The Best Beat 'em Up Games Of All Time

Over 2.8K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Beat 'em Up Games Of All Time
Latest additions: Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef, Asterix & Obelix XXXL: The Ram From Hibernia, Midnight Fight Express
Most divisive: Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef

The best beat 'em up games of all time for any console or system, ranked by gamers everywhere. These games are ordered by popularity, so only the greatest and most popular titles are always at the top of the list. Spanning the entire history of the genre, these games are considered the best in the genre.

From popular games like features Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City to classic arcade beat 'em ups like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more, this list includes all challenging games that have ever hit the shelves, so it doesn't necessarily have all the more obscure or new beat 'em up games.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best beat 'em up games?" and "What is the greatest beat 'em up game of all time?" Vote up all your favorites below.

Ranked by
  • Streets of Rage 2
    882 votes
    • Developer: MNM Software, Sega Wow, Shout!Designworks Co., Ltd., Ancient Corp

    Filled with raw energy, gritty storylines, and hard-hitting action, Streets of Rage 2 was the definitive sequel that outshone its predecessor. The game revolved around four lead characters, each with unique abilities, on a quest to save their friend who was abducted by the criminal syndicate. It's frenzied local multiplayer gameplay and memorable chiptune soundtrack bumped up the genre's popularity, cementing its spot as a beat 'em up giant.

    • Developer: Backbone Entertainment, Konami

    The green quartet of radical reptiles known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles burst onto the arcade scene in 1989, bringing with them a compelling story filled with memorable villains to beat up. Whether playing solo or with pals, gamers took control of Leo, Raph, Donnie, or Mikey, applying their ninja skills to lay the smackdown on Shredder and the Foot Clan. Essentially changing the game for licensed properties, it served as a pioneer of the beat 'em up genre that held water for years.

  • Final Fight
    Jan 01 1989
    624 votes
    • Developer: Capcom

    Capable of sucking quarters faster than a Black Hole, Final Fight debuted as an arcade titan and remains a highlight in the beat 'em up world. Taking to the mean streets, players controlled one of three characters, engaging in close-quarter combat to rescue the mayor's daughter. It proved extremely influential to future games in the genre with its memorable characters and hard-hitting combat.

  • Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
    517 votes
    • Developer: Capcom

    Featured in a world gone mad where buck wild beasts are as common as beat up Cadillacs, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs truly presented a one-of-a-kind premise. The gameplay was gnarly, allowing up to three players to team up and brawl against rampant dinosaurs and evil gangs alike. With its blend of prehistoric and post-apocalyptic themes, it certainly left an indelible footprint in the sands of the beat 'em up genre.

  • Streets of Rage 4
    172 votes
    • Developer: Dotemu

    A testament to the eternal relevance of the rage-filled streets, this fourth installment serves up fan-favorite characters with a fresh coat of paint and a modern twist. Gameplay takes users on a crusade against a new crime empire, offering a seamless blend of classic and new fighting mechanics. Its successful execution of nostalgia and innovation gave beat 'em fans a retro revival worth waiting for.

    • Developer: Backbone Entertainment, Konami

    Adding a healthy dollop of humor to the traditional beat 'em up formula, The Simpsons Arcade Game brought America's favorite family to the game scene in a wacky storyline involving a diamond theft. The gameplay was a knockout; up to four players could tag-team goons as Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa, in a madcap melee across Springfield. This title blended classic beat 'em up gameplay with beloved pop culture icons, distinguishing it among contemporaries.