With the announcement of Street Fighters 6 being slated to release in 2023 and the reveal of Tekken 8 also being in development, the fighting game genre is once again going to be taking over soon. The genre has no doubt had a long, complex history and over the years, fans have been introduced to many noteworthy franchises that still continue to thrive today.


Related: The Best Fighting Games Of All Time (According To Metacritic)

Whether it be for just casual fun, or some hardcore fighting simulations, fighting games never seem to disappoint. As mentioned before, there are many classic and new series that have made their way into being the top of what the fighting game genre has to offer. And, with the recent hype surrounding the upcoming Street Fighter and Tekken sequels, now seems like a perfect time to look back at some of the hardest fighting games out there.

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7/7 Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is often regarded as one of the best Dragon Ball games to date. With one of the biggest character roasters, many fighting stages and tons of move combinations, this game was truly ahead of its time. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 not only improved upon the mechanics introduced by Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, but perfected the formula. Fans of this series have been wanting a new Tenkaichi game or at least a remake of Tenkaichi 3 for years now.

The major draw back from this game that holds it back on the difficulty chart is the fact the majority of special and ultimate moves were in the form of cut scenes. Meaning, that they could be achieved with relative ease. One other problem that fans had with the game was that many of the low ranking characters had the same move set with different skins. However, these problems do not necessarily mean that the game was easy to master.

6/7 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Though not a fighting game in the traditional sense, Super Smash Bros.Ultimate is still a game that sees players duke it out in order to be victorious. And, this simple fact is enough for it to qualify as a fighting game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is another example of a game that is easy to play but hard to master.

Related: Super Smash Bros: Most Iconic Stages From The Series

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate borrows characters not only from well known Nintendo franchises, but also from many other acclaimed series as well. Each character has a different play style that requires patience and skill to master. This game replaces the traditional health bar system with a percentage indicating how likely the player is to be blown off the fighting stage. Combine that with strategic midair plays, and you have one of the most chaotic and enjoyable fighting games to date.

5/7 Injustice 2

Improving upon the 2013s Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2 truly shines as one of the most engaging fighting games in recent times. It takes ideas from other fighting games such as the Mortal Kombat series and blends it elegantly with a very familiar roaster from the DC Comics.

Not only are the visuals in the game stunning but the combat system itself is quite challenging to say the least. With additions like environmental attacks and meters to enhance the gameplay, Injustice 2 truly does feel unique in its execution. The combos are also a shear joy to execute when you learn to master them.

4/7 Dragon Ball FighterZ

Arc System Works are known for creating some of the most engaging fighting games the genre has to offer, but their take on the Dragon Ball series is something truly remarkable. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 3 on 3, 2D fighting game that has a deceptively simple combo system.

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There are no complicated input commands to be entered as the combinations can be executed using only four buttons. Players can execute just about every attack in the game with relative ease. The simplicity of the game in fact, plays in its favor as players have to control three characters in a single match. Dragon BallFighterZ may look simple to enter, but the complexity grows the longer you dive into it.

3/7 Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 is the boldest game in the franchise taking the series to a whole new level with its complex new fighting system and over the top finishers. The game is much slower this time around allowing for more strategic gameplay to be executed.

Instead of going all out with flashy attacks, Mortal Kombat 11 rewards player for their patience and precision. The new meter system in the game consists of two separate meters, one for offensive attacks, and one for defensive maneuvers. Mortal Kombat 11 is by far the best and the hardest entry in the series to play.

2/7 Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition

Street Fighter 5 had a rocky start with its initial release and failed to resonate with long time fans due to its lack luster content, glitches and imbalances. However, the developers at Capcom did not let the game die out, and finally upgraded the game to Street Fighter 5 Champion Edition in 2020, which in its own right became one of the best fighting games in the genre.

Related: The Best Fighting Games of 2021

The combat system in the game is very peculiar as the fights can start off pretty easy but can quickly grow to become insanely difficult. Each character plays out differently making it hard to master all the combinations. Though a treat for old fans, newcomers can find the game to be brutal if paired against more experienced players.

1/7 Tekken 7

The Tekken series has largely been considered the face of the fighting game genre and for good reason as well. Though there is no definitive answer as to which game is the hardest among the fighting games, Tekken 7 often takes up the title, as being the most difficult. While being accessible to most players with its 3D, martial art inspired combat, Tekken 7 has many layers of depth to its fighting mechanics making it extremely hard to master.

The main focus of the game is on movement which, if done carelessly, can prove to be fatal. Fortunately, many tweaks have been added to the damage system in the game making it more balanced overall. On top of the additional difficulty of the third dimension, the large roaster of characters to play as and the insanely long list of combinations to master makes this game by far the most challenging and technical fighting game that the genre has to offer.

More: The Worst Video Games Of All Time, According To Metacritic

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