Best Fighting Games for Xbox One, Series X and Series S 2020
Fighting games can be a very challenging genre when compared to others. Multiple combatants duking it out until one is left standing while executing complicated combos where one incorrect button input could spell your defeat. It's daunting, but when you come out on top, the levels of satisfaction gained is unlike anything else. We have compiled some of the most exemplary fighting games on the market for our roundups of best Xbox One games and best Xbox Series X, Series S games. Take note that all the Xbox One games on this list will function on the Xbox Series X and Series S through backward compatibility.
Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition is the flagship Xbox One fighting game set within a dystopian Earth run by the mega-corporation Ultra-Tech. Choose from a balanced and varied roster of humans, monsters, and robots to take on the world through online matches, learn the characters' backstories in the Arcade and Rival modes, and save the world from the evil, intergalactic conqueror Gargos in Shadow Lords mode.
Rivals of Aether is a platform fighting game set in the world of Aether, a magical world currently undergoing a war for superiority between various civilizations using the powers of the elements. In the background lurks an evil force taking advantage of the conflict. Journey into the world of Aether in the story mode, fight hordes of enemies in Abyss mode, sharpen your skills in the extensive practice and tutorial modes, and put what you have learned to the test in the online versus modes.
Fight to the death
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is Netherrealm Studio's latest creation in the legendary franchise. The controversial fighting game series where your main goal is to murder your opponents in the most creative or disgusting ways possible in offline and online game modes. All life is under threat from Kronika, the Titan of Time, who plans to restart history to create her vision of a perfect world, regardless of who dies in the process. Now it is up to the defenders of Earthrealm to stop her from achieving her plans.
Let loose your iron fist
The epic family feud between martial artists turned corporate overlords Kazuya Mishima and Heihachi Mishima reaches its climax in the latest entry in the Tekken series, Tekken 7. Choose your fighter and master the power of Rage Arts to dominate online tournaments and take part in the Mishima family's final battle within the cinematic story mode.
Souls eternally clash
Soul Calibur VI is the newest entry in the 3D, weapon-focused fighting game series, where warriors worldwide fight to obtain the almighty, magical sword Soul Calibur or the demonic, cursed sword Soul Edge. Challenge the online match rankings or story modes as series veterans like Nightmare, Mitsurugi, and Cervantes or with your own custom-made warrior using the game's deep Create-a-Soul mode.
Anime battles at their finest
From the minds behind the Guilty Gear and Blazblue series, ArcSystem Works presents Dragon Ball FighterZ, a 3v3 team-based fighting game based on the legendary manga and anime series Dragon Ball. Recreate famous battles from the franchise's history with iconic characters like Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Frieza, and many more in online battles. In the game's story mode, stop the evil machinations of the mysterious Android 21, in a plot line unique to Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is one of the most beloved fighting games in Capcom's library that is still seeing online competition, even after its initial debut in 2011. It features a huge roster of Marvel's superheroes like Wolverine from the X-Men, Deadpool, Captain America, Spiderman, Ironman. It also features Capcom's all-stars like Ryu from Street Fighter, Dante from Devil May Cry, Zero from Mega Man X, Chris Redfield from Resident Evil and many more. Pick your 3-man team and challenge other fighters online or tackle the arcade mode, and defend the Earth against the planet consuming Galactus.
The landmark fighting game series
Capcom set the standard for fighting games with the Street Fighter series; now, you can re-experience its legacy with the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. This massive compilation includes 12 Street Fighter games in their original Arcade forms, including the original Street Fighter, the Street Fighter 2 series, the Street Fighter Alpha series, and the Street Fighter 3 series. Do note that you can only challenge people online with Street Fighter 2 Turbo Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2 Super Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter 3rd Strike.
Rumble across space and time
Brawlhalla is Ubisoft's free-to-play foray into the platform fighting sub-genre. The roster hosts many fighters from across space and time, featuring ancient Vikings, tribesmen, space marines, aliens, dragons, demons, and many more. Each fighter can be customized with different looks, weapons, stats, and even special moves to suit your play-style. Once you are prepared, challenge the online community in online ranked matches or in the fun party modes like Capture the Flag, Brawlball, and Bombsketball, to name a few.
End conflicts in a single strike
Samurai Shodown is a 2.5D, weapon-based fighting game set in the late 1700's Japan. Unlike most fighting games, which focus on overpowering your foe with lots of combos and super moves, Samurai Shodown is all about playing defensively and countering attacks to disarm your opponent. Once you understand this and apply it in live battles online or in arcade mode, you can potentially win matches in mere seconds with only one or two moves.
Kings of the ring
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Thanks in part to backward compatibility, there hasn't been this many fighting games available and playable since the golden age of fighting games back in the 1990s. Here are some of our favorite slobber knockers.
The levels of excitement and fun generated by Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition's combat system is sublime. There's a unique tension while trying to read your opponent, figuring out when to break your opponent's combos with Combo Breakers, or parry them with Shadow Counters or Counter Breakers. Using the Instinct meter to transform your character into a demi-god, while ending the match with spectacular finshers followed by the announcer screams of 'ULTRA COMBO!' simply feels epic — all the while rocking out to the outstanding soundtrack by Mick Gordon.
Netherrealm Studios once again delivers another high-quality, content-rich fighting game with Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate. MK11 Ultimate features fully-fleshed out story modes culminating years of story-arcs into one epic finale. Alongside a ton of single-player arcade modes of various levels of difficulty, loads of characters to customize the appearance and move-sets of. And most importantly of all — MK11 comes with lots of new Fatalities to brutally or humorously finish off your opponents.
The long-awaited return of Namco's sword-fighting, arena fighting series with Soul Calibur VI was a welcomed breath of fresh air. Soul Calibur VI Featuring a detailed story mode that soft reboots the series' timeline to welcome newcomers to the series. It makes it easy for newcomers with a simple-to-learn but difficult-to-master combat system, complete with arguably the most robust and in-depth character creator ever seen in fighting games.
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Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!