We love a good brawler, so are loving the announcement that one of our favourite retro brawler series is making a come back with Streets of Rage 4 slated for release this year.
So, to get you (and ourselves) into the mood, we’ve looked back over the classics of the genre and pulled together our six favourite games to get you in the mood for a random punch-up in the streets with some thugs.
Golden Axe II (1991)

You might be wondering why we’ve chosen the second title instead of the first, and it’s simply because so many lessons were learned between the two titles. The gameplay and animation was smoother, the special attacks more visually impressive, and the settings far better rendered than the original in 1989.
Also, the move to make the trio more individual in their gameplay, with the characters having different reach, and the return of the Duel Mode, make this superior to its predecessor. The second battle for Yuria, this time against the wonderfully-named Dark Guld, is just as enjoyable to play now as it was back in 1991.
Altered Beast (1988)

Okay, I’ll grant that this isn’t really that good a game, as the gameplay is slow and shockingly clunky to play. But, what it lacks in good gameplay it more than makes up for in charm. From the opening “Rise from your Grave” to the ludicrous Were-Bear transformation, the game is an enjoyable romp through ancient Greece.
Furthermore, Altered Beast was tremendously difficult, as home gaming hadn’t even began to shake off the penny-pinching arcade strategy. So, really you were going to be playing this for a long time just to overcome the difficulty. Oh, and it’s great fun in two-player too, with double Were-Dragons being so chaotic it causes hilarious frame rate drops.
Double Dragon (1987)

What’s not to love