The Nintendo Switch is a dream made reality for a fighting game fanatic: The arcade experience on the go, with flexible input support and complete versions of major fighting franchises. This goal had inspired the late Neo Geo Pocket, and game developers understand the value of the Switch with their catalog offerings. If you’re a current owner or want to get a Switch Lite later this year, here are my recommendations for fighting games.

1. Dragon Ball FighterZ

  • Developer: Arc System Works
  • Format: 3 vs 3 Tag Team
  • Price: $59.99
  • DLC: Fighter Pass 1 $34.99, Fighter Pass 2 $24.99. Unlock-able characters Goku & Vegeta SSGGSS can be paid for $2.99 each. Extra music, commentator voices and lobby avatars.

This game made the case for buying fighting games on the Switch. The Marvel vs. Capcom 3 style tag team fighter unites the most popular Z Warriors across the rich Dragon Ball history, and presents them in the best graphics the series has ever seen in gaming. The overall offering is the most complete of any fighting game on the Switch, bundling up an array of single and multi player modes that you can play offline just fine. .

For solo players, you’ve got a serviceable story campaign revolving customizing your team of fighters with buffs, a more traditional arcade mode and flexible local versus option to play any way you’d like. The online offering is spread across casual, ranked and tournament play, with side offering like Team Battles where you take on a powered up AI with your story mode buffs available.

Check out a game play highlight for DLC fighter Jiren.

If you’re buying any game from Arc System Works, be sure to have a 5GHz WiFi connection or get an Ethernet adapter for the Switch. They generally do not offer the best netcode, so online play can be spotty.

2. Mortal Kombat 11

  • Developer: NetherRealm Studios
  • Format: 1v1, cautiously-paced Kombat
  • Price: $59.99
  • DLC: Kombat Pack at $39.99, Individual DLC fighters and Klassic Skin Pack at $5.99 each.

A massive undertaking by port studio Shiver, Scorpion and his murderous crew make it to the Switch with the full package. While this port has gotten a few criticisms on launch for its graphical downgrades, the game enjoys positive feedback from its recent updates and tops sales charts for the Switch. You’ll be able to play a cinematic campaign of about 4 or 5 hours, and go into the Towers of Time after that. Towers are an endlessly rotating set of fight gauntlets with cosmetic rewards and currency to take into the Krypt, to spend on even more of those armor pieces. If you’re itching to go online, you can get unique rewards in the ranked Kombat League and extra currency to supplement your efforts by completing challenges. It’s the works.

The only reason any other game could outweigh MK11 in terms of value is the fact that many modes are online-only and therefore your Switch will need WiFi for the full experience, and that matters a lot in a game so heavily geared towards grinding Towers for character customization. One of the positives that MK11 enjoys over other titles on the Switch is the quality of the online play which helps out a lot when your default connection is going to be WiFi.

Check out our Kombat Pack Early Access game play featuring Shang Tsung. Also check out Alianz playing Kombat League.

3. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid

  • Developer: nWay Games
  • Format: 3v3 Tag Team
  • Price: $19.99
  • DLC: Season Pass at $14.99 including extra costumes.

Anyone out of the loop about Battle for the Grid wouldn’t believe it until they see it. It’s a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 style tag team fighter? It’s based on Power Rangers? It’s being developed by former Marvel Vs. Capcom professional players? It’s got true cross-play and quality netcode? It’s only 20 bucks? It’s very real, and it’s worth your time.

You might call the offering basic: An episodic story mode spread out across future updates with arcade mode on the side, 12 man starting roster with 3 DLC fighters in Season One and casual or ranked online. But the game play is entertaining without feeling dirty, it’s probably the best newcomer-friendly game on this list. This is the only fighting game on the market that offers cross play between Nintendo Switch and Xbox One with PC and PS4 support coming later. It’s also got the best online netcode next to Mortal Kombat on this list.

Check out what’s new in Battle for the Grid Season One.

4. Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle

  • Developer: Arc System Works
  • Format: 2v2 Tag Team
  • Price: $29.99
  • DLC: Free DLC fighters Belladona and Yang, All-in-one DLC bundle $19.99 with individual packs at $4.99 each. Extra character color options $2.99 each.

I’d be skeptical to recommend this game at a $60 price point but after lowering to $30 for all platforms I’m convinced this is a game worth the money if you’re a fan of tag team fighters. This game takes the format of the first Capcom-produced Marvel games (noticing a trend?) and mashes up the mechanics of the advertised Japanese fighting franchises: titular Blazblue, Under Night In-Birth, spinoff Persona 4: Arena , web series RWBY and newcomer Arcana Heart.

This game has a relatively slim single player offer, with only a Survival mode in place of arcade and a visual novel story mode to accompany it. Despite this, I find the game to be an extremely strong party-friendly fighting game. You can go all the way in technicality without sacrificing the fun of mashing out visually-impressive combos on its simple button setup. This is a game I’d definitely try out with its free demo on the eShop. It’s probably the closest thing to a Smash Bros level of accessibility that you can get out of a modern fighting game.

If you’re buying any game from Arc System Works, be sure to have a 5GHz WiFi connection or get an Ethernet adapter for the Switch. They generally do not offer the best netcode, so online play can be spotty.

5. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Format: 1v1 Street fighting
  • Price: $39.99
  • DLC: None

You may have heard of a little game called Street Fighter II or watched a little clip of people playing Street Fighter 3rd Strike. You can own a collection of the arcade greats for $40 on your Switch. Including multiple iterations of Street Fighter II and the three iterations of both Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter III for a total of twelve games you will probably find common ground with any fighting fan on this collection.

The online functions here are specifically for SFII Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Turbo, Alpha 3 and 3rd Strike. While diehards have expressed disappointment at the netcode included in the collection not being up to the par previously set by 3rd Strike: Online Edition on the 360 and PS3, there’s no denying the value being offered here.

Honorable Mentions

Where to go from this list? I’ll give you a couple of recommendations.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R

  • Developer: Arc System Works
  • Format: 1v1 Technical fighting
  • Price: $14.99
  • DLC: None

Heaven Or Hell? While part of me would’ve preferred the stylish Guilty Gear Xrd make it to Switch, The definitive edition of Guilty Gear XX is a cornerstone for fighting game design and Arc System Works as a developer. Dubbed Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (or XXAC+R) it’s a compilation of the various editions that the game went through in the PS2 days. It’s got a rocking soundtrack composed by the game’s head producer Daisuke Ishiwatari and beautiful handcrafted sprites. It’s not likely a game quite like this one will ever be made with its emphasis on brutal technical setups and massive selection of character archetypes. Let’s Rock!

If you’re buying any game from Arc System Works, be sure to have a 5GHz WiFi connection or get an Ethernet adapter for the Switch. They generally do not offer the best netcode, so online play can be spotty.

ACA NEOGEO Collection

  • Developer: SNK
  • Format: Various fighting games
  • Price: $7.99
  • DLC: None

The Arcade Archives Neo Geo series of games is largely an industrial re-release of classic arcade games. But in this context, it means you get to play those old SNK fighters you blew quarters on back in the day. You’ve got various iterations in King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury and the classic Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Each of them is $7.99 each and are strictly local multiplayer affairs, but this is evidence that the Neo Geo Pocket’s legacy is out there. To get them, just go look up the one you’d like on the eShop.

The future looks bright for the Switch, too: Skullgirls and Samurai Shodown are set to make appearances later this year, and a trademarked Under Night In-Birth game for Switch hints at a future for the indie fighter. There’s a whole lot we didn’t mention too, so check the eShop for the full catalog. Fight!


About Shib

Hey! I write gaming articles for GBL and keep things looking sharp. You can follow me @shiburizu on Twitter.

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One Comment on “The best fighting games for Switch out now”

  1. All these games are a must. Mortal Combat is an immortal game, excuse my wordplay, but it’s true. Even those who are not keen on gaming have tried this game at least once a life.

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