The 26 Best Fighting Games For PS5

Image credit: Capcom

Fighting Games are my favorite kind of video game. There’s something special about a genre that can have so many different games with distinct identities based on the same idea.

Everything, from how your character fights to how perfect you spaced your attack, makes a fighting game interesting. Whether you want to fly through the screen to hit your opponent or methodically approach before your decisive Katana swing, there sure is a fighting game for you.

This is my list of the 26 best fighting games for PS5. However, this list is not going to consider netcode. If I had to, this list would be much shorter. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many exclusive PS5 fighting games. However, many games were launched for both PS4 and PS5, and you can also play PS4 games on Sony’s newest console.

Street Fighter V

I might get a lot of heat because of this, but this is my favorite Street Fighter game by far. This game is certainly one of the best fighting games on Steam and PS5.

Yes, this game had a rough start. It had many issues regarding characters, balancing, and even systems. It took Capcom a long time to fix it, but they did it, and it became one of the best and most balanced modern fighting games out there.

Street Fighter V also brought back beloved characters from other franchises and even updated some. Akira is back from Rival Schools, Cody became the mayor of Metro City, and Zeku might be hinted at as the first Strider.

On top of all that, the developers were brave enough to change and redesign well-established characters. Ken got a new look and stylish takes on Ryu’s classic moves, Dhalsim looks older and has new special attacks, and Bison seems like a new character — a really evil and cool new character.

If all that wasn’t enough to convince you to give this game a shot, I don’t know what would. This game can be a bit more technical than what you’d like, but Street Fighter is and always will be the poster boy of the genre.

Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown

If 2D fighters are not your thing, then play Virtua Fighter. There are quite a few great 3D fighters on the PS5, but Virtua Fighter is to 3D fighters what Street Fighters is to 2D ones.

Not only do I consider this franchise the best you can get in the subgenre, but it also has some of the best fighting games ever made.

Thankfully, SEGA somehow remembered they have this game and gave us a remade version of Virtua Fighter 5 with updated graphics and textures but with the exact same gameplay.

Virtua Fighter 5 was a gift and a sign of hope for a next-generation Virtua Fighter game.

This game is also one of those that, unlike Street Fighter, is relatively easy to enjoy before you even know the basics. However, Virtua Fighter is also one of the hardest games to master.

In other words, this game is fun, no matter if you are a casual or a hardcore fighting game player.

DNF Duel

DNF Duel came out of nowhere and was surprisingly well-received by the fighting games community. It’s funny how most people who were excited to play this game weren’t even fans of the Dungeon Fighter Online franchise. However, DNF duel is so fun that people just went with it.

There are many things that made DNF Duel be such an acclaimed game. For starters, the game is a bit crazy. There were balance issues during the beta tests and during launch, but the developers had something in mind and went for it. Their objective in DNF Duel seems very clear. No matter which character you pick, you will feel powerful.

This is the thing that most people notice when playing DNF Duel. Each adventurer feels overpowered at times. Ranger can pressure you from the other side of the screen, Striker won’t ever stop hitting you, Grappler can make half your life-bar disappear from an unlockable move, and so on. Things get crazy really fast in this game, and it’s crazy fun.

Another good thing about DNF Duel is its unmatched netcode, which seems to be as good as Strive’s or even better. DNF Duel was made by Eighting and Arc System Works, and it shows. While the game looks like something made by ArcSys, it feels like it was made by Eighting. Combine fun gameplay with cool characters and an excellent online mode, and you have one of the best fighting games for PS5.

Guilty Gear Strive

Anime fighters don’t usually please most fighting game players. These are typically over-the-top, technical, and combo-heavy games. They tend to have a lot of crazy stuff going on at the same time.

Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear franchise was known for things like that, too. However, this changed when Guilty Gear Strive came along. Although the game does have many of the usual anime fighter elements, it does it differently.

Some combos might get a bit long, and some characters might feel like too much to deal with. Yet, nothing is as crazy as previous games of the franchise.

This game is quite technical at higher levels, and even learning the basics can be demanding. Still, it’s far easier to understand than the older Guilty Gear titles.

Besides all that, Guilty Gear Strive is seriously gorgeous. By the time it was out, this fighting game had exhibited the best cell shade graphics and animation ever seen in video games.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves

The last game of the Fatal Fury series, Garou was SNK’s direct response to Street Fighter III. In fact, both games are very similar in many ways.

Much like its competition, Garou: Mark of the Wolves is a game that happens long after the previous Fatal Fury. It also introduces new characters, systems, and some of the most gorgeous sprites ever seen in the genre.

Besides all that, Garou is also a game that feels a lot more modern than most of what came out around it. The gameplay is somewhat footsie-based and arguably a little slower than the KOF games coming out around that time.

Even though it wasn’t a crazy fast game with a lot of flashy movements, it is considered one of the best SNK games and one of the best fighting games of all time.

The PlayStation version of Garou also comes with a practice mode and quality rollback netcode, which makes this game great to play online with friends.

Tekken 7

Tekken is currently the most popular 3D fighter franchise out there. So much so that its popularity might have surpassed Street Fighter 5’s for a while.

Tekken is not a game known for changing much in each of its numbered editions. Tekken 7 is, in many ways, very similar to Tekken 5. New Tekken takes stuff from even early titles since many current characters retain animations from Tekken 3.

This means that old-timers will always be good at the game, and the transition to a new Tekken will not be that hard. However, this might also feel like there’s nothing new to see for some players.

That being said, Tekken still is one of the best fighting game franchises in the market, and it has some of the most iconic characters in video game history.

It’s also considered Virtua Fighter’s direct competition. It has an easy-to-learn and hard-to-master design that is very similar to its competition. Still, it has its own identity when it comes to gameplay and overall design.

Mortal Kombat 11

As far as Mortal Kombat goes, I consider MK11 the best one. It’s not only one of the best fighting games for PS5, but it’s also one of the best fighting games for Switch.

Mortal Kombat 11 is a very different game from its predecessor. The developers copied the Street Fighter approach to sequels, basically remaking the entire game from graphics to systems.

Mortal Kombat 11 also has some of the best guest characters in Fighting Games, such as Robocop and the best soldier to ever come out of hell, Spawn.

These amazing characters are well complemented by the game’s graphics. This is the case because Mortal Kombat 11 is probably the only Triple-A fighting game on the market. MK11’s high-fidelity graphics are unmatched in the genre.

This is a footsie-heavy game, meaning that movement is critical, but it also means that knowledge of the game is fundamental, generally speaking. Combos won’t do the trick if you don’t know how to punish your opponent’s attempts to poke.

Although this new take on Mortal Kombat is something I really liked, not all MK fans liked it. I do recommend this game if you rather play a slower and more strategic game instead of a combo-heavy, vortex-heavy one like MKX.

The King of Fighters XV

The King of Fighters is a legendary fighting game series. It can be argued that it was born as a celebration of SNK’s legacy.

This game united SNK fighting games such as Art of Fighting and Garou Densetsu. However, it went further than that by throwing in games like Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldiers in the mix.

All those franchises together resulted in one of the most famous and memorable fighting games to have ever existed.

This is a franchise with 15 official games. The last one, The King of Fighters VI, is generally considered a vast improvement upon the previous title, both graphically and gameplay-wise.

Since The King of Fighters is a team fighter franchise, you can always count on the fact these games have many characters. If you dislike playing a single character in fighting games, this is a great game to try out.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

This game is something else. It is like Guilty Gear and Marvel vs. Capcom merged their mechanics and gave it to the most known shonen franchise of all time.

Dragon Ball Fighters is a 3v3 tag fighter with frenetic action that is surprisingly easy to play. However, this game can be extremely deep at higher levels, so there’s something here for casuals and hardcore anime fighter fans.

Its cell shade graphics are something no other studio, but Arc System Works can do. Although not as good as Guilty Gear Strive, Dragon Ball FighterZ has some of the best 3D models and graphics ever seen in anime games. All the animations in the game pay homage to the anime or manga.

Generally speaking, this is a fun casual game. It lets you make dream teams and dream matches with some of the most powerful and iconic characters created by Akira Toriyama. It’s fun to play, fun to watch, and you should give it a shot if you like tag fighters, anime fighters, or Dragon Ball Z.

Samurai Shodown

If you are looking for a slow and methodical game with no long combos, Samurai Shodown is the game for you. Not only does it not have long combos, but this game can also be played without recurring to any.

Samurai Shodown is all about finding an opening and punishing your adversary — or highly punishing footsies for those who understand the fighting game terminology. Attacks in this game are far more dangerous than in most fighting games, and some attacks can nearly deplete your life bar.

This is one of the most successful SNK franchises, and it came back to PS4 and PS5 to become SNK’s most successful game when released.

If you like the idea of reading your opponent and finding strategies to open them up so you can land a satisfying, heavy slash that nearly ends the battle, try Samurai Shodown.

Although this game has a very clear style and approach to its gameplay, the way characters play is surprisingly different. You have fast ninjas, technical samurais, heavy hitters, and more.

Soul Calibur 6

This game is not methodical and slow like Samsho, but there are similarities. Soul Calibur is the outcome of making a 3D fighter game with characters from the 16th century that aren’t necessarily historically accurate.

The developers also sprinkled some anime in it, so I’d say that Soul Calibur is what you get when Tekken and Samurai Shodown have a baby.

Soul Calibur 6 includes weird and interesting takes on historic warrior classes. This means you have a staff wielder, a ninja, a samurai, a pirate, and some characters that are much harder to define.

This game has beautiful graphics and is filled with single-player content. It has some of the most unforgettable characters I’ve ever seen in a 3D fighter — like a mixture of Bruce Lee and Elvis Presley fighting with nunchucks.

This franchise has always been among the best 3D fighters and is sure to please those who like over-the-top weapon fighting and 3D fighting games.

Skullgirls 2nd Encore

There is no way I can leave Skullgirls 2nd Encore out of this list. Although it’s not very popular, this is a high-quality game with good gameplay, graphics, and netcode.

Although not many people know about this game, those who like it really, really like it. Skullgirls has a large, devoted community, and you can usually find somebody to challenge you online.

The thing is, besides being a good and well-developed product, Skullgirls has an identity. The jazz music, hand-drawn style, and fast-paced battles make this fighting game something special.

Take some time to play the game, but remember that Skullgirls 2nd Encore is not easy. It’s a frenetic tag fighter with a lot of technical demands.

You need to know a lot about matchups and when fighting crazy mix-ups and long combos that will deplete most of your health. However, if that’s what you are into, I’m sure you will love this game.

The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match

The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, this new version of the game on Steam, is a great way to experience the retro title. This is especially true if you are already a fan of the series. After all, as far as I know, most KOF fans like KOF2002.

This game comes with rollback netcode, which is basically what every fighting game nowadays needs. It also includes balancing tweaks that improve upon the original KOF 2002.

More recent fighting games are very different from the old ones, not only in aesthetics but also in the way they are structured. Games of old tended to be unforgiving.

The balance tweaks in The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match address some things considered broken, and it even added things to weaker characters. However, it still feels like a game from another era. This is not bad, though, since many players are looking for that exact experience.

This game can be hard to understand and is scary to try at first, but it definitely is a good game.

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter V might have eventually become a good and popular fighting game, but it wasn’t always the case.

It’s usually said in the fighting game community that the genre would have been burred if it wasn’t for Street Fighter IV. It single-handedly brought back to life all fans’ passion for the genre, big tournaments, and the competition.

Street Fighter IV is not an easy game to play. The combos are hard to land, the game’s overall flow is hard to understand, and the design doesn’t really please everybody.

However, it’s so radically different from Street Fighter V that many fans of this game rather play it than the newest releases of the franchise.

Whether people like it or not, Street Fighter IV has a special place in the fighting game community’s history. It will always be considered a great Street Fighter title due to its importance when first released.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

As I mentioned above, Street Fighter IV is significantly different from Street Fighter V. In fact, every Street Fighter game is significantly different from one another.

This is why I cannot recommend Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection enough. If you are a fan of the franchise or the genre, this collection will undoubtedly please you.

You get to play many versions of Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, and Street Fighter III. Each game is mechanically unique and brings new mechanics to the table that make them have their own identity. They even have entirely different art styles.

Street Fighter is one of the few fighting game franchises that are not afraid of changing the way their game works when they go to the next numbered sequel. That’s something that makes each of these games so special — at least in my opinion.

If you want to see how Street Fighter has changed and evolved, it’s worth checking Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Although Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was not well received when first announced, those who did play it quickly noticed how good it was gameplay-wise.

The game is a 2 versus 2 tag fighter with characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and famously known Capcom characters. This was clearly not a sequel to the franchise but a spin-off. The misconception of what this game was, among presentation issues, is most likely what led to its downfall.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite had many newcomers to the franchise, such as Monster Hunter, Megaman X, The Winter Soldier, and Black Panther. It is rumored that it would eventually have newcomers from Street Fighter V, such as Rashid, but the game did not live long enough.

Although it was a commercial failure to Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a very well-designed and solid fighting game. This game has interesting mechanics, allows players to be creative, and has a functioning rollback netcode. 

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a lost gem that died due to undeserved bad press, and I do recommend it to any fan of the franchise or fast-paced tag fighters.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the last version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. It is the go-to game for those who love the franchise but did not like Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

This game can be considered even more chaotic than most tag fighters available on this list. Much like Dragon Ball FighterZ, which adopted the orphans of this franchise, it is a 3 versus 3 tag battle with assists and a lot going on at the same time.

This title is hard to rival when it comes to characters. It has some all-time favorite characters from Marvel and Capcom. This includes Ryu, Dante, Zero, Amaterasu, Morrigan, Strider, Iron Fist, Rocket Raccoon, Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Deadpool, and many others.

Although this game has the infamous Black Phoenix and the X-Factor mechanic, it is still considered one of the most influential fighting game titles.

It certainly is one of the most well-known fighting games in this new fighting games era and an excellent game for anyone fond of tag fighters.

Guilty Gear Xrd

Although it’s not the most recent Guilty Gear game, it still looks good by today’s standards. When compared to Strive, Xrd seems much crazier.

The characters are weirder as they have always been, and there are many more characters to choose from. Also, the game is more complex, feels more frenetic, and allows for much more creativity when it comes to combos and approaching your adversary.

Guilty Gear Xrd was the last game of the franchise that felt more like the arcade and old PlayStation titles. Because of that, many of the players who loved Guilty Gear Xrd didn’t really like Strive.

This means that if you like anime fighters but weren’t happy with ArcSys’ newest game, Guilty Gear Xrd might be a game that will please you much more.

BlazBlue: Central Fiction

This franchise is Guilty Gear’s younger brother. It has many familiar but different characters in gorgeous anime-style sprites and frenetic gameplay that involves long combos.

BlazBlue, from a distance, feels a lot like another Guilty Gear. And it stays true if you are not very familiar with the two franchises.

Although, at first, it was perceived as a more accessible game than Guilty Gear, BlazBlue players eventually discovered how deep this game can be.

Fortunately, BlazBlue: Central Fiction is a bit easier to start playing than other games from the same developers. It flows better and has a beginner’s mode in which you can mash a button to perform combos.

Guilty Gear Strive toned down the weirdness of some characters, but BlazBlue didn’t. If you want a fighting game that is as anime and weird as it gets, give BlazBlue: Central Fiction a shot.

Mortal Kombat XL

Mortal Kombat XL is a complete version of Mortal Kombat X available for PlayStation 4 and 5. MKX is a fast-paced and frenetic game with many characters. You have well-established characters, new kombatants, and guest fighters that only MK would be able to pull off.

Many fans consider Mortal Kombat X to be an evolution of a fan favorite, Mortal Kombat 9. The gameplay feels like its predecessor, but it is faster, with more combos and mix-ups.

You get a long story mode that uses some fan-favorite characters and introduces new ones with debatable charisma.

However, there’s no discussion regarding the charisma of the game’s guest characters. You have Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, Predator, and Alien — yes, a xenomorph in Mortal Kombat X!

This game isn’t as good-looking as Mortal Kombat 11, but it is fun nonetheless. If MK11 feels a bit slow to you, Mortal Kombat X might be the MK for you.

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is the updated version of Persona 4 Arena released for PS4.

This title has Arc System Works’ DNA all over it. It was a perfect marriage between a very over-the-top anime game and an anime fighters developer studio.

The game has some of the most gorgeous sprites in fighting games, which is not surprising since it was made by ArcSys and the frenetic gameplay expected from the studio’s titles.

Not only are the sprites amazing, but the animation is also fluid and high-quality. Besides, each character’s personality is displayed in a way that only the greatest fighting games are able to do.

This is a fun game, but it is obviously an over-complicated anime fighter. If you like the way it looks, give it a shot, but keep in mind that this is probably a challenging game to master.

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]

When the name of a fighting game is overcomplicated like that, you know it is an anime fighter. We also know that some of the best anime fighters are made by Arc System Works, which is the case again.

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] is a fast-paced 1v1 anime fighter developed by Arc System Works. It has 20 unique characters, the sprite and animation quality that you know from this studio, and stylish, long combos that you’d expect from the subgenre.

This is a franchise that is not very well known. Therefore it might be harder to recommend to those who dislike complex fighting games or anime.

However, if you are willing to learn and find these characters cool, you might find that this game is surprisingly fun. It is an Arc System Works game, though. In other words, it’s a very anime, very fast-paced game that is challenging to master. Nonetheless, it’s pretty fun.

Granblue Fantasy: Versus

Arc System Works appears a lot in this list, and I’ll keep adding their games to it as long as they keep making good games.

Granblue Fantasy: Versus is the kind of game that I generally like. It is a footsie game that rewards matchup knowledge and spacing, much like most Street Fighter games and Mortal Kombat 11.

Unlike most games made by Arc System Works, this game was meant to please fans of the original Granblue Fantasy franchise. In other words, the game can be more easily enjoyed by players who are not familiar with fighting games’ motion inputs.

Their solution was to add one-button special moves, like special attacks in League of Legends, with a cooldown system so they wouldn’t be spammed.

Although not perfect, this design choice allowed players who have never played fighting games to enjoy Granblue Fantasy: Versus.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

This title is not one of my all-time favorites, but I certainly understand the appeal. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is a crossover tag fighter, like Marvel vs. Capcom, made by Arc System Works.

This game has ArcSys’ original characters and characters from other franchises battling against each other in a 2 versus 2 tag fights.

Besides BlazBlue characters, this game includes characters from Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, RWBY, Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki En-Eins.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle game has a lot of reused assets, but it still is its own game with a gameplay style that significantly differs from the original BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, and the other games from which it borrows characters.

However, it might be fair to say that you’d only notice the difference if you played the original titles before the crossover one. Much like most games made by Arc System Works, this is a frenetic and challenging game, but it will surely please fans of the anime fighter genre.

Injustice 2

NetherRealms Studios is very well known for its Mortal Kombat games. Still, these developers were also the first to make a modern fighting game exclusively about superheroes and supervillains.

Injustice 2 is the direct sequel to the Injustice fighting game. It is a high-fidelity, triple-A fighting game with some of the best-looking 3D characters in PS4 games.

This game allows you to make dream matches that make no sense, and I love it. You get to play characters such as Superman, Batman, Harley Quinn, Starfire, Lex Luthor, Blue Beetle, Darkseid, Atrocitus, and so many others.

When it comes to guest characters, you might have noticed that NetherRealms Studios has some of the best and weirdest ones. It’s also the case here since they included Hellboy and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their cast.

Injustice plays a lot like Mortal Kombat X, but it doesn’t have a guard button. If you like DC characters and Mortal Kombat, you will also like Injustice 2.

Dead or Alive 6

This is a 3D fighting game franchise that, surprisingly, has a lot of depth. Dead or Alive was known as the fighting game with beautiful girls beating each other.

However, the developers cared to make a solid fighting game once you have gone past the game’s looks.

Dead or Alive is a franchise that also borrowed a lot from other games. It has most Virtua Fighter’s input style and Tekken’s over-the-top moves, but it takes it all to a whole new level.

Fights are incredibly fast-paced in Dead or Alive. The characters’ moves are anything but realistic, and some scenarios have really cool transitions. Combine its gameplay with its visuals, and you can easily see that this franchise stands on its own as something unique.

Dead or Alive 6 also has a few characters from other franchises, such as Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden and Mai Shiranui from KOF. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a good fighting game nonetheless.

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