Martial Champion is a versus fighting game similar in concept to Street Fighter II. There are ten characters to choose from, each representing his or her own country. The main protagonist is a Japanese martial artist named Jin; others include his countryman Zen, a kabuki fighter; a Chinese kung-fu expert and a vampire from Hong-Kong; an Egyptian princess; a scimitar fighter from Saudi Arabia; a spear-wielding Kenyan warrior; a French weapons specialist; and two North Americans - an eyepatched soldier and a blonde female ninja-like fighter.
There are three modes in the game: a tournament mode, in which these characters compete against each other before facing the final boss; a versus mode; and a group fighting mode, in which each player selects several fighters to represent in a series of one-on-one battles. The fighting scheme resembles that of Yie Ar Kung Fu, though with a simplified handling of high, medium, and low attacks. Some of the characters use weapons in battles; it is possible to knock these weapons out of their hands and use them against their owners.