The Best Beat-em-up Games

Update : Astor: Blade Of The Monolith added at rank #27.
1

River City Girls 2 (2022)

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80
Review score
Logo of River City Girls 2 Screenshot of River City Girls 2 Screenshot of River City Girls 2 Screenshot of River City Girls 2

Nintendo Switch PC Windows Playstation 4 Playstation 5 Xbox One Xbox Series X Android IOS iPhone

Get ready for an all-new adventure with River City Girls 2! Team up with friends for local or online co-op and pound punks with new abilities including guard-crush attacks and lift-off combos. Level up to earn new moves, buy items, and recruit defeated foes and hired heavies to help you along the way. With enhanced combat, bigger areas to explore, surprise cameos, and an epic soundtrack, you'll be brawling until your enemies yell "BARF!"


What we like:
  • Side quests include mini-games for diversity
  • Multiplayer options available for local and online play
  • Destructible background objects for added fun
  • Offers solid beat 'em up mechanics with light RPG mechanics
  • Unique enemy recruitment system that allows players to personalize their play style
What could be improved:
  • Unbalanced boss battles
  • Lack of enemy variety
  • Technical issues with FPS and multiplayer

  • beat-em-up
  • cooperative
  • anime
  • brawler
  • pixel
  • fight
  • boss
  • rpg
  • local
  • em-up
  • collectathon
  • boss-fight
  • comic
  • action
  • arts

2

Streets of Rage 4 (2020)

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90
Review score
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Android Linux Mac OS PC Windows Xbox One IOS iPhone

Streets of Rage 4 is the long awaited fourth entry into the classic Sega franchise. It features a blend of old and new, with classic characters such as Axel and Adam Hunter returning alongside a new main character, Cherry. All characters have unique playstyles, from Axel's powerful punches to Cherry's speedy strikes. There are tons of unlockables to discover and it has an amazing soundtrack.


What we like:
  • Satisfying combat
  • Incredible music and visuals
  • Tons to unlock
  • Simple yet rewarding combat mechanics
What could be improved:
  • Lack of 4 player online
  • Occasionally too easy to get cornered

  • brawler
  • boss
  • cooperative
  • beat-em-up
  • combo
  • retro
  • classic
  • side-scrolling
  • fight
  • old-school
  • arcade
  • online
  • hand-drawn
  • crime
  • combat

3

The friends of Ringo Ishikawa (2018)

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100
Review score
Logo of The friends of Ringo Ishikawa Screenshot of The friends of Ringo Ishikawa Screenshot of The friends of Ringo Ishikawa Screenshot of The friends of Ringo Ishikawa

Xbox One Mac OS Nintendo Switch PC Windows

The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa is a unique and inscrutable narrative-brawler that explores the lives of high school seniors contemplating their future after graduation. You play as Ringo and take part in 2D brawler-style combat, buy food and books to replenish your health and stamina, attend classes, study, work part-time jobs and train at the gym.


What we like:
  • Unique experience full of freedom
  • Cool pixelated graphical style
  • Atmospheric soundtrack
  • Discover routines in the town
  • Follow them and learn different actions you can take
What could be improved:
  • No tutorials or hints provided
  • No world map or quest markers given
  • Combat could feel more responsive

  • beat-em-up
  • brawler
  • 1980s
  • martial
  • arts
  • rpg
  • open-world
  • pixel
  • scroller
  • atmospheric
  • drama
  • sandbox
  • anime
  • brawler-type
  • 2d

4

BROK the InvestiGator (2022)

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86
Review score
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PC Windows Playstation 5 Playstation 4 Xbox Series X Xbox One Nintendo Switch Linux Mac OS

BROK the InvestiGator is an adventure game set in a futuristic cyberpunk city where humans have been replaced by animals and robots. Join Brok, a former boxer turned private detective, as he attempts to uncover a sinister plot while struggling with parenthood and providing for his deceased wife's son. Experience the fusion of point-and-click adventure and beat 'em up gameplay styles as you explore your surroundings, talk to NPCs and solve puzzles.


What we like:
  • Fully voiced cast
  • Seamless fusion of point-and-click and beat 'em up genres
  • Relatable story with heartfelt moments
  • Sherlock Holmes­-esque interrogation sequences
  • Multiple endings for replayability
What could be improved:
  • Some puzzles are too simple to work out
  • Some sequences drag on too long serving little purpose outside of padding out the runtime

  • point-and-click
  • detective
  • beat-em-up
  • cyberpunk
  • dystopian
  • adventure
  • soundtrack
  • choices
  • investigation
  • futuristic
  • fight
  • mystery
  • cartoony
  • puzzle
  • post-apocalyptic

5

Punch Kick Duck (2023)

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83
Review score
Logo of Punch Kick Duck Screenshot of Punch Kick Duck Screenshot of Punch Kick Duck Screenshot of Punch Kick Duck

Android IOS iPhone

Fighting is all about timing. Just ask any duck.

Buy

  • beat-em-up
  • single-screen
  • action
  • skill
  • easy-to-learn
  • shoot-em-up
  • scroller
  • battle
  • side-scrolling
  • casual
  • fight
  • challenging
  • endless

6

Final Vendetta (2022)

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74
Review score
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Playstation 5 Nintendo Switch Playstation 4 Xbox Series X Xbox One PC Windows Mac OS Linux

Final Vendetta is an arcade-style throwback inspired by the 16 and 32-bit-era of gaming. It features large, gorgeously animated character sprites, true-to-the-era hand-drawn pixel art backgrounds and timeless old school flourishes. Perfectly combining elements from Final Fight and Streets of Rage 2 with generous dashes of NEO GEO style, Final Vendetta is a master class in kicking ass!


What we like:
  • Classic visuals and gameplay
  • Coop play for up to two players
  • Challenging bosses
What could be improved:
  • Limited lives on Easy or Hard mode
  • Some cheap enemy attacks and grabs

  • beat-em-up
  • arcade
  • boss
  • pixel
  • classic
  • brawler
  • old-school
  • soundtrack
  • fight
  • side-scrolling
  • retro
  • combo
  • cooperative
  • scroller
  • arts

7

River City: Rival Showdown (2023)

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72
Review score
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arcade l famicom game boy mega drive x68000 PC Windows-engine super famicom Game Boy Advanced (GBA) ds virtual console ps2 wiiware Nintendo 3DS Playstation 3 Playstation 4 Playstation 5 Xbox Series X/s Nintendo Switch PC Windows Linux Mac OS

River City Ransom is back, rebuilt from the ground up! Rekindle old rivalries and relive past rumbles through a completely revamped story!


  • beat-em-up
  • brawler
  • fight
  • 2d
  • scroller
  • metroidvania
  • 1980s
  • cooperative
  • pixel
  • old-school
  • action-adventure
  • multiplayer
  • remake
  • retro
  • hack-and-slash

8

River City Saga: Three Kingdoms (2022)

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72
Review score
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Playstation 4 Nintendo Switch PC Windows

River City Saga: Three Kingdoms is a modern take on the classic River City Ransom series, combining it with Romance of the Three Kindgoms to create an exciting beat-em-up adventure. Fight your way through hordes of enemies and upgrade your character with weapons, food, armor or special moves by visiting stores in towns. Interact with NPCs and progress through a six chapter story full of dialogue and comedic timing. Enjoy local or online co-op for up to two players and bonus modes like China Heroes.

Buy

What we like:
  • Fun beat-em-up gameplay
  • Upgradeable characters
  • Local or online co-op for up to two players
  • Bonus modes like China Heroes
  • Full gallery with character bios and music gallery
What could be improved:
  • Clunky controls
  • Difficult platforming levels in some areas
  • Very long story dialogue

  • beat-em-up
  • spectacle
  • 2d
  • historical
  • old-school
  • destruction
  • brawler
  • fight
  • platform
  • comedy
  • retro
  • pve
  • family-friendly
  • anime
  • controller-support

9

River City Girls Zero (2022)

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73
Review score
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Nintendo Switch Playstation 5 Playstation 4 Xbox One Xbox Series X PC Windows

River City Girls Zero is a spin-off of the Kunio-kun franchise where you play as Misako and Kyoko, fighting their way to rescue Kunio and Riki. Featuring great visuals, superb character designs, and a fantastic soundtrack, River City Girls Zero offers local co-op support with extras like manga-style animated self-aware cutscenes, an opening video, new music and more.


What we like:
  • Great visuals
  • Superb character designs
  • Fantastic soundtrack
  • Local co-op support
  • Extras like manga-style animated cutscenes
  • New music
What could be improved:
  • No difficulty modes
  • No online play
  • Limited display options for aspect ratios

  • beat-em-up
  • cooperative
  • brawler
  • anime
  • action-translated
  • spin-kicking
  • pixel
  • fight
  • local
  • motorbike
  • crime
  • boss
  • retro
  • combat
  • classic

10

9 Monkeys of Shaolin (2020)

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78
Review score
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Xbox One Nintendo Switch Linux PC Windows

9 Monkeys of Shaolin is a beat-em-up game with deep combat mechanics and varied level designs. The story follows Daokong, a man who joins a Shaolin order to seek revenge on the Japanese pirates that attacked his village. With generous parries, special attacks, seal moves and skill points to customize your abilities, you will feel like an unstoppable warrior!


What we like:
  • Deep combat mechanics
  • Varied level design
  • Generous parries and special attacks
  • Plenty of voice acting options
What could be improved:
  • Relatively short runtime
  • By-the-numbers plot

  • cooperative
  • beat-em-up
  • martial
  • fight
  • pirates
  • side-scrolling
  • local
  • brawler
  • online
  • ninja
  • arts
  • combat
  • old-school
  • hack-and-slash
  • action

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