Fighting games can be an intimidating genre to get into, the games often have a skill ceiling with an overwhelming number of things to contend with but if you’re like me and have made that plunge into the fighting game genre, then this list is for you as we recommend you some of the best fighting games you can get into based on their accessibility for beginners, skill ceiling, netcode and player base.
Following are some of the best fighting games you can play in 2022.
7) Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)
The most easily accessible fighting game in this entire list, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 2.5D fighting game developed by Arc System Works. It is a visually gorgeous celebration of the Dragon Ball anime and manga that impresses at every turn and features very smooth roll-back netcode as well as a huge roster of characters (If you ignore all the forms of Goku sold as different characters). While some have criticized FighterZ for its simple combat, the game actually has a lot of depth for those who like to invest their time into learning all of its mechanics. The game also offers an auto combo mechanic that lets you press one button to land an entire combo which is something that I personally would highly suggest to avoid as it can cause some very bad habits to spring up if you continue to play fighting games seriously. While the game has been largely surpassed by Arc Sys Works’s next outing, Dragon Ball FighterZ is still a huge treat for both Dragon Ball fans and fighting game fans alike.
6) Injustice 2 (2017)
An excellent choice for fans of DC Comics characters and a love letter to many of DC’s heroes, Injustice is Netherrealm’s take on the Injustice comics. Boasting an excellent story mode and lots of single player content, Netherrealm Studios delivers yet another top class entry into the genre that’s still being played to this day. The fighting feels tight and snappy and while the game has been overshadowed by Netherrealm’s newest release, there’s still a lot to enjoy with Injustice 2 and its huge roster of iconic DC characters.
5) Mortal Kombat 11 (2019)
While Mortal Kombat isn’t the hottest game in the FGC for various reasons, Mortal Kombat 11 still offers a great deal of depth and accessibility for newcomers to the genre. Even better is its commitment to offering a ton of single player content for every kind of player. There are various challenge towers for players to do, the classic Arcade ladder and the highlight of the Mortal Kombat games (at least MK9 onwards) the story mode. The game has a huge roster of 34 characters (considering you buy the Ultimate Edition). While the gameplay of Mortal Kombat is a lot slower than past entries with a higher focus on base fighting game mechanics like footsies and zoning, even after getting a hang of the base mechanics and finding your personal favorite character, there’s a lot more to chew on afterwards with hidden mechanics like dash cancelling into combos or wave dashing that require a lot of practice to consistently pull off during matches. All this combined with a buttery smooth netcode makes Mortal Kombat a superb choice for getting into fighting games.
4) The King of Fighters XV (2022)
The most recent fighting game in this list, one of the reasons The King of Fighters XV makes it into this list is the reason is solely because of its release date. Having released only last month its one of the best possible times to jump into a fighting game while the player base is still new and learning and is at a period where you in-turn can also experiment with the game and various characters before its mostly crowded by hardcore vets who are at a much higher skill level. As a wise man once said, the best time to get into a fighting game is as soon as its out, the second best time is now. The game features a very robust combo system along with one of the best fighting game rosters you can find, I mean, who can say no to Blue Mary and Mai Shiranui?
3) Street Fighter V (2016)
Its disappointing launch aside, Street Fighter V has constantly received support from its developers adding new content and consistent changes to the game’s balancing. The game iterates a lot on Street Fighter IV’s gameplay with a whole host of improvements while also making it a lot more easy to grasp for newcomers. The game also features an extensive roster of a whopping 45 characters including all the DLC characters so we highly recommend getting the recently released Champion Edition of the game which contains most of the DLC characters present in the game. If you’re after a classic fighting game experience, Street Fighter is as “pure” as it can get. The game still has a decent influx of players due to the frequent updates and the netcode has been significantly improved with the latest updates. Although I do suggest caution as the game is pretty much at the end of its lifecycle with the announcement of Street Fighter VI only last month.
2) Guilty Gear STRIVE (2020)
My personal favorite game on this list, Guilty Gear STRIVE is a 2.5D anime fighter developed by Arc System Works. As someone who had mostly stayed away from most fighting games after Street Fighter IV, hopping back into fighting games again after so many years with Guilty Gear STRIVE felt near effortless. Boasting some of the most unique and well designed roster of characters of any fighting game ever that draw you in with their striking designs like Millia, an assassin that fights using her hair that morph into different forms or I-no, a short haired witch wearing sunglasses that fights using her magical guitar or even Happy Chaos who just shoots you with a gun. Despite its small size, Guilty Gear STRIVE’s roster is bound to offer a character that you’ll click with. Its also the only game I’ve played that lives up to the “Fully priced Album with a free game” claim because the music in this game is genuinely worthy of a fully composed Album. All of this combined with a deeply complex fighting system that encourages you to craft your own fancy combos while also being simple for newcomers and its silky smooth roll-back netcode makes Guilty Gear STRIVE one of the best fighting games currently in the market.
1) Tekken 7 (2017)
One of- if not the most popular and beloved fighting game in recent years, Tekken 7 is highly regarded by both newcomers and vets alike as the prime fighting game to get into. With a bustling scene in the FGC and near undying popularity, Tekken 7 has consistently managed to stay at the top of the fighting game throne. The game has the most rich character roster of any game in this entire list so players have a lot of choices to experiment with and it also happens to be the only actual 3D fighting game in this list, seeing an attack coming? Just dodge to the side with a dash and punish with your own combo. The game offers an insane amount of depth with a very high skill ceiling and while it may not have the best netcode, in terms of overall popularity, there’s nothing currently out that can beat Tekken. Just make sure you have an ethernet connection.
And that’s all you need to know about the best fighting games you can play in 2022! For more helpful guides, stay tuned right here at our guides section!