Retro games, abandonware, freeware and classic games download for PC and Mac


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.

Windwalker amiga

Windwalker is an action RPG created by ORIGIN Systems and initially released for Commodore 64 and Apple II in 1989. In 1990, it saw releases on Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and Macintosh.

Year: 1989 Genre: Role Playing

action-rpg brawler japan rpg

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

Back to the Future Part III amiga

Back to the Future Part III is an action game inspired by the movie with the same title. It was developed by Probe Software and released by Image Works in 1991 for MS-DOS, Amiga, A...

Year: 1991 Genre: Action

action-adventure brawler isometric licensed movies multi-type shooter time travel wild west

Body Blows Galactic amiga

Body Blows Galactic is a fighting game developed by Team17 and released in November 1993 for Amiga ECS and AGA machines and MS-DOS. More than a sequel to the original Body Blows ...

Year: 1993 Genre: Brawler

2 players aga amiga original game brawler fighting multiplayer parallax scrolling versus

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

Sir Fred: The Legend amiga

Sir Fred: The Legend is a side-scrolling action game released in 1989 for the Amiga and Atari ST. Developed by Incal Product and published by Ubi Soft, the game puts you in the sho...

Year: 1990 Genre: Brawler

atari st brawler fantasy medieval progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling violence

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master genesis

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master is a hack-and-slash platformer game that was developed by Megasoft and published by Sega. It was released in 1993 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console.

Year: 1993 Genre: Brawler

brawler genesis original game hack and slash japan martial arts ninja progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling

Batman Returns amigagenesis

Batman Returns is the official adaptation of the 1992 movie by Tim Burton. The Genesis/Mega Drive version was published by SEGA in 1992, while the Amiga version, developed by Denton Designs, was released in 1993 by GameTek.

Year: 1993 Genre: Brawler

brawler licensed movies progressive beat-em-up side-scrolling superhero

Doman: Grzechy Ardana amiga

Doman: Grzechy Ardana is a Polish beat-em-up created by World Software for the Amiga and published by Mirage in 1995. This indie game, developed in AMOS, is available in Polish only.

Year: 1995 Genre: Brawler

2 players amiga original game amos barbarian brawler co-op dark fantasy freeware polish progressive beat-em-up violence

Ghost Battle amiga

Ghost Battle is an action-adventure/arcade platformer created by Interactive Design and published by Thalion originally for the Amiga in 1991. Inspired by successes like Shadow o...

Year: 1991 Genre: Brawler

action-adventure amiga original game brawler dark fantasy hack and slash horror side-scrolling

Altered Beast genesis

Altered Beast is a beat ''em-up arcade game created by SEGA in 1988 as a coin-op machine. The same year it was also converted to the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis console, becoming the pack-in game officially offered with the console.

Year: 1988 Genre: Brawler

2 players brawler coin-op conversion dark fantasy mythology 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

Damage: The Sadistic Butchering of Humanity amiga

Damage: The Sadistic Butchering of Humanity is a violent action game/beat 'em up created by Suomi-Peli for the Commodore Amiga in 1996. The game's goal is simple: explore the city and kill all the people you can find.

Year: 1996 Genre: Brawler

amiga original game brawler crime & punishment cyberpunk flip-screen freeware progressive beat-em-up sandbox violence

Tiger Road amiga

Tiger Road is a side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Capcom in 1987. The game was designed by Tokuro Fujiwara, who directed also the Ghosts 'n Goblins series and many other arcades.

Year: 1989 Genre: Brawler

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