10 best fighting games like Mortal Kombat & Tekken to play in 2024

10 best fighting games like Mortal Kombat & Tekken to play in 2024
Images via Capcom

Written by 

James Lynch

Last updated 

9th Feb 2024 12:11

Mortal Kombat and Tekken are some of the very best fighting games around, but there are also plenty of alternatives like them to pick up and play, regardless of whether you own a PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch.

Fighting games have their unique place in video game lore, mostly due to their regular appearances as large arcade cabinets. Over the course of their extensive history, these properties have come and gone (does anyone else remember Rumble Roses?) - with only a select few still able to retain popularity over time.

Two franchises that fall into the latter category are Mortal Kombat and Tekken, capitalising on their 20+ year journeys to create some of the best games in the fighting genre. Despite their obvious prowess, there are some other titles out there that do an amazing job in their own right.

Best fighting games in 2024

#10 - King of Fighters XV

King of Fighters XV fight
Click to enlarge

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Rush button to help newcomers
    • Focus on tag team fighting
    • High skill ceiling

King of Fighters is now on its 15th entry, and despite so many titles over the years, it's managed to stay fairly fresh. While the newest game hasn't fully revamped itself, it's introduced and changed plenty of features to both attract new players and keep things interesting for older players.

KoF is focused around teams of fighters that can tag in and out during matches, allowing you to pull off some wild combos and moves. It's also got all the modern features you'd expect of a fighting game, with various gauges to manage for special moves, and different forms you can switch between in fights to go on the offence or remain defensive.

#9 - Guilty Gear Strive

a fight and a dolphin in Guilty Gear Strive
Click to enlarge

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • Reconstruction of the franchise
    • Wall break into new stages
    • Gorgeous 2D/3D hybrid art

Guilty Gear Strive was a refresh of sorts for the series, and while the core of the franchise is still plain to see, many of the gameplay mechanics have been revamped, along with some new features to bring it into the modern era.

A big thing that sets it apart from other games on this list is the beautiful hybrid of both 2D and 3D art, which gives it a unique feel and spectacle with flashes of colour, attack trails, and various effects. When it comes to anime-like fighters, Guilty Gear has always been one of the best, and Strive is perhaps the strongest entry yet.

#8 - Killer Instinct

Character roster in Killer Instinct
Click to enlarge
Image via Iron Galaxy Studios

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2013
  • Key features:
    • Combo based mechanics
    • Unique and original roster of characters
    • Instinct Mode offers special timed bonus when the bar is filled

Killer Instinct is now over 10 years old, so it's a remarkable testament to its quality that it has managed to maintain a dedicated community. The definitive version of the game was released in 2016 and it seemed like the developers were expecting a few more years before it eventually tapered out. Not so.

At last year's Evolution Championship Series, the game's Xbox Head announced that a huge anniversary update was on the way and beloved developer Iron Galaxy Studios would be returning to head it up, which launched in November 2023. With a solid cast of original characters and some really interesting move combinations, it's a solid choice for those looking for an alternative to the usual fare.

#7 - Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite key art
Click to enlarge
Image via Capcom

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4 
  • Release date: 2017
  • Key features:
    • Easy to pick up for beginners 
    • Huge crossover event 
    • Well-executed tag system 

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was a bit of a miss for the series because it lacked some of the more popular X-Men characters so often associated with the game.

Despite this, there is still a very good fighting game here, with a decently sized roster and a tag system that really allows you to flex your muscles. It's easy to pick up but can be challenging to master. There is also an enjoyable story to dive into as well - and is one of the few games where you can play as some of your favourite Marvel characters.  

#6 - Dead or Alive 6

Jann Lee gets punched by Zack in Dead or Alive
Click to enlarge
Image via Team Ninja

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2019
  • Key features:
    • Returning cast of characters with new additions
    • More accessible for first-time players
    • Spectacular cinematic animations

Developer/publisher combinations don't come much better than Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo, with Dead or Alive remaining as spectacularly silly proof of that. The sixth entry in the series saw DoA transfer over to a new engine, helping it to release with a pretty unprecedented level of polish in the gameplay department.

There are a total of 31 playable characters including five entirely new choices and returning legends like Zack and Jann Lee. It's arguably the best game in the series to date and it has managed to get over the initial multiplayer issues that plagued its launch to become well worth a look for fans of the genre.

#5 - Soulcalibur VI

Key art for Soulcalber 6
Click to enlarge
Image via Bandai Namco

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2018
  • Key features:
    • Comfortably the strongest single-player content on this list
    • Deeper gameplay mechanics than previous entries in the series
    • Geralt of Rivia!

Where many other games have shied away from the use of weapons, the Soulcalibur series has always enthusiastically leaned into swords and scythes. The game has a ton of features that long-time fans of the series will be familiar with (8-way run & guard impact) but it also experiments with newer elements like reversal edge, which activates a QuickTime event.

The sixth Soulcalibur game was very well received by fans and critics alike, with the game's population still at a very healthy level for anyone who wants to jump on in 2024. 

#4 - Dragon Ball FighterZ

Yamcha hits Tien with a huge kick in Dragon Ball FighterZ
Click to enlarge
Image via Bandai Namco

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2018
  • Key features:
    • 2.5D gameplay
    • The most iconic characters from the series
    • Multiplayer experience from casual to hyper-competitive

Few franchises are as perfectly suited to the fighting game genre as Dragon Ball, so it's perhaps strange that FighterZ is the first to really nail it in more recent times. The game has a relatively unique setup (Marvel vs. Capcom notwithstanding), with players able to select three playable characters for each fight.

This was a bit of a masterstroke from the developer with the system rewarding knowledge of match-ups and movesets, while the gameplay is impressively easy to pick up bearing in mind the chaotic nature of Dragon Ball in general. 

#3 - BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

Yosuke and Makoto fight in BlazBlue
Click to enlarge
Image via Arc System Works

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2018
  • Key features:
    • Old-school 2D gameplay
    • Exciting Tag Team mechanics
    • Extremely fast-paced action and fight sequences

For those of you out there looking for a 2D fighting game more reminiscent of the old-school arcade effort, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle may be the choice. The game centres on its tag team mechanics, with players able to swap their characters in and out on the fly. Optimal use of this feature is critical to winning fights in a game that otherwise offers solid and comfortably familiar gameplay.

The main learning curve is getting used to how fast-paced BlazBlue is and when to swap characters in and out. Otherwise, it's a delightfully recognisable fighting experience that eschews modern trends in the genre.  

#2 - Injustice 2

Harley Quinn walks away from an explosion with a maniacal grin
Click to enlarge
Image via Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2017
  • Key features:
    • An exciting story that spans some of the comics' most iconic locations
    • Full roster of characters from the DC universe
    • Fully interactive environments and arenas

There’s something intensely logical about a fighting game that features the biggest and baddest superheroes and villains in the DC Universe. Happily, Injustice 2 doesn’t only cash in on this potential by rendering those characters spectacularly, it’s also an intuitive and exciting genre entry in its own right.

The game makes great use of environmental features, with the arenas an impressively interactive entity that can be used to turn the fight in an instant. For comic book and movie fans, this is easily the best fighting game out there today.

What is the best fighting game in 2024?

#1 - Street Fighter 6

Luke and Jamie clash in Street Fighter 6
Click to enlarge
Image via Capcom

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series
  • Release date: 2023
  • Key features:
    • Four different game modes including World Tour
    • The most recognisable character roster in the entire genre
    • Massive return to form for the series

Though it has come in for some criticism in recent years, Street Fighter remains the most iconic series in the genre for a reason. Often seen as the cleaner and less gratuitous sibling of the consistently bonkers Mortal Kombat, there are a lot of similarities between the two in how they feel to play.

Characters can be as simple or complicated to play as the player decides, though higher-level players will generally wipe the floor with those who aren't properly familiar with their character. Street Fighter is still the best option out there for players looking to move away from Mortal Kombat or Tekken. 

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For more gaming recommendations, our lists homepage has a breakdown of the best MMO games, dragon games, and the most epic Soulslike games to pick up next.

James Lynch is a freelance writer who has spent the last three years editing and writing for the website he started back in 2018. When he's not deeply embroiled in an epic PC strategy, he can usually be found supporting his beloved Brentford FC. Catch him on his newly active Twitter @jamesjlynch.

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