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Best brawler games on GamesNostalgia

Brawler games, also known as beat 'em ups, are a subgenre of action games that emphasize combat against waves of enemies. Unlike traditional fighting games that focus on one-on-one battles, most brawler games often feature side-scrolling gameplay, allowing players to move horizontally through levels while taking on hordes of enemies. These games typically involve a combination of hand-to-hand combat, weapons, and special moves. The objective is simple: defeat every enemy and progress through the game's story or stages.

Probably the best early example of this genre is Double Dragon, released in 1987 as a coin-op but then ported to all possible platforms. The sequel, Double Dragon II: The Revenge, is still considered one of the best brawler games ever. Karateka for the Apple II and The Last Ninja for the Commodore 64 don't have hordes of enemies, but they are still great examples of early progressive beat-em-up created for home computers.

The gothic horror-themed platformer-brawler Castlevania was released in 1986 for the NES. It was one of the first examples of the metroidvania sub-genre, where the player must explore several levels non-linearly.

SEGA's masterpiece Golden Axe was released in 1989, and it's still one of the best examples of fantasy brawlers with hack & slash co-op mechanics.

We have many examples of great brawlers released for the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: from Streets of Rage to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, without forgetting the fantastic Comix Zone.

On the Amiga side, we should not forget the famous Shadow of the Beast, a game that impressed all players thanks to the high-quality graphics and music.

If you liked these games, don't forget to check the related sub-genre fighting.

Street Fighter II dosgenesisamiga

Street Fighter II is the arcade sequel to the original Street Fighter and was developed and published by Capcom in 1991. Originally made for arcades, it was later released for other platforms, including that Amiga and PC.

Year: 1992 Genre: Brawler

2 players anime arcade brawler competitive fighting

Super Street Fighter II Turbo dosamiga

Super Street Fighter II Turbo is a competitive fighting game created by Capcom and released initially as an arcade in 1994. It is the fifth game in the Street Fighter 2 series, b...

Year: 1995 Genre: Brawler

2 players 3do aga arcade brawler competitive fighting versus

Golden Axe genesisamiga

Golden Axe is a side-scrolling hack and slash fantasy game created by Sega and released for arcade machines in 1989. The game was ported the same year to the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesi...

Year: 1990 Genre: Brawler

2 players arcade brawler co-op coin-op conversion fantasy hack and slash progressive beat-em-up sword and sorcery

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 genesis

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is a fighting game developed and published by Midway Games in 1995. It is an improved and slightly different version of Mortal Kombat 3. The original thi...

Year: 1996 Genre: Brawler

2 players arcade brawler coin-op conversion fighting martial arts motion capture versus violence

Double Dragon amigagame-boy-advance

Double Dragon is a beat them up created by Technos Japan and released in 1987 by Taito. Originally released as an arcade game, versions were also made for home computers and consol...

Year: 1988 Genre: Brawler

2 players arcade brawler coin-op conversion progressive beat-em-up

Streets of Rage genesis

Streets of Rage is a beat 'em up game developed and published by Sega in 1991 for the Mega Drive/Genesis. The game is also known in Japanese as Bare Knuckle: Ikari no Tekken. The g...

Year: 1991 Genre: Brawler

2 players anime brawler genesis original game martial arts side-scrolling

WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game genesis

WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game is a coin-op created by Midway in 1995. It is impossible to deny that many of today's adults grew up with games like Super Mario Bros or Sonic. Bu...

Year: 1995 Genre: Brawler

2 players arcade brawler coin-op conversion competitive fighting licensed motion capture wrestling

Mortal Kombat 3 genesis

Mortal Kombat 3 is the third game in the popular series of fighting arcades created by Midway. The coin-op was released in 1995. The same year several ports, including the Sega Megadrive/Genesis, were released.

Year: 1995 Genre: Brawler

2 players arcade brawler coin-op conversion competitive fighting martial arts motion capture

Shinobi sega-master-systemamstrad-cpcamiga

Shinobi is an arcade game created by SEGA in 1987, ported almost immediately to the Master System and later to many other platforms. In the game, you control a ninja ("shinobi" mea...

Year: 1988 Genre: Brawler

arcade brawler coin-op conversion martial arts ninja progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling

Streets of Rage 3 genesis

Streets of Rage 3 is a beat-em-up created by SEGA for the Mega Drive/Genesis, released in 1994. It is the third chapter of the famous Streets of Rage series. After the success of ...

Year: 1994 Genre: Brawler

2 players anime brawler co-op genesis original game progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling

Rygar: The Legendary Warrior amiga

Rygar: Legendary warrior is an arcade platform action game created by Tecmo in 1986 and ported to several platforms. The game was released in fact for the C64, ZX Spectrum, and Sega Master System.

Year: 2019 Genre: Brawler

aga brawler coin-op conversion fantasy freeware hack and slash platformer public domain side-scrolling

Streets of Rage 2 genesis

Streets of Rage 2, released in Japan as Bare Knuckle II: The Requiem of the Deadly Battle, is a beat-em-up created by SEGA for the Mega Drive/Genesis. It was released in 1993. The ...

Year: 1993 Genre: Brawler

2 players anime brawler genesis original game side-scrolling

Super Street Fighter II DX amiga

Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers is the fourth chapter of the popular beat-em-up series based on the arcade Street Fighter II. This edition, known as Super Street Fighter 2, is the first to use "Super" in the title.

Year: 1995 Genre: Brawler

2 players aga arcade brawler competitive fighting martial arts versus

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist genesis

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist is a beat-em-up created by Konami for the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis and released in 1992. It was the first appearance of the famous Turtles on the SEGA 16-bit console.

Year: 1992 Genre: Brawler

brawler genesis original game licensed mutant ninja turtles ninja progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling