Now, fighting and racing games may not be the system sellers in the gaming world that compete with the likes of Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, but they do have an important place in the industry.

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They represented niches of the gaming audience who love to compete and get lost in the details of both cars and the intricacies of fighting game combos and strategies. Both see their hits and misses, but which are the best of the last half-decade? Let's now take a look at the 10 best fighting and racing games of the last 5 years, according to Metacritic.

10 Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition (86)

killer instinct

Gamers are now living in a world where games can launch in a troubled place but then be polished and completely different products in a year's time. Killer Instinct may have been one of the first to do this in the modern era as its 2015 release of its Definitive Edition completely rewrote the fighting game community's opinion on the 2014 Xbox One console exclusive.

The release of Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition saw the game's Metacritic score jump from a lousy 73 to a well-respected aggregate of 86.


9 Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (87)

street fighter v

Humans love underdog stories and with Street Fighter V it's nice to see the turnaround the game has seen since its initial release. After years of community feedback and professional criticisms, Capcom managed to mold Street Fighter V into a product people actually wanted to play.

The Metacritic score of 87, a 10-point jump from the original release's score of 77, is reflective of a game that was finally in a place where it felt like a finished product. At launch, it was criticized for feeling like an unfinished cash grab by Capcom.

8 Injustice 2 (87)

Injustice 2

It doesn't get talked about enough, but Injustice 2 has done a lot for the fighting game genre in terms of making it accessible to casual fans. It not only delivers the solid gameplay associated with the Mortal Kombat series NetherRealm Studios is known for but also adds an engaging story experience that ties in fighting genre gameplay pretty nicely.

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A Metacritic score of 87 doesn't only make it one of the best fighting games of the last 5 years, but it's good enough to also land it as one of the best superhero games of all-time in terms of Metacritic reception.

7 Dragon Ball FighterZ (87)

dragon ball fighterz

Despite anime being one of the faster-growing sections of entertainment globally, the video game space has been riddled with low-quality licensed projects that never meet expectations. That was until Dragon Ball FighterZ was released in 2018 to universal critical acclaim.

The talented developers at Arc System Works not only delivered an expertly designed fighting game set in the Dragon Ball universe but managed to make the game look like a still frame from the anime itself. Its Metacritic of 87 is one of the highest scores an anime-licensed game has ever received.

6 Inertial Drift (89)

inertial drift

Inertial Drift is an arcade racing game that was released in 2020 and puts the genre on its head with a focus on twin-stick controls. Its score of 89 on Metacritic is reflective of its PC release that scored significantly higher than the console version which landed in the low 70s.

The game was developed by Level 91 Entertainment and most of its praise is based on it delivering an energetic arcade experience focused on fun rather than realism, something the genre seemed to lack. Critics described it as a shot of caffeine to a genre in cruise control.

5 F1 2020 (91)

f1 2020

The F1 series is an annual racing franchise that is expertly developed by Codemasters, and three of the last five releases technically belong on this list. For the sake of variety, only the highest scoring entry, F1 2020, was included.

Codemasters, specifically the studio in Birmingham, is responsible for every release in the F1 annualized series. The other titles that would make the cut alongside F1 2020's score of 91 on Metacritic are F1 2017 with a score of 86, and F1 2019 which received a score of 89. It may be niche, but it delivers almost every year.

4 Forza Horizon 3 (91)

forza 3

The first of two Forza Horizon titles to make the list, Forza Horizon 3 may not have innovated on the series' formula but it definitely helped it reach the broader casual audience. It took the series to the vast outback of Australia where players got to experience the beauty and jaw-dropping landscape of the land down under.

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The only games in the entire Forza series to score higher than this 2016 hit are Forza Motorsport 3 (92) in 2009 and its follow-up Forza Horizon 4 (92) in 2018. There's nothing quite like seeing a kangaroo in the wild while your driving at 100+ mph speeds.

3 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (92)

mario kart 8

Mario Kart as a series gets the same disrespect from the greater racing game community as Super Smash Bros. does from the fighting game community. At its core, it is a racing franchise, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the crown jewel of Nintendo's family favorite arcade racer.

Though it's technically a port of the Wii U release with added features, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Metacritic score of 92 is warranted considering the Wii U was a failure in terms of sales. The Nintendo Switch port added enough to make it feel new and refreshing.

2 Forza Horizon 4 (92)

forza 4

The most recent Forza Horizon title, Forza Horizon 4, isn't only the best racing game of the last 5 years, but it's likely why Playground Games was purchased by Microsoft. Unlike the Forza Motorsport franchise that is aimed at car enthusiasts and self-proclaimed gearheads, Forza Horizon is made for casual car fans who desire a high-quality racing game with arcade elements.

Forza Horizon 4's Metacritic score of 92 wasn't surprising to anyone, and it's nice to see a studio rewarded for its level of innovation and craftsmanship in a niche gaming genre.

1 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (93)

super smash ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ranking at the top might upset a good chunk of people. Despite this series' focus on combat, there's a contingent who believes that Super Smash Bros. titles aren't fighting games.

Thankfully, critics do not agree and recognize the series magnum opus, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as an expertly crafted fighting game. It sits as the best in its genre over the last 5 years with a Metacritic score of 93.

NEXT: The 10 Best Western Role-Playing Games Of All-Time (According To Metacritic)

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