Wccftech’s Best Fighting Games of 2019 – Exciting Brawls
Fighting games have had an amazing resurgence this console generation, and even as the gen wraps up, that remains true year after year. The competitive scene has been lit for a variety of games this year, Street Fighter V has announced the Championship Edition, and Tekken 7's third season of content has been incredibly well received by fans - not to mention the fact that the FGC has been shaken by the emergence of competitors like Arslan Ash.
Fighting games are going nowhere fast, and 2019 has been a decent year for new fighting game releases. We have new mainline releases in huge franchises like Mortal Kombat, Samurai Shodown and Dead or Alive, on top of some nice surprises - what more could you want?
Strap in combat fans, these are the best fighting games released in 2019 by our reckoning.
Mortal Kombat 11 continued the story of the series' most famous characters, including Raiden, Jonny Cage, Liu Kang, and more. Mortal Kombat is still a very grounded fighting game, with enough flexibility to allow for new players to jump right in. Visually it looks stunning and still has all the mildly grotesque gore the series is known for. In many ways, this is exactly what fans of the series wanted - even if the time-traveling story mode left something to be desired.
Mortal Kombat 11 even managed to get a Nintendo Switch port this year, and while it looks a fair bit rougher than PC and console versions, it's an admirable attempt. All around it's a solid fighting game with tons of content whether you're an online warrior or strictly a Mortal Kombat casual. A decent fighting game for anyone to enjoy.
When SNK returned to the fighting game scene with The King of Fighter XIV, no one thought it would eventually lead to the return of a cult fighting game franchise like Samurai Shodown. The latest game in the series burst onto the scene this year and is the first game in the history of the franchise to render its battles in full 3D. With a crisp cel-shaded art style that takes cues from classic Japanese art, it is one of the most striking fighters on the market.
It also makes for one of the more unique fighters, as combos remain short, and damage remains high. This is the kind of game where a single hit could make all of the difference, so you have to remain on your toes and play a strong grounded footsie game.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
This has to be one of the nicest surprises of the year. Out of seemingly nowhere, we were treated to a Power Rangers fighting game made by a studio that clearly loves the tag-team fighting game genre. What they came out with is an incredibly competent fighter in the form of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid.
This is a 3v3 fighter in the same vein as Marvel VS Capcom 3, and clearly takes some inspirations from that game. In many ways, this feels like a budget game, with a slightly rough visual presentation and fairly basic movesets for characters, but despite that, it manages to be an incredibly fluid, fun fighter for fighting game fans.
The biggest disappointment associated with Dead or Alive 6 is that it simply didn't get enough attention from the fighting game community as a whole. Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja went above and beyond to deliver a new mainline entry in their beloved fighting franchise, and this one did its best to be seen as a legitimate fighter in competitive communities, and separate itself from the pervy legacy of the Xtreme Beach Volleyball series.
The action in Dead or Alive 6 is great, the three-way parry system means the skill-ceiling for experienced players is extremely high, while the new Fatal Rush system allows less skilled players to get some cool moves in and still feel like they stand a chance. The excessive DLC that has been released since, and is sure to be released in the future, is a huge blemish on what is otherwise a fairly incredible fighter.
Mordhau is, in some ways, entirely ridiculous and goofy. Like For Honor with the cartoonish action of the Looney Tunes. But at the same time, it is every bit as intense and interesting as any other fighting game on the market right now.
Mordhau is a frantic first-person fighter where you'll be wielding all manner of medieval weaponry against your enemies. You can pick people off one at a time, or get ganked by a whole squad. But in those moments where you go toe-to-toe against a single opponent armed with melee weapons, there is absolutely no doubt that Mordhau is a true fighting game experience.
While these mentioned above were our picks for best fighting games released this year, that doesn't mean there weren't others worth mentioning, such as the heavyweights below.