The Best Boxing Video Games Ever

Although the sport of boxing isn’t nearly as popular as it once was, it still has a loyal following. And even though actual boxers themselves may not be the most interesting or charismatic, when it comes to pop culture, that is easily remedied. From Rocky to Raging Bull to Million Dollar Baby, Hollywood consistently releases boxing movies. And now with Creed being a critical and box office hit, that may spark further interest in pugilism in cinema.

Aside from movies, boxing has also been prevalent in video games. Many games have come out over the last few decades, some good and, well, some not so good. To learn about the very best, read on.

Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing

One of the better early games, this one tries to replicate the feel of being inside the ring. Players can duck as they box and throw a variety of different punches.

James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing

Remember Buster Douglas, the guy who knocked out Tyson? Well, he has his own boxing game and it’s pretty damn good. Described as a “rock ‘em, sock ‘em type of game” in an article on this boxing site, players got to fight several fictional characters, including one named Ironhead, which seems to be a loosely veiled shot at Iron Mike.

Foes of Ali

Foes of Ali is kind of a revolutionary boxing game. In addition to using real fighters that move like true boxers, the game also features authentic announcing, different camera angles, and real-life effects like blood.

Victorious Boxers: Ippo’s Road to Glory

A Japanese Manga boxing game, this one offers a very strong simulation of real boxing matches. Plus, it’s not just people pummeling each other; there’s a story within the game that makes it far more compelling.

Rocky

This game that came out in 2002 was—and may still be—the best Rocky console title. Players get to follow Rocky’s path from the first film through the fourth. In addition to the actual boxing, you get to train by running around Philadelphia and even pounding raw meat. And it’s not the only one of its kind out there. Although you don’t get to punch anyone, there are a couple of games on this platform that feature Rocky as well. Both the slots game and its arcade counterpart are fun, and they offer players a chance to win prizes. They’re also much more accessible than the version that appeared on the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube.

Knockout Kings 2001

The most realistic boxing game at the time, Knockout Kings 2001 makes you feel like you are actually in the ring. Players get to box as some of the greatest fighters of all time, including Lennox Lewis, Rocky Marciano, and Muhammad Ali.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!

You know this list couldn’t be complete without Punch Out. Though the graphics and controls are not as good as the newer offerings, once you start fighting King Hippo, Soda Popinski, and Mike himself, you’ll have a hard time turning it off. As a bonus, don’t forget about the Tyson-free version that hit the Wii.

Fight Night Champion

Speaking of Mr. Tyson, you can also play him in this one, as well as several other notable boxers, such as Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. The graphics are great, and when it comes to simulating what it’s like to be in the ring, Fight Night Champion is tops.

Check out this article for some more great boxing games. Which one’s your favorite?