Happy Boxing Day everybody! I hope you had a great day yesterday and got all the presents you were hoping for. Today we thought we’d give you something non-Christmassy while still sticking with the theme, by giving you our top five boxing games.
Boxing games can be a little hit-and-miss (pun intended). Whether it be great gameplay but not enough modes or fantastic graphics but a terrible story, it seems to be hard to get it right; but I believe my top five of all time gets the balance perfectly right.
5. Knockout Kings 2001
This game had everything you could want in a boxing title and more. You could choose between forty past and present (at the time) champions, and there were several different modes including a pretty in-depth career mode – something previous games never quite archived until this one. Available on the PlayStation and the PlayStation 2, Knockout Kings was a great game and if you never played it you totally missed out.
4. Ready to Rumble Boxing: Round 2
The second installment of the series is by far one of the better boxing games ever made. You could choose from two different playing modes: Arcade and Championship. In the first you had to train your boxer and build him up in your gym, trying to earn money by winning fights; and the second was just good old-fashioned fun, where you could brawl without having to do all the training. The overall look of the title is brightly coloured and very vibrant, which was very appealing to me as a kid.
3. Fight Night Round 3
Fight Night Round 3 stands out for the fine-tuning of the gameplay of the original title, and the addition of graphics that were a major improvement over anything that had come before. The first Fight Night marks the beginning of boxing games as we know them today but in my opinion it wasn’t until Round 3 that the franchise really cemented itself as the market leader. It took a lot of the great gameplay of the Victorious Boxers series and improved it, added realism with the visuals, and included a large selection of real boxers. This game represents a turning point and Fight Night hasn’t looked back since.
2. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
This one is pure nostalgia for me: it was the first boxing game I ever touched and I remember playing it continuously with my brother and dad. It’s not realistic and it’s very old, but it’s just too damn good to put down. It’s one of the few titles that are decades old but still fun today; the gameplay is addictive, the characters are memorable, the controls are flawless, and the simple graphics are dated but clear and consistent. Punch-Out!! is the first iconic boxing video game ever.
The graphics of Fight Night Champion are probably the best I’ve ever seen when it comes to boxing video games, and I also love the much-improved control system. It’s a little difficult at first to master but after a few hours it just flows with ease. This is one of those titles that gets better the more you play it; the story mode is like watching a good Rocky movie with characters you care about and a protagonist you’re rooting for all the way through. I really hope the Fight Night franchise stays on this path – it will stay unrivaled for years to come.
I hope you enjoyed my list and I also hope you have a great rest of Christmas. Now go get back to your PS4s and Xbox Ones before they miss you.