Beat ’em up games have traditionally held their own special place in the hearts of gamers, evoking nostalgia and good old-fashioned arcade-style fun. In this article, we’ll explore the top 25 2D beat ’em up games for PC that are perfect for reliving the glory days of this iconic genre and discovering much-loved modern adaptations. Let’s dive in.
- Streets of Rage 4 (2020)
The Streets of Rage series makes a triumphant return with this stylish fourth installment, combining classic gameplay with modern graphics, new characters, and an adrenaline-pumping soundtrack.
- Castle Crashers (2008)
This colorful, cartoonish beat ’em up invites players to save princesses and defeat hordes of enemies in a humorous and entertaining journey through a fantasy world.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition (2021)
Inspired by the graphic novel and movie, this delightful game offers players a chance to immerse themselves in Scott Pilgrim’s world while battling through stylish 2D environments.
- River City Ransom: Underground (2017)
Serving as a follow-up to the cult classic, this game features a diverse cast of fighters and challenging gameplay that will keep players engaged for hours on end.
- Mother Russia Bleeds (2016)
An ultra-violent and gritty beat ’em up in which players fight through the drug-ridden underbelly of a dystopian Soviet Union to bring justice to the corrupt forces at play.
- Double Dragon Neon (2012)
This 80s-themed reboot of the legendary Double Dragon series brings back beloved characters and unforgettable, fast-paced action with a delightful retro aesthetic.
- Fight’N Rage (2017)
Inspired by classic 2D brawlers and set in a post-apocalyptic world, Fight’N Rage boasts a wide array of moves and abilities, ensuring players can employ their own unique fighting style.
- Raging Justice (2018)
Raging Justice pays tribute to old-school beat ’em ups with modern graphics that still encapsulate the nostalgic feeling of the 90s era.
- Shovel Knight Showdown (2019)
An exciting multiplayer addition to the acclaimed Shovel Knight series allows players to battle one another or work together as they rampage through imaginative stages.
- Full Metal Furies (2018)
In this action-packed cooperative brawler, players choose from four distinct classes to battle against the Titans in an attempt to save the world.
- Wulverblade (2017)
Set in ancient Britain, Wulverblade features immersive storytelling, historical accuracy, and fierce barbarian combat, making it a unique entry in the beat ’em up genre.
- Code of Princess EX (2018)
With RPG elements blended into the classic beat ’em up formula, Code of Princess EX offers deep character customization and engaging gameplay.
- Golden Axe (1989)
Golden Axe is a classic Sega title that pits players against the evil Death Adder on a mission to save the kingdom and features mythical creatures and devastating magic.
- Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds (2015)
Battle through colorful pixel art stages as you fight hordes of enemies in this frantic and energetic beat ’em up, featuring an engaging story and customizable characters.
- Final Fight (1989)
This Capcom classic tells the story of three heroes fighting to save a kidnapped woman (the mayor’s daughter) from the notorious Mad Gear Gang.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (2022)
The iconic, pizza-loving heroes in a half-shell return in this much-awaited installment, combining nostalgic pixel art with fast-paced brawling action.
- Guardian Heroes (1996)
This 2D beat ’em up features RPG elements, enhancing its gameplay with a rich story and a multitude of branching paths throughout each level.
- The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile (2011)
A unique and dark, comic book-style beat ’em up, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile is both captivating and intense with its eye-catching visuals and tense combat.
- Streets of Fury EX (2015)
Filled with tongue-in-cheek humor and flashy combat sequences, Streets of Fury EX offers a wild, fun-filled gaming experience paying homage to classic side-scrolling beat ’em ups.
- The TakeOver (2020)
The TakeOver challenges players to free the city from a ruthless gang in this modern take on the industry’s classic beat ’em up formula.
- Knights of Valour (2015)
Based on the popular arcade series, this beautifully animated game takes players on an action-packed quest to save the kingdom from evil forces.
- 99Vidas (2016)
Inspired by both the new and old generations of beat ’em ups, 99Vidas offers six colorful playable characters and various skill upgrades throughout its levels.
- Altered Beast (1988)
Transform into a variety of mythical creatures while battling through hordes of enemies in this Sega classic, combining brawler action with enchanting fantasy elements.
- Sacred Citadel (2013)
An engaging spin-off from the Sacred RPG series, Sacred Citadel offers a colorful art style, satisfying action, and deep class development in a side-scrolling beat ’em up adventure.
- The Simpsons Arcade Game (1991)
This licensed classic brings the beloved characters from The Simpsons universe into a humor-filled beat ’em up that remains nostalgically enjoyable.
In conclusion, these top 25 2D beat ’em up games for PC demonstrate the delightful range and staying power of this genre, from classics to modern interpretations. Each game offers players a chance to flex their brawler muscles and master unique gameplay mechanics to save the world, one defeated enemy at a time.