Fighting games are a popular genre due to their high skill gap. Not anybody can just hop on and string together a flurry of combos with ease. It's what makes grinding them so enjoyable, and it's why so many people strive to master the genre's distinct combat. Furthermore, these titles are ideal for couch gaming with friends or competing online with others to put your skills to the test. So, read on to see our picks for the best fighting games on Xbox Game Pass (March 2023)
5. Killer Instinct
When you perfectly land hit after hit on enemies and pull off a combo, this is what makes the fighting game genre so difficult yet rewarding. That feeling is perfectly embodied in Killer Instinct. There are 26 playable characters and 20 different levels that are sure to keep you busy for a while. Furthermore, Killer Instinct is ideal for playing with friends or new players because some characters are extremely simple to use. On the other hand, some require a lot more practice to master if you're looking for a challenge.
Compared to the other best fighting games on Game Pass, Killer Instinct is one of the more exaggerated and flashy choices. But the combat is eye-catching, crisp, and flows like a razor's edge. Leaving you perfectly satisfied after each combo and hungry for more.
4. Gang Beasts
Gang Beasts is an indie fighting game developed by Boneloaf that can be described as goofy yet chaotic. To win this game, up to eight players chuck knuckles, wrestle, and throw each other out, off, or into dangerous environments on the map. For example, some maps take place on moving vehicles or on skyscraper scaffoldings. Nonetheless, the maps are always a sweet surprise, and it's what keeps the game exciting and full of laughter as you try to sabotage your friends in each and every round.
While Gang Beasts is not your typical fighting game, its combat that incorporates ragdoll physics makes it one of the most unique in the genre. This produces some hilarious movement/fighting mechanics that appear wacky but are endlessly entertaining. But you'll get the hang of the button-mashing chaos and be throwing your friends off skyscrapers in no time. Because of the chaotic maps you're thrown into and the fun can you have with friends, Gang Beasts is undoubtedly one of the best fighting games on Game Pass.
3. Guilty Gear Strive
Guilty Gear Strive is the series' seventh installment and one of the best 2D anime-style fighting games to date. It's also the most recent addition to Game Passes' roster of fighting games. But, for whatever reason, this series is not as popular and thus goes unnoticed in fighting game discussions. However, with the latest release on Game Pass, it should elevate Guilty Gear Strives name in the genre. Which it truly deserves because the entire series is rich in lore, with each character and enemy having their own backstory. So, if you're new to the series, we recommend watching a video or two to catch up.
Let's start with the combat, which is arguably more difficult than in any of the other games on this list. At times, the game requires pinpoint accuracy in order to string together a solid damage-dealing combo. As a result, Guilty Gear Strive may deter many new players at first, but it's all the more worth it if you stick with it. What may help with this is, rather than jumping into multiplayer, try playing against a friend or doing a training room to teach yourself the game's combat.
2. Injustice 2
Injustice 2 has been a popular fighting game since its initial release in 2017. This is evidently due to the roster 38-character roster of DC superheroes and villains. Furthermore, frequent updates keeping it fresh with new characters and maps are a big reason why this game is still going strong in 2023 and remains one of the best fighting games on Game Pass right now.
Because of the shallow learning curve, Injustice 2 is a great pick for those who are new to fighting games. Don't get us wrong: the game still has a skill curve that rewards players who put in the effort to learn its combos. It is, however, one of the more user-friendly fighting games on this list and an excellent choice if you want to play a casual fighting game with friends.
The majority of fighting games have a story mode, but it is rarely a rich story full of memorable moments. Injustice 2 has one of the best story modes among the best fighting games on Game Pass. So, while Injustice 2 lacks in the competitive aspect, with most characters being quite easy to pick up or clearly superior to others, it's a great pick for a casual and fun experience you can jump right into.
1. Mortal Kombat 11
Because of its influence and consistency in the franchise, many gamers consider Mortal Kombat 11 to be the best fighting game in the genre. Each game delivers a classic nostalgic feeling while incorporating new and exciting gameplay features. There are 37 characters to choose from in Mortal Kombat 11, ranging from series classics like Raiden and Scorpion to new characters like Terminator and Rambo. Each has their own set of combos that can be difficult but extremely rewarding, especially when attempting to complete a fatality.
Mortal Kombat 11 is a great choice for playing co-op against friends or diving into the immersive story mode, with the game thriving and new players joining every day through Gamepass. When you decide to take your skills online, be prepared to compete against only the best of the best and masters of the gameplay. Though it's often a humbling experience, the challenge is fun to take on and will give you that hunger to master the game yourself.