[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/GoldenAxe http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/goldenaxe_3343.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Sometimes it's more like Hack 'n Slash 'em Up.]]

The '''Beat 'em Up''' genre is a cousin to the FightingGame genre that is popular today. Most games that fall under this genre have [[ExcusePlot very little in the way of story]], and lots in the way of bash-the-other-guy's-heads-in-with-your-fists action. CoOpMultiplayer in these games is a highly popular feature.

These games eschew one-on-one duels for the protagonist (and a friend or two) rampaging across the map, handing out unmerciful beatdowns to every group of gangsters, mutants, robots and ninjas they meet, acquiring weapons from their environment and [[HyperactiveMetabolism finding cooked chickens]] [[RewardingVandalism inexplicably hidden inside arcade cabinets]]. Many Beat 'em Ups include weapons and magical powers.

In Japan, Beat 'em Ups of the ''Double Dragon'' or ''Final Fight'' variety are known as "belt-scroll" games due to their semi-isometric perspective and the fact that the characters are always facing left or right despite being able to move up and down as well. Games like ''Kung-Fu Master'' (which is completely side-scrolling) or ''VideoGame/BeatDown'' (which is in [=3D=]) are not considered belt-scroll games.

Known as ''Beat 'em All'' (in English) in France, due to the various occurrences in side-/belt-scrolling games where [[InescapableAmbush the game won't scroll any further until all enemies are down]].
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!!Games in this genre include:
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/AbyssOdyssey'', a side scrolling BeatEmUp generated {{Roguelike}} style.
* ''VideoGame/AcesWildManicBrawlingAction'', a side-scrolling platform beat 'em up which is based around [[HighAltitudeBattle High Altitude Battles]] with frequent [[MegatonPunch Megaton Punches]].
* ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfBayouBilly'', which also contains driving and light-gun sections
* ''[[VideoGame/AkibasTrip Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed]]''
* ''VideoGame/AlteredBeast'', one of the SegaGenesis/Mega Drive's launch titles. "[[RiseFromYourGrave Wise fwom youw gwave]]!"
* ''VideoGame/AnarchyReigns'', the spiritual successor to ''Mad World''.
* ''VideoGame/ArmoredWarriors'', Capcom's mecha brawler; the predecessor of ''VideoGame/{{Cyberbots}}''.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', something of an odd example, as it also presents itself as an interactive anime to an extent.
* ''VideoGame/BadDudes''. "[[MemeticMutation Are YOU a bad enough dude to save the the president?]]"
* ''Bad Street Brawler''
* ''[[VideoGame/BanzaiPecan BANZAI PECAN: The Last Hope for the Young Century]]'', a fanservice-laden parody indie brawler.
* ''VideoGame/BattleBeavers'', a 2D Flash beat 'em up with some RPG elements.
* ''VideoGame/BattleCircuit'', Capcom's last traditional 2D brawler.
* ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'', a spiritual successor to ''Devil May Cry''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta 2}}'', sequel to the first game.
* ''VideoGame/BeatDown: Fists Of Vengeance'', a dismal 2000s 3D Beat 'em Up from Capcom made to capitalize on Grand Theft Auto's success; Mainly remembered for the characters' liberal use of the F-word.
* ''VideoGame/BioForceApe'': A beat 'em up-platformer hybrid that was eventually [[{{Vaporware}} scrapped]].
* ''Bleach: Soul Resurrección''
* ''VideoGame/BloodOver''
* ''VideoGame/TheBouncer''
* ''VideoGame/CaptainCommando''
* ''VideoGame/CastleCrashers''
* ''VideoGame/CharlieMurder''
* ''VideoGame/TheCombatribes''
* ''VideoGame/CodeOfPrincess'', a spiritual successor to ''Guardian Heroes''.
* ''VideoGame/ComixZone''
* ''VideoGame/CrescentPaleMist'', a hack-and-slash doujin game with platforming elements.
* ''VideoGame/CrimeFighters''
* ''VideoGame/{{Vendetta}}'', a.k.a. ''Crime Fighters 2''.
* ''Crisis Beat''
* ''VideoGame/{{Croixleur}}'', an arcade-styled doujin beat 'em up styled after the Bloody Palace of the ''Devil May Cry'' games.
* ''VideoGame/CrudeBuster'' (a.k.a. ''Two Crude Dudes''), a spiritual successor to ''Bad Dudes''.
* ''VideoGame/CyborgJustice''
* ''Dad Game''
* ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders}}'', a mix of beat 'em up and an action-adventure game akin to ''The Legend of Zelda'' series.
** ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders 2}}''
* ''VideoGame/DefendersOfDynatronCity''
* ''VideoGame/TheDishwasher''
* ''DJ Boy'', with narration by Wolfman Jack, recorded shortly before his death.
* ''B Rap Boys'', notable for having an entirely lyricized soundtrack, supposedly done by a then up-and-coming [[Music/WuTangClan Raekwon]].
* The ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'' series, coined as the codifier of the modern beat 'em up genre.
** ''[[VideoGame/DMCDevilMayCry DmC: Devil May Cry]]'', a series reboot.
* ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon''
** ''VideoGame/{{Double Dragon 1}}''
** ''VideoGame/DoubleDragonII''
** ''VideoGame/DoubleDragonNeon''
* ''VideoGame/DragonsCrown''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline''
* ''Dynamite Deka'', the first game was released outside Japan as ''[[Franchise/DieHard Die Hard Arcade]]''.
* ''VideoGame/DynamiteDux''
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' and its many sequels from Creator/{{Koei}}.
** ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors''
** ''VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi''
** ''Videogame/DynastyWarriorsGundam''
** ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'' (Yes, a ''Franchise/LegendofZelda'' SpinOff.)
* ''VideoGame/EOEEveOfExtinction''
* ''VideoGame/{{Executioners}}''
* ''VideoGame/FableHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/FairyBloom''
* ''VideoGame/FearIsVigilance'', A free 2D beat 'em up web-game about a pair of college students trying to get college students to pick up free personal alarms to keep them safe at night -- by creating something for them to keep safe ''from''.
* ''Fighting Force'', considered to be one of the earliest attempt at a 3D beat 'em up, was originally developed to be a ''Streets of Rage'' sequel.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFight''
* ''VideoGame/{{Genocide}}'', a single-plane side-scrolling mecha brawler; its sequel incorporates some platforming elements
* ''VideoGame/{{Gladiator}}''
* ''VideoGame/GodHand'', a modern revival of the genre, which had been pretty moribund for the previous ten years.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''
* ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'', depending on which character you pick.
* ''VideoGame/GrandChase'' goes with 3D character models but 2D gameplay. Overlaps with hack-and-slash due to almost everyone using weapons. And magic.
* ''VideoGame/GriefSyndrome'', a doujin beat 'em up fan-game of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' by Twilight Frontier.
* ''VideoGame/{{Growl}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Guacamelee}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Guardians}} / Denjin Makai II'', a dual-titled obscure beat 'em up with 8 characters with massive move-sets.
* ''VideoGame/GuardianHeroes'', a hybrid of beat 'em up, action-RPG, and fighting game with branching story paths from Treasure.
* ''VideoGame/{{Karateka}}'', in 1984 being one of the oldest available for home computers.
* ''Kenka Bancho''
* ''VideoGame/KillerIsDead''
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfDragons''
* ''VideoGame/KnightsContract''
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheRound''
* ''VideoGame/KungFuMaster'', known in Japan as ''Spartan X'', a very loose adaptation of the Creator/JackieChan movie better known as ''Wheels On Meals'' in the West.
* ''VideoGame/KungFuStrike''
* ''LittleFighter2''
* ''VideoGame/LollipopChainsaw''
* ''VideoGame/{{Lugaru}}'', an amateur effort.
* ''VideoGame/MadStalkerFullMetalForce'', an interesting example as it's a single-plane mecha brawler that plays like a 2D fighting game then shifts into the latter during boss battles.
* ''VideoGame/MadWorld'', featuring over-the-top violence and a comic-book style.
* ''VideoGame/{{Malicious}}''
* ''VideoGame/MegabytePunch'', a cross between ''VideoGame/CustomRobo'' and ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''
* ''VideoGame/MetamorphicForce'', ''Altered Beast'' applied to a typical belt-scroll engine; made by Konami.
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombatMythologiesSubZero''
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombatShaolinMonks''
* ''VideoGame/MutantRampageBodySlam''
* ''MutationNation''
* ''Night Slashers'', a zombie-slaying beat 'em up that predated ''Zombie Revenge'' by several years.
* ''VideoGame/NinetyNineNights''
* ''VideoGame/NinjaBaseballBatMan'', the general concept and initial designs were made in America with the intent of it being the follow-the-leader platformer game; It was sent to Japan for programming, and when it came back, it became "''Franchise/PowerRangers'' [[RecycledInSpace WITH BASEBALL!]]".
* ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' (arcade version)
** ''VideoGame/YaibaNinjaGaidenZ'', a SpinOff of the series. It will include an arcade mode played in [[TwoAndAHalfD 2.5D]], as a homage to the ''Ninja Gaiden'' arcade game.
* ''VideoGame/TheNinjaKids''
* ''VideoGame/TheNinjaWarriors''
** ''VideoGame/TheNinjaWarriorsAgain''
* ''VideoGame/{{Onechanbara}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' is a rare 3D example, with a bit of third-person shooter mixed in.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overgrowth}}''
* ''VideoGame/PanzerBandit'', a ''Guardian Heroes''-esque beat 'em up by Fill-in Café.
* ''VideoGame/PhantomBreaker: Battle Grounds -Cocoa's Nightmare Attack-'', a retro-styled spin-off of the [[NoExportForYou yet-to-be-localized]] fighting game featuring a cutesy, super-deformed characters with gameplay similar to ''Guardian Heroes''.
* ''VideoGame/PhantomFighter''
* ''VideoGame/PuLiRuLa''
* ''Ragnarok Battle Offline''
* ''VideoGame/{{Rampage}}''
* The ''VideoGame/KunioKun'' series, with two main notables:
** ''Renegade'' (a.k.a. ''Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun''), the first beat 'em up that used the "belt-scroll" perspective, which allowed characters to move along both the vertical and horizontal axis while still facing primarily to the left or right
** ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom'', a co-operative brawler with RPG elements.
* ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansomUnderground''
* ''VideoGame/RushingBeat''
* ''VideoGame/RushNAttack'', a.k.a. ''Green Beret''
* ''VideoGame/RyuGaGotoku'', a.k.a. ''Yakuza''
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' has one level that adapts a mission from Saints Row 2 into this.
* ''[[VideoGame/SengokuSNK Sengoku]]''
* ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara''
* ''VideoGame/SenranKagura''
* ''VideoGame/{{Shank}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Shatterhand}}''
* ''VideoGame/SonicBlastMan''
* ''Spikeout''
* ''VideoGame/{{Splatterhouse}}''
* ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage''
** ''Streets of Rage Remake'', a fan-made remake of ''Streets of Rage'' that combines all three games into one.
* ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'' mixes a beat 'em up and fighting game in its Story Mode.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' console releases starting from the third one have beat 'em up game modes:
** ''Tekken 3-4'': Tekken Force
** ''Tekken 5'': Devil Within
** ''Tekken 6'': Scenario Campaign
** ...and ''Death By Degrees'', a spin-off centering around Nina Williams.
* ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101''.
* ''Tokyo Beat Down''
* ''VideoGame/TrioThePunch''
* ''Twin Blades'', an iOS App game; formally available on Xbox Live Indie Games and Windows Phone 7 that was pulled due to its cartoon-ish violence.
* ''VideoGame/UndercoverCops'', a post-apocalyptic beat 'em up that has a cult following in Japan, but is mostly unknown everywhere else.
* ''VideoGame/UrbanReign'', a 3D brawler from Namco featuring Paul Phoenix of ''Tekken'' fame.
* ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe''
* ''VideoGame/{{Vigilante}}''
* ''VideoGame/ViolentStorm'', a post-apocalyptic beat 'em up by Konami, often mistakenly labeled as the third ''Crime Fighters'' game.
* ''VideoGame/WarlordsHeroes'', a side scrolling hacky-slashy beat 'em up from Ben Olding Games.
* ''VideoGame/ZenoClash'', an odd example of this genre as it uses a first-person perspective for its combat system.
** ''VideoGame/ZenoClash2'', the sequel to ''Zeno Clash'', which continues the story and has a more open design.
* ''VideoGame/ZombieRevenge'', a side game to Sega's ''The House of The Dead'' series.

!!Licensed video games in this genre:
For a time, it was common for licensed games to be made in this format. Some of the more famous ones include:

* ''Alien vs. Predator:'' a single-player {{S|uperNintendoEntertainmentSystem}}NES game by Activision where you control a lone Predator.
** ''[[VideoGame/AlienVsPredatorCapcom Alien vs. Predator]]'': a three-player arcade game by Capcom with human and predator player characters.
* ''VideoGame/{{Asterix}}'', a two-player arcade beat 'em up by Konami.
* ''VideoGame/AstroBoyOmegaFactor'', a GameBoyAdvance game based off of the ''Anime/AstroBoy'' 2003 anime series.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'', from various sources to various consoles:
** ''Film/BatmanReturns'' on the Super Nintendo.
** ''Film/BatmanForever'', two versions, console and arcade. The former is a lively-looking ''Turtles in Time'' clone. The latter utilized digitized actors, resulting in few enemies (not enough RAM) but a decent range of animation.
** ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'', though the Genesis version is closer to ''Contra'' (and possibly the hardest game on this entire list).
** ''The Adventures of Batman & Robin'' for the Super Nintendo, based on [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries the animated series]]
** ''VideoGame/BatmanRiseOfSinTzu'', also based after the animated series.
** ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' on the UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} and UsefulNotes/NintendoDS. The former has co-op and both were developed by WayForward.
* ''Videogame/BebesKids'', the craptastic SNES game adaptation of an already craptacular animated movie.
* ''[[ComicBook/BuckyOHareAndTheToadWars Bucky O'Hare]]'' (arcade version)
* ''[[ComicBook/XenozoicTales Cadillacs & Dinosaurs]]''
* ''VideoGame/CaptainAmericaAndTheAvengers''
* ''Film/CutthroatIsland''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsChroniclesOfMystara''
** ''Tower of Doom''
** ''Shadow Over Mystara''
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar: Ken's Rage'' (a.k.a. ''Hokuto Musou'')
* ''Series/HyakujuuSentaiGaoranger'' and ''Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger'', 3D beat 'em ups for the [=PlayStation=].
* ''Film/{{Hook}}'', a four-player arcade game by Irem
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'', the unreleased Midway arcade game
* ''Series/KamenRider'' for the Super Famicom.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroesWarOfTheGems'': SpiritualSuccessor of ''X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse'', based on the InfinityGauntlet StoryArc.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Based on the popular Super Robot anime, licensed for the Super Nintendo
* ''Mazin Saga'' for the Sega Genesis
* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' on the Super Nintendo.
** ''Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangersTheMovie'' on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePiratesOfDarkWater''
* ''VideoGame/{{The Punisher|Capcom}}'', a two-player arcade game by Capcom co-starring Nick Fury; also released for the Genesis.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'' had a few alongside the fighting and puzzle games; It can be very entertaining to see tiny girls like Mercury and Moon bust out [=DDT=]s and suplexes.
* ''[[VideoGame/ScottPilgrim Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game]]'', the very same ''Scott Pilgrim'' comic book series, in the form of a ''River City Ransom''-style brawler.
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan: The Video Game'', a four-player arcade game by Sega featuring [[SubMariner Namor]], Black Cat, and Hawkeye.
** ''Maximum Carnage''
* ''VideoGame/TheSimpsons'', a beat 'em up game based on the popular TV show by Konami.
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'', two different beat 'em ups: a 1988 Taito arcade game, and ''The Death and Return of Superman'' for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
* ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTheArcadeGame'' for the arcades by Konami, released as ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II'' for the NES.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTheManhattanProject'', a NES-exclusive sequel to the arcade game
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTurtlesInTime'', for the arcades; released as ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV'' for the Super Nintendo.
*** ''The Hyperstone Heist'', A dolled-up installment of ''Turtles In Time'' for the Genesis to make up for the system's hardware.
** ''T.M.N.T.'', the Game Boy Advance beat 'em up by Creator/{{Ubisoft}} based on the computer-animated film of the same name.
** ''Arcade Attack'', a Nintendo DS beat 'em up by Ubisoft developed as a "homage" to the older games.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesOutOfTheShadows'', a downloadable beat 'em up by Activision also homaging Konami's older games.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTick''
* ''VideoGame/XMen'', a six-player arcade game by Konami loosely based on the "''Pryde of the X-Men''" animated pilot featuring Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler.
* ''VideoGame/XMenLegends'' and its sequel, ''X-Men Legends: Rise of Apocalypse'', as well as its spiritual successor series ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance'', are more recent additions to the genre.
* ''VideoGame/XMenMutantApocalypse'', a beat'em up and platform game by Capcom, based on the 90s cartoon series.
[[/index]]

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