10 Best Fighting Games on PS3

Two generations later, what fighting games stood the test of time?

by Elliott Gatica

Fighting games may not be at the forefront of the gaming industry. FPS games easily take that crown, but the FGC is very passionate and tight-knit. A lot of our roots started early, with so many games of the previous console generations defining our love for the genre. Two iterations later, it’s neat to look back at what might be considered to be the best fighting games on the PS3. So, which stood the test of time?

The 10 Best Fighting Games on the PS3

10. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2


The Naruto Ninja Storm games have a dedicated following either because of the anime or because of their decent storytelling and gameplay. It’s hailed as one of the better Naruto Shippuden games of this series because of how true it stays to the anime, expanding even more than its previous iteration did. 

The success of this game also led to further titles being released, only seeming to get better with each one. Not to mention, it got the remastering treatment being bundled in a trilogy for the 8th console generation.

9. SoulCalibur IV


While the SoulCalibur franchise was a lot stronger in the earlier years, it still makes an impact one way or another in its future iterations. These games popularized the term ‘guest character’, which has now become a staple in many prominent fighting games. SoulCalibur IV, in particular, brought Star Wars characters into the game.

These characters were Darth Vader on the PlayStation 3, The Apprentice from The Force Unleashed, and Yoda on the Xbox 360. Not only were the guest characters a big part of what made the game unique, but the character customization only grew more since the third game. 

8. Injustice: Gods Among Us


After the huge success of Mortal Kombat’s reboot in 2011, the team at NetherRealm Studios took the iconic lineup of heroes and villains of the DC Universe to create a memorable 2D fighter. There was already a bit of a blueprint laid out in the crossover Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe game.

What NetherRealm Studios ended up doing was upping the ante, setting a new bar for future fighting games to meet. Having a full-fledged story mode, a strong roster of characters, an online mode, and other things to occupy players if they choose to opt out of online play.

7. SoulCalibur II HD


Yes, this is another SoulCalibur game on the list and it was technically on the sixth generation of consoles. What gives this a spot among the best fighting games on the PS3 was that this almost felt like the definitive version of SCII. The original SoulCalibur II generated a lot of buzz for fighting games at the time, popularizing guest characters.

 GameCube players could use Link from the Zelda games, PlayStation 2 players can play as Heihachi from Tekken, and Xbox folks had access to Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. Though the HD remaster of the game that came out on the PS3 did not include Link, you should now use Heihachi or Spawn. This game also brought online play, making it more worth your buck.

6. Blazblue: Continuum Shift


The only 2D anime fighting games that were prominent in the late 2000s into the early 2010s were Guilty Gear and Blazblue. Sure, there were other games like the Naruto Ninja Storm series, Dragon Ball Budokai series, and even JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures. Blazblue helped push the 2D anime fighters specifically into the spotlight.

Continuum Shift really pushed the story, graphics, and gameplay further to a new level for these types of fighters. Not to mention, it was looked down upon when character rosters were small. What made up for a small roster was how in-depth you can get into a character.

5. Street Fighter x Tekken


Even with all the controversies surrounding the game on release, SFxTK was an amazing game once all major qualms were addressed. Two big fighting franchises clashed into one big crossover game in a tag-team-styled 2D fighter was amazing. It was fan service taken to a whole new level.

Street Fighter x Tekken has an enormous roster, reminiscent of the Marvel vs. Capcom series. As much as the fanbase was divided between console exclusives, the PS3 and the Vita versions had five additional guest characters, making the game much more worth your time.

4. Tekken 6


Remember when Team Battles were a thing in Tekken games? You can select up to 8 characters on each team, battling until a player has no more characters to pick. It felt like a fun and complete game with an iconic roster of old and new characters. This was the last game in the franchise that had modes like that.

It isn’t to say future iterations were bad, but this just felt more like a complete game at launch. Tekken 6 also rightly earned the ‘Greatest Hits’ label in its later releases.

3. Mortal Kombat 2011


The much-needed reboot of one of the most popular fighting games came back bigger and bloodier than ever. Mortal Kombat is what set the bar for what a fighting game should consist of: a strong roster, a story mode, an online mode, and other extra modes for completionists.

This game also borrowed the guest character element of the SoulCalibur series, introducing guests like Freddy Krueger as DLC and God of War’s Kratos as a PS3 exclusive. Because of Kratos’ inclusion on the PS3, this does make it more worth getting on that platform.

2. Street Fighter IV (Includes Super, Arcade Edition, and Ultra)


Street Fighter is the bread and butter of the Evolution Championship Series (EVO). The mainline games up until the 4th game were all instant hits, each with future updated iterations. When it came to Street Fighter IV, the stakes were raised. The roster only got bigger and better when the next huge installation happened.

Yes, the Capcom “Super Ultra Turbo” memes did make releases a bit overkill, but Street Fighter IV is an instant classic. It has such an iconic and huge roster of characters that appeal to all sorts of players. There should be no surprise that people still prefer this game over SFV.

1. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (UMVC3)


IT’S MAHVEL TIME, BABY! The Marvel fighting crossover games were a staple in the early 2000s and 90s arcade cabinets, so when the game made it to 8th gen consoles, this was an instant hit. MvC3 was one of the most hype games to watch in tournaments, being so flashy and showcasing so many characters from both Capcom and Marvel Comics. 

Despite not being so prominent in recent EVO tournaments, there is still a very dedicated following to the game that originally came out in the PS3 era of gaming. So much so that this game’s success saw a port for 8th-gen consoles. It’ll be truly hard to top this game ever since Infinite failed to do so…

- This article was updated on January 24th, 2023

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