The side-scrolling beat ’em up genre isn’t new. It’s been the subject of a resurgence recently though, with the best of the bunch being the phenomenal Streets of Rage 4. In our eyes, the Streets of Rage series has always been the forerunner of the genre, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other side-scrolling beat ’em ups worth your time. If you’re a PC gamer, you perhaps have the biggest choice of side-scrolling beat ’em ups, but you might be wondering which ones are the best. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best games like Streets of Rage on PC.
Scroll down our list and you’ll find a varied selection of side-scrolling beat ’em ups available on PC that are very much worth your time. They all offer something different but, having played each and every one of them, we can assure you that they’re all highly entertaining, especially when played in co-op.
1. Mayhem Brawler
Perhaps the closest game to the mighty Streets of Rage 4 on this list, Mayhem Brawler has equally beautiful visuals and rewarding gameplay. It separates itself in numerous ways, though. Firstly, there’s the fact that it has a block button, challenging you to defend yourself from certain incoming attacks to prevent damage. More notable, however, is the fact that it has a branching story. At the end of a stage you’ll often be asked where you want to go next, with your choices affecting which stages you play and also the ending you receive.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aren’t strangers to the side-scrolling beat ’em up genre. Shredder’s Revenge is by far their best outing yet, though, securing itself a spot on our list of the best games like Streets of Rage on PC. Jump into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge and you’ll discover a lengthy story mode that you can enjoy alone or with friends, as well as an arcade mode that strips things down a little. Whichever you choose, the action is fast, frantic and a whole lot of fun.
3. River City Girls 2
We liked River City Girls, but this sequel is better in just about every way. A side-scrolling beat ’em up with open world and RPG elements, River City Girls 2 rewards those who take the time to explore and complete little side quests as they make their way through its main story. This time around there are guest characters, and you can also play as Misako and Kyoko’s boyfriends, Kunio and Riki. Needless to say, it’s a much improved sequel, and undoubtedly one of the best games like Streets of Rage on PC.
4. Fight’N Rage
Like Mayhem Brawler further up this list, Fight’N Rage is another side-scrolling beat ’em with a branching structure. So, depending on the choices you make, you might end up discovering new stages and story elements. It’s the gameplay that’s the real draw here, though, being simple but very rewarding. Play skilfully and you can rack up huge combos, taking out groups of enemies in style. There’s a parry system, too, allowing players to prevent incoming damage and turn the tables.
5. Jitsu Squad
With its sharp, colourful visuals and over-the-top action, Jitsu Squad is a game that wins you over pretty quickly. There’s trouble afoot, and you and your team of anthropomorphic friends are the only ones that can save the day. Cue an adventure through numerous varied stages, each filled with an abundance of enemies out for your blood. Thanks to an assortment of ludicrous special attacks and pick-ups, however, you’re more than capable of settling the score.
6. Dawn of the Monsters
After a side-scrolling beat’em up that’s a little bit different? Dawn of the Monsters might just be for you. Here, unsurprisingly, you’re in control of large monsters, capable of picking up buildings and using them as weapons. Needless to say, the action isn’t quite as fast-paced as it is in other games on this list, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. The stand-out art style alone is enough for us to put this on our list of the best games like Streets of Rage on PC. But more importantly, its gameplay is fairly unique and lots of fun.
7. The TakeOver
Play The TakeOver, and chances are you’ll instantly be impressed by its slick visuals and unique spin on the side-scrolling beat ’em up formula. Then, when you learn that it’s pretty much the work of just one person, you’ll likely be floored. Here, you’re able to create your own combos thanks to having buttons dedicated to punches and kicks. You’re able to make use of firearms, too. And while they’re hit and miss, there are some minigames thrown in for good measure to add a little variety.
8. Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle
Why settle for one new side-scrolling beat ’em up when you can have many? The Capcom Beat ‘Em Bundle gathers together a collection of arcade classics, some of which haven’t been available to play on PC before. So, alongside well-known titles such as Final Fight and Captain Commando, there are also some hidden gems such as Battle Circuit. Even if you only find one or two games here that really gel with you, the budget price of Capcom Beat ‘Em Bundle makes it absolutely essential for those seeking out games like Streets of Rage on PC.
9. Final Vendetta
We weren’t too hot on it in our review, but Final Vendetta has received some much needed updates since launch that has somewhat turned things around. The balance of the game has been tweaked, for example, and certain modes are now available from the outset. The result is a game very much inspired by the likes of Streets of Rage and Final Fight, perhaps to a fault. Still, while there’s nothing truly original here, it has a great soundtrack, and the gameplay is solid enough to keep you coming back.
10. Mother Russia Bleeds
If you like your side-scrolling beat ’em ups dark and bloody, may we present Mother Russia Bleeds? As a hardened street fighter, Mother Russia Bleeds asks you to fight against a criminal organisation, keeping people addicted to drugs in order to control them. Those drugs can also be used to help you at times, though, giving you an advantage over your opponents that attack in large numbers and aren’t afraid of using weapons. If you have the stomach for it, this is well worth a go.