- Mortal Kombat 11 was successful in maintaining a stable audience throughout its four-year run, although its multiplayer scene has winded down.
- There are plenty of games like Mortal Kombat 11 that can keep fans entertained, such as Guilty Gear Strive and Dead or Alive 6.
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe offers a crossover between the two franchises, featuring iconic characters, toned-down fatalities, and an interesting story.
Mortal Kombat 11 has had a great run. While not free of controversy, NetherRealm’s fighting juggernaut succeeded in maintaining a stable audience throughout its more than four-year run, which is respectable for an entry in the genre.
With Mortal Kombat 1 debuting in 2023, its predecessor’s multiplayer scene has winded down. However, Mortal Kombat 11 has a rather enjoyable single-player campaign, so it is not like the game has no value anymore. Even though NetherRealm (and Midway) has done a good job of establishing its franchise as a rather singular beast, there are plenty of games like Mortal Kombat 11 that can keep fans entertained.
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Fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat follow character archetypes, which can identify the playstyle of the character.
Updated January 8, 2024 by Mark Sammut: Mortal Kombat 1 has been out for a few months now. While garnering a positive critical reception, the game has led a fairly uneven post-launch life, and it does feel like a project that is gradually evolving into its final form. The combat system is generally great, arguably among the strongest and deepest in the series so far. New players who are specifically interested in PvP and are willing to put in the time to properly master the gameplay will likely find what they are looking for in NetherRealm’s 2023 project. However, MK1 is somewhat lacking in offline content outside the main story, and the Invasions mode is fairly divisive. Still, if someone wants online action, MK1 is a top contender.
11 Guilty Gear Strive
Faster-Paced Action Dripping In Style
Guilty Gear -Strive-
- June 11, 2021
- T For Teen due to Blood, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
Players craving a visually striking fighting game that offers a steeper learning curve than Mortal Kombat should check out Arc’s Guilty Gear Strive. Although it’s a much more difficult game (and series), mastering the combat system can be very rewarding, especially once players can start rattling off impressive combos. There’s a solid roster of characters, with a few added via DLC.
Guilty Gear Strive has a striking visual style thanks to its beautifully animated characters and levels, but it doesn’t feature the same level of intensity as Mortal Kombat. There’s no blood or brutal finishers here, for those who are craving that level of brutality present in Mortal Kombat, but Guilty Gear Strive is a great alternative for those who want something a bit more challenging to test their skills on.
10 Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown
- T For Teen Due To Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence
After a long hiatus, the Virtua Fighter series returned to the spotlight in 2021 following the release of Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown. Although not a brand-new game in the conventional sense, Ultimate Showdown is an updated version of the series’ fifth entry, completely rebuilt in the Dragon Engine that’s used in Sega’s Yakuza games.
It’s a little slower than some of the other fighting games on the market and is fairly technical too, but those looking for a realistic fighting game could do a lot worse. The series’ debut title helped to pioneer 3D fighting games and Ultimate Showdown is yet another solid entry. That said, this version was designed with online in mind and lacks much in the way of single-player content; consequently, players may find themselves without much to do if they pick this up. Virtua Fighter is a far more niche name than Mortal Kombat or something like Tekken, and this release is not very active in this day and age.
9 Dead Or Alive 6
Great Combat System
Dead or Alive 6
- March 1, 2019
- M For Mature 17+ due to Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence
Those looking for something a little more fast-paced should find something to enjoy with Dead or Alive 6. It’s nowhere near as graphic as a Mortal Kombat game when it comes to violence, but the gameplay it offers is no less enjoyable. It’s a lot easier to pick up than some of the genre’s other great offerings too, making it surprisingly accessible to newcomers.
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Dead Or Alive is a fighting game series that has lasted throughout the years, when others have not. Here are some facts about the franchise.
Though the series did lose a bit of its credibility due to its beach volleyball spin-offs and the heavy emphasis it places on “jiggle physics,” Dead or Alive 6 is still a solid fighting game. There’s plenty of DLC available to help keep the game feeling fresh too, although players will need to shell out thousands of dollars if they want to experience it all.
Also, if players have the means, they should look at Dead or Alive‘s older entries. The sixth game is not generally regarded as a high point for the franchise, at least not when compared to the second, third, and fourth entries. DOA6 is recommended due to being the most recently released project, but it should be treated as a representative for the full license. Fighting fans should stay away from the spin-offs, though.
8 Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe
A Crossover With Squandered Potential But Also Some Positives
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- November 16, 2008
- Midway Games
- T For Teen Due To Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence
There are undoubtedly better crossover fighting games out there, but those who’ve ever wondered who would win in a fight between Sub-Zero and Superman will likely find themselves drawn to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Featuring 11 iconic characters from each IP, it really does open up a lot of possibilities.
Due to the game’s “Teen” ESRB rating, a few of the fatalities have been toned down or omitted entirely, although there’s still a decent amount of violence for those looking for that Mortal Kombat vibe. Combat is exactly what one might expect from a Mortal Kombat game too and the story is interesting as well, albeit a little wacky.
7 Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct (2013)
- November 22, 2013
- M For Mature 17+ due to Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, Violence
Although not quite obtaining the same level of mainstream exposure as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, Killer Instinct is another fighting franchise with a long legacy. The license returned to the limelight in 2013 with a self-titled reboot that launched alongside the Xbox One.
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Outside NetherRealm’s projects, Killer Instinct arguably comes the closest to replicating Mortal Kombat‘s style courtesy of its vicious finishers and visual presentation. However, the gameplay is generally faster than MK11 and emphasizes combos to a far greater extent. Despite being nearly a decade old, Killer Instinct still receives love online, and the game is worth a try if someone has a Game Pass subscription.
6 Dragon Ball FighterZ
Accessible & Stylish Combat With Awesome Special Moves
Dragon Ball FighterZ
- January 26, 2018
- T for Teen: Cartoon Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
Dragon Ball FighterZ is almost inarguably the greatest fighting game in the anime franchise’s history. Arc’s title contains advanced and beginner controls, so it appeals to virtually anyone regardless of their familiarity with the developer’s projects.
Fighter Z has many positives in its favor, ranging from a fantastic visual style to addictive gameplay that manages to be accessible but also complex enough to keep people coming back for years on end. The robust fighter roster is one of the game’s biggest selling points. With DLC, there are over 40 characters. Fans can play as lesser-known characters, along with heavyweights like Goku, Piccolo, Broly, Vegeta, Cell, and Teen Gohan. While not quite as brutal as Mortal Kombat, Fighter Z is filled with gloriously epic special moves that replicate the anime’s over-the-top style.
5 The King Of Fighters 15
A Modern Take On A Classic
The King of Fighters XV
- February 17, 2022
- T For Teen Due To Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence
Even if the developer’s heyday was during the ’90s, SNK is a name most fighting fans are likely to recognize. Garou: Mark of the Wolves, The Last Blade 2, Samurai Shodown 2, and Fatal Fury are all among the greatest fighting games of all time, although they are not particularly similar to Mortal Kombat. In truth, neither is The King of Fighters 15, but it is a respectable modern interpretation of SNK’s formula. That said, KOF 13 is probably superior.
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Who are the hardest bosses in the King of Fighters franchise? The following examples are worthy contenders.
The King of Fighters 15 is primarily for people looking for online matches as that is undoubtedly the game’s primary focus. The single-player content can keep someone busy for a short while, but the available story mode lacks any real personality. Still, KOF 15‘s core gameplay compares favorably with most of its peers.
4 SoulCalibur 6
- October 19, 2018
- T For Teen Due To Blood, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Violence
SoulCalibur has not produced many duds, even if the franchise arguably peaked with its second entry. 2018’s sequel serves as a great entry point for newcomers to the series while delivering a fine-tuned experience for veterans. Focusing on weapon-based combat, SoulCalibur 6 is fast-paced and skill-based.
Although online is obviously a big part of the package, SoulCalibur 6 is not lacking in single-player content either. Libra of Souls focuses on a player-created character and can be quite a time-sink, while most of the roster’s fighters receive their own mini-stories as well.
3 Injustice 2
Mortal Kombat, But DC
- May 11, 2017
- T for Teen: Alcohol Reference, Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
Injustice 2 is the sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us and a considerable step up in quality. Unsurprisingly, NetherRealm took a lot from Mortal Kombat when designing Injustice 2, to the point that they can be almost regarded as companion pieces. The latter’s gameplay is closer to MK10 than its sequel, though.
Injustice 2 is excellent as a single-player game and lets players control almost all of the most popular DC Universe characters. Those looking for a competitive fighting game may find that Injustice 2 isn’t quite what they’re after, but it can still be a lot of fun when played casually nonetheless.
2 Street Fighter 6
Capcom’s Ambitious Fighter
Street Fighter 6
$47 $60 Save $13
- June 2, 2023
- T For Teen Due To Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
Except for Super Smash Bros, which exists within its own genre, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are inarguably the biggest names in the fighting world. At their core, they are not all that similar, with their gameplay, tone, and visuals being almost opposites of each other. Despite that, Street Fighter 6 is an easy recommendation for MK11 fans on the simple basis that it is fantastic and will almost assuredly enjoy a long and healthy life.
Unlike its immediate predecessor, Street Fighter 6 is the complete package. Seeming like a direct apology for the previous game’s pathetic offline content, World Tour allows players to create a character and lead them through a campaign that plays out similarly to an RPG. They can level up, take on quests, and interact with some of the franchise’s most popular figures. While ultimately a tutorial to prepare people for online matches, it is fun and robust. That said, the Battle Hub is Street Fighter 6‘s heart.
1 Tekken 7 (Or Tekken 8, When It Releases)
Competitive & Addictive
- March 18, 2015
- T for Teen: Crude Humor, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
When it comes to competitive eSports fighting games, Tekken 7 is the ideal game to play. Putting aside that it’s a multiplatform game, Tekken 7 has far fewer exploits than its competitors. On top of that, it’s one of the most highly polished fighting games of the latest decade. Looking back, Tekken was seldom taken seriously as an eSports title in the early days of competitive gaming. Today, however, all doubt has gone out of the window, and Tekken 7 represents the series’ core combat at its best. Its 2024 sequel looks set to be even better, at least if the demo is anything to go by.
Tekken 8 is set to launch in January 2024.
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