Heihachis Atomic Drop, Fei Longs Rekkashingeki, Shao Kahns Hammer Uppercut. These are undoubtedly some of the most powerful combinations of any beat em up game. Though it is easy discerning which moves are the best in terms of damage inflicted, it is a rather more difficult task ascertaining which is the finest beat em up game ever. There are some who will have you believe that beat em ups - where you control a character and use them to beat the snot out of your enemies or a rival gamer - are overly simplistic and stagnated compared to the constantly changing nature of other genres. Though they may be comparatively simple, why is that necessarily a fault? Why is focusing in on a smaller area and creating addictive, subtle gameplay a bad thing? Beat em ups are one of the few genres of gamers which are playable by both children and experts alike, demonstrating the accessible-yet-deep nature of their gameplay. To the naysayers, it may seem like fighting games havent really come far in the 30-years since their invention and dont really have much further to go either. However, all it takes is a brief glance at the forefather of the genre; 1984s Karate Champ - with its one playable character and 13-offensive-moves - to know that the genre has come an incredibly long way. With beat em up games being more reliant on a deep, complex, rewarding gameplay system than flashy visuals, excellent fighting games have more of a timelessness about them than the classics of other genres. A few minutes spent playing Street Fighter II and you will rapidly become acquainted with all the combos you havent used in over a decade and it will feel like no time has passed at all. Here are the 12 Greatest Beat Em Ups of all time, which will always keep us coming back for more.
Hailing from South East London, Sam Heard is an aspiring writer and recent graduate from the University of Warwick. Sam's favourite things include energy drinks, late nights spent watching the UFC with his girlfriend and annihilating his friends at FIFA.