Top 5 Licensed Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up Arcade Games

Welcome, one and all, to another list post! Continuing on from last week’s theme, we’re sticking with video games. Now, most of my time in the arcades came in the 90’s. Do you know what I noticed? There were a lot of brawlers! If you weren’t battling in one-on-one battles, you were duking it out on the streets in a scrolling beat ‘em up. Best of all, some of the games were super familiar! So, these are my…Top 5 Licensed Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up Arcade Games!

captain bucky o'hare ohare o hare blinky the robot deadeye duck jenny the aldebaran cat first mate toad wars

Bucky O’Hare

This 1992 release from Konami was based on the kid’s cartoon that was based on the comic of the same name. While the series didn’t reach the same popularity as some of its contemporaries, I did actually own a bunch of figures from the show. I never did manage to find the comic, sadly. This game is one that I’ve written about before though, and it’s a wonderfully fun title. It features a small but decent cast of playable characters and mixes up the gameplay nicely when it needs to.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The oldest release on the list, this 1989 game also came from Konami and was based on a kid’s show that was based on a comic. The Turtles seem to pop up in every generation, which is a real testament to how enduring the franchise is. The game is much the same. Despite one of the more straightforward titles of these five, it’s fondly remembered both in the arcade original, and in the NES home port.

The Simpsons

Sticking with Konami, this 1991 release is probably the best one on the list when it comes to capturing the pure feel of the series it’s based on. Strange when you consider The Simpsons doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of shows that would make good fighting titles, isn’t it? The four-player version of this cabinet was an absolute blast, and the way you could have characters do duo moves was a really nice touch.


I swear, not everything on this list is by Konami. This 1992 release is though. While I did prefer the Mega Drive games that featured the titular mutants – I mean, you could play as Gambit! – this particular cabinet had an unusual feature: by using a second monitor below the main one and some clever mirror positioning, it gave the impression of it having a double-wide screen. Why? Because these versions of the cabinet allowed for 6 players! Generally thought of as one of the best of its type, this one is still listed as a favourite for a lot of gamers.

Alien Vs Predator

See? This one is by Capcom! Released in 1994, it combined the two popular franchises while keeping some familiar faces present on the screen. Dutch is, after all, the Dutch from the Predator films, albeit a cyber-enhanced version. There’s even a hint that he was base human used as the model for the Terminators in their franchise, which kinda makes this an AvPvT game! The biggest selling point for me though was being able to play as the two Predators and slicing my way through hordes of different types of Xenomorph. Repetitive, like many games of this style, but the franchise crossover makes it super fun!


So, those were my five. But what about you? Did you have a favourite licensed fighter in the arcades? Did you ever play these titles? Let me know in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “Top 5 Licensed Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up Arcade Games

  1. Wow, I got a huge nostalgia buzz sincce I’ve played all of these games at some point in my childhood. I almost forgot about Alien Vs. Predator and how that predated the movie crossover. If you’ve played the game Cannon Spike, the character Simone was an homage to Lynn Kurosawa in that game.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t aware of that connection, so maybe Simone is Machiko twice removed except she’s a Black French soldier. Funny how characters can have different connections like how Mega Man was based on Astro Boy for example.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s true. I think part of the reason why they couldn’t use Kurosawa in Cannon Spike was due to the rights with the Alien owners (Fox?) being tied to the original game. It was also a crossover featuring Charlie and Cammy from Street Fighter, Mega Man, BB Hood from Darkstalkers, and Arthur from Ghosts n Goblins.

        Liked by 1 person

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