Fighting games are somewhat of a niche genre when you start looking at games beyond major releases like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, Super Smash Bros., and maybe one or two other big names. But there are so many others to discover and play, including all three entries in this list. Here are the best fighting games of 2021.
As voted on by our editors and staff, these are the top three releases in the genre from last year. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and share some of your own favorites, too.
Best Fighting Games of 2021
Second Runner-Up: Melty Blood: Type Lumina
Deputy Guides Editor Ethan Anderson: Melty Blood: Type Lumina is about as niche as it gets when it comes to this genre. It’s a 2D fighting game that uses characters from the Tsukihime visual novel to make up its roster. No one would blame you if you had never heard of these characters, or either franchise, but the fact remains that Melty Blood deserves a spot on this list.
Developers Type-Moon and French Bread put some real effort into making sure that this game is accessible for newcomers but still deep enough to require serious skill when pulling off combos, defending, and utilizing the game’s many gameplay systems.
That does mean that there are auto-combos that less experienced players — or even seasoned players — can use when trying to string together an offense in multiple scenarios. Melty Blood can make you feel like you know what you’re doing even if you really don’t, and I appreciate that, especially when matched against players of a similar skill level online.
Though, if you really want to grasp its systems, the tutorial mode is also great at teaching all the basics you’ll need to actually improve. Don’t let the flashy visuals and insane-looking combos deter you from giving this one a shot. It’s a relatively beginner-friendly game that’ll have you pulling off flashy moves as you learn.