Whether you like DNF Duel for its chaotic gameplay, fascinating characters, or stellar online, there will undoubtedly be something else for you to pick up and learn whenever you feel burned out or just want to expand your fighting game library and knowledge.
Fighting games can be hard to get into, but whenever one sinks its teeth into you, your entire perspective changes, and you just want more. There’s no shortage of excellent anime fighting games or games that can scratch that DNF Duel itch, making them must-plays if you’ve been hooked. And luckily for you, many games will make you feel at home if you love what DNF Duel offers.
12 Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
If you’re a fan of DNF Duel’s anime aesthetic and character design, you likely also indulge yourself with actual anime shows and JRPGs, leading us to the logical first recommendation: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. This exceptional fighting game expertly blends the charm of the Persona series with the thrilling combat you’d expect from an anime fighting game.
Furthermore, if you enjoy the smooth and inviting online of DNF Duel, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is expected to receive a patch that enables rollback netcode. This update will undoubtedly make the game’s online matchmaking drastically smoother, making it an excellent experience for all players.
11 BlazBlue: Central Fiction
You can’t talk about anime fighters without bringing up one of the best games in the genre, BlazBlue: Central Fiction. While an odd game with an even stranger ensemble cast of characters, the gameplay is on another level and offers a unique experience in both its single-player and online content.
And, unlike Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, BlazBlue: Central Fiction has already been updated with a rollback netcode patch! However, at the moment, it’s only for the Steam version of the game, meaning the other versions of the game will still likely struggle online. Still, Central Fiction offers some of the best moment-to-moment gameplay in the genre and is worth experiencing, no matter which platform you own.
10 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
This next entry likely needs no introduction, but that won’t stop us from gushing over how phenomenal of an experience Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is and continues to be even as it comes to a close. If it’s the pure and untamed chaos of DNF Duel that you love, then Smash Ultimate is your next game. That is if you somehow avoided it all this time.
Where else can you smack Sephiroth upside the head with a hammer as Pikachu? Or make Solid Snake slip on a banana peel? That’s right, nowhere else, and that’s what makes this series so special and unique and a must-play if you crave nothing but unadulterated mayhem in your fighting games.
9 Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]
Despite its complex name, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] might be the best onboarding anime fighting game for newcomers, as it possesses one of the most detailed tutorials in the genre. While the online does lack rollback netcode, there is still plenty of things for you to experience in Under Night In-Birth if you enjoy single-player content or can tolerate some poor-quality matches from time to time.
Learning Under Night In-Birth’s systems, mechanics, and characters is thrilling and rewarding. Furthermore, these lessons apply to most anime fighters outside of the game, making In-Birth an excellent teaching tool for beginners. If DNF Duel hooked you and you want to get better at the genre while enjoying fast-paced and flashy action with incredible characters, give Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] a shot!
8 Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition
Though mechanically not an anime game nor comparable to the chaos going down in DNF Duel, Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition is still an excellent title that deserves your attention if you’re looking for something a bit more challenging. Despite its shaky launch, Street Fighter 5 has turned the ship around and has solidified itself as one of the must-play modern fighters, no matter your history of the series.
In a vacuum, Street Fighter 5 is one of the more simplistic iterations of the series, but none of that matters if you’ve never played a Street Fighter title before in your life. Learning how to perform target combos, links, utilize your V-Gauge, and much more will be a challenging task for you at first, but it is well worth the effort when everything finally starts clicking, and you start cleaning house online.
7 Granblue Fantasy: Versus
Granblue Fantasy: Versus may very well be the most similar game on this list to DNF Duel while also being incredibly different in key ways. While it lacks the ridiculously broken gameplay, it has a fantastic cast of characters and offers excellent single-player content that keeps you busy for quite some time. It’s also based on an already existing property that is a match made in heaven for an anime fighting game.
The one unfortunate downside of Granblue Fantasy: Versus is that it lacks rollback netcode, which can make the matchmaking borderline unplayable depending on where you live. Though ArcSys has stated they would like to add rollback to older titles, it’s unclear if Granblue Fantasy is on that list. Still, there’s so much to see and do in Granblue Fantasy: Versus that we strongly urge you to take the plunge into its world, especially if you see it on sale!
6 Killer Instinct (2013)
Even though it hasn’t received an update for the better part of six years, Killer Instinct is still an absolute blast to play online and has a dedicated player base that makes its matchmaking tolerable in terms of searching for, and finding, opponents. The roster of Killer Instinct is top-tier, with a matching quality of gameplay to compliment them.
Killer Instinct is in a similar boat as Street Fighter, where it’s not an anime fighter in terms of gameplay mechanics, but it simply does not matter when what’s here is this fun, rewarding, and exciting to experience. If you have Game Pass, give Killer Instinct a shot, you won’t regret it.
5 Skullgirls 2nd Encore
Perhaps one of the best indie fighting games of the past generation is Skullgirls 2nd Encore, an upgraded version of Skullgirls Encore that includes every DLC character, new modes, and a fully voiced story mode. There’s nothing quite like the gameplay or art direction of Skullgirls, but its off-the-wall character design makes it an absolute blast to hop in and experience.
Skullgirls 2nd Encore is an excellent title for those who loved the bizarre and out-of-control aspects of DNF Duel but want it to be a bit contained and balanced. Don’t get us wrong, Skullgirls is still an absurdly complex game with surprisingly deep systems and mechanics, but you won’t get trapped into an 80+ combo string against Striker for simply existing.
4 Guilty Gear Strive
Everyone probably saw this coming, but it deserves the recognition it’s been receiving and then some. Of course, we’re talking about Guilty Gear Strive, one of the best modern fighting games by a wide margin. Sure, Strive is a much different beast than its predecessors, but that’s fine as long as it executes what it sets out to do. And boy-oh-boy does it ever.
Daisuke and Company have delivered an absolute gem of a game with Guilty Gear Strive, which offers an exceptional cast of characters and adrenaline-pumping gameplay with stunning and beautifully animated gameplay that makes every action feel and look epic. If DNF Duel is your cup of tea, then Guilty Gear Strive is an entire gallon of it!
3 Dragon Ball FighterZ
Speaking of the beautiful wizardry of Arc System Works, let’s talk about another one of their captivating fighting games: Dragon Ball FighterZ. If you like mayhem, epic cutscenes, nonstop action, and so many particles and projectiles that you have no clue what’s going on, then this game is for you.
Not only does Dragon Ball FighterZ have a stellar story mode, but its action is equally as broken-feeling as DNF Duels, except with the budget of a Dragon Ball property. If the devastating and flashy combos of DNF Duel’s chaotic combat is why you keep coming back to it, then do yourself a favor and pick up one of the best anime fighting games money can currently get.
2 Tekken 7
We got to be honest, Tekken 7 almost didn’t make the cut, but it felt wrong to exclude one of the most exhilarating fighting games from the list. Yes, Tekken 7 is an entirely different fighting game than DNF Duel. So different, in fact, it’s almost criminal to recommend. But, we have a reason to include it, and that’s the Ranked Play, which is equally as life-consuming as DNF Duels.
Grinding Ranked Play in Tekken 7 is more fun than it has the right to be. Slowly climbing the ladder while seeing yourself gradually improve is one of the top five feelings in gaming, and you will be hooked the moment you find your character and move from 1st Dan to Bronze to Initiate and so forth. If you were bit by the Ranked Bug in DNF Duel, give Tekken 7’s a shot. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Finally, closing out the list, we have Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, another one of Eighting’s brilliantly chaotic fighting games. While we would have loved to include Marvel vs. Capcom 2 here, there’s no way to access it and play it online without jumping through loads of shady and totally illegal hoops, so we went to the next best thing.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 isn’t a terrible game by any stretch, and it was one of Eighting’s last fighting games before their return with DNF Duel many years later. If you love everything about DNF Duel, then the odds are in your favor regarding loving what’s present in this game. While the online is undoubtedly a ghost town, there’s so much good content in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 that you should be able to pick up and enjoy it even today!