It’s a flawless time to be a fighter.
Not only have several long-awaited games and expansions dropped in the last few months, competitive fighting games are growing quickly on Twitch and YouTube. Even if you don’t end up buying all these games, you can easily watch them at one of the major competetive tournaments this year, like EVO or CEO.
1. Street Fighter V
For people who enjoy: Classic, clean gameplay. The Street Fighter series only releases new installments about once a decade and the new game, while plagued with some release issues, has one of the best core systems in the series. It only looks to improve with several new characters and features being added in the next few months.
Where to watch it: EVO 2016, scheduled for July 15th-17th, is the biggest yearly fighting game tournament and Street Fighter V has broken registration numbers already. Before then, you can watch it on Team Spooky’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
Available on: PS4, PC
2. Mortal Kombat XL
For people who enjoy: The bloody, fun style of Mortal Kombat. The developers have done an amazing job at staying relevant over the course of the last two decades and XL is a great installment in the series. With Alien, Predator, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface as playable characters, XL is sure to please longtime MK fans and newcomers alike.
Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
3. Pokkén Tournament
For people who enjoy: The idea of beating the crap out of Pokémon, but don’t want the hassle of being a trainer. The game is visceral and intense with a small cast of well-chosen playable Pokémon.
Where to watch it: Pokkén was released just recently so there isn’t much footage out yet. It will be featured at EVO and CEO. Check out the trailer.
Available on: Wii U
4. Rivals of Aether
For people who enjoy: Indie games designed with a retro touch. Inspired by the unique platform-based fighting of Smash, Rivals has you choose from a colorful cast of animals who fight with the power of the elements. It’s also by far the cheapest game on here at only $15.
Where to watch it: There’s a bunch of fun trailers on Rivals developer Dan Fornace’s YouTube page. It’s a newer game still looking to establish itself so there aren’t really any major streams yet.
Available on: Windows, Steam Early Access
5. Killer Instinct
For people who enjoy: Ludicrously over-the-top combos and a constantly updating cast of characters. This reboot of the classic ’90s game has an interesting model of releasing new content over the course of a season. Recently, they’ve been adding tons of guest characters from classic games like Battletoads and Halo.
Available on: Xbox One, Windows
6. Guilty Gear Xrd
For people who enjoy: Over-the-top anime action with a huge assortment of unique characters. Guilty Gear has never had major mainstream recognition, but this rock ‘n roll themed game is undeniably a joy to play, once you get the hang of it.
Available on: PS4, PS3, Windows
7. Super Smash Bros. Melee
For people who enjoy: Fast-paced Smash action. Your favorite high school game is now 15 years old, but its enjoying huge growth since the release of The Smash Brothers documentary.
Available on: Gamecube, Wii
8. Project M
For people who enjoy: The speed of Melee with the cast of Brawl. Project M is a fan-based Smash modification which has become a pretty consistent side event at Smash tourneys. The mod was designed by commited fans and is chock-full of custom content, like the costumes seen above.
Where to watch it: There’s no real central Project M hub, but AZPM streams often on Hitbox and has a huge archive on YouTube.Salty Highlights is also a ridiculously entertaining series that shows off what’s possible in the game.
Available on: Wii
9. EA Sports UFC 2
For people who enjoy: Games grounded in reality. UFC 2 is a great choice for sports fans. And for those who love Fight Night and other boxing games, EA has introduced Mike Tyson as a playable character.
Where to watch: Check out footage on EA Sports’ official channel.
Available on: PS4, Xbox One
10. Tekken 7
For people who enjoy: Simple, intuitive fighting in a 3D environment. With a cast of memorable characters, including Street Fighter’s own Akuma, Tekken 7 seems eager to make a comeback in the genre it helped to define.
Available on: Arcade only. Unfortunately, the game has been delayed quite a bit, but if you’re lucky enough to be in Japan, you can check it out!
11. Super Smash Bros 4
For people who enjoy: A Smash game bursting with content. The newest edition in the series has extra characters from Capcom, Sony, and Platinum Games and has grown extremely popular as an eSport over the past year.