DAR Games: 8 Important Boxing Video Games

By @TrueGodImmortal 

So, once upon a time, the greatness of boxing video games graced the world. It was a really interesting time in gaming, and I miss the ability to play those games. Who wouldn't love a great Fight Night game now to play as Floyd again, or Anthony Joshua, this version of Canelo, GGG, Deontay Wilder, and more, right? Well, while we wait to see if a new boxing game comes along, we can reflect on the games from the past that were important in the boxing game genre. Let's take a look back at 8 boxing video games over the years.

*Fight Night Champion

-I fully believe this is the best boxing game of all time. The Fight Night series was amazing overall and quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to sports gaming, at least on the fighting level, and while I will discuss another edition of this series later on, I think this game takes the cake. One could argue Rounds 3 and 4 are on par, and they are, but Champion takes the things we loved about those games and expands on it and makes it better. I do prefer the career mode on the previous games slightly, but the gap between the career modes are very very small. Playing as all of your favorite boxers and delivering the pain to whoever stands across from you in the ring is so much more fun on this game than just about any boxing game in history. The Tyson vs Ali battle you always dreamed about is here and better than ever.

*Knockout Kings 2000

-I have always loved the EA Sports games and I think the way they transitioned from Knockout Kings to Fight Night was pretty smooth. Knockout Kings was a really good game, as the first one definitely grabbed the gamer's attention, but to me, the best of the series is Knockout Kings 2000, which showcases Muhammad Ali on the front cover. Of course, the GOAT would be on the cover of one of the GOAT boxing video games. The gameplay and mechanics are solid and the career mode is pretty good here as well, making for a lot of fun. Being able to make some classic boxing matches and even a few boxing dream matches will keep you busy for hours and Knockout Kings pretty much knocked out the competition with pure boxing video game entertainment.

*Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

-So, imagine a game that gives you the fun factor without the serious nature of some boxing games and allows you to test your skills with colorful imaginary personalities that resemble the successful Punch-Out games. That is exactly what Ready 2 Rumble was. The gameplay was solid, the fighters were pretty hilarious and fun to use (Afro Thunder FTW), and playing this on the Dreamcast was always a great time. Sure, you could play it on N64 or even Playstation, but Dreamcast is where you got the maximum experience for this game, as crazy as that may sound.

*Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing

-Imagine knocking out the champion Mike Tyson then having your own video game pop up. That was what made Buster Douglas Knockout such a funny game when released. It came our on the SEGA Genesis and actually had solid AI, good mechanics, and a lot of fun imaginary boxers to enjoy. Buster is the only actual real life boxer here, but there are enough characters on the game to really have the average boxing fan and gamer sitting in front of the television for hours.

*Mike Tyson's Punch-Out

-So, he was the man at the time and one of the best boxers of his generation. He was an enigma. He was a fierce fighter. A heavy puncher. He was Mike Tyson. And he would be a huge part of the Nintendo system being successful, as this game is one of the most iconic NES games ever. It is a game that is virtually easy to pick up and play, as it allows for the most casual gamer to enjoy it, which is something I always feel is important when looking at a game's legacy.

*Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing

-So, this is one of my personal favorite games from that era and it is one of the most well received boxing games of that generation. Evander was on top of the boxing world at the time of release and this game would be a solid addition to his resume. The one drawback is that it is only Evander and over 25 imaginary fighters, but the gameplay is enough to keep you engaged. The follow-up to the game, Greatest Heavyweights is a little better in terms of roster, but this game has the better mechanics, fun factor, and overall gameplay. This was a definite impactful boxing game for the time it was in.

*Don King Presents Prizefighter

-So, this game for the Xbox 360 was a strange one. The Don King Presents was added for effect, but for the most part, I found myself bored playing this game. It wasn't bad necessarily, it just lacked the fire and the graphics of Fight Night, the premier boxing game of the era. I will give it a little bit of credit for the roster it has, with 40 officially licensed boxers here, including legends like Ken Norton, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, and more. Still, the gameplay leaves you wanting a little more of an intricate system, better mechanics, and just an overall better game. Clearly, this was not a win for 2K Sports.

*Fight Night Round 4

-So right before Champion released, this game was the king of the boxing ring. Honestly, one could argue this is still a better game than Champion and I'm not mad if you think that either. This game is so amazing and I can remember playing it over and over again, and somehow I never got tired of it. I was always a fan of the Fight Night series, but there was something about the 4th edition that just did something for me as a gamer. Maybe it was having two of my favorite boxers on the cover. Maybe it was the Legacy mode. Maybe it was having the chance to play as 48 licensed boxers, including the legends. Maybe it was the smooth and fluid mechanics and gameplay. Or, maybe it was a combination of all that. So many fun things came with this game and it is definitely right up there in the top 3 boxing games, especially in terms of the Fight Night series. Simply put, Fight Night Round 4 is a classic.



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