->''"Round One. Fight!"''
-->--'''Announcer''', ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' and many others thereafter

In game parlance, the term ''fighting game'' is '''not''' used as a catch-all phrase to refer to any game which involves combat; it specifically refers to a style of combat-game which consists of a series of duels (or, occasionally, battles between four characters) typically fought using martial arts.

Fighting games are typically styled after martial arts tournaments, with a number of selectable characters competing in one on one, or tag team style fights. The tournament can either be a ''regular'' tournament with just a title or mundane prize up for grabs, or [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the fate of the world]] can be [[SeriousBusiness hanging in the balance]]. A Fighting Game based on an {{anime}} will often take place during a TournamentArc.

The two most common play modes in a fighting game are story mode, where you play as one character trying to win the tournament and versus, where two or more players fight each other. Many recent games released on consoles have longer, more involved storylines and as such will have both the regular Story Mode and an Arcade Mode, which takes out all the story-related elements and makes the opponent lineup more random.

In story mode you generally get to fight special [[ClimaxBoss boss]] characters not available for player selection after you beat the rest of the characters. These characters are either the previous tournament champions or the BigBad and his [[TheDragon Dragon]]. Rarer but still somewhat prevalent, you may instead end the mode fighting against another player character that is specifically your character's rival. Some games have both.

But most people don't play Fighting Games for their single-player modes, at least today; rather, the multiplayer is the meat and potatoes of most any Fighting Game today. If you go to a reputable arcade with Fighting Games, you'll often see many people playing these games. Depending on your skill level, playing against a random opponent can range from very easy to NintendoHard; the latter especially if you're a new player. This is one of the reasons arcades rely on fighters for profit: instead of just playing the same stages or CPU-controlled opponents over and over, a player can come across opponents of all skill levels and styles, and it's this aspect that makes fighting games very popular for multiplayer. This is also one of the reasons that home versions come out far more often [[PCVsConsole on consoles]]; most PC monitors just aren't big enough for more than one person.

Generally the [[VideogameInterfaceElements interface]] consists of a LifeMeter with an optional ManaMeter of some kind, usually used for special power moves.

Early fighting games allowed the characters to move back and forth on a single axis, with some limited jumping. Modern games often have full 3D movement, with complex scenery that can be interacted with (for limited values of "interact" that include "throw through" and "beat heads against".)

Most Fighting Games give each character a set of special moves that are activated through different button command sequences. While one or two of these will sometimes be high power moves that drain the aforementioned ManaMeter, most of these can be executed at any time. These aren't SecretAIMoves; your computer opponents ''will'' assume you can use them and ''will'' use them themselves. Still, [[GuideDangIt don't expect the game to actually tell you what they are]], especially for any secret characters you may find.

See FightingSeries for the non-video game equivalent. [[PlatformFighter Platform Fighters]] are based more on dynamic stage elements and maneuverability, and often allow more than two players at a time. If you walk around a level fighting against many opponents at once using techniques similar to a Fighting Game, it's a BeatEmUp. Though fighting games were once commonly described as 1-on-1 beat-'em-ups, and there were some attempts in the '80s, before fighting games became popular, to mix the two genres, nowadays they are regarded as different as apples and oranges.

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!!Fighting games generally provide examples of:

[[index]]
* AssKickingPose
* AssistCharacter
* {{Backstory}}: The characters usually have one, and sometimes it's the only kind of story the game has.
* BonusBoss
* ClimaxBoss
* {{Combos}}
** ComboBreaker
** IdiosyncraticComboLevels
* DreamMatchGame
* FakeBalance
* FightingClown
* UsefulNotes/FightingGameCommunity
* FinishingMove
* FixedFloorFighting
* FreeFloorFighting
* HitboxDissonance
* IdleAnimation: The fighting stances of characters often include little nuances (such as Ibuki from ''Street Fighter III'' making hand seals while standing still).
* ImmuneToFlinching (also called SuperArmor)
* ImpendingClashShot: A common promotional or cover art shot.
* IntimidationDemonstration
* JokeCharacter
** LethalJokeCharacter
* LagCancel
* LauncherMove
* LifeMeter
* MechanicallyUnusualFighter
* MirrorMatch
* MultiplayerDifficultySpike: In general, as players research and exploit things the computer can't.
* NintendoHard: If the {{SNK Boss}}es don't get you, tournament-level players will.
* PuppetFighter
* RecoveryAttack
* SeriousBusiness (both in-universe and sometimes in RealLife)
* SNKBoss
* SomeDexterityRequired
* StageFatality
* SuperMovePortraitAttack
* TauntButton
* ThreeRoundDeathmatch
* {{Tournament Arc}}/{{Not Just a Tournament}}
* UnsportsmanlikeGloating
* VersusCharacterSplash
* VictoryPose
* VictoryQuote
* WouldHitAGirl: Unless the playable cast is one-gendered, this is unavoidable by default.
[[/index]]

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!!Examples:

[[index]]
* ''[[VideoGame/{{SUGURI}} Acceleration of SUGURI]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/{{sora}} Acceleration of SUGURI 2]]''
* ''VideoGame/AdvancedVariableGeo''
* ''VideoGame/AggressorsOfDarkKombat''
* ''VideoGame/AirDashOnline''
* ''VideoGame/AkatsukiBlitzkampf''
* ''{{VideoGame/Aquapazza}}''
* ''VideoGame/ArcanaHeart''
* ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting''
* ''VideoGame/AsuraSeries''
* ''VideoGame/AvatarFighterOnline''
* ''VideoGame/{{Ballz}}''
* ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden''
** ''War Budokai''
* ''{{Battle CAPacity}}''
* ''VideoGame/BattleFantasia''
* ''VideoGame/BattleHigh''
* ''VideoGame/BattleMonsters''
* ''VideoGame/BigBangBeat''
* ''VideoGame/BikiniKarateBabes'' (The UrExample of Panty Fighters, oddly enough)
* ''VideoGame/BioFreaks''
* ''TheBlackHeart''
* ''VideoGame/BladesOfOthersides''
* ''VideoGame/{{Blandia}}''
* ''VideoGame/BladeSymphony''
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''
** ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger]]''
** ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift''
** ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueChronoPhantasma BlazBlue: Chronophantasma]]''
* ''VideoGame/BloodStorm''
* ''VideoGame/BloodyRoar''
* ''VideoGame/BrutalPawsOfFury''
* ''VideoGame/BurikiOne''
* ''VideoGame/BushidoBlade''
** ''Bushido Blade 2''
* ''VideoGame/CapcomFightingEvolution'' (also known as ''Capcom Fighting Jam'')
* CapcomVsWhatever
** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom''
*** ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom''
*** ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroes''
*** ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter''
*** ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroesVsStreetFighter''
*** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomClashOfSuperHeroes''
*** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2''
*** ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''
** VideoGame/SNKVsCapcom
*** ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomMatchOfTheMillennium''
*** ''VideoGame/CapcomVsSNKMillenniumFight2000''
*** ''VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium''
*** ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos''
** ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom''
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken''
* ''VideoGame/CapoeiraFighter''
* ''CardSagaWars''
* ''VideoGame/CardinalSyn''
* ''VideoGame/CartoonNetworkPunchTimeExplosion''
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment''
* ''The Chainsaw Incident''
* ''VideoGame/ChaosCode''
* ''[[VideoGame/ChoAniki Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto Hen]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Clayfighter}}''
* ''VideoGame/CombatOfGiants''
* ''VideoGame/TheCon''
* ''VideoGame/{{Criticom}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Cyberbots}}''
* ''VideoGame/DaemonBride (by the Arcana Heart developers)''
* ''VideoGame/DarkRift''
* ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}''
* ''Franchise/DeadOrAlive''
** ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive5''
* ''DefJamSeries''
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy''
* ''VideoGame/{{Divekick}}''
* ''Dong Dong Never Die''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokai''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokaiTenkaichi''
* ''DreamMixTVWorldFighters'' (Crossover between {{Konami}}, Hudson Soft, and Takara)
* ''VideoGame/DuelSaviorDestiny''
* ''VideoGame/{{Ehrgeiz}}''
* ''VideoGame/ElementalBattleAcademy'' (A mix of Fighting game with Third-person Shooting elements)
* ''VideoGame/EternalChampions''
* ''EternalFighterZero''
* ''VideoGame/EvilZone''
* ''VideoGame/FatalFury''
* ''VideoGame/FateUnlimitedCodes''
* ''VideoGame/FightersHistory''
* ''VideoGame/FightersMegamix''
* ''FightingAngels''
* ''VideoGame/FightingLayer''
* ''VideoGame/FightingVipers''
* ''Fight 'N' Jokes''
* ''VideoGame/FistOfTheNorthStarTwinBlueStarsOfJudgment''
* ''VideoGame/ForsakenChronicle''
* ''VideoGame/ForsakenChronicleVs15Blades''
* ''VideoGame/FuunSeries'' (''Savage Reign'' and ''Kizuna Encounter'')
* ''VideoGame/GetAmped''
* ''GlobalChampion''
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear''
* ''Godzilla Atari Trilogy'':
** ''VideoGame/GodzillaDestroyAllMonstersMelee''
** ''VideoGame/GodzillaSaveTheEarth''
** ''VideoGame/GodzillaUnleashed''
* ''GundamVsSeries''
* ''VideoGame/GundamWingEndlessDuel''
* ''VideoGame/{{Hammerfight}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Homestrife}}''
* ''VideoGame/HiryuNoKen''
* ''IndieBrawl''
* ''VideoGame/JackieChanTheKungFuMaster''
** ''JackieChanInFistsOfFire'' ([[UpdatedRerelease rerelease]])
* ''VideoGame/JingiStorm''
* ''VideoGame/JoyMechFight''
* ''JumpSuperStars''
** ''Jump Ultimate Stars''
** ''J-Stars Victory Vs.''
* ''VideoGame/KamenRiderClimaxHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/KarateChamp'' - the UrExample
* ''VideoGame/KartFighter'' (an unlicensed game featuring ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' characters)
* ''VideoGame/KasumiNinja''
* ''VideoGame/KenseiSacredFist''
* ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct''
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters''
* ''VideoGame/TheLastBlade''
* ''VideoGame/LightningLegendDaigoNoDaibouken''
* ''LittleFighter2''
* ''VideoGame/MaceTheDarkAge''
* ''VideoGame/MadStalkerFullMetalForce''
* ''VideoGame/MagicalBattleArena''
* ''VideoGame/MartialMasters''
* ''Videogame/MegabytePunch''
* ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood''
* ''VideoGame/MillionKnightsVermillion''
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat1''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat2''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat4''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9''
* ''VideoGame/{{MUGEN}}''
* ''MyBrute''
* ''VideoGame/MyLittlePonyFightingIsMagic''
* ''VideoGame/NarutoClashOfNinja''
* ''VideoGame/NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStorm2''
** ''VideoGame/NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStormGenerations''
** ''VideoGame/NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStorm3''
* ''DarthWiki/NekoBlade''
* ''VideoGame/NeoGeoBattleColiseum''
* ''OneMustFall''
* ''[[VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry Ougon Musoukyoku]]'' (The Golden Fantasia)
* ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena''
** ''Persona 4 Arena Ultimax''
* ''VideoGame/PhantomBreaker''
* ''VideoGame/{{Pit-Fighter}}''
* ''VideoGame/PlayStationAllStarsBattleRoyale''
* ''VideoGame/PowerInstinct''
* ''VideoGame/PowerStone''
* ''VideoGame/PrayForDeath''
* ''VideoGame/PrimalRage''
* ''ProjectG''
* ''VideoGame/ProjectM''
* ''VideoGame/PsychicForce''
* ''VideoGame/RageOfTheDragons''
* ''VideoGame/RakugakiShowtime''
* ''VideoGame/RedEarth''
* ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheRobots''
* ''VideoGame/RivalSchools''
* ''RumbleFighter''
* ''VideoGame/TheRumbleFish''
* ''RumblePack''
* ''VideoGame/RumbleRoses''
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiGunn''
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown''
* ''VideoGame/SaturdayNightSlamMasters'' (the third game, specially)
* ''VideoGame/SenkoNoRonde''
* ''Senor Footsies''
* ''VideoGame/ShadowWarOfSuccession''
* ''VideoGame/ShaqFu''
* ''{{VideoGame/Skullgirls}}''
* ''VideoGame/SNKGalsFighters''
* ''SonicBattle''
* ''VideoGame/SonicTheFighters''
* ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'' (includes ''Soul Edge'' and the ''Soul Calibur'' games)
* ''VideoGame/StarGladiator''
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' (series)
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighter'' (the first game)
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' (TropeCodifier)
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterTheMovie''
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha''
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterEX''
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII''
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''
* ''SuperCosplayWarUltra''
* ''VideoGame/SuperGemFighter''
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotSpirits''
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''
* ''SuperSmashFlash''
* ''VideoGame/TattooAssassins''
* ''VideoGame/TechRomancer''
* ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesSmashUp''
* ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTournamentFighters''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''
* ''ThrillKill''
* ''VideoGame/TimeKillers''
* ''VideoGame/{{Timeslaughter}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tobal}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Toribash}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' (the spinoff games ''Immaterial and Missing Power'', ''Scarlet Weather Rhapsody'', ''Hisoutensoku'', and ''Hopeless Masquerade'')
* ''VideoGame/TransformersBattleUniverse''
* ''VideoGame/UnderNightInBirth''
* ''TheUnholyWar''
* ''VideoGame/VanguardPrincess''
* ''VideoGame/VegetableGame''
* ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter''
* ''VideoGame/VirtualOn''
* ''VideoGame/VoltageFighterGowcaizer''
* ''VideoGame/WakuWaku7''
* ''VideoGame/WarGods''
* ''VideoGame/WarOfTheMonsters''
* ''The Way Of The Exploding Fist''
* ''VideoGame/WayOfTheWarrior''
* ''{{VideoGame/Weaponlord}}''
* ''VideoGame/WindyXWindam''
* ''VideoGame/WindomXP''
* ''VideoGame/WonderfulWorld''
* ''VideoGame/WorldHeroes''
* ''XuanDouZhiWang''
* ''VideoGame/{{Yatagarasu}}''
* ''VideoGame/YieArKungFu''
* ''Zero Divide''
[[/index]]

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!!Licensed fighting games include:

* ''[[VideoGame/BattleStadiumDON Battle Stadium D.O.N.]]'' (crossover with ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', ''OnePiece'' and ''{{Naruto}}'' characters)
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' (''Blade of Fate'', ''Dark Souls'', and the ''Heat the Soul'' series)
* ''DeadliestWarrior''
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''
** ''DigimonRumbleArena''
** ''DigimonBattleSpirit''
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ''
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' (aka ''Hokuto no Ken'')
* ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs''
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''
** ''VideoGame/JojosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle''
** ''VideoGame/JojosBizarreAdventureHeritageForTheFuture''
* ''WarpathJurassicPark''
* ''[[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League: Task Force]]''
* ''{{Legend of the Dragon}}''
* ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable'' - ''The Battle of Aces'' and ''The Gears of Destiny''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroes''
* ''{{Naruto}}''
** ''[[VideoGame/NarutoClashOfNinja Clash of Ninja]]'' series
** ''Ultimate Ninja'' series, such as ''NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStorm2''
** ''VideoGame/NinjaDestiny'' series
* ''RanmaOneHalf''
* ''SailorMoon''
* ''SaintSeiya''
* ''[[VideoGame/StarWarsMastersOfTerasKasi StarWars: Masters of Teras Kasi]]''
* ''VideoGame/SundayVSMagazineShuuketsuChoujouDaikessen''
* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' (the ''Tournament Fighters'' series and ''TMNT: Smash-Up'')
* ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' live-action film series
* ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry''
** ''[[VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry Higurashi]] Day[[color:red:b]]reak''
** ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' (''Ougon [[color:red:Mu]]sou Kyoku'')
* ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom''
** Both ''VideoGame/Mutant Academy'' games.
** ''VideoGame/XMenNextDimension'', the spiritual successor to the ''Mutant Academy'' games.
* ''YuYuHakusho''
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'''K.O.'''
''Troper Wins!''