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Gaming 101: Fighting Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at Fighting games.

Fighting video games involve close combat between characters. Usually, in some arena, the player uses attacks, and combinations of moves to overpower and outwit his opponent. Different playable characters and computer-controlled enemies have different abilities that offer a tactical challenge.

These games are often harder to learn and play, requiring fast reactions and memorisation of combinations of buttons. These pure fighting games sit alongside brawling and beat-em-up games where fights are simpler and against large numbers of enemies.

These games are Action focused, but mainly in respect of the fighting. This is sometimes expanded by games that combine the fighting with Adventure, Role-Playing, Narrative and other elements.

Other games include Fighting, but remove the player from direct control, focusing instead on the Strategy or Simulation of combat. This can be taken further away from the heat of battle in Turn-Based games.

This list includes 21 games from the last 23 years, with 503 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first fighting game.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports and Strategy
Total Likes: 503
 

 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Release Date: 21/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an adventure about a young girl who travels to an abandoned village in the hope of finding a sacred mountain shrine. To get there she must find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their...

Lego (Series)

Release Date: 01/02/2005, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

The combination of Lego, a popular film franchise and a video game is a rich recipe for gaming fun. The series of Lego games has developed since the first release on Nintendo DS. Not only do these games offer a chance to explore, destroy and fight in a...

Skylanders (Series)

Release Date: 14/10/2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Skylanders uses toy figures to unlock characters and save progress. It is no longer manufactured but can be found second-hand quite cheaply and is a lot of fun for young players, particularly when played in cooperative two-player mode.

Wii Sports (Series)

Release Date: 08/02/2006, updated in 2014

Platforms: Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club offer motion-controlled sports. Although these games are well known, the depth each of them offer is a best-kept secret. Games like bowling, tennis and boxing are easy to pick up but require considerable...

Towerfall

Release Date: 25/06/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Each player selects a pixelated knight and fights to eliminate opponents by shooting them with arrows or jumping on their heads. The arena is a single shared screen. What makes it so competitive is the limited resource of arrows and the ability to dodge...

Castle Crashers

Release Date: 08/09/2015, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Castle Crashers is a cartoon looking fighting game, like Golden Axe, The Simpsons or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games, set in a medieval universe where a dark wizard steals a mystical gem and captures four princesses. Four knights are charged...

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Series)

Release Date: 21/01/1999, updated in 2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Smash Bros. in its various versions offers real-time brawling battles. The tens of characters are drawn from other video games and each has bespoke moves to learn and perfect.

Boomerang Fu

Release Date: 13/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Boomerang Fu is a fighting game where you control small food-like characters. Using your boomerang the aim is to slice the other players with ranged or melee attacks. You can use a large range of power-ups such as: explosive boomerangs, disguise and...

Paper Mario: The Origami King (Series)

Release Date: 11/08/2000, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Paper Mario is a role-play game featuring Mario and other Nintendo characters. Although cute and cartoon-like in appearance, these games are known for the quality of writing and the well balanced and enjoyable turn-based combat.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Series)

Release Date: 14/08/2014, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

The Hyrule Warriors series of games are hack and slash action games, set in the Legend of Zelda Universe and focussed primarily on close combat against large groups of enemies. The latest in the series Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, merges the...

Cat Quest (Series)

Release Date: 13/09/2019, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Cat Quest 2 is an adventure game, the sequel to Cat Quest, about a fantasy realm of cats and dogs. You explore and talk to characters who send you on quests to kill enemies in caves or retrieve hidden items. The addition of two player in the second game...

Knack 2 (Series)

Release Date: 12/09/2017

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Knack is a platform action series where you control a shape-shifting robot called Knack. Through beautiful arcade-style battles and worlds, you collect Relics that enable you to grow bigger and gain more powers.

Legend Of The Skyfish (Series)

Release Date: 24/02/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Legend of Skyfish is a puzzle exploration game where you head into a dangerous land, hopping from island to island, solving puzzles and battling enemies. Each arcade-style level is a chance to put your unusual weapon to use -- for fighting but also for...

Bad North

Release Date: 31/10/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Bad North is a stylised strategy fighting game. You control an army defending an island and must train and develop your forces efficiently. The simple visuals and knife-edge Viking combat along with the jeopardy of losing precious troops make this a lot...

Slash Quest

Release Date: 02/10/2020

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Slash Quest is a fighting game where you control a talking sword rather than the character wielding it. You move by swinging left or right and pressing run to move forward. It's a simple mechanic that is intentionally unwieldy and uses ingenious...

Arms

Release Date: 16/06/2017

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Arms is a fighting game where you brawl other players with your abnormally long arms. The play is simple with motion and button controls to move around and attack the enemy player in a boxing-style arena. It's like Wii-Sports Boxing but with many more...

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a fighting game similar to Super Smash Bros. The novelty comes not only from its roster of Nickelodeon characters, but also from its fast-paced and intense rounds, rewarding skill...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Release Date: 16/06/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a fighting and brawling challenge like the classic arcade game. You bash your way through pixel environments with four players each becoming one of the turtles with different skills and moves.

GigaBash

Release Date: 05/08/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

GigaBash is a fighting game where you brawl against other players in matches of up to four people, each of whom controls a huge, city-destroying monster. With a wide array of moves to perfect for each character, there's not only silly fun but also deep...

Lego Brawls

Release Date: 19/09/2019, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Lego Brawls is a fighting game in the vein of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but here you fight with Lego mini-figures. You play in either teams or all-against-all brawls as characters from a wide range of Lego...

Twinfold

Release Date: 14/11/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Twinfold is a puzzle fighting game played in a small maze. You move around the maze with your square character merging into golden baby cubes to gain energy and squashing angry enemy cubes.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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