You were probably wondering why not one single PS4 fighting game made our list of the best PS4 multiplayer games. Well, we thought about including them. But that would have made half the list all about fighting games because there are many really good ones out there – both recent and older titles.
Plus, having a list of PS4 multiplayer games largely composed of fighting games would have made us seem biased. So we made a separate list of the best PS4 fighting games instead. Though we only focused on titles released (or re-released, in one case) in 2016 and 2017. Without further ado, here are the best fighting games on PS4 that you should really check out if you still haven’t done so already.
When talking about fighting games, on any platform, it’s a sin not to mention a Street Fighter title. Released last February 2016, Street Fighter V is the current flag-bearer in the long-running series. It features the familiar 2D side-scrolling fighting gameplay – but with upgraded graphics and a few tweaks.
Street Fighter V has more than 20 playable characters, though a number of them are DLC characters that need to be unlocked first using “Fight Money” or real money. The roster is dominated by series mainstays like Ryu, Chun-Li, M. Bison, and Dhalsim. But a handful of characters makes their series debut: Ed, Kolin, Laura, Necalli, Rashid, and F.A.N.G.
The most prominent addition to the gameplay is the V-Gauge. The V-Gauge slowly fills up by receiving damage. In exchange for all the pounding your character gets, you get access to three techniques: V-Skills, V-Reversals, and V-Triggers. V-Skills and V-Triggers are special skills and abilities unique to each character. V-Reversals are basically counterattack moves, which can be really deadly when used correctly.
Street Fighter V makes up for its skinny roster by giving each character a distinct fighting style. You can’t just mash buttons and hope to miraculously win fights. You need to learn how each character moves and behaves during fights. And the only real way to do that is to fight competitively online. Because Capcom didn’t include a classic arcade mode, which sucks.
2. Injustice 2
Injustice 2 is one of the most recent titles in this list. Developed by NetherRealm Studios and released just last May, Injustice 2 is the sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us. It features superheroes and supervillains from DC Comics, which includes highly popular characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Joker, and Harley Quinn.
Injustice 2 largely features the same gameplay mechanics found in its predecessor, with a few tweaks to give it a more polished look. Graphics-wise, it is one of the most gorgeous-looking fighting games out right now. Going through the story mode, which picks up a few years after Injustice: Gods Among Us, is a delight. All the characters are beautifully created, with facial animations that easily blows Mass Effect Andromeda out of the water.
NetherRealm Studios included an RPG element in the form of the “Gear System.” This new feature allows you to customize your characters’ equipment, boosting their stats and, in the case of cosmetic items, changing their appearances. You receive items either as random loots at the end of matches or by purchasing them with in-game currency.
Like all other games, Injustice 2 isn’t free from criticism. The game features microtransactions in the form of “Source Crystals,” which are purchased using real money. You can use Source Crystals to access items that normally require game progression. But aside from this, Injustice 2 is an excellent PS4 fighting game, with awesome visuals and an engaging gameplay.
3. Tekken 7
If Street Fighter is the king of 2D fighting games, then Tekken is its counterpart in the 3D department. Newly released Tekken 7 is the most recent entry in the series. It was originally released back in 2015 on arcades before Bandai Namco made a few touch-ups and re-released it as Tekken 7: Fated Retribution last year (also on arcades).
PS4 owners had to wait more than two years for the console version, which was based on the 2016 re-release, to arrive. But it’s certainly worth the wait. Tekken 7 features the same core gameplay mechanics that has made the Tekken series a hit among fighting game enthusiasts. Bandai Namco also made a number of changes and additions. Most notably, walking backward to avoid incoming blows is much smoother.
The two new gameplay additions are “Rage Arts” and “Power Crushes.” The former is a powerful attack executed when your character is low on health. It gives you the opportunity to quickly turn the match in your favor just when things are looking grim for you. A Power Crush, meanwhile, is an uninterruptible attack. Meaning, the attack animation won’t stop when your character is hit. However, your character still takes damage, making it a very risky move.
If you’re also a big fan of Street Fighter, you’re going to love the inclusion of fan-favorite Akuma, who also plays a part in the game story. He is more than just a guest character. As mentioned, Tekken 7 is worth the wait. Bandai Namco did a great job at keeping the core mechanics intact while also adding new elements to give it a deeper gameplay.
Like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat is one of the most popular franchises in the fighting genre. It has even spawned a couple of films. Mortal Kombat X is the most recent entry in the series, originally released in 2015 and re-packaged in 2016 as Mortal Kombat XL. The re-release contains all post-release content, along with some improvements.
The roster is much bigger than Street Fighter V – excluding characters only available on mobile platforms. It includes familiar characters such as Sonya Blade, Scorpion, Raiden, and Kung Lao. Characters from popular horror film franchises also make an appearance. Like the Predator from, well, Predator and Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.
Mortal Kombat XL continues the grossly over-the-top action that has marked the series. Fatalities are still gruesome and cringe-inducing, which is why playing it with a full stomach isn’t recommended. Bone-cracking Brutalities also return. Developer NetherRealm Studios also added interactive stages. For example, you can pick up objects and throw them at opponents’ faces.
If you’re looking for a PS4 fighting game where you can literally rip opponents to shreds, Mortal Kombat XL is for you. It is by far the best entry in the series, featuring excellent gameplay mechanics and a great cast of characters. And unlike Street Fighter V, it has a better-developed story.
Next up is another PS4 fighting game published by Bandai Namco, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. It is the sequel to 2015’s Dragon Ball Xenoverse, which received mixed reviews. The sequel was more warmly received than its predecessor.
Unlike the previous four titles in this list, Xenoverse 2 comes with a huge roster. It includes more than 100 characters from the Dragon Ball franchise, ranging from popular characters to lesser known ones. Many characters have multiple forms. For example, default Goku (non-GT) can transform all the way to Super Saiyan 3. This allows you to use your favorite characters only in their specific forms.
Xenoverse 2 comes with the same gameplay mechanics seen in the first game, which focuses on fast-paced action in 3D battle arenas. Characters have a lot of freedom to move around in the arena and can deliver punishment either using physical attacks or Ki attacks. The movement freedom makes it somewhat harder to finish off low-health opponents, though. So be prepared to chase around wounded opponents.
Fighting games based on the popular Dragon Ball franchise have actually been around for years. But they typically get overshadowed by titles from more popular fighting game series like Street Fighter and Tekken. Which is a shame, since there are some really good ones out there. Xenoverse 2 is definitely one of them.
The manga and anime adaptation have come to an end. Fighting games based on the Naruto franchise won’t be going away anytime soon. But for the Ultimate Ninja subseries, the journey has concluded. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is the final entry in the subseries. It was released a few days before Street Fighter V last February 2016.
Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 once again features dozens of Naruto characters from the manga and anime series. The majority of characters also come in different forms, similar to Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. The titular main character alone has more than 10 forms. Because of the huge roster, choosing which character to main for online multiplayer can be really difficult. Unless you only have one or two favorite characters.
The gameplay is similar to past series entries, where battles take place in colorful 3D arenas based on familiar locations. To keep in line with the source material, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 once again allows you to fight while “standing” on a wall vertically.
The most notable addition to the gameplay is the ability to switch characters. You know, like in tag team fighting games like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. However, instead of having individual health bars, team members all share the same health, making fights shorter. The same goes for Awakenings (badass transformations) and Ultimate Jutsus (badass super moves), where all team members share the same parameter.
The King of Fighters is another popular fighting game series that has roots in arcade machines. It can be argued that it is the main rival of Street Fighter in the 2D category. The series has also found success on consoles, with The King of Fighters XIV being the most recent installment.
The King of Fighters XIV uses full 3D character models, a first for a main series entry, but it retains the same 2D side-scrolling gameplay. It initially launched with outdated 3D graphics. But developer SNK has since patched things up with newer models. It now looks similar to Street Fighter V in terms of aesthetics (sort of), though diehard fans will tell you that’s not the case.
The game features a revamped “Max Mode,” which allows you to execute EX special moves endlessly within a short time-frame. It can be devastating when timed correctly. A new type of super move called “Climax Super Special Move” is also introduced. Don’t laugh at the over-the-top name; Climax Super Special Moves are the most powerful moves in the game, capable of quickly ending matches.
Though the gameplay mechanics can be daunting if you’re new to the series, The King of Fighters XIV is an excellent PS4 fighting game that you should definitely pick up. It has dozens of characters, who are separated into teams, a great online multiplayer experience, and a nice replay value. If you want to take a break from Street Fighter V, we recommend checking out The King of Fighters XIV.
Capping off this list is another 2D fighting game, BlazBlue: Central Fiction. It is the fourth game in a series that only started in 2008, making it the least recognizable of all the titles listed here. Yes, Injustice 2 is just the second game in a new series. But that series is based on characters that have been around for decades, with a developer (NetherRealm Studios) that is highly regarded in the genre.
Originally released in 2015 on Japanese arcades, Central Fiction finally arrived on PS4 last November 2016 (North America), making it the third-most recent title in this list right behind Injustice 2 and Tekken 7. It features more than 30 playable characters, which includes all characters from its predecessor, Chrono Phantasma, and its updated version Chrono Phantasma Extend.
The character designs are very anime-like, giving it a distinct look compared to other 2D fighting games. Among the new gameplay features include “Exceed Accel” and “Active Flow.” The former is a type of Distortion Drive (super-powerful moves) which is marked by a shattering background once it connects. The latter is basically a positive buff that grants your character damage and Burst recovery boosts. You can enter Active Flow by being constantly on the offensive.
Though its gameplay mechanics can be a lot to take in for newcomers, Central Fiction is a genuinely good 2D fighting game. You should check it out if you’re looking for something new in today’s gaming scene populated by established franchises. It has an appealing art style, great gameplay mechanics, and a good number of playable characters to give it more replay value. It’s a solid PS4 fighting game overall.
Choosing which PS4 fighting game is all about personal preferences. All of the above-mentioned titles are worth picking up. But if you can only afford one, we really recommend Injustice 2. It’s one of the best-looking PS4 fighting games out right now. Combine that with a refined gameplay and a cast of super-popular characters and you have yourself a fighting game that delivers on all fronts. If you want an “underdog” title, BlazBlue: Central Fiction is an excellent pick-up.
The most notable omission in this list is an entry from the popular crossover fighting game series Marvel vs. Capcom. The last main title, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, one of the best fighting games on PS3, was recently released on PS4, though it has been around since 2011. If you want a Marvel vs. Capcom title, we recommend waiting just a few more months for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. It arrives on September 19, 2017.