There have been plenty of great fighting games released on PlayStation consoles over the years, and this continues to be the case with Sony’s most recent home console. The best PS5 fighting games beat out the competition with ease, either by offering up an ultra-realistic simulation that demands near-god-like reflexes or a fun-filled and fast-flowing free-for-all that just about anybody can pick up and play.


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

Fighting games are a genre unto themselves – and according to Metacritic, these are the very best of the best (all at over 89/100).

It may have taken a little while for the console to really find its footing when it comes to its ever-growing selection of fighting game offerings, but it’s now really starting to come into its own. With next-gen installments of Street Fighter, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat all landing in 2023, it really is a great time to be a fighting game fan, particularly for those who happen to own a PlayStation 5.

10 Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Metacritic Rating: 65 (PS5)

nickelodeon all star brawl discount

There have been plenty of Smash clones over the years, including Sony’s very own PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale in 2012. In more recent times though, only a handful have really come close to matching the excellence of the popular Nintendo franchise, one of which being Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Exactly how close it comes is definitely a matter for debate, but most will likely agree that it is a fun game, if nothing else.

The game brings together many of the most popular Nickelodeon characters for a nostalgia-fuelled free-for-all that should appeal to players of all ages. Whether they grew up in the nineties watching shows like Hey Arnold! and The Ren & Stimpy Show or spent their childhood kicking back to the likes of Danny Phantom and Invader Zim, there’s a character here for just about everyone.


Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
Fair Play Labs

GameMill Entertainment

October 5, 2021


PS Plus Availability

9 DNF Duel

Metacritic Rating: 80 (PS5)

A deadly combo in DNF Duel

When it comes to 2D and 2.5D fighting games, few developers are quite as well-practiced as Arc System Works. The Japanese studio has played a role in the development of many of the best fighting games of the past decade or so, including 2022’s DNF Duel, which serves as a spin-off of the Dungeon & Fighter games that were hugely popular in South Korea and other parts of Asia around the turn of the century.

The game plays a lot like many of Arc System Works’ other popular fighting games, with a simplified control scheme helping to make life easier for those who are new to the genre. The single-player experience is a little lackluster, unfortunately, but online play is top-notch, and the visuals and animation are bettered only by the game’s beginner-friendly nature.

dnf duel

DNF Duel
June 28, 2022


PS Plus Availability

8 King of Fighters 15

Metacritic Rating: 79 (PS5)

The character selection screen from The King of Fighters 15

The King of Fighters franchise has had its ups and downs over the years, which is understandable, really, given that the first game came out all the way back in 1994. King of Fighters 15 definitely marks one of the series’ high points though, with the drastic improvements made to the previous installment’s online mode being a big part of the reason for this.


King Of Fighters: 15 Best Characters In The Fighting Game Series, Ranked

Starting as a crossover series, The King of Fighters has amassed a huge roster of fighters over the years. Which characters are the franchise’s best?

That’s not to say that the game doesn’t still have its problems, the most notable of which being its grueling difficulty curve, some notable absentees from the roster, and a story mode that makes some of its peers look like The Last of Us or some other narrative-driven masterpiece. Still, for those looking for a fighting game that rewards dedication and mastery, there are few better, at least when it comes to the PS5’s somewhat limited library.


The King of Fighters XV

February 17, 2022


PS Plus Availability

7 WWE 2K23

Metacritic Rating: 82 (PS5)

WWE2K23 Cactus powerbombed through the cell roof

After the release of WWE 2K20, it was difficult to see a way back for the long-running WWE 2K franchise. The change of developers hit the series hard, leading to one of the most technically broken video games in recent memory. To their credit, though, the team over at Visual Concepts stuck with it, and, after taking a two-year hiatus, returned with the excellent WWE 2K22. WWE 2K23 continues this upward trajectory.

Though it may not be a fighting game in the traditional sense, it is no less rewarding, and, against well-practiced opponents or some of the more challenging AI settings, requires just as much dedication to truly master. Its biggest strength, however, is that it is an incredibly fun game, whether being played by nostalgia-driven adults or younger sports entertainment fans.

The cover art for WWE 2K23

WWE 2K23
March 17, 2023


PS Plus Availability

6 Dragon Ball FighterZ

Metacritic Rating: 87 (PS4)

dragon ball fighterz

At launch, many saw Dragon Ball FighterZ as one of the best Dragon Ball games in years. Sadly, the absence of rollback netcode did start to become a bit of a problem as the size of the game’s community began to dwindle, but when played locally or online with a good connection, the 2018 title still holds up remarkably well today.

The game features an incredibly diverse roster, with 24 playable fighters in the base version of Dragon Ball FighterZ and a further 20 available through paid DLC. Those still playing will be hoping that the game’s release on current-gen consoles (which supports rollback netcode) will help to breathe enough new life into the title to hold fans of the franchise over until Dragon Ball: Sparking! Zero arrives.


Dragon Ball FighterZ
January 26, 2018

5 Guilty Gear Strive

Metacritic Rating: 87 (PS5)

How To Roman Cancel in Guilty Gear Strive

Guilty Gear Strive was easily the best fighting game to come out of 2021 and ranks among the very best fighting games available on the PS5. Granted, it perhaps ran out of steam a little faster than some may have liked, but in short bursts, and when played together with friends, it remains one of the genre’s most enjoyable offerings and a great way to familiarize oneself with fighting games in general.


8 Fighting Games With The Most Complex Combos

Learning the convoluted combo mechanics of these fighting games isn’t for the faint of heart.

With so many modern fighting games opting for 3D graphics, it’s nice to see a franchise sticking to its 2D roots, and the game is all the better for it. The visuals are crisp and at times absolutely stunning, while combat can at times be far more intuitive than it is in a lot of other anime-style fighters. Certain characters are a lot more difficult to master than others, but this is pretty normal for a fighting game, and, to many, is all part of the fun.


Guilty Gear -Strive-
June 11, 2021


PS Plus Availability

4 Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate

Metacritic Rating: 88 (PS5)

mortal kombat 11 scorpion and characters

Though it started life as an eighth-generation console game, Mortal Kombat 11 feels no less at home on the PS5 than any of the platform’s other big fighting games. Of course, the game’s next-gen patch certainly helps a lot in this regard, offering up enhanced visuals, a 4K dynamic resolution, and improved loading times, as well as several other big changes.

Together with Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11 took advantage of some of the missteps surrounding Street Fighter 5‘s release and Virtua Fighter‘s prolonged absence to really cement the series’ place as one of the fighting game genre’s very best franchises. The story mode is one of several highlights, but it was perhaps the decision to slow down the combat just a little that made the game truly great.

mortal kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11
April 23, 2019


PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium

3 Mortal Kombat 1

Metacritic Rating: 83 (PS5)

Mortal Kombat 1 Kombat Kids Joke

Those who played through Mortal Kombat 11‘s story probably weren’t all that surprised by the decision to reboot the series, but for everyone else, it came as a bit of a shock. Liu Kang’s new universe is very different from the one that preceded it, but that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, there’s a strong argument to be made for Mortal Kombat 1 being one of the better Mortal Kombat games as a result of the devs’ decision.

Granted, the god-awful Switch release and an issue that made it impossible for player 2 to perform certain combos cast a slight shadow over the game’s launch, but it’s an excellent game nonetheless. The combat is solid, the story mode is top-tier, and the roster is well thought out. Mortal Kombat 1 rises to the challenge of Street Fighter 6, and although it arguably falls a little short, it’s still one of the best fighting games on the PS5.

mortal kombat 1

Mortal Kombat 1
Warner Bros. Games

September 19, 2023


PS Plus Availability

2 Street Fighter 6

Metacritic Rating: 92 (PS5)

Street Fighter 6 Splash Art

Releasing several months before the likes of Mortal Kombat 1 and Tekken 8 was definitely a gamble on Capcom’s part, but it’s one that definitely paid off. More than any other game before it, Street Fighter 6 feels like a true next-gen fighting game and a natural evolution for a tried and tested formula that had arguably been tried one or two too many times in recent years.

The introduction of a modern control scheme makes the game infinitely more accessible, yet the decision to hold onto classic controls rewards fighting game veterans and encourages new players to get better. World Tour mode is a welcome distraction too and serves as a blueprint for a new type of fighting game that blends together explorative open-world gameplay with fun-filled and fluid combat.


Street Fighter 6
June 2, 2023


PS Plus Availability

1 Tekken 8

Metacritic Rating: 90 (PS5)

Tekken 8 - Dark Awakens Hard Mode Question Header Image

Of the big three fighting game franchises to have made their way over to current-gen consoles, Tekken is by far the most grounded. Rather than bombarding their opponent with projectiles or zipping across the screen to land quickfire attacks, players are forced to take a much more measured approach to combat. As a result, mistakes are more easily punished and there’s a bit more of an emphasis placed on defense.

All three of the heavy hitters have their strengths and weaknesses and each will likely appeal more to different types of players. However, for those looking for a more realistic combat experience, Tekken 8 is arguably the best fighting game on the PlayStation 5. Its single-player offerings may be a little on the short side, but the standard is up there with the very best, and the online play is more than serviceable thanks to the game’s improved rollback netcode.

tekken 8

Tekken 8
January 26, 2024


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *