Top 8 Fighting Games Android

Put your hands up if you like beat ’em ups! I’m actually surprised that we’ve seen so many of these come to the Android platform, but that so few have been original games that look to take a well worn genre and turn it into something new and exciting. Many of the beat ’em ups you can find on the Play Store today are actually just direct ports of old games, and while this is great for nostalgic purposes – and the fact that these games are still really, really good – it would be nice to see something original for a change. We decided to do a Top 8 for such games but then realized there were a few out there that are worth checking out but don’t really conform to the beat ’em up genre, hence the more general “best fighting games” title. Hack and slash games are also a favorite of ours here at the Top 8 offices, so expect to see one or two of those. Really, given that such games are button bashers and the control system on an Android smartphone is limited, there should probably be more out there. With that in mind, let’s begin!

8. Real Steel ($1.00)

Ever since the wonder that is Robot Wars, watching robots take one another out has become one of life’s most enjoyable things. With the Real Steel games (Real Steel and Real Steel World Robot Boxing) this whole concept is brought crashing into the small screen of your mobile device. We should note here that there are in app purchases in this one, though the game is easy enough to pick up and will give you a few hours of fun for what at the time of writing is just a single dollar! – Download from Google Play

7. Samurai Shodown II ($2.99)

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As mentioned above, many of the beat ’em ups to make this list are classic or retro games from consoles that have long since been discontinued, and one of these is Samurai Shodown II from the 1990s. I didn’t actually play this one back when it first wowed audiences, so there is no degree of nostalgia here and I can approach the game as a steely eyed critic. The fantastic thing is that it holds up pretty well, and more than justifies being ported over by SNK to mbile devices. The multiplayer options via Bluetooth are particularly excellent, and of course it helps when your main competition comes with a price tag that isn’t particularly affordable. – Download from Google Play

6. The King of Fighters ’98 ($2.99)

Another affordable port from SNK PlayMore is King of Fighters ’98. There are a few KOF games available on Android devices, I believe, though this is the only port we played in preparation for the list and it more than lives up to the name of this classic beat ’em up series. This one actually pulls pieces from different KOF games from 1994 through to 1997 editions, creating what could be described as the ultimate version for Android users. There is local multiplayer, but not much more than that in terms of embellishments. It also doesn’t work on all versions of Android OS, so do check if yours is compatible in advance – otherwise get ready to use that 15 minute refund to get your money back. – Download from Google Play

5. Real Boxing (Free)

Real Boxing represents really the only real attempt at a decent boxing game on mobile devices but, fortunately enough for those who love the sport, does an excellent job. The main reason this one is so engaging is that it was designed with touch screen in mind, and as such doesn’t feel clunky at all. It does still support controllers however, for those looking for a more retro feel when playing their fighting games on an Android smartphone or tablet. The game also supports multiplayer over the web, which is an advantage it has over most fighting games we took on for this particular list. There are tournaments announced regularly, meaning that the game itself becomes extended and you find yourself practicing in order to better prepare yourself for fighting foes online. – Download from Google Play

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4. Double Dragon Trilogy ($2.99)

Double Dragon is one of those games that I spent a huge amount of time on as a kid: I did love the old beat ’em ups on the SNES, but there was always something infinitely more appealing about a side scrolling world and boss fights at the end of each level. It’s also one of the first multiplayer games I remember sitting down to where, despite the crude button bashing mechanics, teamwork and tactics were important elements. This port is certainly worth checking out if you loved the DD games back in the day. – Download from Google Play

3. Shadow Fight 2 (Free)

So, it’s time for a confession: I wrote that intro before actually going out there and playing some of the Android fighting games I had shortlisted to try out, and of course the Play Store threw an original title back in my face that is both as engaging as a 90s classic and as cripplingly addictive. Shadow Fight 2 is a fairly basic beat ’em up that was built from the ground up in order to be played on touch screen, and this is really one of its biggest plus points. So many of the best beat ’em ups on Android are classic games that have been ported over and hammered like a square peg in a round hole to support this control system. In Shadow Fight 2, it just feels a lot more organic and responsive. The other great thing about this particular game is that it boasts a lot of depth in terms of features and customization, with in game currency combined with in app purchases to help upgrade armor and weapons.  – Download from Google Play

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2. Garou: Mark of the Wolves ($3.99)

The best SNK port we’ve come across for Android however is Garou: Mark of the Wolves, which is another one I didn’t play as a kid but is as such even more eye opening to discover today. When first released, it was a spin off with different characters and also a whole new approach to mechanics including instant counters, last ditch defences and the ability to break out of a move half way through. It was an important addition to the genre back then, and more than holds up today even in its mobile guise. – Download from Google Play

1. Soulcalibur ($13.99)

Soulcalibur is a classic of gaming, and as such any port to mobile devices was going to be warmly received. It’s hard to speak about this one without noting how much it brought to the tablet back in the day, and how it knocked many of the other popular beat ’em up franchises to the ground with its 3D graphics and weapon-assisted combatants. Of course, many of these ports come with a hefty price tag and Soulcalibur is no different. Finding some level of nostalgia these days is an expensive process, I’m afraid, though we assure you that revisiting this one on your Android smartphone or tablet is well worth the money – even if it is a price that most will cringe at! – Download from Google Play

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