The Gladiator is a 2D side-scrolling beat 'em-up game that puts players in the shoes of either Chu Xing Han, Greg Tien Ray, Wu-Ping, San Kuan Ging, Shiong Chien Chien and Huang Her. The story revolves around a sacred sword witch got two noble families mascaraed just for possessing it at the end of the Song's Dynasty. Each character has their own motives witch come down to taking revenge, personal gain and possession of the sword.
The player fights various eastern themed enemies and bosses and along the way health can be replenished with food dropped by defeated enemies. Three different paths (two normal and one easy) can be chosen in the arcade story mode. The player can do various kick, punch and rang/magic attacks. There is also a challenge mode were the player can fight the other fighters or bosses from the story mode.