With the arrival of the 16-bit era, one genre of gaming that became popular was fighting games. Whether your system of choice was the Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis, there was no shortage of titles as home consoles were starting to catch up with the arcade fighting experience.

With so many fighting games to pick from, which ones are the best? If you own a Sega Genesis then you will want to pay attention to this list. These are the

10 Best Fighting Games On The Sega Genesis.

Dragon Ball Z: Buyū Retsuden

If you don’t live in Europe then you may have never heard of this game since it was an exclusive.

The Dragon Ball universe was already well established in the 90s and with a list of characters to choose from, this title has a roaster of 11 fan favorites.

Dragon Ball Z Buyu Retsuden

You will regenerate health during the fight and you also build up “force” which allows you to unleash a devastating move once you filled your force meter all the way. You can also fight in the air or on the ground and since the fighting area was so big, split-screen kept fights fun if two players were far away from each other.

It’s no secret that fans of Dragonball Z will love this game. Even if you don’t like the cartoon, the game still deserves a try because you don’t need to be familiar with the DBZ to have fun here.

King Of The Monsters 2

If you play this game on any other consoles besides the Sega Genesis then you will be playing a beat ’em up. The game on Sega Genesis has the same characters as other consoles but is a fighting game instead.

King Of The Monsters 2

Sadly there are only 3 playable characters in this title, but everything else about it is deserving of its place on this list.

With side-scrolling action, co-op play, and boss battles, you have to fight through a gauntlet of monsters with a new monster appearing after every victory. You win only if you can defeat all of the monsters.

Virtua Fighter 2

Virtua Fighter is a franchise that first came out on the Sega Saturn and remained on Sega consoles until there were no more. While the first Virtua Fighter was awesome, the sequel required a more careful approach to fights.

Virtua Fighter 2 for Genesis

With an expanded character roster and move set, it became more common to be at the mercy of an unstoppable combo or knocked out of the ring altogether. One wrong move could spell defeat for the player who had been winning up to that point.

People were impressed with the unique graphics of Virtua Fighter. Although the port did not match the arcade. While Virtua Fighter isn’t as popular as other fighters, it was still a fun fighting game for players with a Sega console.

Fatal Fury: King Of Fighters

If you like fighting games then you may be familiar with the Fatal Fury series. Fatal Fury had their start on the Neo-Geo but one of the most memorable games known as Fatal Fury: King Of Fighters also made its way to the Sega Genesis.

Fatal Fury King Of Fighters

FF: KOF has a great list of fighters each with their own styles and moves. It was clear that SNK knew what they were doing.

This release also introduced the ability to fight in the foreground or the background, a feature that many future releases would expand on.

Since gamers started making videos on Youtube, the popularity of FF: KOF has seen a surge in popularity and Terry Bogard has even appeared as a playable character in the most recent Super Smash Bros.

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat made a big splash when it first came out and helped set the rules for how games are rated to this day.

Mortal Kombat Genesis

The Super Nintendo port had the blood taken out replaced by sweat but the Genesis version had fatalities and blood available as long as you knew a code. You had seven fighters to choose from and you try to take out all your opponents.

The SNES port may have had better graphics and sound but censoring Mortal Kombat kind of defeats the purpose of the game.

The Sega Genesis port had no problems as long as you had a six-button controller lying around you were good to go.

Samurai Shodown

Samurai Shodown was an arcade classic and SNK did not disappoint with a near-perfect port.

Set in 18th century Japan, Samurai Shodown has a large selection of fighters that not only have their own fighting style but also their own weapons.

Samurai Shodown

The action is smooth and fast-paced with memorable fighters and levels. The inclusion of random power-ups thrown into the ring by spectators and a POW meter for devastating attacks that are sure to end a round quickly.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

Parents hated Mortal Kombat when it first came out. Nintendo would censor their games at first while Sega didn’t care. Mortal Kombat would become one of the most popular fighting franchises of all time, and MK3 was the peak of that generation.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Genesis

While Sega Genesis never had better graphics or sound over Super Nintendo, the Genesis port made up for their shortcomings by adding in exclusive characters and levels.

Gamers playing on the Sega Genesis could choose Rain, Shao-Kahn, and Brutalities. If you wanted to play a violent fighter, Mortal Kombat was your choice.

By 1996, Mortal Kombat was already in the process of bringing gamers back for every entry by adding more and more. That is one reason Mortal Kombat is still a strong franchise today.

Mortal Kombat II

When a great game has a sequel, everyone expects the sequel to be better, right? Well, that is the case with Mortal Kombat II. Mortal Kombat II increased the character selection to 12 different fighters with new moves, new fatalities, and more.

Mortal Kombat II Genesis

All of the gameplay mechanics and controls of the original were improved upon resulting in an instant classic with the introduction of characters that are still popular to this day.

You don’t need to worry about knowing a code to turn the blood on here. 

Eternal Champions

At first glance, you might not find this game impressive. But if you took the time to look into Eternal Champions, you will see the effort that went into making this a great video game different from other fighters of the time.

The characters appear to be stereotypical (they are) but so much thought was put into each one, they do not come across as being tacky. The game had not only had a decent story, but it also had an interesting backstory that for each character in the game. 

Many Consider Eternal Champions to be the Best Fighting Game For the Sega Genesis

The whole world was in trouble because of too many important people having their lives cut short over time. Nine of these special people who died prematurely will be brought back to fight in a tournament with the winner having a second chance to live out their destiny and save the world.

Eternal Champions would let players grab their opponents, unleash cool combos, and have different types of attacks ranging from light to heavy. There were also overkills (like fatalities) that you could use to finish off your opponent.

Just like other fighting games on this list, having a six-button controller was a must if you wanted the controls to be as easy as possible.

If this game flew under your radar and you have a Sega Genesis, it’s worth giving this game a try. Or better still, go for the  Sega CD version of the game which has many additions and is the definitive way to play the game.

Street Fighter II: Champion Edition

Street Fighter II was a great game but Champion Edition allowed people to pick from the bosses of the game. It was the best release of the game and held its ground for a long time before Super Turbo came out.

Street Fighter II Champion Edition - Genesis

Since ST never made it to the Genesis, this was what we played. It was a very good port of the original and whether you were playing the arcade mode or against a friend, you will have a great time winning fights with the player of your choice.

These are the best 10 fighting games on the Sega Genesis. There is so much fun to be had here, If you are interested in the genre, we recommend them all.

Were there other games you think that should have been on the list that didn’t make the list? Let’s hear it!