Less than 200 arcade games needed to reach our current MobyGoal of 1,500 documented arcade titles!

Genre: Beat 'em up / Brawler

Group Description

Beat 'em ups, also known as Brawlers, are action games revolving around melee combat between the protagonist and a number of enemies. The distinction between beat 'em ups and fighting games in the narrow sense of the word is the number of opponents (beat 'em ups rarely feature one-on-one fighting) and the protagonist's ability to move through a level (stage) rather than being confined to one screen.

Traditional beat em ups are side-scrolling 2D games; typically, gameplay mechanics in those games are quite simple, consisting of the protagonist slowly making his way through a large number of enemies. In many brawlers the protagonist is unable to proceed until he has cleared a small portion of the stage of the enemies.

In many of these games, the protagonist has the ability to freely move on the horizontal plane (i.e. move "into the screen"). Such brawlers were often referred to as "3D beat 'em ups". However, with the advent of real-time 3D graphics, the term "3D beat em up" began to refer to brawlers set in a 3D environment.

Limitations:
  • Versus fighting games in which the participants are confined to a small stage usually composed of one screen should not be included in this group.
  • Games in which protagonists use ranged weapons, guns, magic, and other non-melee alternatives to deal with the enemies, and/or heavily rely on bladed weapons (swords, etc.) should be excluded as well. Use your judgment: if you don't have a feeling that you are actually beating up your opponents, the game in question probably shouldn't belong here.
  • Games that focus on platform-style gameplay (jumping, avoiding hazards, etc.) are not allowed.
  • Only games that are predominantly brawlers should be included. For the sake of clarity, hybrid games that merge beat 'em up gameplay with other genres (such as Yakuza games) should not be accepted, unless the brawling gameplay is clearly dominant.


Related Groups:
Viewing Page 1 of 9 (items 1-25 of 211) Next
Game Titlesorted in ascending orderYearPlatformPublisherMobyScore
Karateka1984Amstrad CPC, Android, Apple II, Atari 7800, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, iPad, iPhone, MSX, NES, PC-98, ZX SpectrumAtari Corporation3.77
Kung-Fu Master1984Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, NES, ZX SpectrumAbsolute Entertainment, Inc.3.14
My Hero1985Arcade, SEGA Master SystemSEGA of America, Inc.2.38
Renegade1986Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, NES, Nintendo 3DS, SEGA Master System, Wii, Wii U, ZX SpectrumAksys Games Localization, Inc.3.29
Hokuto no Ken1986SEGA Master System, WiiSEGA Enterprises Ltd.2.60
Hokuto no Ken1986NESToei Animation Co., Ltd.1.17
Black Belt1986SEGA Master SystemSEGA of America, Inc.3.06
Bad Street Brawler1987Commodore 64, DOS, NES, ZX SpectrumMattel Electronics3.33
Thundercats1987Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX SpectrumElite Systems Ltd.3.30
Double Dragon1987Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Genesis, Lynx, MSX, NES, Nintendo 3DS, SEGA Master System, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, ZX SpectrumActivision, Inc.3.73
City Adventure Touch: Mystery of Triangle1987NESToho Cinefile-Soft Library...
Double Dragon II: The Revenge1988Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, Game Boy, Genesis, MSX, NES, Nintendo 3DS, TurboGrafx CD, Wii, ZX SpectrumAcclaim Entertainment, Inc.3.43
Operation: Cleanstreets1988Amiga, Atari ST, DOSBrøderbund Software, Inc.3.07
Altered Beast1988Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, Genesis, iPhone, MSX, NES, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, SEGA Master System, TurboGrafx-16, TurboGrafx CD, Wii, Windows, Xbox 360, Zodiac, ZX SpectrumActivision, Inc.3.19
Bad Dudes1988Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, NES, Zeebo, ZX SpectrumData East USA, Inc.3.58
P.O.W.: Prisoners of War1988Arcade, NES, PlayStation 3, PSP, WindowsSNK Corporation of America3.86
Target: Renegade1988Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, NES, ZX SpectrumTaito America Corporation3.16
The Adventures of Bayou Billy1988NESKonami, Inc.2.63
Vigilante1988Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX, SEGA Master System, TurboGrafx-16, Wii, ZX SpectrumData East USA, Inc.3.50
Final Fight1989Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Boy Advance, iPhone, SEGA CD, Sharp X68000, SNES, Wii, Wii U, ZX SpectrumCapcom Entertainment, Inc.3.72
Crime City1989ArcadeTaito Corporation...
Freddy Hardest in South Manhattan1989Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, ZX SpectrumDinamic Software3.05
River City Ransom1989Game Boy Advance, NES, Nintendo 3DS, Sharp X68000, TurboGrafx CD, WiiAksys Games Localization, Inc.4.01
Ninja Gaiden1989Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, Lynx, Wii, ZX SpectrumAtari Corporation2.86
Crime Fighters1989ArcadeKonami Industry Co. Ltd.3.83
Goto Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Selected Covers

Double Dragon DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Double Dragon
Karateka DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Karateka
River City Ransom Game Boy Advance Front Cover
Front cover for River City Ransom
P.O.W.: Prisoners of War Windows Front Cover
Front cover for P.O.W.: Prisoners of War

Selected Screenshots

Title screen
Screenshot from Hokuto no Ken
Title screen
Screenshot from Double Dragon
Title screen (CGA)
Screenshot from Karateka
Title
Screenshot from River City Ransom