The fighting game genre was all the rage back in the 90s when the release of Street Fighter II paved the way for many other titles which have been mildly successful. The genre has moved away from the spotlight in the early 2000s, only to come back, stronger than ever, with the release of Street Fighter IV.
Since then, the genre has started thriving once again, also thanks to the eSport opportunities that many of these titles offer. The Nintendo Switch may lack the biggest and most played games like Street Fighter V and Tekken 7, but there are still many quality fighting games that are enjoyed by hundreds of players daily. These are our top ten currently available on the Nintendo console.
Arms is among the most unique fighting games released in recent years, and one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives ever. The game may have not have managed to become a top pick at fighting games tournaments, but this doesn’t mean that the game is not enjoyable.
Arms is a 3D fighting game where players control fighters who can perform basic and special attacks using extendable arms. All fighters not only have unique attributes, but they can also choose among several different arms, allowing players to come up with some very interesting combinations.
One feature that makes Arms extremely fun when played with other human players is the wide selection of control schemes. Those who prefer traditional controls can use them without any problem, while those willing to do things differently can decide to use motion controls, which allow players to use the Joy_Con to operate each arm individually.
Arms may have failed to make a splash in the competitive scene, but if you’re willing to play a fighting game that does things differently, you must get the game. You will not be disappointed.
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
Arc System Works has established itself as one, if not the, best developers of 2D fighting games. The BlazBlue and Guilty Gear series have become favorites of many fans of the genre thanks to their deep and complex mechanics, but the developer also released games like BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, which simplifies the mechanics considerably without doing away completely with the depth they are known for.
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle sees the cast of four different franchises clash against one another – BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, RWBY and Arcana Heart. The game employs a tag system which allows players to control two different characters and swap them out during combat at any time to create special combos and more.
With a wacky plot that tries to give a solid reason for these different realities clashing, excellent presentation and online modes, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is a game that those looking for a game that’s easy to learn but harder to master should get as quickly as possible.
Brawlhalla is a unique take on the formula introduced by the Super Smash Bros. series, but this doesn’t make the game any worse than the Nintendo series, as it has enough unique features to stand on his own.
Like in Super Smash Bros., the main goal in Brawlhalla is to knock the opponent off stage. The more damage a character has received, the more he or she will be launched. Special moves are executed with a single button, so players can focus on the strategy rather than the actual execution. Weapons are also available during matches, introducing an unpredictable element to the fights.
Brawlhalla also comes with a wealth of play modes that make the experience more varied. This, coupled with the constant support offered by the developer, makes Brawlhalla a very good game for all fans of the genre as well as for those who want to experience something similar to the Smash series.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball Z is one of the most popular anime series ever made, so it’s not surprising to see Arc System Works’ Dragon Ball FighterZ be mentioned among the best fighting games released in recent times.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a dream come true for all fans of the series. The game features an interesting story mode featuring some what-if scenarios as well as a roster that includes characters from all the Dragon Ball franchise, including characters from Dragon Ball Super.
As if all this wasn’t enough, Dragon Ball FighterZ is an excellent fighting game in its own right. Featuring a tag system, the gameplay is rather explosive, featuring a lot of special attacks, combo possibilities and more.
At the end of the day, there are very few fighting games that are better than Dragon Ball FighterZ. If you can only afford one game, the Arc System Works game is more than a worthy purchase.
Mortal Kombat 11
The Mortal Kombat series has found a very good home on Nintendo consoles since its very beginning, but things eventually changed, and the latest entries in the series didn’t make it on Wii and Wii U. Things changed with Mortal Kombat 11, which is available in its full, unadulterated glory on Nintendo Switch, not counting some graphical downgrades here and there.
Mortal Kombat 11 is, without a doubt, one of the best fighting games currently available on Nintendo Switch, as it offers something for all types of players. Those who only wish to play offline, they can delve into the game’s story mode, unlock gear and other content and much more. Those who wish to play online will find an extremely robust experience powered by an extremely well-crafted netcode.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy
The Naruto franchise always had a very strong relationship with Nintendo, with a lot of original games based on the series getting released on GameCube, GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS. While the Nintendo Switch has yet to receive a brand new game, owners of the console can enjoy the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy, which includes the first three entries in the series.
The Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm games are not proper fighting games, but they manage to capture the spirit of the series well, allowing players to control many of the most popular characters that have ever appeared in the manga and anime, coupled with a cel-shaded graphics style that faithfully replicates the anime look.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy may not be the deepest fighting game on Nintendo Switch, but the huge amount of single player content make it a worthy purchase for all fans of the anime and manga.
Pokken Tournament DX
Pokken Tournament DX is among the most unique fighting games ever released, and the Nintendo Switch version does the original arcade release justice, as it comes with all the additional characters that have been released for it.
Pokken Tournament DX features many of the most popular Pokemon, like Pikachu, Charizard, Lucario, and others, as they fight in full 3D arenas. Each match has two different phases, a long range and a close range one, which play slightly differently.
The long range phase gives players full 3D movement possibilities, while the close range one turns the game into a 2D fighting game where Pokemon can juggle the opponent and unleash a variety of combos. The varied roster does the rest to make the game extremely engaging.
Coupled with an extensive single-player mode and solid online features, Pokken Tournament DX is the game that even Tekken fans may want to get, as some of the mechanics have been clearly influenced by the series.
Skullgirls 2nd Encore
The Skullgirls franchise started extremely small but managed to become an established series worthy of attention over the years, especially after the release of Skullgirls Encore, which refined the experience of the original game while introducing new mechanics and features.
Skullgirls 2nd Encore is an even more refined version of the original Encore, adding even more content and refinements that make it one of the best fighting games available on Nintendo Switch.
Skullgirls 2nd Encore is the game that Marvels Vs. Capcom 2 fans should be getting, as it employs a tag system that’s very similar to the one seen in the Capcom developed game. Skullgirls 2nd Encore also features a fully voiced story mode, challenges which put players’ skills to the test with special fights, trials that teach how to use characters properly and a plethora of other modes that will satisfy both those who play fighting games by themselves and those who cannot wait to jump online to show the world they are the best.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
With Street Fighter II, the series has become a worldwide phenomenon, but it was the game’s release on the Super Nintendo which made the game extremely popular outside arcades. With the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, players can enjoy all the major entries in the series up to Street Fighter III: Third Strike on the Nintendo Switch.
The ports included in the collection are extremely faithful to the original arcade versions, as they actually are the arcade versions, complete with the same bugs. While only four of the games are playable online – Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: Third Strike, the collection has more than enough content to keep players entertained.
With Ultra Street Fighter 2 also out on Nintendo Switch, one might wonder which one between the new game and the collection is the best. Ultra Street Fighter 2 has some new content as well as some tweaks, so if you’re looking to play an updated classic, that is the game to get.
If you’re looking for the classic, unadulterated arcade experience, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is the game for you.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is rightly considered as one of the best fighting games ever released, the culmination of the Super Smash Bros. series in terms of content and gameplay.
With a huge character roster including characters from third party series that have become popular on Nintendo consoles, like Street Fighter, Bayonetta, Final Fantasy and Castlevania, an incredibly balanced experienced, the extensive World of Light single player mode, and the Super Smash Bros. gameplay that we have come to know and love refined to the highest level, you may end up playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for over 200 hours without even realizing it.
Any notable game you feel should have been on the list? Let us know in the comments.