Best Fighting Games for the PS4

Now that it’s finally summer and your responsibilities have relaxed a bit, it’s time to play with other people. We don’t mean outside, either; with the extra free time you’ve got in the summer, it’s time to break out the pizza, call some friends over, and play some multiplayer games on your PS4 as late into the night as possible. Of course, behind the ever-popular shooters and sports games, the best way to have fun with your friends, either online or in person, is to beat the tar out of them in a good old-fashioned fighting game.

While your 2d fighting games may have humble roots, basic controls, and a simple goal to beat the tar out of people for vague and unexplained reasons (seriously, look up Street Fighter’s story and see if you got any of that just by playing the game), this genre has managed to endure through generations of consoles, spawn numerous enduring titles and characters, and continues to be a staple of video games today. Not to be left out of the action, the Playstation 4 has a pretty solid line of fighters, using their incredible processing power to render beautiful graphics and details so realistic you might feel slightly uncomfortable pulling off finishing moves; anybody who watched Conan O’Brien play Mortal Kombat X knows what I’m talking about. Whether you’re a new button-masher looking for a good fighting game to try, or a tournament veteran looking to expand your repitoire, take a look at these immensely popular franchises made even more jaw-dropping (or jaw-drop-kicking) with PS4 graphics and processing speeds. Whatever you pick, we guarantee that you’ll soon be fighting for your life.

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X

Speaking of fighting for your life, the first and newest of these great fighting games has to be Mortal Kombat X, the latest entry in NetherRealm’s bloody, violent series that revolutionized the 2d fighter (and also made sure we never spelled “combat” correctly ever again). After the events of the 2011 Mortal Kombat and the death of Shao Khan, Outworld has finally laid off the assault on Earthrealm, and a new emperor has ascended to the throne. However, certain members of Outworld aren’t happy with the new Kotal Khan, and are prepared to release a dark Elder God from his prison to remove him, putting all the Realms at risk. Not only does this latest entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise bring us more of the over-the-top violence we’ve come to expect from the series, but it also introduces a whole host of brand new characters; because it’s set almost twenty-five years after the events of the last reboot, we can now play as Cassie Cage, the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade; Jacqui Briggs, the daughter of Jax Briggs; and Takeda Takashi, the son of Kenshi Takashi, as well as a full host of other new characters. In addition, each of your characters have three distinct fighting styles, so even if you only prefer to play as one character, you’ll find plenty of new ways to mix up your game and confuse your opponents.

This latest entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise was already the top selling PS4 game in May, it’s slated for DLC fighters, and because Mortal Kombat has been around for the past two decades, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be able to find other players, strategy guides, and tournaments wherever you look. If you’ve yet to experience the techniques, tactics, and all around gory glory of this series, experiencing it with the PS4’s next-gen graphics and high-power processor is absolutely the way to go.

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice Gods Among Us

Finally, we can have the answer to who would win in a battle between Batman and Superman without having to wait for the movie in 2016 with Injustice: Gods Among Us. Combining NetherRealm’s knowledge of fighting games with Warner Brother’s characters and know-how, we’ve got our very own DC superhero 2D fighter with some real depth and complexity, rather than a cheap way to cash in on the superhero craze (We’re looking at you, Superman 64). Not only are we getting great gameplay and a solid online community, we’re actually getting a comic-book worthy story; when the heroes of DC are drawn into an alternate universe where the Joker has blown up Metropolis and Superman has become a tyrant, they are forced to join the Insurgency and destroy him.

While Injustice has been around for a bit, what puts it on the PS4 is the ultimate edition. This wonderful little package comes with all the DLC characters (Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Batgirl, Zod, and Lobo) as well as all the released DLC skins, so even when you’re playing Batman v. Batman, you’re playing Thomas Wayne Batman v. Batman Beyond. Better graphics, better looks, same old beat-em-up action.

Guilty Gear

Guilty Gear

This one’s going to be a little less mainstream than the first two, but don’t knock this story of super-powered warriors just yet. Guilty Gear has been around since the late 90‘s, gracing the Playstation all the way with its distinct anime feel, story, and solid set of fighting mechanics that keeps players more or less balanced. While you may not think of fighting games as episodic, the new Guilty Gear Xrd actually follows the events of the previous game, Overture, which was itself a re-imagining of the first game. I know, I know, it’s all re-imaginings and sequels, but just hear me out first before you condemn Xrd; by re-imagining the first game and redoing it with better graphics, not only can new players get into the story easily, but you can really appreciate the power of the next-gen PS4 to make a good looking game. It’s eclectic, sure, but that’s part of the charm; a re-imagining of Batman is annoying because we all have heard of Batman (Is there enough Batman in this post? I don’t think so). In contrast, Guilty Gear has always been on the fringes, so for most players, it’s a brand new thing. If you’re just in the mood for something different, Guilty Gear Xrd is staying true to its Japanese roots and giving you a truly unique experience. It’s easy to understand, yet it’s probably not something your friends have played before, so it’s a great way to mix up a stale playing schedule.

Whether you’re a button masher or a tournament-graded pro, each one of these fighting games will give you a little something different to keep you coming back for more. Find a character, find a combo, and enjoy them all on your Playstation 4 all summer long.

Dusty W.

Dusty has interviewed some of the brightest minds in the video game industry at E3, written for Lifehacker, and much more. Dusty is also a passionate PS4 gamer who has a BA in journalism.

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