To me, there are few things more fun in video games than playing a good old fashioned fighter. Whether it’s immersing yourself in some shockingly decent story modes, bringing copy to your mate’s house to thrash them everywhere or even just sinking hours into the training mode to learn combos, fighting games provide depth and complexity often unseen in other genres.
But the question is, which Xbox One fighting games are worth your time? For every Mortal Kombat, there’s a Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends. With the Xbox Series X around the corner to boot, you’ll be able to carry all these games forward to the next generation. With that in mind, here’s the fifteen best fighting games available on the Xbox One, presented to you in no particular order.
1. Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection
Let’s kick this list off with an entry that includes 11 fantastic Street Fighter titles, and then the original Street Fighter to boot. 11/12 great games is still a fantastic ratio, especially when it includes the likes of the Alpha series and SF 3.
More than just a sum of its games, Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary is a celebration of the iconic fighting game series, with concept art, online play and other enhancements to make this a collection worth having. Plus, it has Third Strike, so it wins on that alone.
2. Injustice 2
Arguably one of the greatest, or at least most complete fighting games of the current generation, Injustice 2 was proof positive of NetherRealm Studios’ right to wear the crown of fighting game royalty.
With 28 characters available on launch, along with another 6 currently available as DLC, a fully fledged and engaging story mode, stable online play and the always changing Multiverse mode, Injustice 2 is packed with enough content to make even the most time intensive RPG’s blush. Of course, it helped that the gameplay was bloody fantastic.
3. Tekken 7
The war between Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima has been raging for over two decades now, but Tekken 7 sought to bring the father-son conflict to a final resolution. Though the story mode itself was a bit of disappointment, and the lack of substantial modes diminished longevity, Tekken 7 retained the same addictive 3D fighting gameplay that has been refined and perfected over the years.
On top of all that, the addition of the new Rage Arts and Rage Drives mechanics added a brand new dimension to your repertoire. If you’ve got fighting game friends, or fans of the old PlayStation games, Tekken 7 is a must-have fighter.
4. Mortal Kombat 11
NetherRealm’s other huge fighting game franchise, Mortal Kombat has been enjoying a fantastic rebirth since MK9 nearly a decade ago. This improvement reached a culmination with Mortal Kombat 11, which is bloody, brutal and brilliant in equal measure.
Mortal Kombat 11 is a continuation of the series’ excellent story mode, with fantastic gameplay as well that adds new abilities to your moveset. Fatal Blows and MK11’s approach to meter management make for a game that’s both unlike its own series, but unlike other games on the market.
5. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
No longer the most recent Marvel vs Capcom game, but arguably less divisive of the fanbase than Infinite, Ultimate MvC 3 boasted a huge roster of both fan favourite characters and some obscure picks too. At least this game has Wolverine and other X-Men, unlike that piss-poor roster in Infinite.
Unfortunately, very few people actually play UMvC3 online any more, and those that do will body you back to the training mode, time and time again. If you’ve got comic book friends, perhaps you should introduce them to Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. And by introduce, I mean “destroy them brutally in a virtual fight”.
7. Killer Instinct
Now that the major season updates appear to be over, Killer Instinct has become one of the more accessible and content rich fighting games out there. The fact it’s exclusive to Xbox and PC is a huge bonus.
Whether it’s the range of modes, the 29 characters currently available, the combo assist mode that aids new players, or the instantly recognisable style and soundtrack of KI, there’s something for everyone. Even the Shadow Lords single player mode is great, which adds a weird X-Com style strategy mode to the game. It’s odd, yet addictive at the same time.
8. Dead or Alive 6
On the face of things, Dead or Alive will likely always be remembered as “that one with the boobs and the bikinis” by people who don’t know their Hadoken from their Wind God Fist. To be fair to those people, they’re not entirely wrong. But if you can look past the flagrant sexualisation and frankly abhorrent DLC costume schemes, Dead or Alive 6 offers some incredibly satisfying gameplay.
Button mashers will be pleased by the lengthy, easy to perform combos and awesome spectacle, whilst the aficionados can get to grips with the intricate counter system. DOA has something for everyone, even those creepy hentai fiends.
If learning entire movelists sounds like a little bit too much effort for you, Divekick is the game for you: fights are controlled by only two buttons. One button handles jump, or dive, whilst the other controls kick. Pressing kick after a dive will result in a DIVEKICK, as your foot hurdles towards your opponent’s face.
Divekick is, in essence, the tutorial for the meta of most fighting games, as it teaches you the importance of controlling space via footsies, or footdives in the case, and the always useful application of some mind games. Still, the simple controls allow literally anyone to play the game and enjoy themselves, making it an ideal fighting game to break out at parties.
10. Soul Calibur II HD Online
We’re going back to the 360 for the next two entries. While the original Soul Calibur is also available on the Xbox Store, Soul Calibur II for many represents the pinnacle of the series as a whole. Soulcalibur VI is fantastic too, don’t get me wrong, but Soulcalibur II is just incredible.
The Xbox 360 version bundled together Heihachi and Spawn from the PS2 and Xbox versions, whilst adding online functionality to the game. To this day, Soul Calibur II is one of the finest examples of a 3-D fighting game you can find. Simply a must have game. It’s just a shame that this version doesn’t include Link from the Gamecube version.
11. Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
With SEGA finally acknowledging the existence of the Virtua Fighter series for once, let’s take a moment to talk about Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, a brilliant slice of 3D fighting game action for a budget price.
While Final Showdown lacks the extensive Kumite/Quest that the original Virtua Fighter 5 had, it still retained the core gameplay that makes VF so compelling. Who knew you could get such complex and diverse movesets from just 3 buttons?
12. DragonBall FighterZ
We couldn’t let Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 have all the 3v3 team-based fighting glory, and right now, there’s no better team-based fighting game than Dragon Ball FighterZ from Arc System Works.
Players can build a team of 3 fighters from across the breadth of the Dragon Ball series, with different FighterZ Passes adding more characters. With content still being added to the game, you can be sure that there’s more to come from one of the most exciting fighting game to watch in history.
13. Rivals of Aether
Smash Bros clones are practically becoming a sub-genre unto their own at this point, which is fine. Smash has always been a fantastic game for everyone to enjoy, and Rivals of Aether is no exception. The premise is the same; smack your opponent of the platform to win, but Rivals is arguably more tech heavy than Smash.
There are more attacks, more unique movesets for the characters and more options for recovery. That might sound intimidating, but there’s an in-depth and informative tutorial to guide you through the basics of fighting to specific character game plans. Rivals is a true case of the “easy to pick up, hard to master” cliche.
14. EA Sports UFC 4
While UFC 4 probably isn’t making the main stage of EVO any time soon, it absolutely is a fighting game, and a very tactical one at that. UFC 4 is a tough game to fully learn, considering the amount of strikes, transitions, takedowns and submissions you have to deal with.
Going in blind without getting accustomed to the controls will leave you grovelling on the receiving end of a full mount ground and pound faster than the commentator can say “HERE WE GO”. Or, you can stick to the Knockout Mode and throw virtual bombs at your mate until they fall over. Game of human chess, my arse.
15. Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend
The Blazblue series has been around for around a decade now, leaving in its trail a tangled web of characters and lore that are seemingly impenetrable to the common player. But that’s fine, as with a flick of a button on the character select screen, Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend enables simple controls, and you can button mash to your heart’s content.
Then, if you’re willing to actually learn the game, you’ll find a thorough and engaging tutorial mode that will guide you through everything you need to learn. You can pick up dirt cheap now too, so if you need a new game for a local gaming night, give Blazblue a shot.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.