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Best Fighting Games Published By Nintendo

Best Fighting Games Published By Nintendo


Highlights

  • Nintendo has successfully branched out into the fighting genre, offering accessible and fun options for casual gamers.
  • Games like Photo Dojo and Arms provide unique mechanics and a sense of progression, adding replayability and intense matches.
  • Kirby Battle Royale and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offer diverse characters, exciting gameplay, and a range of modes, appealing to both casual and experienced fighting game fans.



Ever since it first made its mark on the video game industry with the release of Super Mario Bros. in 1985, Nintendo has been first and foremost known for its exceptional platforming titles, with the likes of Mario and Kirby becoming some of the biggest franchises. However, as time has gone on, the company has started to gradually branch out to a few other genres, and one of which it has made a real attempt to dive into over the last few years is the fighting genre.

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Fighting games tend to be highly competitive, and considering Nintendo usually appeals to a more casual audience, the two would initially seem to be incompatible, but the company has still managed to come out with a handful of games in the genre that feel far more accessible than some of their counterparts. Those looking to jump into a fun and exhilarating fighter for a Nintendo device have some great options to choose from.



7 Photo Dojo

Metacritic User Score: 6.9

Photo Dojo

Released
May 10, 2010

Developer(s)
Nintendo

Photo Dojo is a fairly niche title released for the DSi in 2010, and while the core gameplay isn’t too deep or complex, it’s still a very fun time regardless, especially due to the very unique camera mechanic. Before jumping into a battle, players are able to take multiple photos of themselves performing attacks and taunts that can then be replicated in-game, allowing fighting game fans to live out their dream of being a selectable character in the game itself.


Players are able to throw out numerous different attacks during a battle, including basic punches and fireball projectiles, but if they’re on the back foot, they also have the opportunity to utilize their Desperation Move, which can take off a chunk of the opponent’s health if it lands. It might not be the most balanced fighting game out there, but there’s no denying just how ridiculously fun and hilarious Photo Dojo can be when playing with a few friends or family members.

6 Arms

Metacritic User Score: 7.1

Tow characters fighting each other in Arms

Arms

Released
June 16, 2017

Developer(s)
Nintendo EPD

Arms felt like Nintendo’s attempt to promote the newly released Switch to fans of the fighting genre, and while it definitely has a few downsides, it’s ultimately an exhilarating and pretty complex game that is easy to jump into but very hard to learn. While players are able to play manually, the game encourages the use of motion controls, which can be used to guide each of the character’s elongated arms around the environment to land a strike on the opponent.


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While each of the fifteen fighters starts off with three unique Arms, as players progress through the game and unlock more, they’ll be able to mix and match them to create a build they like the feel of. This adds a nice sense of progression to the experience while also adding a ton of replayability to the game in general. The fast-paced nature of the fights can result in some extremely intense matches, and while there can be a few balancing issues with some Arms being stronger than others, this issue is largely overshadowed by just how well the game plays and the amount of freedom it grants players.

5 Kirby Battle Royale

Metacritic User Score: 7.1

Multiple Kirby's fighting in an arena


Kirby Battle Royale

Released
January 18, 2018

Before Fortnite ushered the concept of battle royale into the mainstream, there was another game that had put its own fresh spin on the genre just a few months before, and that was Kirby Battle Royale. The game is a battle-arena fighter where players take control of Kirby, who must duke it out with a myriad of clones who have stolen Kirby’s appearance and use different weapons and techniques in combat.

The staggering number of abilities featured in the game results in every fight feeling fresh and exciting, and the small size of the stages makes it very competitive, especially when playing with friends in local multiplayer or online. The game is also packed full of unique game modes that help to ensure the core gameplay never becomes too stale, many of which encourage players to collect certain items scattered around the stage while they fight. It might not be the best fighting game that’s come out of the Kirby series, but it’s still an absolute blast to play in short bursts.


4 Pokken Tournament DX

Metacritic User Score: 7.6

Machamp slashing Charizard

Pokkén Tournament DX

Released
September 22, 2017

Pokemon games almost always put players in the shoes of a trainer who’s able to command their companions into battle by calling out moves and abilities, but Pokken Tournament actually presented the opportunity to play as the Pokemon themselves. Considering just how many Pokemon exist nowadays, Pokken Tournament DX simply takes a handful of some of the most beloved and iconic ones and fleshes them out with plenty of moves to ensure they all feel distinct from one another.


The leniency of pulling off combos does mean that anyone, no matter how little experience they’ve had with the fighting genre in the past, will be able to execute big and flashy attacks with just a few buttons, but there’s still plenty to learn for some of the more experienced players. There are also a few mechanics pulled out of the mainline series that can change the tide of a battle, especially the Mega Evolutions, which can grant a Pokemon a temporary attack boost, and the support members who can jump in to occasionally dish out some damage.

3 Kirby Fighters 2

Metacritic User Score: 8.0

Multiple Kirby's fighting each other

Kirby Fighters 2

Released
September 23, 2020

In a similar vein to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series, Kirby Fighters 2 is a platform fighting game where players can win either by knocking their opponents off the edge of the stage or by dropping their health points to zero. The game features 23 playable characters, all of which have their own unique movesets that fit into specific fighting game archetypes, giving players plenty of freedom to find a fighter that suits their preferred playstyle.


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Unlike a lot of fighting games that try to maintain some element of equality in the character’s stats, Kirby Fighters 2 goes all-in with making its characters as different as possible, such as King Dedede, for example, who has a little more health than everyone else but a much larger hitbox due to his size. It also includes some incredibly unique gimmicks that really help the gameplay stand out, such as how defeated fighters can be revived as a ghost by their allies to help get a few extra hits in, rather than being forced to spectate the rest of the battle. Pair this with an excellent story mode that includes plenty of thrilling boss battles to break up the main battles, and it results in one of Nintendo’s finest fighting games ever made.

2 Punch-Out!!

Metacritic User Score: 8.6

Little Mac fighting another boxer in a ring


Punch-Out!! may not be a fighting game in the traditional sense, but it still contains many of the core components that have become synonymous with the genre since its inception, such as performing combos, knowing when to guard or parry, and its reliance on the player having good reflexes. The game follows Little Mac, an up-and-coming boxer whose dream of being the best in the sport is blocked by a few other fearsome combatants who are also gunning for the top spot.

During a match, players will need to analyze their opponent to know exactly when to dodge, block, and counter their attacks while also keeping a close eye on their stamina gauge, which can drain at an alarming rate if Mac gets a little too carried away. The game is actually very brutal in its difficulty, especially when Mac is tasked with going up against some of the tougher opponents like Von Kaiser and King Hippo, who can take one heck of a beating before being taken down. It’s an incredibly hard game to master, but this ultimately makes fights all the more satisfying when Mac is able to pull off flawless combos on his opponent without giving them a chance to fight back.


1 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Metacritic User Score: 8.6

Multiple characters on a stage in sUPER smash Bros Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Released
December 7, 2018

The main reason why the Super Smash Bros. series has been able to retain such an immense level of popularity over the years, aside from its gigantic cast of iconic characters, is because it can be enjoyed by literally anyone. The easygoing nature of the gameplay, which centers around hitting people off the stage, is easy to pick up and play for newcomers, but fighting game fans who are looking for more complex mechanics still have plenty of combos and techniques that can be utilized during a fight, too.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes everything that players enjoyed from previous entries, including the wonderful stages and myriad of game modes, while also getting rid of mechanics that weren’t enjoyed as much, such as tripping and chain grabs. All this culminates in an incredible fighting experience that is packed full of content thanks to the unbelievable number of characters, modes, items, and stages that it includes. Because of how well-balanced the game is in regard to its fighters, it also means that every character is viable in their own unique ways, which just makes it so much fun to experiment with each and every one of them to see who feels the most enjoyable to use.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

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