Platform fighters have been experiencing a big resurgence as of late. Multiversus has been in its beta for a while at the time of writing. Nickelodeon has been renewing interest in their own platform fighter with DLC. There's even a hotly anticipated independent platform set for later this year in Fraymakers.
All of these games owe their existence to Super Smash Bros. Nintendo's premiere fighting game franchise created the platforming-based fighting genre a little over twenty years ago. Fans that grew up with these games have now created excellent gaming experiences of their own. These platform fighters all have different focuses than Smash but are all still enjoyable in their own ways.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Multiversus is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated fighting games of the year. It has a novel approach to the platform fighter genre in that it focuses on 2v2 matches. The ability to buff teammates is actually quite fun. Also fun is the wide variety of excellent stages and characters it has.
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Even though it's only in beta, Multiversus is incredibly polished. All the characters from Shaggy to Batman have unique animations and playstyles. Most of the characters even have their original voice actors, showing how dedicated the developers were to authenticity. While this didn't apply to the newest character, fans are still excited and surprised to play as the newly announced Lebron.
9 Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl almost feels like a perfect companion to Multiversus. Multiversus is an upcoming free-to-play game with a lot of Triple-A polish. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a full-price game from an underbudgeted team with a lot of heart. The game didn't launch with voice acting, but its solid mechanics gave it a small but dedicated fanbase.
The game features tons of Nicktoons characters from every age on the channel. This includes popular faces like Spongebob but also more oddball picks like Powdered Toast Man. The game recently announced its first batch of DLC. Fans hope there will be more as there are plenty of characters fans want in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.
Brawlout was released in 2017 after being revealed at the fighting game tournament EVO the previous year. The game is a pretty standard platform fighter like Super Smash Bros. It supports up to four players in matches which are one by knocking opponents off the stage. The major difference is there is no blocking and most characters cannot grab.
This creates a faster game based more on combos. In addition, the game also curried a lot of favor by including characters from other indie games besides its twenty-one original characters. This included stars from Hyper Light Drifter, Guacamelee, Yooka-Laylee, and Dead Cells. The game is generally considered to be fun, but too fast for casual play
7 Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
Super Smash Bros. might be the originator of the Platform Fighter, but it has another genre it's defined. It's also the pre-eminent mascot fighter. It uses characters owned by the company in the creation of gigantic fighting game tournaments. Nickelodeon and WB have only recently attempted the genre, but SONY Playstation attempted it almost ten years ago.
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Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale saw a lot of criticism at release for being a "Smash Bros. rip-off." However, the game actually had many differences like light and heavy attacks and special moves that were the only way to kill. The game's gameplay drew a lot of criticism but the graphics and presentation were praised. Fans hope this game will eventually see a better-balanced sequel.
Brawlhalla is a free-to-play platform fighter that was released in 2014. That was the same year as Super Smash Bros. 4 was released, but this game has been consistently updated since then. Since then it has accrued fifty-five playable characters and tons of alternate skins for those characters. This constant work has made it one of the best games made by Ubisoft.
Every character has customizable options for weapons and skins. This allows a lot more individual customization options than Super Smash Bros has. The game is also free-to-play as cosmetics and extra tools are the only part of the game bought with real money. The game also featured crossover characters like Brawlout with Rayman and Lara Croft.
5 Indie Pogo
As mentioned, Fraymakers is an upcoming fighting game aiming to be the indie equivalent of Smash Bros. However, before that game was announced another game brought some of the best indie video game icons for a crossover. Indie Pogo brought over fifty different indie games together under one roof. However, it also brought a unique mechanic in the form of constant jumping.
Every character automatically jumps upon hitting the floor, hence the "Pogo" in the title. This causes most of the fight to be done in the air. Characters can also jump on top of each other, allowing for extra combo and air potential. The game is a bit of an acquired taste, but it's one of the most comprehensive crossovers in platform fighter history.
4 Jump Super Stars
Manga publication Shonen Jump has many iconic characters, so it's no surprise they've tried Mascot Fighters. Before Jump Force though, there was the Jump Super Stars series on the Nintendo DS. This series was Japan-exclusive but was often imported due to its popularity. Super Stars and its sequel, Ultimate Stars, brought over forty different manga series to platform fighter form.
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The series featured fifty-six playable characters, from iconic characters like Dragon Ball's Goku to more obscure characters like Kazuki from Buso Renkin. In addition to playable characters, there is also a litany of assist characters. These are activated by clicking on manga panels on the bottom screen of the DS. The games were praised for gorgeous sprite work and a wide crossover range.
3 Slap City
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was one of the most anticipated games of 2018. However, it came out toward the end of the year. Developer Ludosity was able to create a game like Super Smash Bros. to fill the void until Ultimate's release. Like Smash, Slap City was a game comprised of characters and locations from the developer's other titles.
Unlike other games that take on Smash's qualities, Slap City emulated the first installment for the Nintendo 64. The game focused on floaty aerial movement and harsh hits. it featured heavy and light attacks as well as a soccer-like mode. The devs' work on the game was so beloved that they ended up being tapped to make Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.
2 Lethal League Blaze
Lethal League is a series of games inspired by SEGA's classic Jet Set Radio series. Jet Set Radio was a series of radical cell-shaded roller-skating sports games, but Lethal League takes a different route. This series is a platform fighter based on volleying a ball between characters. Characters who fail to volley the ball take damage and can be knocked out.
The latest entry, Blaze, doesn't have many of the same mechanics as other platform fighters. Levels are mostly flat planes and kills can only be achieved by knocking the ball into opponents. However, a difference from the genre's staples doesn't equal a poor platform fighter. The game is fast, frenetic, and has a great soundtrack with compositions by Jet Set Radio's original composer.
1 Rivals of Aether
Rivals of Aether is a pixelated platform fighter available on all modern consoles as well as PC. It stars a bevy of animal characters who each have control of elements and live in a land called Aether. The game is praised for its fast and strategic gameplay. Rivals of Aether removes grabs and shields and adds a versatile parrying system that allows for experts to punish opponents leading to a game that rewards counter-heavy behavior.
The game also comes with a story mode and plenty of extra modes like endless modes and online. The game also has a dating-themed spin-off called Lovers of Aether that, strangely, expands on the characters. The game is also famous for its Steam Workshop support, which allowed for lots of bizarre and fun characters to be created. The developers have recently announced a 3D sequel called Rivals 2 which is sure to become another great modern platform fighter alongside Multiversus and Super Smash Bros.
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James W. Potvin is a freelance writer for Screen Rant. This is is his first professional writing job, but he's been making infographics about nerd culture interests for years. In the past, James has worked in education. He loves video games, and his favorite is Kirby.More From James Potvin