Expertly paced and incredibly tense, Samurai Shodown is a glorious love letter to more retro-feeling fighting games. One wrong move and you can say goodbye to a third of your health bar, and it's this extreme level of risk versus reward that makes SNK's latest an electric experience. Immensely rewarding, satisfying, and gripping in equal measure, there's no other fighter quite like Samurai Shodown on PS4.
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A franchise that was long teetering on the edge of obscurity, Bandai Namco did a top job of bringing SoulCalibur back from the brink with SoulCalibur VI. The best entry since the beloved SoulCalibur II, this is a slick and satisfying weapon-based fighter. Its single player modes are extensive, and its character creation system gives it an often comical edge. Most importantly, though, SoulCalibur VI simply feels great to play, and the series' trademark eight-way run system makes it easy to pick up.
As a brand new fighting game property, Granblue Fantasy Versus gets so much right. It's quite possibly the most accessible competitive-proven title on this list, with simple inputs and matches that are clear and easy to read. What's more, it feels fantastic to play, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Our only criticism is aimed at the character roster, which is disappointingly small at launch, but overall, Arc System Works has undoubtedly delivered yet again.
The third and best iteration of Guilty Gear Xrd, Rev 2 is an utterly gorgeous fighting game that's drowning in style and polish. An open-ended combo system ensures a hefty dose of depth, and the crazy damage that just about every combatant is capable of dealing makes every duel a brilliantly intense affair. With one of the coolest character rosters in any current fighting game, Rev 2 is a delight to witness, explore, and obsess over.
Street Fighter V has finally grown into a top notch 2D fighting game thanks to Arcade Edition. Capcom knows much better than most how to make satisfyingly crunchy combat, and that's the core of this polished, highly competitive release. An ongoing hit with the hardcore community, the developer is still adding to the title with new fighters and stages. Street Fighter V is now in a much better state than it was when it first launched, standing strong as one of the PS4's most accomplished beat-'em-ups.
Dragon Ball FighterZ excels in its ability to provide a hugely entertaining fighting game for players of all skill levels. It's brilliantly balanced in terms of accessibility, and it looks utterly stunning to boot. What's more, its dedication to Akira Toriyama's source material is unmatched — it's probably the best Dragon Ball adaptation that the medium has ever seen. Pile on a lengthy original story mode alongside a seriously robust online multiplayer offering, and you've got one of the very best brawlers on PS4 — whether you're a fan of anime or not.
Tekken 7 may be a little lacking in single player content, but its glorious combat system and masterful fighting mechanics simply can't be beaten. This is the best that Tekken has been since the legendary Tekken 3, serving up a super satisfying mix of crackling combos, deadly mix-ups, and brutal rage arts. There are certainly more accessible titles on this list, but when it comes to the crunch, Tekken 7 is unmatched in its ability to bring the hype thanks to the sheer depth of its brawling and its expertly balanced roster. For pure fighting game excellence, it's almost unmatched on PS4.
Guilty Gear Strive represents a new direction for Arc System Works' rocking fighter. It's still Guilty Gear at its core, but dramatic system changes and a refined character roster make it a very different kind of Guilty Gear. There's no doubt that Strive is more accessible than its immediate predecessors, but there's still an amazing amount of depth below the surface. Get stuck in, and Strive is a superb and utterly stunning fighting game, topped off with an absolutely banging soundtrack. It also has the best online netcode of any fighter you'll find on PS4, ensuring (mostly) smooth matches against opponents around the globe. Pretty much a masterpiece in all the right areas.
What do you think are the best PS4 fighting games? Do you agree with our list of heavy hitters? Trade blows in the comments section below, and be sure to check out our full guide to the best PS4 games.