Beat'em up games that simply allow you to beat the crap out of anything. Monster, punks, thugs, aliens... the list goes on. Most of the best beat'em ups are on the Arcade (through arcade emulators such as MAME and FinalBurn Neo) as well as a handful of titles from various consoles, handhelds and PCs.
The movie may have sucked but this MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT. Take control of a military cyborg or Predator and lash out at the encroaching alien swarm and corrupt Weyland-Yutani corporation. Developed by Capcom, so expect some very smooth controls and SHOULDER CANNON!JUMP KICK! varied movesets. Bar none the best beat 'em up on the arcade.
Almost similar to Captain Commando, now with 110% more awesome. Has a neat little shop mode in between missions where you can buy improved movesets, extensions to your lifebar and continues. Of the eccentric cast (a child on a pink ostrich? A talking plant monster? The fuck?) only a fraction of them are useful; like Cyber Blue, who utterly stomps shit like Ken from Street Fighter (Shoryu Reppa? Clever, Capcom). One of the best beat 'em ups exclusive to the arcade.
Three players can control Rash, Zitz and Pimple, each with their own Smash Hit attacks. Be warned, this is a VERY long game, and it's just as tough as the rest of the Battletoads series. Unlike the rest of the games, attacks involving something sharp or extremely heavy will produce blood, and it's the only game were you can play as any of the three toads.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
3 player simultaneous beat 'em up. Fight dinosaurs, drive cars, and shoot guns, all in the dystopian future. Extreme amounts of awesome.
Choose one of four superhero characters to smash and bash through enemies. Notable for its gruesome death sequences.
A watered down Punch-Out!! in RPG format, IN THE GODDAMN MIDDLE AGES. Move the joystick up and down to use your shield to block incoming attacks and power up for a counterattack. Collect gold and experience, save wenches and discover new loot. Requires quick precision to not get your shit slapped as the game is balls hard when played alone.
While not a traditional beat 'em up you do beat the shit out of a bunch of enemies. Think of it as a "third-person beat 'em up". Yeah, I made that up. Deal with it.
Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom
A classic arcade beat 'em up with tons of depth. Further expanded on the RPG fusion by incorporating an inventory, magick and multiple paths through the high fantasy realms of D&D. Up to four players.Arcade perfect port on the Saturn, but only supports two players. Expensive as fuck too. Fortunately, both this and Mystara are part of the Chronicles of Mystara compilation. Check it out!
Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow over Mystara
The amazing sequel toTower of Doom. Features two new characters (a male Wizard and female Thief), branching pathways with magic items and tons of secrets which add to its replayability. The controls were reworked from the original and streamlined. Hard to get tired of this one. Arcade perfect port on the Saturn, but only supports two players. Expensive as fuck too. Re-released on 2013 along with Tower of Doom as Chronicles of Mystara
The mayor's daughter has been kidnapped by gangsters. Instead of asking for some bad dudes to save her, MIKE HAGGAR and his boys, Guy and Cody, personally decide to take care of business.
Styled after Conan the Barbarian, Golden Axe is a beat 'em up that features visceral weapon combos and a powerful, tiered magic system. You can even hijack enemies' mounts to tear through their lines.
Rereleased all over the goddamn place.
Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder
Thought Golden Axe was boring? Fuck your theory. Completely reworked roster with an imbalanced female centaur, an imp, and a giant with a dwarf on his back. It's got some new mounts too: giant scorpions, bone dragons and praying mantises. The sprites and artwork have some amazing detail and zest. Just look at that arcade flyer, it OOZES manliness.