Fighting games are probably one of the most competitive forms of video games to exist out there. Just like how more traditional esports games like CS: GO, DOTA 2, Valorant, etc. rely on team-play for a memorable experience, fighting games solely rely on the wits and brilliant gameplay setups between two equally skillful players.
Historically, fighting games have given us some memorable moments, which helped a lot of new players get into the genre. I picked up some fighting games after the famous EVO Moment #37:
...and the brilliant finals between Kane Blueriver and FilipinoChamp in Marvel Vs Capcom 3:
However, mainstream fighting games can be very hard to play and master, and players may find it overwhelming and drop it altogether. Fortunately, there are some good fighting games that are beginner-friendly and also teach the fundamentals.
Five fighting games for beginners
All the fighting games mentioned here are easy to get into but difficult in higher skill levels. Hence, it is advisable to spend some time in training lobbies to get a feel of it and understand how the game plays before taking on other players offline or online.
At the same time, the deciding factor for this list relied on how well the training mode and tutorial is for a new player, and how the overall gameplay mechanics are.
1 ) Footsies
The first game on the list is a bit different from the traditional fighting games. Called Footsies, it rips apart all the fundamentals required to play a fighting game and boils it completely down to one single aspect: footsies.
Players need to maintain their space and hit their opponent when the timing is correct. Footsies teaches newcomers on spacing, as well as when to poke. Of course, all this is very beginner level, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.
Footsies is currently available for purchase on Steam and Android. It comes with a rollback netcode and various game modes.
2 ) Mortal Kombat 11
This is the 11th mainline entry in the long-running Mortal Kombat series of fighting games. Netherrealm’s fighting game resumes the story that began in Mortal Kombat 9 and continues the fight of Earthrealm against the other factions. While most fighting games keep the storyline as a sideline instead of the actual core experience, Mortal Kombat 11 doubles down on it.
Apart from the brilliant story, the game boasts a simplified control scheme for new players, a brilliant netcode, gorier fatalities, and characters from past Mortal Kombat and popular pop culture media. If you ever wanted to have the Terminator and Robocop showdown, it is possible in this game.
3 ) Melty Blood: Type Lumina
Before you run towards me with a pitchfork, hear me out - Melty Blood: Type Lumina is fundamentally still a very well-versed fighting game. In fact, on a higher level, it is complex enough to throw a newbie out. So, why is this game recommended?
For starters, Type Lumina has what I like to call the “bait the newbies by showing them easier stuff” mechanic. Called rapid beat, it allows players to press all three of the buttons consecutively at a time, making the game do the combos for them.
But that is not all; Melty Blood: Type Lumina features a lot of great in-game tutorial lessons that teach the players all the mechanics of the game (which, can be read here). Oh, did I mention that the game looks gorgeous and also comes with a rollback netcode?
And if that does not convince you to pick the game up, I’ll share an anecdote incident from a good friend of mine who recently played the game with his 10-year-old cousin. The kid had never touched a fighting game and yet he had a blast with it. Granted, he got washed by my friend, but you gotta start somewhere. In fact, we did make a beginners guide a few months ago.
4 ) Them’s Fighting Herds
The history of this game is quite interesting. Them’s Fighting Herds originally started as a My Little Pony fighting game by a group of people, which naturally Hasbro did not like. After all, the series is for kids, and showing their favorite character fighting is the last thing a toy company would want, hence, forcing them to stop working on it.
But the creator of My Little Pony, Lauren Faust, saw the potential in it, and hence helped in creating what is now called Them’s Fighting Herds.
This game gets a lot of things correct, right from the start. It's got a brilliant tutorial for newcomers to try and play along with a solid lobby system ,which is probably one of the most fun ones I've seen.
The game offers pretty aesthetics and also comes with one of the best rollback netcode implementations in any modern fighting game. That is not all though, as the combo files can be sent to other players so that they can practice what combo a player did, improving their gameplay.
5 ) Tough Love Arena
The final entry in this list is a game that probably only a few people have heard about. Called Tough Love Arena, it has a lot going for it. The game is free, and people of any age can try it. Secondly, it is browser-based, so the player only needs a system that can run Google Chrome or any other internet browser.
Tough Love Arena features a very simple control scheme and a brilliant tutorial to get you up to speed with the how-tos. The only downside this game has is that it cannot be played against bots. However, since the game is in early beta, that might just change down the line.
Note: This article reflects the opinion of the writer.