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The Top 5 Beat ‘Em Up Games



Nintendo. ©. 2021.

The top 5 beat ‘em up games can make some of us feel arrogant. Gamers having temper tantrums after losing a challenging match can serve as a bad representation for the gaming culture. We all know that one person who can tell you hardcore facts about video games, board games, movies, television shows, music, and/or comic books/graphic novels. Maybe you called them inferior names, laughed relentlessly from how they dressed and/or talked. You have to love the nerds, because they keep many of us updated with the ongoing world and may do the time-consuming work on creating video games. 

Before people get dramatically emotional about the top 5 list of beat 'em up games, there are many video games deserving of being noticed. There are beat ‘em up games like “Final Fight,” (which was originally supposed to be called ‘Street Fighter’), “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game,” “The Takeover,” “River City Girls,” “Double Dragon,” and more. 

5. Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues:

In “Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues,” it is 34 years later, ever since the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament (between Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence). You can take full control of 8 playable characters in this side-scrolling, beat ‘em up adventure. Like many fighting games, use a cool moveset, combos, and ultimate attacks. 

There is a new storyline filled with a unique dialogue and cutscenes that was not shown in the “Karate Kid” movie series, as well as the “Cobra Kai” television series. You can compete as Daniel and his students at Miyagi-Do Karate or the rival, Johnny Lawrence and his disciples at Cobra Kai. Take a journey through Los Angeles with 28 missions. 

Cobrai Kai - Official Game Reveal Trailer

4. The Warriors:

Based on the 1975 film of the same name, “The Warriors,” developed by “Rockstar Toronto” and published by “Rockstar Games,”was released in October 2005. Knowing that the 1975 film “The Warriors” is based on Sol Yurick’s 1965 novel of the same name, that shows where the film got the inspiration from. 

“The Warriors” definitely has a “Grand Theft Auto” vibe, but it is set in the gritty 1970s New York City. Just like the movie, the story goes, The Warriors are framed for the murder of a respected gang leader, so they have to make their way back to their home turf (Coney Island). On their way, rival gangs are on the lookout. 

A fun fact: “The Warriors” video has the first half of the plot, expanding on the film’s plot, three months before the film. 

There is an open world experience of chase sequences and brawling with gangs. During the gameplay, you may be fortunate enough to win a graffiti competition in SoHo and steal items. The playable characters are the Cleon (Warriors leader), Swan (the lieutenant), Vermin (a cynical and loyal member), Cowboy (who always wears a cowboy hat), Snow (a quiet and excellent fighter), Ajax (the cocky womanizer), Fox (the scout, who was mutilated by a subway train in the movie), Cochise (who wears Native American jewelry), and Rembrandt (the main tagged).

What many people may have forgotten is that in September 23, 2009, “The Warriors:Street Brawl” was released, which is another beat ‘em up game, focusing more on the fighting. 

3. The Simpsons Arcade Game:

Remember “The Simpsons Arcade Game” released in 1991, where the iconic Simpson’s family are fighting off enemies. “The Simpsons Arcade Game” allows up to four players. From Homer (punching and kicking), to Marge (using a vacuum), to Bart (wielding a skateboard), to Lisa (using a jump rope), take matters into your own hands to rescue the kidnapped Maggie. 

The Simpsons Arcade Game Official Trailer

2. X-Men:

I remember playing “Konami’s” 1992 “X-Men,” loving the superhero roster: Cyclops (Scott Summers), Dazzler (Allison Blaire), Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), Wolverine (James Howlett), Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), and Storm (Ororo Munroe). This is the game where you can play up to 6 characters simultaneously, but I doubt you have that many hands. Friends and family can join in, using the well-known mutant powers, acrobatic skills, and martial arts like the “Marvel” comic book action. 

1. Streets of Rage:

“Streets of Rage” introduced us to screen clearing mechanics like in Golden Axe. It also had an engaging storyline. The game is similar to “Final Fight,” but readily on a console. The sequel to “Streets of Rage” features additional characters with various fighting styles. Defeating your enemies is more challenging. 

Bonus: Def Jam: Fight For NY:

The hip hop-influenced game “Def Jam: Fight For NY” is the sequel to “Def Jam: Vendetta.” A part of hip-hop fans and gamers want the “Def Jam” series to return, so they can play as their favorite hip-hop stars (like Crow (who is Snoop Dogg), Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, Lil Kim, Method Man, Bubba Sparxxx, Busta Rhymes, and more) while creating an action-packed legacy. 

Even Carmen Electra is on this game, but can you imagine if there was another Def Jam with every rapper we love, wrestler, boxer, and/or possible MMA (Mixed Martial Arts fighter? There are dream matches are matches like Stone Cold Steve Austin versus 2Pac and The Rock versus the Notorious B.I.G. If they ever create another “Death Jam,” hopefully we can have a dream match like Eminem versus Bizzy Bone or the entire Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

Isaiah Joshua is an author and poet and has a love for video games. In May 2016, he graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor's Degree in Cinema Arts and Science. As an avid gamer, some of his favorite games are "WWF No Mercy, Hitman, Manhunt, Sims 3, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter. Conscious in gaming culture, he is always researching gaming history, as well as the latest games to write about.