History Of Beat 'Em Ups

Welcome to the comprehensive history of beat 'em ups since the introduction of the genre in 1986 with Taito's Renegade.

Beat 'em ups (also known as brawlers) are a video game genre featuring melee combat between the protagonist and an improbably large number of underpowered enemies. ;xNLx;;xNLx;The First Age is comprised of traditional beat 'em ups that took place in side scrolling levels with limited color palettes. This age is noted for its simple gameplay; a source of both critical acclaim and derision. Two-player cooperative gameplay and multiple player characters are also hallmarks of this age.;xNLx;;xNLx;The Second Age began with a marked increased in mechanical sophistication and nuance. Every aspect of the beat 'em up experience was improved by a substantial margin. Most of this select handful of high quality games were created by Capcom on their CPS2 hardware.;xNLx;;xNLx;Unfortunately, the very promising Second Age was cut short by the advent of 3d gameplay on the home console. The brief Dark Age is comprised of a few remarkably poor titles that were produced and marketed on the excitement of early 3d gameplay.;xNLx;;xNLx;The Third Age was ushered in by Devil May Cry 1 and put the beat 'em up back in the spotlight with 3d gameplay that finally looked and felt good. The third age has been a 10+ year renaissance, only losing momentum in recent years.;xNLx;;xNLx;The greatest threat to the beat 'em up has now appeared in the form of "Watch 'Em Ups", a genre of games that looks like beat 'em ups but are actually a wholly different experience.

Double Dragon 3

Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone is a side-scrolling beat 'em up produced by Technos Japan Corp. that was originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1990.

Renegade

Renegade is a video game released in American and European arcades in 1986 by Taito. It is a westernized conversion (including changes to all of the sprites and backgrounds) of the Japanese arcade game Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun, released earlier the same year by Technos.

Final Fight 2

Final Fight 2 is a side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. It is a sequel to the coin-operated video game Final Fight (which was also released for the SNES).

Double Dragon

Double Dragon is a 1987 beat 'em up developed by Technos Japan and distributed in North America and Europe by Taito Corporation.

Double Dragon 2

Double Dragon II: The Revenge is a side-scrolling beat 'em up produced by Technos originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1988. It is the sequel to Double Dragon, released during the previous year.

River City Ransom

River City Ransom is a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was developed by Technōs Japan and originally released in Japan on April 25, 1989. It was one of the first console games published by North American subsidiary American Technos.

Final Fight

Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up game originally released by Capcom as a coin-operated video game in 1989. It was the seventh game released by Capcom for their CP System arcade game hardware.

Final Fight 3

Final Fight 3, released in Japan as Final Fight Tough, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up by Capcom originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995. Like its predecessor, it was produced by Capcom's consumer division with no preceding arcade version released.

Golden Axe

Golden Axe is a side-scrolling, beat 'em up, hack and slash arcade video game released in 1989 by Sega for the System 16-B arcade hardware. It is the first game in the Golden Axe series. Makoto Uchida was the primary developer of the game and also was responsible for the creation of Altered Beast.

Golden Axe 2

Golden Axe II is a side-scrolling beat'em up released for the Sega Mega Drive on December 26, 1991. It is the home console sequel to the popular game Golden Axe.

Golden Axe 3

Golden Axe III is the last installment in the Golden Axe series released for the Sega Mega Drive on June 25, 1993.

Golden Axe: Beast Rider

Golden Axe: Beast Rider is a third-person action/adventure video game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, published by Sega and developed by Secret Level. The game was released in North America on October 14, 2008 and in Europe on October 17.

Streets Of Rage

Streets of Rage, known in Japan as Bare Knuckle: Ikari no Tekken, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Sega in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive. It is the first installment of the Streets of Rage series which was followed by Streets of Rage 2 and Streets of Rage 3.

Streets Of Rage 2

Streets of Rage 2, known in Japan as Bare Knuckle II: Shitō he no Chinkonka, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up video game released by Sega in 1992 for the Mega Drive / Genesis console. It is the second game in the Streets of Rage series, a sequel to Streets of Rage and followed by Streets of Rage 3.

Streets of Rage 3

Streets of Rage 3 (Bare Knuckle III in Japan) is a side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Sega in 1994 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It is the last part of the Streets of Rage series.

Aliens Vs Predator

Alien vs. Predator is a beat 'em up arcade game released in 1994 by Capcom on the CPS-2, in which the players take control of human and Predator characters in a battle against Aliens.

Dungeons & Dragons: Tower Of Doom

Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom is the first of two video games created by Capcom based on the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game.

Dungeons And Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara

Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara is an arcade game developed and published by Capcom in 1996 as a sequel to Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom.

Battle Circuit

Battle Circuit is an action "beat 'em up" game developed and published by Capcom for the CPS-2 arcade hardware for Japan and Europe in 1997.

Armored Warriors

Armored Warriors is a 1994 mecha-themed fighting action game released by Capcom as a coin-operated video game for their CP System II hardware.

Battletoads

Battletoads is a platformer video game developed by Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991.

Devil May Cry 1

Devil May Cry is a hack and slash beat 'em up video game developed and published by Capcom, released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2. Devil May Cry received prominent coverage in the video game media, high overall scores from professional reviewers, and has sold more than two million copies.

Devil May Cry 3

Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening is a hack and slash beat 'em up video game that was developed and published by Capcom, released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 (also ported to the PC in 2006).

Devil May Cry 2

Devil May Cry 2 is a hack and slash beat 'em up video game developed and published by Capcom in 2003 exclusively for the PlayStation 2.

Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4 is a hack and slash beat 'em up video game that was published and developed by Capcom in 2008 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows platforms.

God Of War

God of War is a third person action-adventure video game developed by SCE Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The first installment in the God of War series, it was first released on March 22, 2005 for the PlayStation 2 video game console.

God Of War 2

God of War II is a third person action-adventure video game developed by SCE Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. First released for the PlayStation 2 video game console on March 13, 2007.

God Of War 3

God of War III is a third person action-adventure video game developed by SCE Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 on March 16, 2010.

Bayonetta

Bayonetta is a third-person action game video game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 developed by Platinum Games in cooperation with publisher Sega.

Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden is an action-adventure game developed by Team Ninja for the Xbox video game console. It went through five years of development before its release by Tecmo in 2004.

Ninja Gaiden 2

Ninja Gaiden II is an action-adventure video game developed by Team Ninja and published by Microsoft Corporation in 2008. It was released worldwide for the Xbox 360 in June 2008.

Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe is a video game developed by Capcom's Production Studio 4 for the Nintendo GameCube. It was originally released in 2003 as a part of the Capcom Five under director Hideki Kamiya and producer Atsushi Inaba.

Viewtiful Joe 2

Viewtiful Joe 2 was developed by Clover Studio and published by Capcom in 2004 for GameCube and PlayStation 2 (PS2).

Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers is a beat 'em up console video game independently developed by The Behemoth and published by Microsoft Game Studios in 2008 for the Xbox Live Arcade, and then in 2010 for the PlayStation Network.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Muramasa: The Demon Blade is an action role playing game developed by Vanillaware and published by Marvelous Entertainment in Japan, Rising Star Games in Europe, and Ignition Entertainment in North America for the Wii. The game was released in Japan on April 9, 2009.

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an action-adventure game developed by MercurySteam and Kojima Productions and published by Konami.

Sengoku 3

Sengoku 3 is a side-scrolling beat up game developed by Noise Factory and published by SNK on October 25, 2001.

Guardian Heroes

Guardian Heroes is a 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up and hack & slash action RPG video game developed by Treasure and released in 1996 for the Sega Saturn video game console

Gekido

Gekido is a beat 'em up for the PlayStation game console. The game uses a fast paced beat 'em up system, with many bosses and comic-book inspired graphics.

Fighting Force

Fighting Force is a 1997 3D beat 'em up developed by Core Design and published by Eidos in the same lines of classics such as Final Fight and Streets of Rage. It was released for the PlayStation, Windows and Nintendo 64.

Sword Of The Berserk: Guts Rage

Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage is a hack and slash action video game for the Dreamcast based on the popular Berserk manga by Kentarō Miura.

Odin Sphere

Odin Sphere is a 2D fantasy action RPG video game. Developed by Vanillaware and localized and published by Atlus for the PlayStation 2 in 2007.

Die Hard Arcade

Die Hard Arcade is the licensed North American, European and Australian version of the Japanese video game Dynamite Deka. The game is a beat 'em up licensed from the Die Hard movie.

MadWorld

MadWorld is a beat 'em up video game developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega. It was released for the Wii on February 10, 2009.

Dante's Inferno

Dante's Inferno is a 2010 action-adventure video game developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles.

Shank

Shank is a 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up developed by Klei Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts in2010 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows.

Shank 2

Shank 2 is a sequel to a 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up video game Shank by Klei Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on February 7, 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows, and Xbox 360.

Maximum Carnage

Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage is a scrolling fighting game for the Super NES and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, developed by Software Creations and published by LJN (a subsidiary of Acclaim) in 1994.

Mutation Nation

Mutation Nation is a beat 'em up arcade game that was developed and released by SNK for the Neo Geo Japanese arcade and home systems in 1991 while the English versions were released in 1992.

Otogi

Otogi: Myth of Demons is a hack and slash action game by From Software, published by Sega for the Xbox.

Launch
Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d

Tiki-Toki Timeline Maker - Make beautiful timelines you can share on the web Tiki-Toki Desktop - Create interactive timelines and share them on your computer

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send questions or feedback to the below email addresses.

Before contacting us, you may wish to visit our FAQs page which has lots of useful info on Tiki-Toki.

We can be contacted by email at: hello@tiki-toki.com.

You can also follow us on twitter at twitter.com/tiki_toki.

If you are having any problems with Tiki-Toki, please contact us as at: help@tiki-toki.com

Close

Edit this timeline

Enter your name and the secret word given to you by the timeline's owner.

3-40 true Name must be at least three characters
3-40 true You need a secret word to edit this timeline

Checking details

Please check details and try again

Go
Close