By bartok 14 Comments
The Beat 'Em Up genre was my favorite growing up but in retrospect it has aged rather poorly due to repetition and the death of arcades. Though I wouldn't say the beat 'em up is completely dead because it is clear character action games like Devil May Cry, God of War, and Bayonetta have their roots in the genre.
Since this is only a top ten list I had to narrow it down to my all-time favorites. Here is a few honorable mentions: Final Fight, Double Dragon 1,2 and Neon, The Simpsons, Scott Pilgrim, Spider-Man arcade, and X-Men.
Favorite Beat 'Em Ups
|1. Alien vs. PredatorHands down my favorite of the genre. You have four distinct characters with different stats, you have useful weapons ranging from laser guns to spears, tons of enemies on screen, and special moves you access via Street Fighter commands. Unfortunately there was never a home port so unless your arcade had it or you're into the MAME scene you probably never played it.|
|2. Castle CrashersOne of the most popular Xbox Arcade releases of all times and for good reason. It combines Action/RPG mechanics to the brawler formula and it is a fun party game with co-op.|
|4. Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of DoomI'm combining this with its sequel Shadow of Mystara. A fun take on the genre using basics of the Dungeon and Dragon rules like Clerics can't use bladed weapons and trolls being weak to fire. You also have multiple paths and an inventory.|
|3. The WarriorsThis is Rockstar's foray into trying to reinvent the Beat 'em Up genre for the 21st century and they did a damn fine job. Can you dig it?|
|5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in TimeOne of the rare instances where the home port is better than the arcade port. You got additional levels and unlike the arcade version the game doesn't kill you for living too long. Only downside is no 4-Player Co-Op.|
|6. Streets of Rage 3While I love Streets of Rage 2, I think 3 is the better game. I think its lack of popularity is due to being released late in the Genesis life cycle, you needed the 6 button controller, and they didn't include Max from Streets of Rage 2.|
|7. River City RansomBarf!|
|8. The PunisherI might be a bit biased because I am a big Punisher fan. This is pretty much your standard Capcom brawler but each stage features a section that features sidescrolling gunplay to break things up. Word to the wise the Sega port is dog shit.|
|9. Die Hard ArcadeThis game is ugly as sin, the controls are kinda janky, and I'm pretty sure it is a retextured version of a Dynamite Cop game. All that aside it is just dumb fun and when I worked at K-Mart I would spend my lunch break pumping quarters into that damn machine.|
|10. Cadillacs and DinosaursThis is a beat'em I recently discovered. I like the gimmick where the dinosaurs will attack both the players and enemies alike. Plus it lives up to the title and delivers on said dinosaurs and Cadillacs.|