Fighting games — what other genre can be as visceral, competition-inducing, and adrenaline-pumping? Well, there are other game genres that fit the bill, but fighting games are at the top of the list. And on top of all the fighting games is Mortal Kombat, the reason for which we’ll talk about later. For fans of the game, you might be wondering. What other games are there that can get the blood pumping? That’s what we’ll show you today. Below, we’ve listed the best games like Mortal Kombat.
What Is Mortal Kombat?
Mortal Kombat is an incredibly brutal 2D fighting game first made by Midway Games. Now, Netherrealm Studios holds the franchise and the rights to the game.
Mortal Kombat is one of the first fighting game franchises to ever come out. What makes it special is the gratuitous amounts of violence and gore the series has. Ever since its release, the game has shown copious amounts of blood and guts and it only increased as the years go by, from red sprays of blood and skull ripping to heart tearing.
The gore is pretty much the game’s main attraction. However, what kept people playing is the game’s polished combat, the interesting story and plot, the interactions and banter between fighters, and the sexy characters.
For more fighting game content, read our Melty Blood: Type Lumina review.
The Mortal Kombat Legacy
Mortal Kombat’s legacy can be felt everywhere in the fighting game industry and beyond. For one, it’s one of the games that overtly showed gore, the other being Doom.
It probably angered a few parents and religious people here and there due to this to boot. These two games also gave us the current ratings like E for Everyone, Teen, Mature, and Adult Only among others.
20 Games Like Mortal Kombat
Now that we’ve established what Mortal Kombat is and its legacy, let’s move on to 20 games like it. Do note that some of these games may not be as gory as Mortal Kombat, but they’re still fighting games that can give you a savage thrill.
Let’s get the ball rolling on our list of the best games that play and feel like Mortal Kombat.
1. Tekken 7
First off on the list is Tekken 7, a solid game from a really good franchise. It’s been quite some time since a new Tekken release, but Tekken 7 can be considered the Smash Ultimate of Tekken. After all, “Everyone is here!” can be applied to this fighting game because they added all of the characters that people know and love into it.
Aside from the loads and loads of characters, there’s also the fact that there are a lot of DLC characters in the game, from Noctis to Akuma to Geese Howard. They do force players to think outside the way Tekken’s usually played though. In addition to this, the game’s moveset is pure perfection and can be combined into several strings that even other characters can go for. There’s also a tactics game to it, with the game giving players the ability to sidestep to set up combos and dodge attacks.
Sadly, the game suffers from a mediocre online connection, and there are times when your matches play like screenshots. Still, it’s a solid fighting game and if you’re playing on LAN, expect a lot of blood and curses flying around in-game and out.
2. Street Fighter V
Street Fighter V took Capcom some time to come out after the fourth iteration. Like Tekken 7, the game has most of Street Fighter’s myriad of characters and a lot of new changes to its gameplay. For one, it’s incredibly offensive-based compared to Street Fighter IV. There’s also more emphasis on combos and counters after taking damage by using Super Moves. Depending on the character, some Super Moves can straight-up win games.
Those that have a bit of a problem with the hyper offensive playstyle, might want to stay away. For those that are attracted to it, go for Street Fighter V as the fighting game of your choice. The rush of combat there is almost unparalleled, and with the number of characters the game has including the DLC ones, you’ll find a main eventually.
3. Melty Blood: Type Lumina
For those that waited for a long time for this game, rejoice for your wishes are granted. Melty Blood: Type Lumina is a 2D fighting game about Type-Moon’s Tsukihime game, specifically Tsukihime Remake. If you’re confused, it’s the prequel to Tsukihime Remake, with improved features, better PvP matchmaking, and more streamlined characters.
On the streamlined character front, Type Lumina did away with the Moon Phase modes and replaced them with each character having a distinct playstyle. Sadly, that means that we no longer have Warcrimes Roa (please don’t bring him back, French-Bread). It does mean that there’s a really big chance that there are new and exciting characters that would be released. Why? Because French-Bread no longer needs to create three distinct fighting styles for each character. We already are benefiting from this with the additions of Dead Apostle Noel and Aozaki Aoko.
All in all though, Melty Blood: Type Lumina is a solid fighting game with a lot of potential. It’s still on its early days, but from what we’ve seen, it can be a really big titan in the fighting game genre.
4. Granblue Fantasy Versus
We have Granblue Fantasy Versus next, which is fire for Granblue Fantasy fans. For one, the game’s character roster is pretty stacked with a lot of recognizable characters from Granblue Fantasy. In addition to this, the gameplay and combat are also pretty stellar, with a good mix of melee and ranged characters for people to chew on.
Combine this with a bopping art style, a nice soundtrack, and some good DLC characters (Narmaya FTW) and you have the makings of a good fighting game. Sadly, though, it’s plagued by horrible netcodes. So if you’re playing this online, be prepared to suffer a bit. Otherwise, it’s a great game.
5. Guilty Gear -Strive-
Guilty Gear -Strive- is more of Guilty Gear with some modifications. For one, the gameplay feels like Xrd, but heavier, with the game being a more grounded version of it. It’s great for people who are new to fighting games, the attacks feel weighty and pack a real punch, and the animations, both attack and idle, are beautiful.
However, some things were taken away from players, sadly. For one, don’t expect a good story mode; it’s just movie sequences filled with lore. In addition, the game’s UI can be seen as a bit basic for some fighting game veterans. In addition to this, they removed the Instant Kills from Xrd, which was one of the game’s greatest additions.
Still, if you’re looking for a good fighting game to sink your teeth into with an easily learnable system, try Guilty Gear -Strive-. It helps that the soundtrack is pretty bopping too.
6. Killer Instinct (2013)
Next on the list is the 2013 release of Killer Instinct, and if you haven’t played it, you’re seriously missing out. This game is pretty much Mortal Kombat with a greater emphasis on combos. Combine that with the awesome online capability and the sheer amount of shenanigans you can do with the characters and you’ll have a fun time.
In addition to this, the game also has great DLC characters like Halo’s Arbiter and General Raam from Gears of War. And if the previous point didn’t convince you, then perhaps this will: Mick Gordon made the soundtrack. Yes, the guy who made the soundtracks for Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal. If that doesn’t convince you to get this fighting game, nothing will.
7. Dragon Ball FighterZ
For Dragonball fans out there, there’s only one option for their fighting game of choice, and that’s Dragonball FighterZ. Set in the world of Dragonball and all that entails, Dragonball FighterZ has players fight with various Dragonball characters in various matches set in Dragonball’s expansive world. If you have a favorite character on Dragonball that you want to match up and fight with others, chances are they’re here in this game.
The game takes inspiration from several other fighting games like Marvel vs. Capcom, and others — specifically the team mechanics and some of the control systems. Other than that, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a great 2D fighting game with a lot of action-packed sequences on the fights for players to witness.
8. Soul Calibur VI
Soul Calibur VI is quite possibly one of the best games on this list due to two reasons: the really good story mode and the character customization. The story mode is divided into two versions: Character Story Mode and Libra Story Mode. The former follows a character in the game chronologically. Meanwhile, the latter allows players to create a custom character and play their own story with them.
In addition to this, the game’s character customization is incredibly vast. You can make anything you want in this game within limits. Combine this with some great DLC like 2B and Geralt of Rivia, the great gameplay, graphics, and online, and you have a good fighting game.
9. Samurai Shodown
Next on the list is Samurai Shodown, which is one of the slower entries on this list in terms of gameplay and combat. It’s because the game puts more emphasis on footwork, blocks, and good positioning. Good knowledge of the game’s characters matters more over combo strings, and if you don’t know how to use your current character, you’re pretty much screwed.
Combine this with great graphics and art styles and you have a unique fighting game to add to this list. In addition to this, it’s not even done with adding in new characters yet. Baiken and the Warden are recent additions to the game, and here’s hoping that more will come in the future.
10. Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle
Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle is basically what happens if you add more anime into an already anime series. The game not only has a crossover with Persona but also RWBY and even Under Night In-Birth. Gameplay-wise, it has a lot of similarities to previous Blazblue titles while also adding in a tag system which adds even more combo potential.
All in all, Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle is a pretty good fighting game and is pretty underrated. Sadly, the initial controversy about the character roster hampered its chances.
11. Injustice 2
Next on the list is Injustice 2, made by the same developers as Mortal Kombat, Netherrealm. It’s a fighting game about DC characters duking it out after Superman lost the love of his life and lost it.
It’s a really good game, with interesting character choices like Harley Quinn and the Flash as well as other DC heroes and villains. The hero and villain parts are also a bit mixed because the Justice League went a bit into the Authoritarian route. In terms of DLC characters, it has Raiden and Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat, the Ninja Turtles for some reason, and Hellboy among others. Gameplay-wise, it does tend to go for more projectile play compared to other games on this list. If you’re okay with this, then go for Injustice 2.
12. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is what happens if you take Marvel vs. Capcom’s combat and add Power Rangers to it. If you’re looking for a good game to play in general and are a huge Power Rangers fan, you best try Battle for the Grid. It helps that the game has a good netcode as well, so you can do online PvP without any issues.
13. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure: All-Star Battle
The next entry on this list is Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure: All-Star Battle, which can only be described as Jojo in game form. It’s not a good fighting game per se, but the game oozes Hirohiko Araki’s art style, which shows well. In addition to this, the game’s attacks and super moves are incredible references to manga and anime, from DIO saying “Za Warudo!” to Caesar Zeppeli’s Bubble Stream.
Combine this with each character having special features and unique gimmicks, and you have an interesting fighting game to chew on. Sadly though, the game is seven years old now, and the netcode has been pretty nonexistent. So if you want to play this game, you best have a few friends to duke it out with each other.
14. Super Smash Bros: Ultimate
Super Smash Bros: Ultimate is a weird addition to this list, but bear with us. Its giant roster of characters means there’s always someone for everyone in terms of gameplay. In addition, the various additions to the game’s roster added in several asked-for characters by the community. The latest of these additions is Sora.
Sadly, we wouldn’t be seeing any other characters added into the game, with Sora being the last DLC character. This means there’s no Waluigi. Hopefully, they’ll fix the game’s netcode as well; it’s not cool to play Smash Ultimate with the game looking like a screenshot. However, if you’re playing on LAN, the game plays beautifully.
15. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
We have another ultimate in Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. This was supposed to be a DLC for Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. However, the sheer amount of characters necessitated a new game to be created with all the characters from the previous game plus the DLC ones.
This doesn’t stop the game from being an absolute bopper, though. And it’s still considered to be the best Marvel vs. Capcom game ever, at least, after Age of Heroes. Anyhow, if you’re looking for a good Marvel vs. Capcom game, you best try out Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. It has a good cast of characters, great gameplay and mechanics, and a lot of fighting style varieties.
16. Under Night In-Birth
Next on the list is Under Night In-Birth, a game made by the same developers as Melty Blood, which should be a good indication of where this is going. The game is a really good fighting game with the developer having added several balance changes across the game’s iterations. The latest in the series is Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late [cl-r] for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. However, PC and PS4 players with a copy of the previous installment can install an update with the same balance changes as the [cl-r], but new characters and DLC are sold separately.
All in all, it is a really good fighting game with a lot of history behind it. It also helps that there’s a new installment of the series announced in September last year. Hopefully, it’s a new game and not an update.
17. Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown is a good 2.5D arena fighter that recently got some love from SEGA. The game now has a fresh coat of paint, with better-looking graphics, a new UI, and overall a good sort of remake. This is technically an updated version of the Ultimate Showdown released back in the PS3 era, but at least it looks better now.
As for why SEGA decided to give Ultimate Showdown a fresh breath of life? Well, we have no idea. Maybe it’s a test on whether or not a Virtua Fighter 6 is worth making — we don’t know yet. Hopefully, they’ll make one, though. Still, Ultimate Showdown is currently available on PlayStation Now. If you have the service, you might want to give it a shot.
18. Rivals of Aether
Rivers of Aether is a game similar enough to Smash Melee with no shields, only counters. In addition to this, each of the game’s characters has a lot of interesting mechanics that play in cool ways when they fight each other. DLC-wise, the game has a lot of cool ones, Ori and Shovel Knight being incredibly standout.
The game’s PC Edition also has a Workshop with several MOD characters added in by the game’s fans. If you’re playing on PC and you want a Smash game, Rivers of Aether is the closest alternative you can get.
19. King of Fighters XV
If you’re a big fan of King of Fighters XIV, then the upcoming release of its sequel King of Fighters XV should get you excited. The game is XIV, but better, with a better art style, more enjoyable gameplay, and really fast moves.
Roster-wise, the game has a nice, good roster with a lot of fan favorites like Terry and Andy Bogard, Mai Shiranui, Angel, and more. The game is set to release this February, so fans best prepare their wallets.
Want to have a game that pits various DC and Warner Brothers Characters against each other? Well, you may want to try out MultiVersus, a Smash copy with exactly that. Sadly, though, it’s not released yet. But it gets a mention on this list because you can pit Superman against Shaggy. That alone should be enough of an incentive to watch out for the game’s release.
Try Out These Games Like Mortal Kombat Today
All in all, the games on this list are great fighting games to sink your teeth into. If you’re a Mortal Kombat fan and want to go and try your mettle on a fighting game, it’s a good idea to go to any of the games on this list.