If you’re looking for a great party game, Super Smash Bros. is definitely one of your best bets.

But what if you don’t own a console? What if you and you’re friends don’t care about Nintendo’s stuff one bit? Well, we’ve picked a couple great alternatives!

Platform brawlers differ from “regular” fighting games in one thing. Instead of draining your opponent’s health bar to 0, your task is to deal enough damage to them so that you can finally land that one final blow which will knock them off the arena for good.

It proved to be a very popular formula and Super Smash Bros. quickly influenced a whole lot of similar games, a lot of them very good.

This list includes a wide variety of examples, available on PCs and consoles alike. They don’t just copy Super Smash Bros., either, as they usually do their own thing. Without further ado, let’s take a look:

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Release date:2021-10-05
Genre:Action
Developer:Fair Play Labs

This one’s a perfect pick if you always wanted to, say, kick the shells of them Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as SpongeBob SquarePants and his buddy, Patrick.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl brings all the Nickelodeon franchises and shows together, offering a memorable roster of characters from the likes of the aforementioned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as Rugrats, Danny Phantom, The Loud House, Hey Arnold!, and more. This gives you access to a huge roster of characters, each with a distinct gameplay style and unique combat moves.

And it’s a fantastic game for some local multiplayer for up to four players, to boot, with twenty available levels, each themed after Nickelodeon’s shows. If your friends are not exactly into brawlers, no worries, just go online and duke it out with other players to show them who’s boss.

Key features
  • An impressive roster of characters culled from Nickelodeon’s shows, each with a distinct personality and combat style
  • Twenty different arenas to duke it out on, inspired by iconic locations from Nickelodeon’s shows
  • All this allows for interesting crossovers between the franchises
  • Local and online multiplayer for up to four players

Rivals of Aether

Release date:2017-03-28
Genre:Fighting
Developer:Aether Studios

Here’s something to consider if you’re looking for an original franchise, coupled with pixel art-based visual style.

Rivals of Aether presents a world where warring civilizations summon the titular Rivals, powerful beings capable of wielding the power of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, to dominate their opponents. Each of the available characters (who seem to be somewhat inspired by Pokémon) boasts a unique fighting style and a set of special abilities. There are also some fighters from other franchises as well, including Shovel Knight and the Ori and Sein duo.

As far as the gameplay options are concerned, there is quite a variety of modes to choose from, including 1 on 2, 2 on 2, and free-for-all. You can also practice in a robust training mode. Rivals of Aether allows for both local and online play, so it might be a perfect choice for both a party game or a competitive one, if you’re willing to climb the Ranked ladder.

Key features
  • Several distinct fighters wielding the powers of classical elements: Air, Water, Fire, and Earth
  • Their roster includes characters from other franchises: Shovel Knight, Ori and Sein
  • Quite a variety of game modes to choose from, including Tetherball
  • Unique, pixel art-based visual style

Shovel Knight Showdown

Release date:2019-12-10
Genre:Action
Developer:Yacht Club Games

Speaking of Shovel Knight and retro aesthetics, this uncanny hero has also received his own platform fighter spin-off which is definitely worth your consideration.

Image credit: Yacht Club Games

Shovel Knight Showdown features sixteen different fighters, heroes and villains alike, and numerous arenas to battle on. You can either take on the Story Mode, duke it out online or locally in a selection of other game types (up to four players are supported), or practice your moves in the Practice Mode.

The game is certainly a worthy addition to the platform brawler canon, as it features unique mechanics and is surely a great pick for parties. If you love this type of fighting games, you’ll most likely enjoy Shovel Knight Showdown very much.

Key features
  • Based on a beloved indie game, Shovel Knight
  • Lovely pixelated graphics
  • Sixteen fighters to choose from
  • A wide range of available arenas

Slap City

Release date:2020-09-17
Genre:Action
Developer:Ludosity

Here we have another fun platform brawler made by the creators of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. While Slap City looks silly on the outside, make no mistake, it’s as serious as it gets!

The developers aimed to make Slap City as accessible to newcomers as possible, so it might be a perfect starting point for those interested in the genre. Then again, it’s in fact deep as far as gameplay is concerned, so it’s one of those games which are easy to learn, but hard to master. You get a nice selection of different characters, each with a unique style, and you can take part in battles for up to four players. You can also practice with bots or go ranked. It’s all up to you.

What if you’re tired of fighting and would like to try something else instead? Slap City has a special mode for this particular occasion: Slap Ball. Your task is to slap the ball into the opposing team’s basket. The longer it stays in the air, the more points it’s going to be worth, which opens up some interesting possibilities. Story Mode is also available for those who prefer the single-player aspect.

Key features
  • For newcomers and genre veterans alike
  • Up to four players can play together, either locally or online
  • Several fighters to choose from, each with a unique playstyle
  • If you’re fed up with fighting, you can try the Slap Ball mode instead

Roof Rage

Release date:2018-05-26
Genre:Action
Developer:Early Melon

If you always wanted to take the fight to the rooftops, Roof Rage will be your jam. But you’ll have to learn to deflect roof tiles others will be throwing at you!

Roof Rage seeks to strike a perfect balance between a party game (which platform fighters in fact are) and a competitive one. You can play as one of the 13 different characters, each with a unique fighting style. You duke it out on a variety of rooftops inspired by real-life cultural landmarks. You can battle with AI of adjustable difficulty, you can even fight with up to 8 players at once in the local multiplayer mode.

Couple this with a fun soundtrack and pixel art visuals and you get a great little game that surely feels like one of the genre’s hidden gems. The developers are constantly updating Roof Rage and introducing new content, so it’s only going to get bigger and bigger.

Key features
  • Duke it out on the rooftops
  • You can throw roof tiles at your opponents (and deflect them, too)
  • Up to eight players can play together via the local multiplayer mode
  • Cool pixelated aesthetics

Brawlout

Release date:2017-04-20
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Angry Mob Games

Here’s another contender for the title of the best platform fighter on the market. Brawlout, just like Roof Rage, tries to strike balance between being a fun game for parties and a serious competitive title.

Gameplay-wise, Brawlout is based on pretty much the same premise as Super Smash Bros., but there’s one considerable difference. Well, two, actually. First, there’s no blocking here. Second, fighters cannot grab each other. Instead, the game is centered around combos and filling your Rage Meter. Other than that, the goal is still simple: deal enough damage to your enemies so that you can kick them out of the arena.

The game offers modes for 2 – 4 players, both locally and online. There are some training and single-player options available as well. In line with a whole lot of other platform fighters, Brawlout also features several cross-over characters from other games and franchises: Yooka-Layle, Dead Cells, Hyper Light Drifter, and Guacamelee.

Key features
  • The gameplay here is based on combos, but the general idea is to kick your opponents out of the arena
  • A wide variety of available modes for up to four players
  • No blocking
  • A couple of crossover characters in addition to an all-original roster

Brawlhalla

Release date:2014-04-30
Genre:Action
Developer:Blue Mammoth Games

There’s one big difference between Brawlhalla and the rest of the games on this list, namely this one is free to play for a change.

Image credit: Blue Mammoth Games

That doesn’t mean it’s any worse than any other title here. In fact, Brawlhalla might be one of the best Smash Bros. inspired games on the market! The rules are familiar: deal enough damage to your enemy so that you kick them out of the arena for good. Alternatively, you can prevent them from coming back to the platforms and let gravity do the rest. You can also pick up and use weapons, including swords, bombs, and the like.

The game offers quite a variety of different fighters to choose from, each with a distinct fighting style and a couple of skin variants. There’s also quite a handful of crossover characters here, mostly available as skins, but Rayman and Ezio Auditore da Firenze are separate fighters. You also have various modes from, including local and online multiplayer.

Brawlhalla is a free-to-play game.

Key features
  • It’s available free of charge (but there are microtransactions present)
  • Over fifty available fighters, plus another fifty crossover skins
  • You can also play as Rayman and Ezio
  • Cross-play

Lethal League Blaze

Release date:2018-10-24
Genre:Indie
Developer:Team Reptile

The final game on our list is an interesting mixture between a platform fighter and dodgeball.

Yeah, it’s certainly an interesting take on 2D fighting games, with its gameplay centered around hitting your opponents with a ball. As hard as possible, of course! Start off by trying out some simpler moves before you move on to some cool combos and stuff.

Just like every other game on this list, Lethal League Blaze comes with various gameplay modes to choose from. Up to four players can play together, either online or locally. There’s a whole lot of other options to pick from as well if you want to spice things up with stuff like one-shot kills and the like.

Key features
  • A fun sequel to Lethal League
  • You can explore the illegal world of the anti-gravity ball game
  • Up to four players can play together
  • A wide variety of game modes to choose from

As you can see, there’s a whole lot of alternatives to Super Smash Bros. on the market. Some of these games just copied and expanded upon the gameplay of the OG, others took the original idea and did fun things with it. Anyway, if you’re into platform fighters, you should totally love these picks. Be sure to check out G2A.COM for more!