Since the success of Double Dragon in 1986, beat ‘em up games have been synonymous with the arcade industry. There’s something intriguing about beating up screenfuls of bad guys, and perpetually walking to the right that tickles our fancy in just the right way. This is especially true back in the early ‘90s, when the genre hit its peak. Today, the beat ‘em up genre has all but disappeared, Raw Thrills’ 2018 release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles standing alone in a market that abandoned such games to the glory of racing and shooting games. Nevertheless, the titles that made this genre famous still shine on to this day, with some of them even receiving modern adaptations.
However, this article is about remembering the best games of our childhoods; the ones with which we grew up. Depending on when you were born, you might’ve played lots of space shooters, or maybe plenty of fighting games and DDR. However, for some of us growing up in the late ‘80s to early ‘90s, all we played back then were arcade brawlers and beat ‘em ups. This article is a homage to all of our favorite games in this genre.
Read on to learn about our picks of 5 best arcade beat ‘em up games.