Two-button fighting games are a rare breed. Even back in the olden days of two-button controllers, most fighting games were in the arcades and weren't subject to a console's limitations.
Still, there are a few out there. And some of them are actually pretty amazing. Here's my list of the best two-button fighters.
Released only in Japan, Joy Mech Fight was one of the first fighting games to implement using button combos. Fighting move inputs would include pressing A and B together or pressing back and then forward to launch the fighter forward Blanca-style. The story was similar to Mega Man - you unlocked fighters and made them "good" after beating them with your robot.
A revolutionary fighting game created in 1984. The arcade machine cleverly used two joysticks as controls. One was to control movement and the other was to control fighting moves. Karate Champ was ported to the NES, but it played horribly.
Best known currently for being hated by the Best Friends Zaibatsu. But this is my list and I absolutely love this game.
The game takes fighter distance into account, firing off projectiles at a far range and melee attacks at close range. Throw moves can be used at any range and are called "captures."
Beyond that, it's mostly a game of rock, paper, scissors. Block beats attack. Attack beats capture. Capture beats block.
Punch, punch, punch! Though the Wii remotes may not be sensitive enough to give a realistic feeling of boxing, this is the closest you can get as far as video games go. Honestly, I'm surprised this isn't a genre in itself.
This is a deceptively complex game. There are evasion maneuvers, trajectory changes, counters, fake-outs. There are strategies for offensively playing and calculating the angles of the fighters' kicks, and there are strategies for playing defensively and using special moves to win by timeout. And that's just scratching the surface. Truly, an inspired two-button fighter.