Five-division professional boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather and MMA Lightweight Champion fighter Conor McGregor face off this weekend in what some are touting as the “fight of the century.” Personally, we’d prefer being inside the virtual ring.
Whether you’re mesmerized by the hype and spectacle surrounding the unlikely match-up or don’t care much for the sport, these five boxing games will definitely keep you entertained.
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is the boxing game of the ’80s. If you had an NES, you’ll remember this classic. Since 8-bit Nintendo had no hope of handling a realistic boxing game, Punch-Out!! is ridiculous and fun. Mario is your ref and your opponents are eight times your size. You play as Little Mac, a tiny boxer beating his way through ethnic stereotypes until he becomes the champion of the world. Little Mac is fast, but he’s still small. My only advice: don’t get hit.
Or maybe don’t listen to me. I can barely beat Glass Joe.
Eventually, you move up to facing Mike Tyson himself. I’d rather fight Mike Tyson in real life than try to beat him in this game. (Well, maybe I’m exaggerating slightly.) The NES didn’t mess around when it came to brutal difficulty. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is one of the toughest of the lot.
[Eric Fuchs, FANDOM Contributor]
Fight Night Round 4
It’s probably embarrassing how much time I sunk into Fight Night Round 4 on my PS3. No other game ever came close to replicating the world of professional boxing. You could play as a variety of historic boxers, but the character creation tool was equally worth sinking your time into. It was a standard late night game for my friend and me, and we did our best to give our custom boxers worthy careers. And knocking out your opponent feels so damn satisfying. If you want a game that puts you in a real ring with real boxers, this is your only worthwhile option.
[Drew Dietsch, Entertainment Editor]
Released on Nintendo’s most notoriously hated system, Teleroboxer is a standout game for the console and a fantastic first-person boxing experience. The setup is basically Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots meets Hugh Jackman’s Real Steel, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game by any means. You’ve got the charm of Punch-Out!! mixed with a heavy dose of sci-fi tech that makes for a very entertaining time if you can get past the console’s shortfalls.
Teleroboxer starts you off as a young virtual boxer trying to rise through the ranks. You’re a scrappy kid with a scrappy robot. Each of your enemies is tougher than the last, and all of them come from different parts of the world. Even their robots are unique in the way that no two look or fight the same. This is a game that begs for a VR remake to fully enjoy the style Nintendo was going for back in the ’90s. It’s a forgotten classic that was way better than the platform it was presented on.
[Andrew Hawkins, FANDOM Contributor]
Punch-Out!! on the Wii did something incredible: it managed to be the greatest game in its respective franchise. That’s saying something since nearly all of the Punch-Out!! games are stellar. The roster of enemies was iconic and plentiful, the style and animation was appropriately cartoonish and lively, and the simple control scheme — use the Wiimote like an NES controller instead of playing with motion controls — felt like coming home to a classic game. It’s the perfect kind of game: easy to pick up and understand the rules, but challenging to master and triumphantly exhilarating when you do. When people talk about the Wii, they really need to mention Punch-Out!! more often. It’s easily one of the best games in the system’s entire library.
[Drew Dietsch, Entertainment Editor]
While there are plenty of fighting games featuring women, there weren’t really any boxing games featuring women. That was until 2004, when Konami released Rumble Roses on the PlayStation 2. The title was a bit exploitive, much like Konami’s Dead or Alive games, but the silly characters and lighthearted tone worked. The gameplay left a little to be desired, but thankfully most of the control issues were fixed with the game’s sequel, Rumble Roses XX on the Xbox 360.
Rumble Roses XX also introduced a customizable character option, meaning ladies around the world could now create their own digital alter-ego in the ring. Mine was Cherry Darling, and she had a mean right hook.
[Danielle Ryan, FANDOM Contributor]