Listed below are the top-ranked games in this genre. How does the list fit with your experience?
Have you played any of these games? Which ones? Do you agree or disagree with the ranking? How would you rank the games listed? Are there other games in the genre that you think should be in the top ranks?
And by the way, what do you think of this genre in general?
*In case you don't know how to find the VGG genres and rankings, hover over Browse at the top of the screen, then click Genres. Click a genre, and scroll down to Linked Items. Click the Sort window, and sort by Rank.
I'm a big fan of the genre. It's a stretch to include God of War, Legacy of Kain, and Bayonetta, but at least you can see why people might do it. Guacamelee is a hybrid Beat'em-up / Metroidvania. Hotline Miami is not a beat-em-up no matter how you slice it.
Of the remaining titles, the TMNT games are decent but not amazing, and the original Golden Axe is not the best game in that series. River City Ransom is famous but I never had it myself on the NES. Castle Crashers is fairly recent but I have not played it.
My favorite beat-em-up by a wide margin is The Punisher (Arcade), which gives the player an excellent move-set and has great levels/bosses.
I agree that any best list for this genre should include a Streets of Rage game (probably the 2nd) as well as a Final Fight game (could be any). X-Men is a shoe-in, especially if you could play on the 6-player arcade cabinet.
Isn't it wrong to have a "top beat 'em up" list, and not include any of the Streets of Rage games, particularly the second one?
Agreed. Others from way back when were Battletoads (1991) and Double Dragon (1995), but the one I spent the most time with was The Bouncer. That was the first game I ever played that limited story to what a character saw/knew, so it gave several enjoyable plays. I still would love to own Volt's jacket...
I love beat em ups! Playing Golden Age and Streets of Rage with my brother remains one of my favorite video game memories of all time. One of the few games which, to me, I can play both solo and multiplayer and have similarly fun experiences (though of course multiplayer is best)!