previous entries, there's no denying the fact that Tekken, as a franchise, is fully capable of holding an audience, no matter the amount of subtle changes each passing game employs. And so, for that, we're more than happy to give it its time in the sun. At least until Tekken 8 is announced.
2. Dead of Alive 6
Beneath the sheer quantity of rubber bikinis and volleyball spin-offs lies a genuinely complex system that dares to be different. Of course, in a nutshell, Dead or Alive is a button-mashing sprint that houses anime models for fighters. But look a little deeper, and the series is actually a lot more than what is staples on its cover.
Of course, it is hard to shake the overall experience when stacking up to face any Dead or Alive game. But remove the blatant themes that tie in to controversy, and you've actually got yourself a catalog of tidy brawling video games. Dead or Alive 6, believe it or not, is no different—and it plays remarkably well when taken seriously. Although not the most mechanically diverse in the fighting genre, it is still a pretty strong candidate for console users.
1. Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Speaking of universally acclaimed fighting franchises, it would actually be an insult if we didn't pay our respects to one of the founding fathers. That, of course, being Street Fighter. Although pushing toward its 35th anniversary, the series definitely hasn't run short on supplies to bridge new tales to and from its overall structure.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is comprised of all four seasons of content, along with the signature modes that helped give the original game a leg to stand on. Built as a complete collection with all the bells and whistles that make Street Fighter what it is, the console version stands strong as an unmissable entry that no fighting fan should dare give the cold shoulder.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Which fighting game would you have slapped at the apex of the list? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.