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Top Console Fighting Games: The Best Brawlers For Xbox 360, PS3, and the Wii

Updated on January 2, 2013

The next generation of fighting games is in full swing. For the first time since the days of the SNES and Genesis, fighting games are big business again. All of the major consoles have an amazing variety of different brawlers in their library but it can be hard to choose which one is best for you. Whether you enjoy battling it out on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3, or the Nintendo Wii, the current crop of game consoles has one of the most robust line-ups in the fighting genre.

There's a whole world of virtual martial arts tournaments just waiting for you. We'll help you find out which console has the right fighting game for you and how friendly it is to new players. Read on, select your character, and get ready! ROUND ONE! FIGHT!

Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition

It really goes without saying, but here it is : the world's most famous fighting game series is going strong. The latest edition of the long running franchise is Super Street Fighter 4: AE and is about as good as fighting games get. Although the latest release has seen some controversy related to balance issues, it is still the most popular and competitive fighting game of all time.

Join Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, and Guile as the beat the holy snot out of new and interesting people from all around the world. Like most modern games, SSFIV:AE has online multiplayer, plus enhanced replay features and other cool social networking enhancements.

Is it new player friendly?: Kind of. Most gamers have at least a little experience playing Street Fighter and it is perfect for hanging out and playing. However, most online players are extremely practiced and have years of experience using their favorite characters. It will take a lot of effort and diligence to level your game up to be competitive with the regular players.

Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3

Also On: PC, Nintendo 3DS, iPhone

Marvel Vs Capcom 3

For fans of fast paced action, MVC3 is definitely the top console fighting game. Controlling a team of three classic Capcom and Marvel Comics characters, players challenge the computer or human opponents to a furious battle to the death. MVC3 is famous for huge combos, fast paced action, and screen filling super moves.

Deceptively simple, MVC3 is actually a highly technical fighter. But don't let that stop you: the outlandish characters from different universes and genres mixing and matching make for often times comedic battles.

A newer version, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is due out in November with new characters and moves. Keep an eye out for it!

Is it new player friendly? Only offline. Inexperienced fighting game players will enjoy mashing out combos and doing spectacular super moves on their friends. However, the same features that make this fun to goof around with can make it extremely difficult against an experienced player. Newbies will find themselves frustrated as they're taken out by 50 hit combos against pros.

Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3

See Also: Tasunoko vs. Capcom on the Wii

Oh yeah, Freddy Krueger is in it as DLC. So there's that.
Oh yeah, Freddy Krueger is in it as DLC. So there's that.

Mortal Kombat

The days of Mortal Madness are long gone, but this venerable franchise has seen a resurgence in popularity with a recent reboot. Featuring the same bloody combat and hilariously over the top finishing moves, Mortal Kombat can be a riot for those with a stomach for the sort of gory nonsense the series is famous for.

Fans should pay special attention to the PS3 version. Sony's console gives fighting game fans the chance to play as God of War protagonist Kratos.

Is it new player friendly? Yes. Although there are many serious, pro MK players, Mortal Kombat is best played for laughs with friends.

Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Nintendo's premier fighting game series, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is showing its age but is still one of the most popular console fighting games available. Taking control of a whole host of Nintendo characters (plus a few cameo guest stars like Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog) bop around a stage and fight it out.

A perfect casual game that can be played competitively if anyone is looking to take it a little more seriously, SSMB is great for anyone.

Is it new player friendly? Oh god, yes. It doesn't get much gentler than this. It is a perfect way to slip into the fighting game genre.


BlazBlue (pronounced Blay Blew, for those curious) is a beautiful, fast paced fighting game with a lot to love. Featuring over a dozen characters with not just separate fighting style but completely different mechanics. It is almost like every character comes from a completely different franchise that has its own version of supers, special moves, and regular attacks.

This is super exciting for people who like variety in their games. But it also makes it one of the most difficult fighting games on the market. The creative character designs also limit gamers ability to learn more than a handful of different fighters. Combined with the staggering number of special moves each character possesses, it can be a little learn.

Is it new player friendly? No. It is possible to pull off amazing moves by accident, but BlazBlue is one of fighting games that takes the most effort to learn.

Consoles: PS3

Also On: PSP

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Wow! That's a lot of "T" for one title. The best Tekken games have, in my opinion, always been the Tag editions. Featuring a huge cast of fifty-plus characters, characters choose two characters and get into knock-down drag out battles using the Tekken series' unique cast of marital artists, robots, dinosaurs, and whatever the heck Yoshimitsu is.

Character customization has been brought to a whole new level, so feel free to go hog wild. Put Heihachi in a dress. Give Kazuya a teddy bear and some shutter shades. Whatever you feel like

Is it new player friendly? Tekken has long been the home to complex ten-button combos and finger bending grapples. However, it is also extremely friendly to button mashers. .It's super-fun to play without knowing much about the game, but the depth is there if you want to take it to the next level.

Persona 4: Arena

Combining pretty much my two favorite things in the world, Japanese RPGs about hip high school students and super competitive fighting games, Persona 4: Arena is one of the best new fighting games in the past two years.

Developed in tandem by BlaBlue creators ARC Systems and ATLUS's RPG scribes, this combines the blistering hot anime fighting with a remarkably well crafted story. The online scene is pretty active and the gorgeous HD 2D graphics looks simply stunning on a compatible television. If you're looking for an alternative to Capcom brawlers, this might be the cure for the Street Fighter blues.

Is it new player friendly? The single player is very friendly to newbies, but online is a different story. The somewhat niche game has a large cache of devoted fans and not much else. If you're looking to play online, you'll be up against some seriously stiff competition.


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    • AaronBurton profile image

      Aaron Burton 3 years ago from US

      Great list!

    • shin_rocka04 profile image

      shin_rocka04 6 years ago from Maryland

      I'm siding with SSFIV: AE and MVC3. I grew up on games like those..not to say I didn't grow up on MK. However, I was always a Street Fighter fan first.

    • atomicpaulsen profile image

      atomicpaulsen 6 years ago from Orem, UT

      holy crap, nice list of games. of course, i'm most partial to super smash bros. brawl... solid, solid game.

    • RetroBrothers profile image

      Martin Allan 6 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      I've been a fan of beat em ups since the days of Way of the Exploding Fist on the 8-bit computers.

      Still loving Mortal Kombat - but I think my favourite is still Soul Calibur II, what a game that was.

      Nice hub mate.