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Top 25 best fighting games for iPhone and iPad (iOS)

Top 25 best fighting games for iPhone and iPad (iOS)

Can they kick it? Yes they can. And punch it, too.

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Updated on November 17, 2022 - 1 game swapped



In these pampered, civilised times, most of us would sooner cross the street than engage in a direct confrontation. But in the virtual realm of video games, we tend to turn into hooligans.

Nowhere is that primal instinct better expressed than through the medium of the fighting game, also known in some quarters as the beat-'em-up or the brawler.

Such games view the cowardly sniping of the shooter with suspicion. Why lob bullets at a foe when you can pummel their digital face with your own pixellated hands?

No longer the sole concern of the arcade, fighting games have slipped via the home console onto the smartphone in our pocket. Then reached out and locked us into an arm bar. We refuse to tap out.

Whether you're after a scrolling 'belt' brawler like those '90s classics, a tactical one-on-one beat-'em-up like... those other '90s classics, or some weird genre splice that could only appear on mobile, we've got some top recommendations for you.

Don't see your favourite iPhone or iPad fighting game on the list? Let us know which you'd include in the comments below.

Original list by Jon Mundy, updated by Pocket Gamer Staff.
Click Here To View The List »

1
Skullgirls

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting
Find out more about Skullgirls Mobile
Skullgirls Mobile

The name and publisher might have changed, but following its relaunch Skullgirls remains one of the most thoughtful console game reworkings on mobile.

The graphics are stunning, the touch controls work brilliantly, and the combat is fast and fluid. There's no title more fitting than this one to debut our list of best fighting games on iOS, don't you agree?

Download Skullgirls

2
Beat Street

Publisher: Lucky Kat Studios
Available on: iOS
Genre: Fighting
Find out more about Beat Street
Beat Street

Beat-'em-ups don't need to be complex multi-button affairs. Beat Street shows you how to get that old-school scrolling brawler feel with just a single control input - and it plays great.

if you want to know why we chose it as one of our top picks, make sure to read the Beat Street review we've got. It's a terrific brawling game like no other.

Download Beat Street

3
Punch Quest

Developer: RocketCat Games
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade, Fighting
Find out more about Punch Quest
Punch Quest

A glorious mish-mash of genres, Punch Quest pumps the tired old autorunner genre with the spirit of a classic side-scrolling beat-'em-up.

Yeah, yeah, you can probably tell we've got a thing for retro fighting games - we can't help it, many of them are truly fun and take us back to the basics. Such is the case for Punch Quest, which greatly takes the trophy for one of the most blood-pumping battlers out there. Just read our Punch Quest review!

Download Punch Quest

4
The Executive

Publisher: Riverman Media
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting
Find out more about The Executive
The Executive

An old school brawler brought bang up to date for the touchscreen generation. It's loud, brash, and silly, but there's also a surprising amount of depth here.

Combining elements of an auto-runner and a company management sim add to the fists and kicks that would otherwise overwhelm players with the sheer lunacy of fighting werewolves left and right, so make sure to read The Executive review if you want to understand just why it's such a great pick!

Download The Executive

5
Brawlhalla

Publisher: Blue Mammoth Games
Available on: iOS + Android + Switch
Genre: Action, Multiplayer
Find out more about Brawlhalla
Brawlhalla

One of the most popular platform fighters around gets a strong mobile conversion. Brawlhalla wears its Smash Bros. influence on its sleeve, but it's no lesser a free brawler for it.

It's exciting, it's modern and super sleek when it comes to the mechanics. This game really knows how to take battler elements and lift them to a higher level. So, pick your weapon and fight your way to Brawlhalla! In case you need assistance in your quest, hop by the Brawlhalla tier list of best legends and use some of the Brawlhalla codes that we have collected!

Download Brawlhalla

6
EA Sports UFC

Publisher: EA Mobile
Available on: iOS + Android
Find out more about EA SPORTS™ UFC® Mobile 2
EA SPORTS™ UFC® Mobile 2

The mobile version of the famous UFC simulator from EA Sports, completely dedicated to such a popular sport today as mixed martial arts. In EA Sports UFC, all aspects of the fight according to the rules of MMA are maximally reflected. Excellent high-resolution graphics, authentic animations recreated by motion capture technology, and the most convenient touch controls make all fighting game fans pay attention to the game.

Download EA Sports UFC

7
Grimvalor

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action, Platform, Retro
Find out more about Grimvalor
Grimvalor

Grimvalor is definitely not your usual beat 'em up, more like a combination of hack-and-slash, RPG and a fighting game with a smidge of a platformer to spice it up. It differentiates from most of the other iOS fighting games because it features epic bosses. Both by their size and their ability to make your life miserable.

As for the gameplay, it's perfectly adapted to the touch controls, everything runs as smooth as you can imagine, and you won't be missing a controller for a second while playing Grimvalor. If there's one thing that we could pinpoint as being bad (not really bad, more like okay-ish), it's the storyline. But, you wanted to play a fighting game, so it's not really a big deal, right?

Download Grimvalor

8
Taekwondo Game Global Tournament

Developer: Hello There
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade, Fighting, Simulation
Taekwondo Game Global Tournament

Terrible name, brilliant game. Taekwondo Game Global Tournament is a surprisingly poised, cagey fighting game where solitary, well-timed strikes are key and button mashing will lead to a swift loss.

Feeling rather blocky and simple at first glance, it will quickly develop into much more than that. And yeah, while the name doesn't help it at all, this exciting brawling battler is easily a game that you'll find yourself playing over and over again. Just read our Taekwondo Game Global Tournament review - it covers everything!

Download Taekwondo Game Global Tournament

9
Real Boxing 2

Publisher: Vivid Games
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting, Sports
Find out more about Real Boxing 2
Real Boxing 2

Just as the name suggests, you won't get a better mobile representation of classic pugilism than in Real Boxing 2. Its fights are good-looking, intuitive, and tactical.

The game feels realistic enough to make you want to try out more games that feature elements of sim and brawling games alike. Read our Real Boxing 2 review to learn what are all the elements that we love about it.

Download Real Boxing 2

10
Marvel Contest of Champions

Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Card battler, Fighting, Film/TV tie-in, Multiplayer
Find out more about Marvel Contest of Champions
Marvel Contest of Champions

Marvel Contest of Champions lets you pitch your favourite Marvel heroes against each other in gloriously animated one-on-one fights. The combat is a tad simplistic, but it has a certain tactile appeal to it that's tough to resist.

Think of it as a mortal kombat between your favourite MCU characters - Hulk vs Magneto, Punisher vs Groot, and much much more. If that is not enough to get you super hyped about it, then how about our MCoC tier list? We've collected all the good (and bad) elements of the game there, so make sure to check it out.

Download Marvel Contest of Champions

11
Knight Brawl

Publisher: Colin Lane
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action, Fighting
Find out more about Knight Brawl
Knight Brawl

No one does deliberately clumsy chaos like Colin Lane, and in Knight Brawl he's brought that magic to the weapons-based brawling sub-genre.

It's true that it doesn't feature a multiplayer element to make it even more exciting in terms of brawls - but that doesn't mean you can't have more than enough fun in single player. Knight Brawl is a game worth checking, and we've discussed about that in greater detail in our Knight Brawl review.

Download Knight Brawl

12
Boxing Star

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Sports
Find out more about Boxing Star
Boxing Star

Boxing Star is a truly exciting 3D boxing game. The camera is behind your character, and you have to dodge, block and punch the opponent. The game has high-quality graphics and extremely dynamic gameplay. The moves of the characters are realistic, which is why synchronization with your fighter is on point.

Boxing Star has a long career mode and a league mode where you will fight other players. If you are looking for a fighting game with online mode to fight your friends, Boxing Star is definitely one of the best options!

Download Boxing Star

13
Undisputed Champ

Publisher: Colin Lane
Available on: iOS
Genre: Casual, Multiplayer, Sports
Find out more about Undisputed Champ
Undisputed Champ

Another brilliant Colin Lane brawler, this time in the form of a top-down boxing game. For pure arcade pugilism, there are few better on the App Store. One could say... this game takes the championship belt home (mind the terrible pun).

That aside, if you loved our other Colin Lane pick, you'll definitely love this one too. In our Undisputed Champ review we've mentioned how the game feels as close as it could get to the real thing, and we meant it. It's easily one of the best fighting games for iPhones and iPads.

Download Undisputed Champ

14
Bleak Sword

Available on: iOS + Apple Arcade
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fighting
Find out more about Bleak Sword
Bleak Sword

The reason Bleak Sword makes its way onto this list ahead of a dozen ostensibly similar action games is its sword combat system. It's unusually weighty and tactile, placing the onus on technique and timing as you wade through its square, pixelated arenas.

It's a little dark, and no, it's not a bloody massacre of a game, but an exceptionally well-made action adventure one. We do not have a review for it yet, but we have a list of reasons why you should play Bleak Sword! Check it out.

Download Bleak Sword

15
Mortal Kombat Mobile

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting
Find out more about Mortal Kombat Mobile
Mortal Kombat Mobile

I mean, what kind of fighting list wouldn't contain probably the most popular fighting game of all time. If you think it can't be played on mobiles, you're wrong. The developers have adapted the gameplay to the mobile devices making it a card game, and although it's not as dynamic as the console or PC versions it's still enjoyable. The graphics look great, they are close to console versions of the game, and it blows my mind that this game can run on the phone without any hiccups.

Most of your favourite characters are included in the game, their signature moves are there too. In case you are wondering who to pick, take a peek at our tier list of Mortal Kombat Mobile characters and it will be much clearer!

Download Mortal Kombat Mobile

16
Shadow Fight 3

Publisher: Nekki
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action, Fighting
Find out more about Shadow Fight 3
Shadow Fight 3

Shadow Fight 3 is a slick, fast and handsome one-on-one beat-'em-up with a brutal focus on timing. It features satisfying RPG components that surprised everyone (including us) in a truly brilliant way. From stunning graphics to sleek and smooth controls, you have everything you could want.

Read our Shadow Fight 3 review if you are curious to learn more about this triple-A mobile fighter!

Download Shadow Fight 3

17
Dan the Man

Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting, Film/TV tie-in, Platform
Find out more about Dan the Man
Dan the Man

Despite being a slick tribute to the action platformers of the early '90s, Dan the Man also manages to squeeze in a steadily expanding range of hand-to-hand combat moves to make it quite the accomplished brawler.

If you are curious to learn why this retro fighting platformer is one of the best fighting games for iPhones even in 2021, read our Dan the Man review. We've not spared any details!

Download Dan the Man

18
Marvel Future Revolution

Developer: Netmarble
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action, Adventure, Multiplayer
Find out more about Marvel Future Revolution
Marvel Future Revolution

Marvel Future Revolution is a relatively new title from the famous creator of mobile games - NetMarble Corporation. You could sort it as an MMORPG, as well as a fighting game. You'll take in the role, of some of the well-known characters from the Marvel Universe and fight your way through the baddies. The gameplay is fluid, you'll need good reflexes most of the time, and some of the fights are frankly rolling cinematics. They look like an action movie!

As always, we have decided to cover the most noteworthy bits and you can use some of them to make your gameplay additionally pleasant. Take a look at the Marvel Future Revolution tier list where you can find the most suitable characters for you, but you can also use some of the MFR coupon codes for a better start!

Marvel Future Revolution

19
Mayhem Combat

Publisher: Vivid Games
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting, Multiplayer
Find out more about Mayhem Combat
Mayhem Combat

Mayhem Combat combines elements of Clash Royale and Smash Bros to produce a fun, knock-about arena brawling free-for-all. It's bright, bouncy, kinetic fun.

In our Mayhem Combat review we highlighted a bunch of elements that make this game stand out - from graphics to gameplay, it thought about everything. So, if you're in the market for some sweaty brawls, give this one a try!

Download Mayhem Combat

20
Glory Ages - Samurais

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action
Find out more about Glory Ages - Samurais
Glory Ages - Samurais

Glory Ages - Samurais pitches you into weighty, deadly bladed combat in stunning feudal Japan. The results are simultaneously brutal and beautiful.

You don't often get such an exciting and beautiful fighting game completely for free - however, this one is, and it delivers on every single aspect. It's a game where waiting patiently for the best strike instead of throwing punches everywhere is the way to go, so to put it simply timing is of the essence. Read our Glory Ages - Samurais review to learn more about it!

Download Glory Ages - Samurais

21
Robotics!

Publisher: ZeptoLab
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Casual
Find out more about Robotics!
Robotics!

This deeply absorbing game of virtual robot wars sees you building and programming your very own clanking warrior, then sending them into battle against those of other players. It's not the one-on-one action you might expect, but it's un-expectedly exciting!

Read our Robotics! review if you want to learn what works and what doesn't really work, but the takeaway is that you should definitely consider adding it to your collection of iOS fighting games. It's something unique and super fun.

Download Robotics!

22
Fist of Awesome

Publisher: I Fight Bears
Available on: iOS + Android + Ouya + Steam
Genre: Fighting
Find out more about Fist of Awesome
Fist of Awesome

How many beat-'em-ups let you punch stripper bears? Very few. Fist of Awesome does and thus does it earn its place on this list. It's also a very accomplished ode to the 16-bit brawler.

We love many aspects of the game, but there are some which didn't exactly impress us. The controls could be slightly better for touch, but the graphics and audio elements of the game make it deserve a spot on our list. And if you're not sold on the idea yet, make sure to read our Fist of Awesome review!

Download Fist of Awesome

23
Rowdy City Wrestling

Developer: Colin Lane
Publisher: Colin Lane
Available on: iOS
Genre: Sports
Find out more about Rowdy City Wrestling
Rowdy City Wrestling

Ah, yes - why not add another Colin Lane creation and possibly rename the entire list? All jokes aside, he has got some of the top fighting games you could get your hands on.

In Rowdy City Wresting, for instance, he has expanded the Rowdy Wrestling formula with a fleshed-out career mode, but it's still all about those hilariously chaotic physics-led 2D scraps.

Download Rowdy City Wrestling

24
Machinal Instinct

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action, Casual
Find out more about Machinal Instinct
Machinal Instinct

We don't see many 3D arena beat 'em ups on any platform, so it's good to see Machinal Instinct lighting up mobile. Its pacy online robotic scraps look and feel great.

The characters have unique expressions that really encompass the mood. So many times you'll find yourself making the same face as the pig or the cheetah (in real life!), and that's only part of the fun. The most fun comes from the robotic brawls that fill up the screen with well-adjusted controls and tactically placed fists (or claws - or hooves).

Download Machinal Instinct

25
WWE Undefeated

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting, Strategy
Find out more about WWE Undefeated
WWE Undefeated

We cannot wrap up an iOS fighting game list without mentioning WWE. Like a wrestling royal rumble, WWE Undefeated's mix of one-on-one beat-'em-up and tactical card battler components might seem chaotic, but it's actually a finely choreographed production.

It features customizable characters and moves, and you've got elements that you can adjust enough to make you one of the top fighters of all time. WWE Undefeated feels exceptional on mobile, and if you're accustomed to it from the console, fear not - you can play it on your mobile and enjoy all the same elements and graphics you would on the bigger screen.

Download WWE Undefeated
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