Yes, but Golden Axe: Beast Rider did EVERYTHING wrong.
Maybe more beat 'em ups should be like River City Ransom, which blended beat 'em up combat with an open world environment. It was almost like a prototype of Grand Theft Auto or Yakuza. And maybe add some other elements, like give playable characters the option to equip weapons or carry healing objects. It could work for franchises like Final Fight or Streets of Rage, right? :)
Yakuza is actually a really good example I didn't think of until you said it. If developers were to make a beat 'em up, it would have to be closer to the styles of 16 bit games. I think adding an open world isn't going to do much for the game and will slow down the overall game like it did for MGS 5. This genre works most efficiently in a linear and straightforward manner. I heard that there was a Double Dragon game that was pretty good made a couple years back. River City Ransom was a really good game, but I'm not sure how some of its elements like open world would translate to other games.