[Top 15] Best Beat 'Em Up Games With Great Gameplay

streets of rage, fighting games, beat 'em ups, multiplayer, coop, street brawls, action
Streets of rage showdown

Beat 'Em Ups have been a popular genre for gamers ever since its inception in the arcade scene. Today, it's rarer to find a big title that holds all the classic elements that define a good Beat 'Em Up. However, there's still plenty of creative and fun titles out there to scratch that itch. Here's 15 of the very best, that you can play right now.

15. Jump Force (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

Jump Force is a celebration of beloved characters and franchises

Jump Force is an ambitious anime-crossover fighting game, with an emphasis on chaotic combat. Boasting a 40+ character roaster and a huge variety of characters, Jump Force could be a dream game for anime fans. You got spots from Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, and even more of the unknown characters. 

The story can be a little silly and tries too hard to justify why everything is happening. But as long as you sit back and accept the craziness on the screen, there is super fun and wild game to enjoy here. The combat definitely could have used more refinement, but Jump Force is a great celebration of these characters. If this game sounds like it’s made for you, it probably was.

14. Gang Beasts (PC, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

Just a straight-up, silly game to pass an evening by

Gang Beasts is a goofy multiplayer, melee-beat ‘em up the game, where you have to win by throwing the other players off the arena. Reminiscent of WWE Royal Rumble, this party game can offer hours of fun with others in online play. 

The gameplay is highly addictive, and even though you can play offline, I really recommend trying the online option, as that’s where the game shines the most. The character customization options are varied and fun to toy around with. The physics and movement can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be itching to play more. Reveling in its ridiculousness, you’ll be smiling every time you drop-kick your opponent off a building, in any of its creative arenas.

13. Treachery in Beatdown City (PC, Switch)

This game is bonkers

You can smell the nostalgia just from looking at it

This game oozes old-school side-scrolling nostalgia in every pixel of its beautiful visuals. Treachery in Beatdown City is a 2 side-scrolling game with an RPG twist on the usual beat ‘em up the formula. The story is simple, the president has been kidnapped by ninjas and you and your fighter friends are tasked with rescuing him.

The stand-out mechanic of this flashy game is the turn-based combat that really makes it stand out from the rest in the genre. Though it can be jarring at first, it really improves and becomes a satisfying system as the game progresses. This can also be said for the story, as all of this game's parts appear simpler than they actually are at first. If you’re a sucker for retro games in both the visuals and the gameplay, there’s a possibility you’ll really enjoy this little ridiculous game

12. Paint the Town Red (PC, Linux, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)

Watch this bloody trailer for this unique Beat 'Em Up

A game that hides more than it initially shows. Great party game.

10. River City Girls (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Amazon Luna, Switch)

Watch the over-the-top trailer now

One of the best additions to this classic franchise offering addicting combat

The classic beat ‘em up franchise offers up its best entry in the series with River City Girls. The two colorful main characters-Kyoko and Misako-baseball swing their way to rescue their boyfriends. It’s got a terrific synthpop soundtrack and excellent beat ‘em up gameplay with satisfying rewards to upgrade your characters and moves. The animations are fluid and this is sure to be a good time for fans of the genre.

9.   Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, Switch)

DragonBall Z fans will ove this

A game that makes the franchise proud

Despite a few flaws, this game is an excellent entry in this widely popular series. Set in a semi-open world, it offers terrific, over-the-top combat and a surprisingly solid narrative. It beautifully captures the soul of the series and tells the story of the Dragon Ball Z: Sagas.

The animations and graphics look stunning, and you can tell a lot of passion was put into this project. This is a highly recommended game for all beat ‘em up and fighting game lovers, as well as the fans of Dragon Ball Z.

8.   Castle Crashers Remastered (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS)

Watch the Castle Crashers Remastered Trailer

Bringing back an all-time classic

This is a beautifully remastered version of a beloved indie hit game released back in 2008. This is all about old-school beat ‘em up action similar to Streets of Rage and other staples. The visuals look as good as ever and still feel as satisfying as they did when it was initially released and shook the gaming world.

The story acts as a fun backdrop, as an evil wizard kidnaps all your kingdom's princesses and loot. However, the gameplay is fast, flashy, and fluid and it makes each stage feel exciting. Teaming up with your friends is a must as you tear through the many enemies this game throws at you. The combat moves and attacks are super varied and differ from character to character. You also have magical spells at your disposal, providing more reasons to experiment in battle. This game also mixes things up with some clever 2d set pieces that act as chase scenes.

7.   Fight’N Rage (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

A game all about beat 'em ups.

Old school beat em up style game with colorful characters

Fight’N Rage is a great modern take on the classic beat ‘em up genre and a hit for all fans who love the classics. The combat is the real star here, and the game even offers some choices that lead down differing paths, encouraging you to explore and experiment. Despite its retro look-which looks fantastic-this game is a modern classic and deserves to be played.

The story is basic and underdeveloped, but it does not take away from the fun, and the cutscenes are a great break between the combat. The fact that the story can be altered depending on your decisions adds to the replay value and keeps you invested in it as well. This could have used some built-in online play, but either way, its gameplay is one of the most fun beat ‘em up combat systems ever created. It’s brutal, chaotic, and thankfully, controls like a dream, making it hard to stop playing.

6.   Batman: Arkham Knight (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

The reveal trailer for the caped crusaders' last outing in this trilogy

A successful final chapter in this unforgettable trilogy

While not traditionally a beat ‘em up like a huge majority of the other games on the list, the Arkham series provides some of the best likewise action over the past decade. Rocksteady are masters of the craft and not only did they create some of the finest superhero games ever, but they also did it with its unique and addicting fast-paced beat-em-up combat. 

Aside from its excellent fighting mechanics, which progressively get better and better as the story evolves, Arkham Knight tells the story of the final chapter in this trilogy. It’s dark, gritty, and all the things needed to make a classic Batman tale. However, the last third of the story does falter a tiny bit, stopping it from being the best in the series. Still, the variety of the combat cannot be understated, and you’ll be playing the bonus challenge levels to fully test your abilities. The Batmobile can be overused in some sections as well but is still an excellent addition that the fans wanted for ages. On top of that, you get the whole of Gotham to traverse with it.

5.   Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game-Complete Edition (PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X)

The trailer for the re-release of this comic book tie-in game

Stays true to the spirit of its original material and offers addicting gameplay

When this game was initially released, it almost acted like a tie-in game to the movie that also came out around the same time. It caused waves in the beat ‘em up community as it was surprisingly one of the best of its kind in years. With tremendous animations, fast-paced, addicting combat, and a rocking soundtrack, this is a must-play for fans. 

The complete edition breathes new life into this beloved game, including all of its fun DLCs that came out after the base game. The action is non-stop and somehow manages to keep it fresh until the credits roll. The controls and graphics hold up, and this edition is the perfect way for new players to experience why this title was so acclaimed.

4.   Yakuza 0 (PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Amazon Luna)

Launch trailer for this bizarre entry 

Cleaning up the streets, Yakuza style 

The Yakuza series always seemed to pay homage to the beat ‘em up genre through its over-the-top street brawls. Yakuza 0 is a top-tier addition to the franchise, as it tells the intriguing prequel story of Kazuma Kiryu, and how he became the badass we know him as. You play around in a semi-open world, doing missions as well as getting involved in some traditionally fun side activities. 

Brawling against street thugs and gangsters is fun as ever, and this game really opens up the possibilities of different weapons and knockouts. Not only does it control excellently, it also looks the part as well, with flashy animations and a distinct art direction. It casually switches between a dramatic, heartfelt story to absolute absurdity often, but does it with ease, as has become the norm to the Yakuza series

3.   Batman Arkham City-Game of The Year Edition (PC, Wii U, MacOS, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Emotional trailer for one of the best superhero games ever made

Possibly the best entry in an already remarkable franchise. One of the cape cruisers finest hours

As with Arkham Knight, Arkham City isn’t traditionally a beat ‘em up, but its combat draws heavy inspiration from it. With that in mind, Arkham City has some of the best combat systems in the genre ever. Set in the semi-open-world of Arkham, where the city has been divided between the criminals and the civilians, Batman finds himself battling a huge roster of his most well-known villains. Considering how short the game is, and how many different side stories and characters it throws at you, it’s remarkable how the game manages all of it so well. 

The story is interesting and some of the most original Batman content in a while, and is backed up with hours and hours of fun, addicting gameplay. You gradually unlock new gadgets as the game progresses, meaning that the over-the-top combat gets more and more interesting throughout the game. The enemy variety is also top-notch, and some of the later battles will truly test your reflexes. All of this, wrapped up in a beautiful looking game that holds up, and excellent writing and voice acting from veterans in the industry.

2.   Streets of Rage 4 (PC, Linux, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, Switch)

The launch trailer for another entry in this iconic franchise

An incredible return for the franchise.

More than two decades since the last entry in this legendary franchise, Street of Rage 4 was one of the most anticipated beat ‘em ups in recent times. Fans were itching for another old-school beat 'em up with fluid controls and addictive gameplay. The fact that it turned out to be so freaking good, even bettering expectations, , is a testament to this game's strengths.

This game retains what defined the old games in the series while adding tons of new characters, mechanics, and overall improvements to its already fun combat. You play as various martial artists, cleaning up the criminal-infested streets. It effortlessly provides challenging combat, great urban environments, and just pure, unfiltered fun.

1.   Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

One of the best action games ever made. Watch the trailer.

Raising the bar and drawing inspiration from all over the place. Yakuza Kiwami 2 is excellent.

A second entry from the franchise on this list, just proves how influential and revolutionary Yakuza has become in the beat ‘em up genre. Boasting one of the best stories in the franchise, with a focus on its multi-layered characters and intense street brawls. Showcasing tremendous controls and a great variety of moves. On top of this, there’s a fascinating story about revenge, sacrifice, and family. 

Fist fighting across bloody streets has never looked or felt better. And any beat ‘em up fan who enjoys campy and over-the-top fights will feel right at home here. Traditionally, the semi-open world also has interesting side characters that add so much personality to the overall game, and help to flesh out the main characters as well. The gameplay also changes up quite often, always throwing surprises to the player, keeping them on their toes.


Enchanted since laying eyes on Crash doing a double jump spin, Giorgi has dedicated his life to exploring virtual worlds. Always gaming in the dark for full immersion, he takes his calling seriously
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Outer Wilds: Echoes of the, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham City, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine , Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition

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