The 7 Absolute Best Fighting Games for the PlayStation 4

One of the great strengths of the PlayStation 4 library is its variety of outstanding fighting games. As one of gaming‘s most enduring genres, fighters test reflexes and mastery of complex movesets in close quarters combat. Whether you enjoy stringing together flashy combos or tactically outmaneuvering your opponent, PS4 has no shortage of great options.

In this guide, we‘ll countdown the 7 best fighting games available on PlayStation 4, highlighting what makes each one great for both casual and competitive players.

What Defines a Fighting Game?

Before diving in, let‘s review the core elements of a fighting game:

  • One-on-one matches: The classic fighting game format pits two characters against each other in a battle of wits and reflexes.
  • Health meters: Each fighter has a health bar that must be depleted to zero to achieve victory.
  • Movesets: Every character has their own repertoire of punches, kicks, grabs, blocks, and special moves.
  • Rounds: Matches consist of a best 2-out-of-3 or 3-out-of-5 round structure.
  • Combos: Stringing normal and special moves together for maximum damage is integral to fighting games.

Other variables like stage interactables, super meter management, comeback mechanics, and fighting styles also factor in, but the above core pillars capture a fighting game‘s essence.

Fighting Games on PlayStation 4

While not achieving the sales heights of flagship PS4 exclusives like Uncharted 4 or God of War, fighting games comprise a passionate and vibrant segment of the platform‘s library.

Long-running series like Street Fighter, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat have multi-million unit sellers across generations. Critically acclaimed new IPs like Dragon Ball FighterZ attract legions of fans. And the ease of online multiplayer makes fighting games eternally replayable.

So without further ado, here are the 7 absolute best fighting games available on PlayStation 4.

#7: Tekken 7

The long-running 3D fighting juggernaut returns with Tekken 7. This 2015 entry propels the franchise into the modern era with enhanced graphics and combat.

Signature features like 10-hit combos and triangle system rock-paper-scissors mechanics return. Combined with new techniques like Power Crushes, Screw Attacks, and Rage Arts, expert players have an ample toolkit for creative offense.

Cinematic storytelling has greatly improved as well. The plot ties up lingering threads regarding the Mishima clan rivalry in suitably over-the-top fashion.

With a roster topping 50 unique fighters, novices and veterans alike will find plenty of gameplay variety. Guest characters like Street Fighter‘s Akuma and Fatal Fury‘s Geese Howard add further diversity.

While the solo content offers reasonable replay value, Tekken 7 truly shines in competitive multiplayer bouts. The fluid combat and extensive move lists reward dedication and mastery.

For long-time fans or anyone seeking a thoroughly comprehensive 3D fighter, Tekken 7 delivers knockout fun.

#6: Street Fighter V: Champion Edition

In terms of legacy, Capcom‘s iconic fighting series remains unmatched. And Street Fighter V: Champion Edition represents the most content-rich compilation of this storied franchise‘s PlayStation 4 outing.

Released in 2020, this revised version includes all fighters, stages, alternate costumes and gameplay tweaks from Street Fighter V‘s five years of post-launch support. From series mainstays like Ryu and Chun-Li to later additions like Poison and Lucia, a staggering 40 playable characters fill the roster.

New V-Skills diversify how each fighter approaches combat, while renewed emphasis on offensive play quickens match pace. A suite of tutorial content helps onboard fighting game newcomers as well.

Yet for all its modernization, Champion Edition retains the meticulous mechanics Street Fighter is renowned for. Expert timing and execution still separate the elite from the novice.

For a game now in its seventh year, the persistent player population and tournament scene speak to Street Fighter V‘s lasting competitive merits and sheer fun factor.

#5: SoulCalibur VI

While 3D fighters like Tekken and 2D Punch-Out!! successors like Street Fighter get more mainstream attention, the weapons-based SoulCalibur series has quietly built a reputation for polished mechanics and visual spectacle.

The franchise lay dormant for six years before 2018‘s SoulCalibur VI revived its unique brand of historical fiction fantasy combat.

Rather than fists or feet, battles unfold via medieval armaments like swords, axes, staffs, whips, and more. Sidestepping and vertical attacks add dimensionality to the free-flowing action.

With a roster spanning seasoned warriors like Mitsurugi and Sophitia alongside newcomers Grøh and Azwel, players can tailor their playstyle around slower, harder hitting bruisers or quicker, combo-friendly technicians.

Veterans will appreciate VI‘s gameplay tweaks emphasizing blocking and sidestepping. Meanwhile, Reversal Edge and Soul Charge help novices defend against highly skilled competitors.

Gorgeous stages inspired by Gothic cathedrals, pirate ships, lush waterfalls and active volcanoes provide eye-catching backdrops. And character creation returns for those seeking a personal warrior avatar.

For weapon-centric combat in exciting locales, SoulCalibur VI cuts a visually striking and mechanically polished figure.

#4: Mortal Kombat XL

When it comes to visceral violence and outrageous fatalities, NetherRealm‘s beloved series remains unsurpassed.

The definitive edition of 2015‘s franchise revival, Mortal Kombat XL bundles all DLC characters and the monumental Kombat Pack 2 expansion into one gore-soaked package.

Fan favorite guest combatants like horror icons Jason Voorhees and Leatherface join series mainstays in conquering Tournament ladders and Mirror Match grudge fests.

The trademark Fatalities have never been more cringingly brutal. Spines are ripped out, corpses impaled and organs eaten across varied deaths lovingly rendered on new-gen hardware.

Yet underneath the blood and guts lies an excellent fighting system. Improved animations make chaining combos feel sublime. Powerful X-Ray special attacks and interactable stage elements add strategic depth. And environments like Pit, Dead Woods and Destroyed City inspire their own memorable moments.

For time-honored fast and furious fighting fused with ultra violence, Mortal Kombat XL hits the sweet spot for long-time devotees.

#3: Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2

While SNK‘s King of Fighters, Capcom‘s Marvel vs. Capcom, and Namco‘s underrated Soul series have their merits, Arc System Works‘ anime-inspired Guilty Gear franchise epitomizes the visual spectacle and mechanical complexity associated with "hyper fighting games".

And the comprehensive Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 represents the apex of traditional hand-drawn 2D animation applied to new-gen gaming. Backgrounds and fighter animations alike look ripped straight from a high budget cartoon.

Beneath the jaw-dropping aesthetic lies incredible gameplay depth. With mainstays like Sol, Ky and May as foundations, "REV 2" adds five all-new fighters for a roster bursting with diversity. Each wields uniquely dazzling special moves and requires dedicated practice to fully grasp.

Yet a refined tutorial and challenge mode help onboard newcomers via dense lessons on Roman Cancels, box steps, burst baits and more genre vocab. Multiplayer lobbies likewise smooth online competition.

For fighting game aficionados or anyone seeking a visual punch to the senses, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 delivers bells, whistles and combos galore.

#2: Injustice 2: Legendary Edition

Beyond brawling with Earth‘s mightiest combatants, NetherRealm‘s superhero fighting game shines brightest in the story department.

The sequel to 2013‘s Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2‘s narrative continues years later as Batman and allies seek to restore society after Superman‘s regime. Nuanced writing and stellar voice acting bring iconic figures like Wonder Woman, Flash and Supergirl to life outside typical good versus evil cliches.

Layered mechanics like interactive environments, epic super moves and gear augmentations further separate Injustice from its mortal competition. Outside mainstay JLA heroes and villains, odd additions like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and comic outlier Hellboy catch players off guard.

As fighting games rarely prioritize substantive solo experiences, Injustice 2‘s attention to detail in areas beyond combos helps realize the DC pantheon‘s promise. And continued support years post-launch keeps the competition fierce.

For superhero fans or anyone wanting story substance from their fighting game, the Legendary Edition delivers exciting single player content alongside multiverse spanning multiplayer.

#1: Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate

Incredible depth. Brutal challenge towers. Shocking fatalities. Varied stage interactables. Plus a 30-year nostalgia trip encompassing a roster nearly 40 kombatants deep.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate bleeds next-level ambition. Character customization allows wild aesthetic and gameplay experimentation. The recurring Krypt offers odd secrets and jump scares alike. Even the overarching time travel plot manages an emotional heft rare for fighting games.

Where already great foundations laid in Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X go, Ultimate evolves every aspect into a masterclass fighting experience. Each punch, kick, and special attack lands with supremely satisfying physicality. Environments like the retro Soul Chamber and Tournament stage call back to the series 1990s beginnings.

Test yourself against computer opponents of increasing difficulty, craft unique fighter variations and learn endless brutalities. Whether playing solo, locally against friends or battling online warriors, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate will consume hours upon hours.

For flawless fighting fused with timeless nostalgia, edgy attitude and brilliant design, Ultimate sits upon the PS4 fighting game throne.

The Kombat Rages On

Fighting games have thrived on PlayStation 4 thanks to outstanding entries from historic franchises and newcomers alike. With such variety across manga-inspired opponents, otherworldly weapons and larger-than-life superhuman showdowns, the scope of competitors should satisfy all virtual martial artists.

Yet as PS4 sunsets in favor of PS5, many of these great fighters live on. Guilty Gear, Mortal Kombat and more offer native next-gen versions. And backwards compatibility ensures past gen purchases carry forward.

For those seeking fighting flair however you play, PlayStation has always delivered the goods. And one cannot go wrong with any of the knockouts above.

Featured Image: © Sean Stone on Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

When was PlayStation 4 released?

The PlayStation 4 launched on November 15, 2013 in North America. It remains in production as of early 2023.

What fighting game has sold the most on PS4?

Capcom’s Street Fighter V is likely the best selling PS4 fighting game at over 6 million copies. However, exact sales data is unclear for many titles.

What was the first popular fighting video game?

While 1976 boxing game Heavyweight Champ technically qualifies as the first fighting game, most consider 1984 Karate game Karate Champ as establishing the genre‘s template.

Are any fighting games PS5 exclusives?

Not yet, but upcoming sequel Street Fighter 6 launches in 2023 as a next-gen exclusive built for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Do I need PlayStation Plus to play online?

Yes, an active PlayStation Plus membership is required for online multiplayer functionality.

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled