In this article, we discuss the 15 best fighting games of all time. If you want to read about some more fighting games go directly to 5 Best Fighting Games of All Time.
Video games are one of the most popular sources for entertainment among children and adults alike. This represents a significant revenue opportunity for large companies as tech advances in virtual reality and artificial intelligence make it possible to make games more immersive and lifelike, as well as more profitable. Game developers are also exploring in depth storylines that merge gaming with other life experiences to create entire digital worlds which mimic real life. Some of the companies investing heavily in this area include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA).
According to a report by professional services firm PwC, video games are capturing a large share of the consumer spending, advertising, and entertainment markets. The firm estimates that total gaming revenue is expected to rise from $227 billion in 2023 to $312 billion in 2027, representing a compound annual growth rate of nearly 8%. Advertising revenue alone in this sector will essentially double in the next few years, reaching above $100 billion in 2025. Games are also becoming an increasingly important inspiration for hit films. Top streaming services like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and HBO Max have many game-inspired film titles in production.
Video games have also come a long way from being labeled antisocial and isolating. In fact, video games are now used to develop social connections. During the pandemic lockdown of 2020, video game sales skyrocketed as people described gaming as one of the ways of coping with mental health issues arising from lockdowns. PwC expects that video games will command nearly 11% of all entertainment revenue by 2027, up from just 6% in 2017. Fighting video games, the most popular genre within the video game world, are expected to lead this rally for the gaming world in the coming years.
This growth in the popularity of fighting video games comes as a direct result of implementation of new tech like Blu-Ray, motion sensor technology, virtual reality, high-definition audio, and improved internet speeds into games. Even as gaming on personal computers and consoles recoils, the expansion in the mobile gaming sector will more than make up for any shortcomings. In the coming years, mobile gaming will account of more than half of the global gaming market across the world. The Asia-Pacific region, home to China, Japan, and Korea, is the biggest market for these mobile fighting video games.
Adroit Market Research estimates that the global fighting games market with increase to more than $320 billion in size by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate of more than 11% between 2021 and 2028. Cloud gaming, mobile VR gaming, and smart device gaming are all taking off, helped by adoption of the latest tech by game developers and electronic manufacturing companies. Global content delivery networks like Netflix have also started focusing on this aspect of streaming. The introduction of streaming giants in the gaming world will have a net positive impact on game growth over the next few years.
Morgan Stanley predicts that video gaming restrictions in China, put in place in 2021 to curb video game addiction among young adults, will wane in the coming months. As China approves new game titles and these hit play stores, a new gaming boom in the country may be on the horizon. The impact of inflation, wherein gaming is often cheaper than going out to eat or other outdoor activities, is also likely to have some impact on the gaming market around the world. Games may also be under threat from short form video content that is fast becoming the top source of entertainment for people globally.
In this article, we will list the 15 best fighting games of all time. We scoured the internet for the best fighting games of all time, looking through articles from prominent websites, Reddit threads, and gaming pages. After initial selection from these sources, sales figures for various games were compiled using a wide variety of sources and the 15 highest selling fighting games were selected from this list. It is important to mention that only data from primary and reliable sources was considered in the rankings for this article. Prominent news publications, investor presentations from gaming firms, earnings calls from game publishers, and other such sources were used to compile the sales data. For further clarity, the original sources of the sales data are also mentioned. Video games which have a major fighting component, as well as other action or adventure themes, are considered as fighting games as many games feature a fighting theme that is based on larger backstories.
Adam Ziaja / Shutterstock.com
Best Fighting Games of All Time
15. Super Smash Bros
Sales: 31 Million Units
Super Smash Bros is a fighting game series published by Japanese gaming firm Nintendo. It was first released in 1999. The game is famous because unlike other fighting games, it features a damage counter and the objective of the game is to knock the opponent off the stage instead of killing them. The game is also famous because it features characters from other Nintendo franchises, like Super Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Yoshi, Kirby, Star Fox, and Pokémon, among others.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) are some of the companies looking to emulate the success of Super Smash Bros in the gaming domain.
14. Far Cry
Sales: 50 Million Units
Far Cry is a first person shooter game developed by German video game producer Crytek and published by French firm Ubisoft. It was first released in 2004. The franchise consists of six mainline games and several spin offs. Although initially developed for Windows software only, it has expanded over the years and is now available on all major gaming consoles. The gameplay features a main character in a wilderness who must survive by fighting off wild creatures and other competitors for control of the territory.
13. God of War
Sales: 51 Million Units
God of War is an action adventure video game created by Sony. It was first released in 2005 for the Playstation. The game follows the adventures of a Spartan war hero, who later also became a Greek God of War. It follows the war hero who fights different mythical creatures and pantheons. The first part of the series features fights with Greek Gods while the latter series follows conflicts with Norse Gods. The God of War game series is the most profitable Sony game of all time and has also inspired comic books and novels.
Sales: 54 Million Units
Tekken is a fighting video game developed by Japanese gaming firm Bandai Namco. The game was first released in 1994 and has become one of the best fighting games of all time. It features a street-fight battle between two characters, much like wrestling, except that the fight does not take place inside a ring or a cage. The game has 10 titles and many spin offs. It has also been adapted into films and comic books. Over the years, the game has included combat moves in the gameplay to add to the traditional block and hit moves.
11. Metal Gear
Sales: 60 Million Units
Metal Gear is an action adventure video game series developed and published by Japanese gaming firm Konami. Originally a stealth video game when it was released in 1987, it has evolved to become a fighting game. The gameplay involves the main character as a super agent who is tasked with taking control of an ultimate weapon that can launch nuclear devices. The game is available on multiple platforms and is famous for exploring character backstories with references to Hollywood films.
Sales: 65 Million Units
Halo is a first person shooter game first released in 2001. It was developed by US-based Bungie. Since then, the game has released many spin-offs and is now managed by 343 Industries. Microsoft owns the franchise. The game started off as a real-life strategy game before becoming a third person shooter and then a first person shooter game. It is one of the games that has cemented the position of Microsoft as a leader in the video game industry. The game has inspired films, comic books, and animated series.
Sales: 75 Million Units
Worms is a series of artillery-themed fighter video games developed by British firm Team17. The first title in the series was released in 1995. The games feature a series of worms fighting each other on an epic battlefield. The final objective of the game is to be the sole surviving team. Worms is a tactical video game that features projectile weapons. In fighting games, the use of projectile weapons was not explored extensively in the era during which the game was released first, making it an instant cult favorite.
Sales: 77 Million Units
Borderlands is a first person shooter video game that is set in space. It was developed by Australian gaming firm 2K Australia and published by American studio 2K. It was first released in 2009 and the sales figures are remarkable considering other best fighting games had a ten-year headstart on Borderlands. The video game has also inspired a film adaptation. The firm is famous for multiplayer shooter gameplay that is graphic but also features a humor element, something that is lacking in other shooter video games.
7. Mortal Kombat
Sales: 79 Million Units
Mortal Kombat is a fighting video game released by American gaming firm Midway Games in 1992. Since release, the game has become a media franchise, with films, books, television series, and card games being released that are based around the original game. The game is one of the few popular video games in which the opponents are killed instead of being knocked out, with the killing scene portrayed with graphic horror. The game inspired a video game rating system such as those used in the film industry.
Sales: 88 Million Units
Battlefield is a first person shooter video game. It was developed by Swedish video game firm EA Dice and published by US-based Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA). The game was first released in 2002 and was exclusive to personal computers operating on the Windows software and the OS X offered by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Eventually, the game was also released for gaming consoles like the Xbox and Sony Playstation. The game, typically played as online multiplayer, involves the use of combined warfare and large maps.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) are some of the companies looking to emulate the success of Battlefield in the gaming domain.
Click to continue reading and see 5 Best Fighting Games of All Time.
Disclosure. None. 15 Best Fighting Games of All Time is originally published on Insider Monkey.