The game can be played by up to two players simultaneously, with each player controlling a different character. Before the game begins, the player chooses between the three main characters; Haggar, Maki and Carlos. Each has his or her own fighting style and attributes. Maki is the weakest but has faster attacks, Haggar is the strongest but also the slowest, and Carlos has all-round attributes.
The controls consists of the d-pad and two buttons for attacking and jumping. The player character can move in any of the eight directions, but can only face and attack to the left or right like in most beat-'em-ups. Pressing both buttons simultaneously performs a special move that attacks in both directions, though uses a little health. Players can also grab and throw opponents, as well as use various weapons such as 2x4s and nightsticks
- Carlos Miyamoto
- Maki Genryusai
- Mike Haggar
- Eliza and Mary
- Won Won - He is the boss of Mad Gear in the Hong Kong area (Round 1). Won Won is a former sailor who occupies the seaport section in Hong Kong. He is described as a brutal man who's respected by the area's local mafia, 108 Dragon. In the Japanese version of Final Fight 2, he battles with a meat cleaver but it was removed in the English localization.
- Freddie - He is the boss of the French area (Round 2). He is a former member of the US Marine Corps who got into trouble for the numerous fights he was a part of. He was discharged after he punched out a commanding officer. He became a mercenary hired by Mad Gear to lead their terrorism unit. His moves are similar to Andore's: A running attack where he charges into the player violently, a head crush move, a jumping attack, done after he knocks the player down, and a Piledriver, all of which are extremely damaging. He also has a rising knee attack, similar to Guile's, which may be why Guile himself can be seen in the background cheering him on. Despite his immense strength, most of his attacks can be easily countered, and he is a fairly simple boss to defeat.
- Bratken - He is the boss of the Holland area (Round 3). He is a huge, deformed and very strong individual who resembles Frankenstein's Monster. A mentally unstable man with the mindset of a child, he was bribed by Mad Gear with a roomful of toys to work for them. He is uncontrollable and kept in a prison when not needed. He has a throw move just like Abigail's, a weird flying jumpkick and a sliding punch, all of which do a lot of damage. This is a very dangerous boss. His flying jump kick is extremely damaging, but is very slow and easy to avoid.
- Philippe - He is the boss of the England area (Round 4). Philippe is a clown working for the R & B Circus, smuggling illegal items for Mad Gear through it. He is quite a resilient combatant, using his cane to grab his enemy and strike repeatedly with it if they get too close, dealing strict damage. He also has a sliding attack that knocks his opponent down instantly.
- Rena and Genryusai - Maki's sister and father, respectively, who are kidnapped and must be rescued by the end of the game. Rena is also Guy's girlfriend and fiance.
- Chun-Li - (cameo) - The Street Fighter veteran can be seen in the background at one point in the game eating noodles.
Set sometime after the events of the original game, the Mad Gear Gang has been revived under the leadership of a man named Retu in Japan. In retaliation for their early defeat, they had kidnapped Maki's sister Rena and her father Genryusai.
Two days after the abduction, Haggar receives a phone call from Maki (Rena's sister) informing him of the situation and tells him to meet up with her in Hong Kong. With Cody on vacation with Jessica and Guy away on a training mission, Haggar enlists the help of Carlos Miyamoto, a swordsman and boarder who is staying with Haggar. The two meet with Maki and decide to travel through various parts of Eurasia in search of Mad Gear's new hideout.
Final Fight 2 consists of six stages or "rounds", as well as two bonus rounds. Each round takes place in a different country, with most rounds featuring more than one level. At the end of each round the player will face a boss character unique to that round. The rounds are Hong Kong, France, Bonus Stage, Holland, England, Bonus Stage, Italy and Japan.
- The game underwent changes for versions released outside of Japan; Won Won no longer wields a meat cleaver, and Mary and Eliza were replaced with Leon and Robert.
- Instead of an American city like Metro City, the game takes place primarily in various European and Asian cities and landmarks, thereby giving the game its own distinct look.
- Cody does not appear in the game.
- In the American cover art, by looking closely, one can spot Damnd at the left corner of the illustration, despite him not appearing in the game. Also, the Andore which Maki knocks out in the background was drawn just like his knockout sprite; plus, he wears a white tanktop, like Abigail's.
- There is a cheat code in the game that activates different-colored versions of playable characters for the second player, which can be very handy in case two players can choose the same character with that code intact.
Planner: Hyper Mickey, Hyper Bengie, Mizusima-Ya
Actor Design: Hajime‑Chan, Nabe‑Chan, Mighty Hama, Ukabin, Patriot
BG Design: Ryutaro's Mama, Jun‑Bany-, Hidep-, Dai, Chu‑Pon
Title Design: S.Yamashita
Program: Kanekon, Imo, Mono@Miho, Piro Papa, Ans, Yu‑Kun
Music: Bun Bun, Mari, Yuki, Setsuo, Yuko, Anie
Sound Effect: Anie
Special Thanks: Fujii, Kagii, Taka-P, C-Chan, Ushi
Presented by: Capcom