The 7 Absolute Best Fighting Games for the PlayStation 3

Playstation 3 PS3 controller

The 7 Absolute Best Fighting Games for the PlayStation 3

Having to follow in the footsteps of the most popular console in home console history is no easy task. Thankfully, the PlayStation 3 was up to the challenge and looked to continue Sony’s momentum from the PlayStation 2 with a console that leaped into the future with new advancements like Blu-ray disc technology and Sony’s PlayStation network. 

Selling more than 87 million consoles, the PlayStation 3 was by all accounts a success and outsold its seventh-generation rival, the Xbox 360. Of course, part of that success was based on the strength of the PS3’s gaming lineup, including some heavy hitter fighting games that still hold up today. 

Let’s jump into the best fighting games the PS3 has to offer!

What is a Fighting Game? 

A fighting game is exactly what you think it is with two fighters squaring off in a one-on-one match with special moves and lightning-fast reflexes required.

Since the days of arcade Street Fighter, fighting games have become a huge genre with popular franchises that often have storylines continuing from previous console releases. A fighting game could also entail the player sparring against the computer or another player either through local co-op or multiplayer from around the world.

The expanded definition of a fighting game also allows for games that are more common fighting styles like mixed martial arts or wrestling to also fall into the fighting genre. 

Was the PlayStation 3 Known for Fighting Games? 

If you look at the list of the top 30 best-selling games on the PlayStation 3 platform, you wouldn’t think fighting games had a big presence. In fact, there are no fighting games on this list at all, which indicates they were not huge sellers. What it really means is that they likely did not sell over one million copies. Even so, there were plenty of fighting games on the console that show their strengths through high Metascores and will easily fill your fighting game itch on the PlayStation 3. 

Soul Calibur IV - Playstation 3
  • Unleash the Force: Iconic Star Wars characters, Sith Lord Darth Vader and Jedi Master Yoda challenge the Soulcalibur fighters for the future of the powerful swords. Experience the legendary...
  • Take the Fight Online: For the first time ever, fight opponents around the world online in multiple versus modes.
  • The Ultimate Roster: Battle with classic Soulcalibur character, exciting newcomers or customize your own unique fighter.
  • New Fighting System Elements: Exciting new fighting game elements including the Active Matching Battle System and the ability to execute devastating critical strikes.
  • Multiple Gameplay Modes: Experience Soulcalibur with Story, Arcade, Tower of Reminiscence, Training Practice, Character Creation, and Museum View modes.
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10/02/2023 10:25 am GMT

What could be better than a fighting game on the PlayStation 3 that allows you to fight as Darth Vader? emSoulCalibur IV/em for the PS3 isn’t just a highly rated game on the PS3 with an 85 Metascore, but it delivers three characters from the Star Wars franchise as guest fighters, and it’s awesome.

With 34 different characters available in all, there isn’t just a Star Wars presence but also the return of many familiar names from previous generation SoulCalibur titles.

No matter which character you select, you’ll have a few different modes to choose from including training, story, arcade, and museum modes. Of course, you can unlock the “Tower of Lost Souls” mode once you win a number of battles, which also opens the door to an increased number of rewards. 

One of the main highlights of emSoulCalibur IV/em is not just the overall game and fighting quality but the sound. The game runs in HD resolution paired with 5.1 channel sound, making it leaps and bounds more immersive than anything ever seen on previous generation consoles. What this really means is that emSoulCalibur IV/em was a fantastic way to introduce fans of fighting games to the next generation of 3D fighters. 

Pick up a copy of emSoulCalibur IV/em for the PlayStation 3 on Amazon here

UFC Undisputed 2010 - Playstation 3
  • Fighters and Personalities – Navigate a roster of more than 100 prolific UFC fighters, each fully rendered to convey a photorealistic appearance
  • Enhanced Combat – A new Sway System with full upper body and head movement allows for the dodging of attacks, while on the ground. A new Posture System delivers fight-ending strikes from every...
  • Fighter Customization– Choose from an array of moves from all available disciplines, including newly added Sambo, Karate and Greco-Roman Wrestling, to become a true mixed martial artist.
  • Expansive Online Play – Encourage camaraderie by forming fight camps and leagues to participate in ranking and champion tracking systems. Join forces, train like real-life UFC fighters and go online...
  • Career Mode – A Game Is Watching You system tracks every action and uses this information to dictate in-game commentary and career progression
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10/02/2023 01:36 pm GMT

Released in 2010 and featuring more than 100 different fighters, emUFC Undisputed 2010/em (or UFC Undisputed 2) is a mixed martial arts fighting game that quickly wins over fans of the sport.

Controls were dramatically improved over the game’s predecessor by completely redesigning how to grapple on the ground. An improved career mode offers you an opportunity to start your career in the World Fighting Alliance and work your way up to the UFC. Regardless of your fighting experience, you can jump into a cage match or try for your first TKO, which are just some of the improvements over the last UFC game. 

Career mode is the biggest highlight where players will have to work hard and work their way into Fight Night shows all the way to pay-per-view fight cards and finally, a title shot. Interestingly enough, career mode ends at 54 fights no matter your record. After this number, you retire from the sport, become a trainer, and get inducted into the UFC hall of fame. Of course, 54 fights is a lot of work so don’t expect to get there quickly. If you want to skip career mode for a while, Ultimate Fights Mode lets you take part in some of the sport’s greatest matches. Earning an 85 Metascore, this isn’t the traditional fighting one-on-one game, but it’s just as good. 

Get into the octagon with emUFC Undisputed 2010/em from Amazon here

Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 3
  • A collaboration with genre masters Arc System Works: Developed in partnership with the studio responsible for fan favorite fighting games BlazBlue and Guilty Gear.
  • Console-exclusive features and content: The home console release will include a number of new features over the Arcade version, including a full Story mode and online multiplayer!
  • Characters and settings from award-winning Persona 3 & 4: Beautiful, hand-drawn 2D anime-style sprites of characters based on the award-winning Persona 3 and 4 roleplaying games are a special treat...
  • Original, hardcore fighting mechanics: True to Arc System Works tradition, P4A looks and feels like nothing else out there. Each fighter has attacks tied to their Persona, their summoned inner...
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10/02/2023 07:13 am GMT

There’s just something really special about the hand-drawn graphics of emPersona 4 Arena/em that makes it such a wonderful game on the PlayStation 3.

Developing a 2D-style fighting game in a 3D fighting world requires something really special, and it’s easy to say that emPersona 4 Arena/em delivers. Released for the PS3 in 2012, the game follows two months after its predecessor, Persona 4, and jumps right into a new fighting tournament. Of course, there is a mysterious shadowy storyline to help create a narrative but really, you are here for the fighting. 

In total, you can choose to play as one of 13 different characters in several different modes, including a single-player mode which is intermingled with something of a visual novel. Along with story mode, there are training and challenge modes as well as an arcade mode that includes three-round fights paired with additional storytelling elements.

One of the highlights of emPersona 4 Arena/em is the “instant kill” special attack that, once mastered, can take down any opponent, assuming the attack works, of course. Thanks to the unique art style and fun gameplay, emPersona 4 Arena/em earned an 86 Metascore. 

Grab your copy of emPersona 4 Arena/em from Amazon here

Playstation 3
The PS3 Is home to tons of fantastic fighting games!


UFC Undisputed 3
  • Compete for the first time within the legendary Pride environment featuring official announcers and renowned Japanese MMA league rules, including brutal soccer-style kicks, head stomps and ground...
  • With punishing new moves, a brand new submission system and increased focus on presentation, players will have more options than ever to take advantage of a downed opponent
  • Experience the intensity of UFC with new camera positions, compelling fighter entrances, improved facial animations and a gritty, high contrast appearance
  • Get inside the Octagon with a choice between traditional and simplified gameplay control options
  • Go head to head with more than 150 prolific UFC fighters, including the addition of Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions
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10/02/2023 01:36 pm GMT

While emUFC Undisputed 3/em isn’t a typical fight game by most standards, it’s still very much a fighting game.

This is everything you know and love about no-holds-barred UFC matches without the pay-per-view cost. There are a ton of real licensed fighters at your fingertips plus much more depth to overall gameplay than you might have envisioned. Modes like ultimate fights, title defense, title mode, or pride mode attempt to hook you from the very start, and between one of these modes, you will be hooked. 

Have you ever wanted to just pummel your opponent and force the ref to physically pull you apart? Well, that’s a pretty weird thing to imagine but you can have that very experience here as part of emUFC Undisputed 3/em. This option speaks to the overall depth of the title and improvements made over the first two games in the franchise. Rest assured there is a bit of a learning curve, but to be the best in this sport, you have to go through a little trial and error with your moves. An 86 Metascore speaks to its realism and gameplay that provides hours and hours of entertainment. 

emUFC Undisputed 3/em is waiting for you on Amazon here.  

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift - Playstation 3
  • High-resolution, hand-drawn sprites on 3D backgrounds
  • Online multiplayer
  • Console-only modes include Arcade, Vs., and Practice
  • New Story Mode tells the stories of each character
  • Choose a character that represents your fighting style
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10/02/2023 03:12 pm GMT

Often considered something of a successor to Guilty Gear on the PlayStation 2, emBlazBlue: Continuum Shift/em is a beautiful 2D fighter and proud owner of an 87 Metascore.

What makes this game so fantastic is that it covers around 17 hours of gameplay which is more than enough fighting to last many PS3 owners. A successor to Calamity Trigger, emBlazBlue: Continuum Shift/em fixes much of what was wrong with the first game and introduces new modes all while improving both the graphics and the character’s storylines.  

What makes emContinuum Shift/em interesting is that, unlike many fighting games, matches in this game can last up to five rounds in total which are known as “rebels.” Each rebel (or match) has players fighting and attempting to fill their “Heat Gauge,” which can be used for more advanced moves that deal lots of damage.

Different modes like a beginner and tutorial mode help introduce new players to the series and help ensure that beginners are ready to step into the “ring” and pull off special moves and combos as well as any advanced player. If nothing else, you can always enjoy the soundtrack that’s near perfect for the game. 

Pick up your copy of emBlazBlue: Continuum Shift/em from Amazon here

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Standard Edition - Playstation 3
  • 2D high-resolution fighter
  • Choose from over 10 different characters
  • New music, animations, and backgrounds
  • New story mode exclusively for PS3
  • Online multiplayer modes
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10/02/2023 03:07 pm GMT

Released for the PlayStation 3 in 2008, emBlazBlue: Calamity Trigger/em is a terrific 2D fighting game that also feels like it’s something of a duel between two competitors.

Developed by the same group that released Guilty Gear on the PS2, emCalamity Trigger/em is the first high-resolution 2D fighter from the team. Right away, emCalamity Trigger/em catches your eye, thanks to the hand-drawn 3D backgrounds that just look fantastic. Once you look past the background, you’ll dive right into matches, or “rebels” that have two players competing to inflict enough damage on their competitor so as to reduce their health to zero. 

There are 12 total fighters, all of which offer their own special attacks and fighting styles that you must master. There’s a vampire, a doctor, and a ninja, and that’s before you even start to look at the profiles of the rest of the characters. Having a small list of characters makes it fun to find someone you really enjoy playing and perfecting every move they have.

Earning an 87 Metascore on the PlayStation 3, emBlazBlue: Calamity Trigger/em benefited from a few PS3 console exclusives, including different music, backgrounds, and animation as well as online multiplayer for up to six players at a time. 

emBlazBlue: Calamity Trigger/em is available on Amazon here

One of the Best Games of All Time
Street Fighter IV – Playstation 3
  • 3D environments and characters
  • Traditional 2D Street Fighter six-button gameplay
  • New locations never seen before
  • Classic characters re-imagined, including the original cast of Street Fighter II
  • New brawlers: female super-spy Crimson Viper, lucha libre wrestler El Fuerte, mixed martial artist Abel and more!
  • New special moves including Focus Attacks, Super Combos, and the Ultra Combo system
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10/03/2023 11:20 am GMT

The undisputed champion of PlayStation 3 fighting games, emStreet Fighter IV/em is everything you remember about the original fighting series but better.

Ken, Ryu, Chin-Li, and Guile are all back in action along with a few new characters that help create a richer storyline and deeper gameplay. Unsurprisingly, emStreet Fighter IV/em sticks to what it knows best as a 2D fighter but adds in some 3D camera angles that help add a modern twist.

The PlayStation 3 version of the game was a highlight of the game’s cross-platform release, thanks to its online support where two players could compete against each other from anywhere in the world through instant challenges or tournaments. 

Of course, the real story of any Street Fighter title is its gameplay and special moves and there are plenty of special moves to be found here. Super combos, ultra combos, focus attacks, and more are just the start of the way emStreet Fighter IV/em improves on previous generations of the franchise. What matters most is that the game sticks to the basics that have made it one of the most memorable fighting game franchises in history, helping it earn a 94 Metascore. 

The best fighting game for the PS3, emStreet Fighter IV/em, is available on Amazon right now right here

Final Thoughts

Fighting games on the PlayStation 3 were unfortunately not among the console’s best-selling games even if they provided some memorable experiences. Still, to see names like SoulCalibur and Street Fighter appear on this list is not at all surprising given the expectation these names carry as a franchise.

Some new entrants like the dual BluBlaze games added entirely new titles to the mix and helped make the PS3 arguably the best console for fighting games across the seventh generation of gaming.

The 7 Absolute Best Fighting Games for the PlayStation 3 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best fighting game for the PlayStation 3?

The absolute best fighting game for the PlayStation 3 is Street Fighter IV which takes everything you know and love about the franchise and makes it better. 

When was the PlayStation 3 released?

The PlayStation 3 was released on November 17, 2006, in North America and would stay on store shelves until 2017. 

Are these games playable on the PlayStation 4?

PlayStation 3 discs were not backward-compatible with the PlayStation 4 but many of these games saw remasters or updated releases on the PlayStation 4. 

What was the best-selling game of the PlayStation 3 era?

It won’t come as any surprise to see that Grand Theft Auto V is the best-selling game of the PlayStation 3 era with more than 29.5 million copies sold. 

How many PlayStation 3 consoles were sold worldwide?

Across its eleven-year lifespan, the PlayStation 4 sold more than 87.4 million consoles worldwide.

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