The Best PlayStation Fighting Games For PS5 And PS4
As long as PlayStation has been around, it has been seen as one of the best consoles to have for fighting game fans. A rock-solid line-up of games, legacy franchises, and one of the best controller D-pads for multiple generations has made Sony’s gaming hardware the default choice for some of the greatest fighting games of the era, and right now, not much has changed on that front.
With the PS4 being a hub for fighting games during their renaissance in the 2010s and the PS5 being backwards compatible with the vast majority of that library, we’ve slipped into our most comfortable Walmart-sourced karate gi and stepped into the ring to face off with the best that the PlayStation has to offer. Below, you’ll find our picks for the best PlayStation fighting games to play on PS5 and PS4. Instead of ranking these fighters, we’ve listed our choices in alphabetical order.
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
You could fill this entire list with games from renowned developer Arc System Works–and trust us, they’re here in force–but some of its lesser-known properties are worth looking at. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle looks and feels like the perfect template for an Arc game, a flashy anime brawler with ultimate attacks that can melt your retinas if you stare too long. Beyond that initial snazzy impression, Cross Tag is a standout title in the 2D anime fighting game genre thanks to its dynamic tag system, fascinating mechanics, and a versatile selection of characters to choose from.
Read our BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle review.
Capcom Fighting Collection
It’s a slight cheat, but we’re hellbent on getting Darkstalkers on this list and can do so thanks to the release of the Capcom Fighting Collection.It’s full of Darkstalkers titles that prove just how important this series is to the history of fighting games. It’s not just Darkstalkers being represented with a loving approach in this collection though, as you can also go hands on with the superb Street Fighter Alpha series in a presentation that goes all in on its arcade heritage.
Read our Capcom Fighting Collection review.
Dead or Alive 6
The best entry in the long-running Dead or Alive series, DOA 6 perfects its trademark formula by making every single jab, roundhouse kick, and grapple feel like it genuinely matters. Every member of the massive cast has an X-factor that makes them deserving of dedicated Wiki fan clubs, battles erupt with explosive displays of power, and the the rock-paper-scissors strategy feels better than ever in this classic clash of icons.
Read our Dead or Alive 6 review.
2022 has been a terrific year for fighting games, with titles such as DNF Duel leading the charge. Another knockout from Arc System Works, DNF Duel is set in the world of Dungeon Fighter Online and gives players an experience that’s easy to pick up but rewarding to invest time and effort into as they master its systems. It’s Arc System Works once again delivering a wonderfully complex fighting game, adapting an established IP into a title that’s fun in online or offline play.
Read our DNF Duel review.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
One of the best fighting games of the last generation, Dragon Ball FighterZ hits every beat for what a Dragon Ball game should be. It’s a mix of style and substance that looks amazing to see in action and feels even better when you go hands-on with it, has a stacked roster of fan-favorite characters, and it’s loaded with special moves that can vaporize a planet when properly executed.
Read our Dragon Ball FighterZ review.
EA Sports UFC 4
A fighting game for people interested in the more technical aspects of caving someone’s face in–digitally at least–EA Sports UFC is pure pugilistic chess. It’s a Newtonian law put into effect inside of the famed octagon, because for every snapkick action there’s an equal and opposing reaction waiting to be pulled off in this polished heavyweight contender. The mat game has vastly improved submissions, the strikes land with brutal efficiency, and a gentle learning curve helps newcomers perfect their own skills on the mat.
Garou – Mark of the Wolves
Fatal Fury doesn’t get nearly enough love for its influence on the fighting game genre. If you missed out on the superb series during its heyday, then the school of hard knocks is in session with this updated gem. Originally released in 1999 and then regularly released onto more modern platforms every couple of years, Garou: Mark of the Wolves can still land a stylish knockout blow with its fast-paced action, colorful characters, and rollback netcode that makes it a cult-classic with fans.
Granblue Fantasy: Versus
What happens when you want to make a mark in the fighting game industry and you don’t want to gamble on an entirely new IP? You adapt one of Japan’s most successful mobile gacha games into a brawler and get Arc System Works to add its magic touch. Granblue Fantasy Versus is another example of Arc’s mastery of the genre, as it combines flexible mechanics with strong fundamentals and just enough fan service to land a right hook of excellence. With a few RPG mechanics thrown into the mix, this Granblue spin-off is magical melee fun that’s hard to put down.
Read our Granblue Fantasy: Versus review.
Guilty Gear Strive
Before it was producing the best adaptations of Dragon Ball, Granblue, and Dungeon Fighter Online, Arc System Works was making a name for itself with Guilty Gear. Transitioning from its 2D anime fighter roots to a more modern design in Unreal Engine, Guilty Gear Strive is heavy metal melee action that’s perfect for newcomers and fighting game veterans. It’s welcoming to rookies, rewarding for experts, and everyone can have a great time when they throw down in this stylish genre gold standard.
Read our Guilty Gear Strive review.
Could Batman beat Superman in a fight? If you want to end that debate once and for all by taking matters into your own hands, then you should grab Injustice 2 for a super-powered showdown. From Mortal Kombat studio NetherRealm, Injustice 2 is a hard-hitting and good-looking fighting game that stars the greatest heroes and villains of DC Comics and smashes them together into a clash of titans. It has its own distinct feel, one of the best loot systems in the genre, and a story that makes the superhero civil war hit you right in the emotion organs with every cataclysmic haymaker.
Read our Injustice 2 review.
The King of Fighters XV
SNK’s long-running King of Fighters franchise has struggled to find a mainstream audience over the decades, but if one game was to find a dedicated global player base, then it was this splendid redemption story. With KOF 14 receiving a tepid response when it first launched, SNK went back to the drawing board for KOF 15 and turned it into a serious contender. Gameplay was tightened up, the cast was as impressively massive as usual, and it had more personality in every pixel than ever before. It may not be a fighting game paradigm shift, but KOF 15 is still a satisfying return to form for the veteran franchise.
Read our The King of Fighters XV review.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition
While there’s no telling just how long it’ll be before Mortal Kombat returns with a bloody uppercut and outrageous Fatalities, the latest mainline entry remains a popular game in the community–and for good reason. It has a story mode that puts most other fighting games to shame, it spills more blood than a busy abattoir before a beef festival kicks off down the road, and it’s a technical marvel of gory graphics. Even better, Mortal Kombat 11 has some of the best guest stars in its roster, so if you’ve ever wanted to see if the Joker could beat Robocop in a fight, this is the game for you.
Read our Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Edition review.
Having just released this year, Multiversus is already making waves with its Smash-like gameplay that gives Nintendo’s premier fighting game series a run for its money. It has one of the quirkiest rosters in video game history–Shaggy Rogers, Bugs Bunny, and Batman are just some of the inspired choices here–and its core gameplay makes it a blast to play. Even better, you can try out the game for free, and if it gets its wascally wabbit hooks in you, you can earn new characters with regular play.
Read our Multiversus review.
While most fighting games have a rich selection of mechanics for you to learn and master over many hours of play, Nidhogg 2 emphasizes simplicity. It’s a fast-paced duel of wits and reflexes that improves on the original, offering wonderfully grotesque visuals, an expanded arsenal, and a layer of speed that makes every round a frantic rush to the finish. That core gameplay makes it easy to pick up, and within a few minutes, you’ll be shouting “EN GARDE” to your friends as you start swinging steel in this spectacular party game.
Read our Nidhogg 2 review.
Samurai Shodown is the type of fighting game where a match can be decided with a minimal number of moves. It looks fantastic, and the focus on weapon-based combat forces a more measured approach to each round. The difference between life or death makes for a tense experience, and once you’ve got the hang of its unique flow, you’ll find that this game is an exhilarating dance of sharp-edged strategy and combat.
Read our Samurai Shodown review.
Sticking to the sharper side of fighting games, Soulcalibur VI is a highlight in the eternal tale of swords and souls. The three-dimensional combat still has a sharp edge to it, while the sheer variety of characters available makes each match a game of tactics and clever maneuvering. It’s the grand atmosphere of adventure and treasure where Soulcalibur VI feels ahead of its contemporaries, adding that drive for epic stories into a game that has deep and rewarding mechanics at its heart.
Read our Soulcalibur VI review.
Skullgirls 2nd Encore
A western take on the 2D animated fighter subgenre, Skullgirls 2nd Encore will knock your digital socks off with haymakers and its passionate design. Going for quality over quantity, the small roster of Skullgirls features unique gameplay tricks up their sleeves, distinct personalities, and outstanding animation. Throw in a soundtrack that’ll have you tapping a hole in your floor with your foot, and you’ve got a winning combination.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Street Fighter 6 may be scheduled to bang knuckles in 2023, but don’t count Street Fighter V out just yet! Despite a rocky launch, Capcom has fine-tuned and polished the the core experience and added a ton of content to create one of the most technically impressive and nuanced fighters around. The Champion Edition is Street Fighter V at its very best, a celebration of Hadoukens and piledrivers that still feels familiar and fresh to dive into during its twilight months.
Whenever a new King of Iron Fist tournament is announced, you can rest assured that there’ll be furious competition between the world’s greatest martial artists, cyborg superweapons, and a literal bear. Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7 is a slobber-knocker of fists and karate kicks that marries its fascinating lore with an cool campaign and its best roster yet. With Street Fighter’s Akuma making an appearance, Tekken 7 leaves an impression with its nuaced gameplay and lovely animations.
Read our Tekken 7 review.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
More than a decade has passed since Capcom decided to cross fists with Marvel, and in the years since Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 released, it remains one of the go-to games for over-the-top action. Still an absolute beast in the graphical department, the Ultimate edition has it all: characters, stages, and extra features that put its spiritual follow-up, 2017’s Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, to shame. Setting a high benchmark for the franchise, you can pick this gem up for a bargain and enjoy plenty of bang for your buck.
Read our Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review.
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown
There’s no getting around the fact that Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown has a barebones single-player setup, but beyond that, it’s a showcase of what makes Virtua Fighter special. Remade in Yakuza’s Dragon Engine and looking better than ever, it has a lot of depth to its tactical martial arts and keeps getting better as you invest more time into its rich selection of systems.