Fantasy Strike (Switch eShop)

Fantasy Strike isn’t going to blow anyone away aesthetically and its arcade mode is a little barebones. However, in terms of gameplay, it absolutely achieves what it sets out to, offering fun and accessible fighting action to newcomers whilst at the same time possessing enough technical depth in its roster of characters to keep more seasoned fighters interested. Online ranked team matches and Boss Rush modes are an absolute blast and, in stripping away many of the complex layers that have built up around fighters over the years, this is a game that’s rediscovered the simple pleasures that lie at the beating heart of the genre.

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] (Switch)

Don't let this one's comically unwieldy title put you off. Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] is a super slick, fast-paced fighter that manages to successfully straddle the line between being instantly accessible and welcoming for newcomers and in-depth enough to satisfy hardcore fight fans. Its line-up of twenty-one fighters are much more exciting than their anime stylings may suggest, and the Chronicles mode gives fans of the visual novel element of the game plenty to sink their teeth into. With the most comprehensive training and tutorial modes we've ever encountered in a fighting game, this is easily one of the most well-rounded, satisfying and instantly engaging brawlers on Switch and – even with an online mode which seems to be in need of some attention – there's plenty for fans of the genre to sink their teeth into here.

Samurai Shodown (Switch)

While Samurai Shodown has taken a very slight visual hit as part of its protracted journey to Switch, the most important thing is that the core 60FPS gameplay remains intact. The downgrade is most noticeable when playing in handheld mode, but it's still incredibly enjoyable and compelling, especially if you appreciate fighting games that exercise your mind as well as your fingers. The single-player portion of the game is perhaps a little too lacking by modern standards and some of the ideas don't work as well as they should (Dojo mode, we're looking at you) but with its appealing cast of fighters, decent multiplayer options and a host of new gameplay ideas to keep things feeling fresh, Samurai Shodown is nonetheless a confident and assured update of a classic fighting game series – and bodes well for SNK's future attempts to resurrect its enviable stable of titles for the modern era.

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Kirby Fighters 2 (Switch eShop)

Given that it arrived with practically zero fanfare, Kirby Fighters 2 is a surprisingly brilliant Smash Bros.-style spin-off that simplifies its big brother's control system but still offers a healthy amount of depth with its 22-character roster. Its Story mode, in particular, is a clever and compelling way to make each battle feel important, and that mode alone lasts long enough to make it a worthwhile purchase for solo and co-op gamers.

SNK Gals' Fighters (Switch eShop)

20 years before it was spiritually reawakened as SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, the Neo Geo Pocket Color added another fine string to its bow with the enjoyable handheld combat of SNK Gals’ Fighters. With a few extra changes for Nintendo Switch – namely support for far easier to set up local multiplayer and a handy rewind feature – this classic portable fighter is now in the rudest of health. It’s not the deepest of fighting games, but with an already strong Neo Geo presence on the platform, this cutesy battler is a fine way to perfect your combos on the go.

If you can't get enough of pocket-sized fighters, King of Fighters R-2 is another good pint-sized scrapper.

Rivals of Aether (Switch eShop)

Rivals of Aether is a deep and addictive platform fighter that borrows its base concepts from Super Smash Bros. and then runs off in its own direction, resulting in a surprisingly complex indie alternative to Nintendo's brawling behemoth. There's a fantastic roster of characters here each with their own special moves and unique abilities to dig into, every one of which is wonderfully animated in the game's crisp and clean 16-bit graphical style. Solo and local party play are well served with a bevvy of fun and flexible modes for up to four players and, if the developer can get the currently problematic online aspects of things in order, this all amounts to a game that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Smash or any other platform fighter we've played on Switch thus far.

Samurai Shodown Neo Geo Collection (Switch eShop)

The Samurai Shodown games are among the best in the fighting genre: the seven games on offer in the Samurai Shodown Neo Geo Collection are perfect examples of this, and the exceptional Museum mode will keep you busy for hours. Its online may be a non-starter and it may have offered even more titles if it had lifted its self-imposed Neo Geo-only restrictions, but that doesn't take away from what's an otherwise strong collection of brilliant fighting games.

SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (Switch eShop)

Despite some re-release shortcomings, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium remains not only a charming piece of history, but a comprehensive fighting game with impressively taut elasticity. Bursting with move-sets that accurately mirror the arcade counterparts from which they’re derived, it represents the moment that a legendary rivalry thawed out and shook hands, and a fanfare for SNK’s excellent but ill-fated handheld. There also remains something special about having so many faces from so many different series occupying the same screen space, and in such good spirits. Seeing pocket-sized Kyo and Chun-Li battle it out on her Great Wall stage or Ken and Ryu’s fireballs trailing across Krauser’s cathedral is an experience worth revisiting. It’s an object of both its time and format, and you need to be prepared for that; but SNK versus Capcom? That really is the match of the millennium.

Them's Fightin' Herds (Switch)

Them’s Fightin’ Herds isn’t entry-level stuff, and it's impressive that an indie developer has created something that professional teams take years to master. Soft and furry in appearance though it is, this is a robust and fleshed-out fighting game, and one that demands practice. It’s challenging even on its default difficulty with AI that won’t fall prey to simple or repetitive routines. While its story mode is engineered toward a particular fanbase, the wild combo-building demonstrates an excellent multiplayer experience. Thematically, its draw might be limited, but there’s no real ceiling in its appeal to fighting game fans. While would have been nice to have had a few more characters out of the box and a little more invention in its world-building backgrounds, if you’re here for pure fighting game action, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Breakers Collection (Switch eShop)

Breakers Collection feels like a passion project. It delivers a game that still feels incredibly modern and visceral to a new era of players. When mining its combos and developing its dizzyingly broad array of tactical options, new players will no doubt be surprised by the high bar of Visco’s work. While its menu presentation is somewhat less explosive than the game itself, the level of thought that’s gone into its modernisation through crucial up-to-date features can’t be spoken of highly enough. This kind of treatment should be standard when revisiting bygone classics, yet so often it isn’t. Breakers Collection, to that end, gets it very right.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)

Was it ever in doubt? While genre purists may flippantly dismiss Super Smash Bros. because it's not a 'proper' fighting game in the same style as Street Fighter or Tekken, most right-minded people will see it for what it truly is: a fantastically fun experience which is accessible to all but hides an almost unfathomable degree of depth. The fact that it's focused around multiple players means that it's the perfect party piece, while the single-player 'World of Light' mode will keep you glued to your Switch even if you don't have anyone else to play with. With the biggest roster of characters yet seen in a Smash game, this is a towering accomplishment – and effortlessly the best brawler on the console.


Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes is a cracking sequel that brings meaningful change to the series' core combat, adds rollback netcode and three strong new characters to an already enthralling roster, and all looks, sounds, and plays every bit as good as its dazzling predecessor. Chronicle mode has been axed, and it's a shame it hasn't been replaced with something else, but this remains a top-notch effort, a deep and addictive anime fighter that should please long-time fans and interested newbies alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Street Fighter should I get for the Switch?

Good question. There are two Street Fighter titles available on Nintendo Switch: Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers and Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.

Personally, we'd go for the 30th Anniversary Collection over Ultra Street Fighter II. While the latter is a good game in its own right and is worth investigating on sale when its discounted from its $40 RRP, the value of the 30th Anniversary Collection makes it, as we said in our review, "an utterly essential purchase for any self-respecting fighting game fan."

So there you have it; for everyone wondering what combat games are on Switch, there's a bunch of the best fighting games for Nintendo's hybrid system. We've got a few honourable mentions below which we gave 7/10s and may well be worth a look if you're a fighting game fan:

Let us know if you agree with our list by posting a comment, and be sure to suggest any examples you think we've missed while you're at it.

This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.

Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!

If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games To Play In 2023 should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.