Top 10 Competitive Fighting Games you need to follow

Competitive fighting games aren’t quite as popular as some other esports genres are, like shooters and MOBAs, but they have dedicated followers. In fact, fighting games are some of the oldest games around – many series found their origin in the olden arcade days when gaming genres were quite limited. Here are the 10 most popular and amazing fighting games in the esports scene today!

While the fighting game competitive scene may be affected by the EVO 2020 cancellation, there are still plenty of tournaments to play in. Here we will also give you a clue about that.

1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Despite Nintendo’s games being famously cute and non-violent, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is one of the most popular fighting games out there at the moment. Released in 2018, the most recent title is incredibly popular and available for various Nintendo consoles. The original game was released in 1999, and fans waited for the newest title for quite a while – ten years since a release for a major console!

This game did not only grant Nintendo the “fighting game of the year” award in 2019, but it also turned out to be the most popular fighting game of that year. That was notorious, especially after the brutal popularity this game had during the Genesis 6 event, which alone got over 2 million watching hours from streaming services.

Watching a professional Kirby cornering Cloud Strife is a delight, so, among others, you can enjoy the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate matches during the Genesis, EVO, Frostbite, and Super Smash Con tournaments.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© Nintendo, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment

2. StreetFighter V

Synonymous with fighting games everywhere, this Capcom title is one of the oldest series here – first released in 1987, the latest iteration is no less popular than previous ones. Without a doubt Street Fighter is one of the most popular fighting game series out there, and part of just about every major tournament out there – along with other games on this list.

SFV is part of the Capcom Cup, EVO, Casablanca World Fighters, Frosty Faustings, and the Brussels Challenge events too! Street Fighter betting has also turned to be increasingly popular; as it offers a wide catalogue of tournaments and a highly professional competitive scene with over 10 years devote pro-players. But be careful, unlike MOBA games, SFV is highly unpredictable.

StreetFighter V - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© Capcom

3. Tekken 7

The latest release in the Tekken series came out in 2015 – highly rated, the Namco title is part of several big-name tournaments, including the past Evo 2019 in Las Vegas. Tekken is a long-running series of fighting games that debuted in 1994 as an arcade game.

The titles quickly found its way onto the PlayStation platform, before eventually moving on to the Xbox and even Windows when Tekken 7 came out.

This game is highly popular as the King of the Iron Fist Tournament was a novel concept when it came out, and the storyline behind that game is also pretty awesome.

Moving on, most impressive Tekken 7 matches are available on tournaments such as Frosty Faustings, Brussels Challenge, EVO, and, of course, the Tekken World Tour.

Tekken 7 - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment

4. Mortal Combat 11

Being one of the most famous fighting game sagas, and one of the first gore games to become popular ever, Mortal Kombat is a great franchise to look at for fans of competitive fighting games. So, coming from arcade machines in 1992, we have been hearing of local competitive Mortal Kombat since our childhood, and by 2020 the game is even listed for major esports fighting games tournaments.

Since the MK11 title was launched with esports intentions, the company behind the game has thoroughly followed its competitive scene development. Furthermore, we can find Mortal Kombat 11 in tournaments such as the Fighting Games Challenge, Versus Fighting, Kustom Kombat, Final Kombat, and Frosty Faustings. The famous “FATALITY” game was also listed for the EVO 2020 playline, before the tournament’s cancellation.

Mortal Kombat 11 Competitive Fighting Game

© Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

5. Dragon Ball FighterZ

This 2D fighter is another Namco title with quite the history behind it. Originally started in 1986, the series is based on the manga and anime series that took both Japan and the West by storm.

The title is available on the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, and draws both fans of the manga/anime franchise and fighting gaming fans in general. By the first quarter of 2020, the third season of this game was launched, which probably could put the franchise back to the top competitive fighting games. Besides, as the manga keeps releasing new content, new characters, skills and more are to be added to the game series.

You can enjoy the best DBFZ esports fighting games in tournaments such as the Casablanca World Fighters, Frosty Faustings, and the great Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour, which final was held in Paris during 2020.

Dragon Ball FighterZ - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© Arc System Works

6. SoulCalibur 6

Also a Namco game, SoulCalibur 6 is the latest in another popular series – the 3D melee fighter regularly features guest characters from other franchises, much to the delight of its fans. While not as big as other entries on this list, the Soulcalibur series that debuted in 1995 as another arcade game is popular as well.

SoulCalibur 6 - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment

7. Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]

The somewhat elaborately named Under Night In-Birth is a video game adaptation of a visual novel series. The 2D fighter is considerably lower profile than some of the other games here, however it is incredibly popular in Japan and is starting to really gain a foothold in the West as well.

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© Arc System Works, French Bread, Ecole Software, Sega Interactive

8. GranBlue Fantasy Versus

GranBlue Fantasy is a renowned RPG game which even got an anime in recent years -You can watch in on Netflix. This particular title was launched in February 2020 as a fighting game and quickly escalated when extended to the PC platform in March.

The fighting game counts with amazing cinematics, a great combo system and, of course, brutal anime feels.

Currently available for both PS4 and PC, GranBlue Fantasy Versus has reached the highs of being listed for the mourned EVO 2020 tournament among competitive fighting games from all times. Now, it will also be part of other tournaments through the year such as EUnite and Fight, the Brussels Challenge,  and the official launching event of the game.

GranBlue Fantasy Versus

© Cygames, XSEED Games, Marvelous Inc.

9. Marvel VS Capcom 2

Just like whisky, the Marvel VS Capcom franchise has remarketed an old title which took everyone’s nostalgia to sit up. The game itself is the same as it was in 2000 when it first launched, but due to many reasons, being listed for the EVO 2020 one of them, Marvel VS Capcom 2 turned out to be on the top competitive fighting games of this year.

Despite the franchise having several newest titles, Marvel VS Capcom 2 is still amazingly popular, and so, the game still gets enough watching hours on twitch and a selling price that matches newly released gaming titles.

While this title was only returning to the big scene for the EVO 2020, you can find other games from this franchise in Frosty Faustings, Brussels Challenge, and other pro tournaments.

Marvel Vs Capcom

© Capcom, Virgin Interactive

10. Samurai Shodown

Samurai Shodown or Samurai Spirits in Japan, is the most recently released title on this list, having only come out in June this year. The 12th title in the series that debuted in 1993, this title is quite popular worldwide. Unlike many on the list, it’s a 3D game, rather than a 2D one.

Samurai Shodown - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment

Honorable Mentions

Dead or Alive 6

Yet another popular series with quite the history, this game was released earlier this year. First released in 1996, Dead or Alive is well-known for its revealing character designs and fast-paced gameplay. With spin-offs including a separate non-fighting series featuring the same characters and even a movie, Dead or Alive is definitely a big deal in the fighting world.

Dead or Alive 6 - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© Team Ninja, Koei Tecmo

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

The latest in a series of 2D fighters featuring particularly imaginative and colorful characters, this Arc Systems game has incredibly good reviews and an ever-growing fan-base in the west. In fact, it’s so popular that an arcade version of it was released last year, as a throw-back to the 80 arcade games that pioneered the genres.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle - Top 10 Esports fighting games

© Arc System Works

Skullgirls 2nd Encore

Another 2D fighter on this list was a bit of an underdog when it hit the market – positive reviews and a quickly growing fanbase helped this game along to success – it featured in several different fighting game tournaments around the globe.

Skullgirls 2nd Encore - Top 10 Esports fighting games