[Top 10] Games Like Street Fighter (Games Better Than Street Fighter In Their Own Way)

Games Like Street Fighter
Street Fighter is far from being the only game of its kind.


What are the best games that are like Street Fighter but with surprising twists?

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior has served as the model on which most 2D fighting games are based. During the 90s, in the golden era of arcade games, fighting games saw a multitude of titles being released and most of them take inspiration from Street Fighter, whether we’re talking about the presentation or even game mechanics.

So let’s take a look at what are some of the best games that are a lot like Street Fighter but that at the same time have certain differences that make them stand out.


10. Real Bout Fatal Fury Special

RB Fatal Fury S gameplay:

The Fatal Fury series was incredibly popular during its time and has generated multiple iconic characters such as Terry Bogard, Mai Shiranui, and Geese Howard.

Unlike Street Fighter, your normal attacks are fairly weak, so you will opt to use neutral jumps and hops in neutral instead of throwing buttons. Its most unique feature is the fact that even though it is a 2D game, it has two planes, and you can change plain from front to back at any time, being that you cannot hit your usual moves or specials if your opponent is on a different plane.

In this game, as you build meter, not only do you gain access to new supers, depending on your bar level, you actually gain access to new mechanics such as recovery rolls and guard cancels.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Two planes, allowing the player to change from one plane to the other, opening new ways to avoid getting hit and new mixups
  • Jump-based neutral game, where your jump timing and spacing is more important than the use of buttons
  • Great arcade mode, with increasing difficulty, fun stages, a mid-boss, sub-boss, and a terrifying yet not broken final boss



FOOTSIES gameplay:

FOOTSIES is a truly amazing, yet super simple fighting game.

In it, all that matters is footsies, the single most important aspect of the gameplay in any Street Fighter game. There are no characters and no flashy super moves, and there are no fireballs at all, as we’re going back to the basics.

The key to winning is just to play good footsies, so your spacing, whiff punishing, and hit-confirming must be on point. The greatest thing about this game, available on Steam, is that both beginners and veterans can enjoy it.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Straightforward gameplay, focused on the neutral game and footsies
  • Grounded playstyle, as there is no jumping, no zoning, and no shenanigans
  • Simple execution with the absence of super moves or big combos


8. Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusa’s Revenge

SamSho IV gameplay: 

Samurai Shodown is an SNK franchise, and its fourth entry was released to the arcades in 1996.

The game focuses less on combos and has a greater emphasis on attack and block instead. You truly feel as if you’re having a sword battle, in which the very next blow can be fatal, so a great defense and striking at the right time are crucial for winning.

This game is perfect for those who love Street Fighter and the concept of fighting games in general but aren’t fans of the more slow-paced, offense-heavy style. Samurai Shodown IV also allows the player to select one of two different modes with each character, opening new ways to explore the characters.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • One-of-a-kind presentation, with an unorthodox soundtrack and a feudal Japan theme
  • Grounded, defensive gameplay, where each blow is super damaging, blocking is crucial and the timing of your attacks is key
  • No resource management, with the absence of EX moves or other similar features, and your meter will activate a new mode automatically when certain requirements are met


7. Vampire Savior (Darkstalkers 3)

Vampire Savior gameplay:

In this game, we have monsters of all kinds, shapes, and forms battle it out in true Capcom fashion.

Since it’s a Capcom game, you’d think it would be pretty similar to Street Fighter. However, the game has major differences such as having “bats” instead of rounds, where the point of the match is to make the opponent lose their 2 bats (each bat represents a specific life bar). When someone loses a bat, the battle resumes right where it ended, adding a whole level of mind games and strategy to it.

The game has amazing defensive mechanics such as the infamous guard cancel, which allows you to cancel the animation of your block into a counterattack that can deal massive damage. All the super moves in the game look sick.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Flashy visuals, with crazy special moves, creative forms of attacks, and masterfully executed 2D animation
  • Deconstruction of the round system, with no breaks between rounds, adding an extra layer of setups and strategy after first blood is drawn
  • Easy ways to interrupt pressure, with mechanics like guard cancel which can lead to a high damage counter-attack, making offensive pressure a risk


6. Martial Masters

Martial Masters gameplay:

Released in 1999 by IGS, Martial Masters might be the single most underrated fighting game of all time. 

One of Martial Masters’ greatest features is movement. There are so many options in terms of movement and in terms of oki, making it a game where you need to use your movement to get in and out, knock your opponent down and guess correctly on wake-up to keep your offense going. There is a really cool launch combo system so if you love juggles you’ll certainly love this one.

The game has beautiful aesthetics and is thematically inspired by old-school Hong Kong kung fu movies.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Movement-based action, with multiple ways and techniques to move around the screen, avoiding getting hit, baiting moves, and trying to find an opening
  • Decision-making and hard reads during oki, thanks to several options granted to both the attacking and defending player, from delayed wake ups to chase downs
  • Fantastically fluid animation, making each move feel amazingly satisfying and fully fleshed out during combos


5. Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2

GG Xrd REV2 gameplay:

Guilty Gear is a celebrated fighting game franchise, fast-rising to mainstream attention with each day that passes. Guilty Gear Strive. the latest entry in the series even headlined EVO in 2022.

It has stunning visuals, fast-paced action, a great story, and iconic characters, as well as over-the-top Overdrives, which are the super moves.

In-game features include the ability to air dash, air block, and the fantastic mechanic known as Roman Cancel, which pretty much works like an installment V-Trigger activation, allowing you to extend combos and much more. If you hate jumpers in Street Fighter, you’ll absolutely love this game as it allows you to punish jump-ins severely.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Fast-paced action, with fighting taking place both on the ground and in the air, with short time to take game-changing decisions
  • Complex mechanics, forcing you to fully learn how to properly manage your resources and also to learn how each character and interaction work so that you can play your best
  • High risk, high reward structure, with jump-ins being able to be severely punished out of conversions from anti-airs


4. The King of Fighters XIII

KOFXIII gameplay: 

The King of Fighters franchise is composed of the main SNK games to fight back against Capcom during the 90s. With releases almost every year and a roster composed of SNK’s biggest stars, the game is famously known for its extended lore and 3-on-3 team matches.

Like Street Fighter, it is a 2D fighting game with meters, life bars, supers, and combos, but it has a lot of unique features to it, like the ability to dodge, multiple ways to jump, a king of a universal “super sayan” mode for all characters, and the possibility of running instead of simply dashing.

With a big storyline spawning countless games, the game is most respected by pro players for its intricate combo system, and the usage of different types of meter to extend and optimize combos.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Great storyline, encompassing countless games since 1994 in a story so ambitious it is divided into different sagas, and affects how the characters play and change over time
  • Elaborated combo system, allowing great player expression, requiring great skill in performing long, high-execution combos, and permitting players to constantly find new routes to follow on punishes and hit confirms, depending on the meter available
  • Default team battles, forcing players to learn at least 3 different characters to play at a high level


3. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future

Heritage for the Future gameplay:

Released in 1998, this game is based on the highly popular and long-running manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, by Hirohiko Araki

This is a very complete fighting game, where neutral, anti-airing, meter management, hit-confirms, hard reads, mixups, setups, and unique traits to each character are all evident. In this sense, it is very much like Street Fighter.

The main distinction, however, lies in how each character has a Stand, or, in fighting game terms, every character is pretty much a stance and puppet character at the same time. You can use your Stand fused with you to perform your attacks or you can separate it from yourself and control essentially two bodies at the same time. Every single character has very unique mechanics, and there are some combo loops that can be very fun to perform.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Multiple levels of overarching gameplans, in a fully solid and complete game where all fighting game tropes, from mixups to zoning, and from frame trapping to setups are important to every single character in varying ways
  • Incredibly diverse cast, each with their own unique playstyle, toolkit, and gimmicks
  • Absurd range of varying unique abilities and mechanics for each character, in a game where puppeteering and stance-changing plays a central role in most matches as you often need to control two bodies at once and alternate between forms depending on the situation


2. Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark of the Millenium

CvS2 gameplay:

Released at the turn of the millennium, this game sees classic Capcom characters crossing up with those of SNK, Capcom’s biggest rival during the arcade era.

This game includes a groove system that allows players to use each character with 6 different possible combat systems. 3 of them are Street Fighter systems of past games, whereas the remaining 3 are SNK systems.

Not only is this a wet dream come true for most classic fighting game fans, with a massive roster with all the characters you could wish for, it is one of the deepest and most complex fighting games in history, rewarding players for time spent learning the game.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Complex battle system, with hidden mechanics like roll-canceling, and a ratio system allowing you to play 3 characters, 2, or 1, with a selectable level of attributes, evenly distributed throughout your team
  • Personalizable gameplay, with 6 different systems in which you can use each character based on mechanics from Capcom and SNK games from the past
  • A legendary roster, made of both Capcom and SNK characters, mostly Street Fighter and King of Fighters during each series ay-day in the arcade era


1. Garou: Mark of the Wolves

Garou gameplay:

Garou is derived from the Fatal Fury series, and it is widely considered one of the very best fighting games to have ever been created. It also features the playable debut of Geese Howard’s son Rock Howard, the new main protagonist for the series, and one of the most popular characters in the FGC.

Command inputs are required to pull off useful special moves, of course, and out of all the SNK games, this one is the one that feels most like a Capcom entry, and it is often recommended as the go-to game for Street Fighter players looking for an alternative to try out.

Garou is exceptional at making the battle feel back-and-forth, as you can extend combos and apply pressure with break moves and guard breaks, but can as easily fight back and turn the tides with the use of mechanics like Just Defend, whereby blocking an attack with the perfect timing, you will gain health and recover out of block stun much faster. It also has a very interesting T.O.P. system, where any given character will activate a special mode when at a specific health, adding to the dynamics of the fight.

Choose This Game If You Like... 

  • Back-and-forth action, with Just Defend allowing the tides to turn at any given moment, making this a truly exciting game for each frame of second during battles
  • Strategy and resource managing, where pre-selecting your T.O.P. mode activation will dictate how both you and your opponent approach the match, and choosing when to spend meter can make or break you
  • Fairly small and a compact roster that gives you room to get more experienced in match-ups specifics, much like in Street Fighter II


Hopefully, this list helped you get to know new games to try if you are a fan of Street Fighter, or of 2D fighting games in general.

Marvel vs Capcom 2 is obviously deserving of being on this list, but we found the battle system too different from Street Fighter to be considered, well, “a game like Street Fighter”. Nonetheless, Marvel vs Capcom 2 is highly recommended if you love Street Fighter characters and new takes on fighting games, with tag battles, crazy loops, and air combos.


You May Also Be Interested In:

Andre walks the path of a fighting warrior to pursue self-improvement and to break his limits. His amazing power of creative writing and his unwavering love for games are the source of his willpower.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
Top 3 Favorite Games:Street Fighter X Tekken, Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

More Top Stories