The fighting game genre has had its ups and downs over the years, falling in and out of favour as tastes and generations change. It’s never totally gone away, though, and now it seems to be gaining more prominence again, thanks largely to some great releases in recent years. Even better, you don’t need to be a console gamer to enjoy the majority of them like you once did – most are released day on date on both PC and consoles. But what are the best fighting games on PC?
That’s something we aim to tackle with this list. Having played nearly every fighting game released in the last decade or so, we’ve assembled a list of the best fighting games you can play on PC right now. We’ve tried to include a variety of titles, too. So whether you love gory, over-the-top action or tense battle with weapons, we’ve got you covered. All you need to do is scroll down, and you might just find your next fighting game obsession.
1. Mortal Kombat 1
The latest Mortal Kombat is a reboot of sorts, resetting the timeline and allowing NetherRealm Studios to re-imagine the series’ vast cast of characters. Some knowledge of events in Mortal Kombat 11 will help if you jump into the game’s story mode, however, which is perhaps the only mar in its visually impressive tale. It’s in the gameplay department that Mortal Kombat 1 truly excels, though. This is the most enjoyable Mortal Kombat to date, with faster-paced and more fluid gameplay, as well as a new Kameo system that offers more options in battle. If you’re after the best fighting games on PC, you must check this out.
2. Street Fighter 6
While we were a little disappointed with Street Fighter 5 at launch, there are no such issues with Street Fighter 6. This latest entry in what is perhaps the world’s most popular fighting game series features a new snazzy visual style, and aims to be more accessible than ever. Players can opt for the classic control system if they wish, or go for the new modern option, which makes pulling off special moves a cinch. As well as having an unrivaled suite of option for playing online, new to this entry is World Tour, a Yakuza-like adventure mode where players can create their own fighter and lead them to greatness. All in all, PC fighting game fans are in with a treat with this one.
3. Guilty Gear -Strive-
The Guilty Gear series has been going strong for years, though has never been as popular as the likes of Street Fighter and Tekken. The series deserves to gain more fans thanks to Guilty Gear -Strive-, however, a fighting game that not only looks stunning but also plays wonderfully, too. With its varied cast of characters, you’ll have a great time trying to get to grips with them all in order to find your main. Perhaps the only real disappointment here is if you’re a fan of single-player content. There isn’t much of it here, unfortunately, with the game’s story mode being little more than an animated movie.
4. SoulCalibur VI
If you fancy a fighting game where you fight with weapons rather than fists and feet, SoulCalibur VI might just be the one for you. This latest entry in the long-running series features a varied cast of characters, each skilled in a particular type of combat. There’s Mitsurugi, for example, a skilled samurai who fights with a Katana, or maybe you’d rather play as Siegfried, who fights with a huge two-handed sword. Perhaps the best thing about SoulCalibur VI, though, is its character creator. With a huge range of options available, you can create some ridiculous combatants. And there are plenty of options available whether you want to play alone or online with others.
5. Tekken 7
A list of the best fighting games on PC wouldn’t be complete without Tekken, one of the the longest-running fighting game series around. While Tekken 8 is just around the corner, and promises to be the most advanced Tekken game to date, Tekken 7 is currently the best available. It’s best played on PC, too. Despite being fairly old now, it still looks great if your PC is up to the task, and the hard-hitting combat is more enjoyable than ever before. Whether you like to play offline against the CPU or online against others, Tekken 7 has a mode for you. If you don’t mind spending a little extra for DLC, you can even have a game of bowling.
6. Killer Instinct
When it comes to the best fighting games on PC, we feel that Killer Instinct is an underappreciated gem. Thanks to great post-launch support, Killer Instinct has a great lineup of characters, and still looks and plays great despite being pretty old now. What really makes Killer Instinct worthy of your time, though, is its unique combo system, that really makes it stand out from the crowd. It’s quite light on single-player offerings compared to the likes of Mortal Kombat 1 and Street Fighter 6, but if you’re primarily going to play online, you’re bound to have a good time with it.
7. Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[cl-r]
Fancy your fighting games a little more old-school with 2D visuals? Check out Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[cl-r]. Yeah, its name is a mouthful, but this is easily one of the best 2D fighters around, whether you’re PC gamer or otherwise. The action here is very fast-paced, making each and every bout rather electrifying. On top of that, its cast of characters is top notch, and years of balance tweaks means none of them feel underpowered. It may not be the obvious choice, but if you love fighting games and aren’t afraid of stepping out of the mainstream, this game will serve you well.
8. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Having originally been released in 2011, it speaks volumes that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is still considered one of the best fighting games available, even after the launch of its sequel, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is exactly what it sounds like: the best version of the game yet, with all content included as well as some valuable tweaks and updates. Ultimately, though, you’ll appreciate it for the same reasons now as players did back in 2011 – its huge roster of characters, and its brilliantly chaotic fast-paced combat. To play Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is to love it. It’s as simple as that.