Top 100 Best Beat 'Em Up Games

by Zabon | created - 4 weeks ago | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

This specific genre has been around since the very early stages of video games and has come a long way, generating a menagerie of titles in more than three decades. Although there's a large repertoire of these games, some have stood out more than others in terms of plot, story, characters and genuine fun factor. Of course, much like FPS games, this genre has offered a slew of games with awesome soundtracks and memorable boss battles. These are the select few that are definitely worth the time, effort, and patience in terms of proper usage of these elements in the perfect dosage. Slaying a slew of enemies before getting to the boss and the climactic boss battles themselves coupled with the memorable soundtrack make these the most compelling beat 'em up games.

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1. Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994 Video Game)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Comic-book based platforming action starring Spidey himself.

Votes: 149

2. Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety (1995 Video Game)

K-A | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Mayhem-packed sequel to Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994), with appearances from loads of other Marvel Comic-Book characters.

Votes: 51

3. X-Men (1992 Video Game)

Action, Sci-Fi

Marvel's mutants face off against their nemesis Magneto in the popular arcade game from Konami.

Director: C. Lee | Stars: Kyle Hebert, Mela Lee

Votes: 44

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989 Video Game)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Shredder has kidnapped television reporter April O'Neill and the awesome foursome: Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael must kick into gear and defeat Foot Soldiers and some bogus bosses and defeat the evil Shredder.

Directors: H. Ohyama, H. Toyoda

Votes: 1,093

5. Final Fight (1989 Video Game)

T | Action, Adventure, Crime

Metro City is the most dangerous place in the world. Mayor Mike Haggar's daughter:"Jessica" is kidnapped by the Mad Gear gang. So it's up to Haggar, Cody, and Guy to rescue her.

Directors: Akira Nishitani, Akira Yasuda

Votes: 334

6. Final Fight 3 (1995 Video Game)

T | Action, Crime

When a new criminal group named the Skull Cross Gang emerges as the new dominant criminal organization in Metro City, Guy and Haggar must once again save Metro City from its newest menace.

Votes: 79

7. Final Fight 2 (1993 Video Game)

T | Action, Adventure, Crime

Soon after Haggar, Cody, and Guy saved Haggar's daughter and defeated the Mad Gear Gang, they return with a new leader and kidnap Guy's fiancée, and the three must travel around the world to bring an end to the Mad Gear once and for all.

Votes: 86

8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (1991 Video Game)

Action, Adventure, Comedy

When Krang steals the Statue of Liberty, the turtles pursue the Foot Clan to the Technodrome, where Shredder sends them through a time warp. The Turtles must fight Shredder's army in both the past and the future in order to get home.

Director: G. Suzuki | Star: Miki Chang

Votes: 1,098

9. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (2005 Video Game)

M | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Two members of the Shaolin Order, Liu Kang and Kung Lao, travel through the realms in an attempt to thwart Shang Tsung's plans to dominate Earthrealm.

Director: Martin Stoltz | Stars: Adam Hernandez, Ben Sarason, Beth Melewski, Brian Chard

Votes: 614

10. Streets of Rage 2 (1992 Video Game)

Unrated | Action, Adventure, Crime

Mr. X kidnaps Adam and sends gang punks into the streets. Axel and Blaze, along with Adam's brother Skate and Axel's friend, set out once again to stomp Mr. X and his baddies into the ground.

Director: Noriyoshi Ôba

Votes: 727

11. Streets of Rage 3 (1994 Video Game)

Unrated | Action, Adventure

There is just no keeping Mr. X down. He's back again to terrorize the city. So Axel, Blaze and Skate, with the help of Dr. Zan, set out to stop him.

Votes: 395

12. Heavenly Sword (2007 Video Game)

T | Action, Adventure

Legend says that The Heavenly Sword was forged in heaven and once wielded by a deity. When King Bohan seeks the Heavenly Sword, Nariko, a highly skilled young warrior, is shouldered with the task of protecting the sword from him.

Directors: Ben Hibon, Nina Kristensen | Stars: Anna Torv, Ewan Stewart, Lydia Baksh, Andy Serkis

Votes: 903

13. Bayonetta (2009 Video Game)

M | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A trigger happy witch wakes up with no recollection of who or where she is, when a flashback takes her 500 years back in time and leads her on a quest to retrieve artifacts known as "Eyes of the World".

Directors: Hideki Kamiya, Isao Negishi | Stars: Hellena Taylor, Grey Griffin, Chick Vennera, Yuri Lowenthal

Votes: 1,259

15. Dynasty Warriors 4 (2003 Video Game)

T | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

This entry in the Dynasty Warriors series includes more characters, a more robust story mode, and an encyclopedia of all the characters, major and minor, in this game based upon The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Director: Akihiro Suzuki | Stars: Hisao Egawa, Moriya Endo, Kôji Haramaki, Yukitoshi Hori

Votes: 131

17. Viewtiful Joe (2003 Video Game)

T | Action, Adventure, Comedy

During a trip to the movies, average dude Joe's girlfriend Silvia gets pulled through the screen and into a surreal movie world. To save her, Joe becomes a slick, time-bending superhero. Henshin a go go, baby!

Director: Hideki Kamiya | Stars: Dee Bradley Baker, Cristina Pucelli, Gregg Berger, Mikey Kelley

Votes: 205

18. Alien vs. Predator (II) (1994 Video Game)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Play as either the Predators or Marines in a battle to destroy the Xenomorph.

Votes: 897

19. The Death and Return of Superman (1994 Video Game)

Unrated | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

When an unknown monster named Doomsday invades Metropolis, Superman must fight him in an epic and fierce battle to save the city.

Votes: 60

20. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1994 Video Game)

E | Action, Family

Play as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as you save the planet from evil.

Stars: Ryan R. Johnson, Liz Logan, Richard Perez, Thuy Trang

Votes: 135

21. X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (1994 Video Game)

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Add a Plot

Votes: 10

22. The Tick (1994 Video Game)

We start under the skin of the Tick, a strange super hero (a parody of super hero, well said.) Who need to protect his city against an army of ninjas and funny super villians.

23. Wolverine: Adamantium Rage (1994 Video Game)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Add a Plot

Votes: 20

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