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10 Best Boxing Video Games So Far

When I was 6 years old I had a blast playing Punch-Out!! on the NES. I’ve been a fan of boxing video games ever since. In the past 20 years, there has been a lot of good boxing games released, even though they haven’t come out in most consistent numbers. We haven’t seen any new boxing games this gaming generation. However, it has been rumored recently that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is working on a new boxing game for the PS4 and Xbox One. Hopefully, this is a new Fight Night game published by EA. Because of the recent rumors, I was inspired to write this article, featuring the 10 best boxing games released so far. When new games are released, this article will be updated.


10. James ‘Buster’ Douglas Knock Out Boxing (SEGA Genesis)

#10 Buster Douglas Knock Out Boxing
– See It On Amazon
This game was released for the Sega Genesis right after Buster Douglas defeated Mike Tyson in 1990. It’s one of the better 2D side-scrolling boxing games released for classic game consoles. The games computer AI is pretty good and the punching, dodging, and blocking mechanics work well. It features a single player campaign and a 2 player versus mode. Buster Douglas is the only real-life boxer in this game, all the other playable characters are fictional and have silly names like Dynamite Joe and King Jason. For an older 16-Bit game, Buster’ Douglas Knock Out Boxing is pretty good.
– Gameplay Video


9. Toughman Contest (SEGA Genesis, 32X)

#9 Toughman Contest
– See It On Amazon
Toughman Contest was SEGA’s version of Punch-Out!!. Professional heavyweight boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch was featured on the front cover and is the final boss. This really feels like the more serious and professional version of Punch-Out!!. While the movement in Toughman Contest is a bit clunkier and the characters are forgettable compared to the classic Punch-Out!! games, the graphics, sound, and backgrounds are superior. It’s a forgotten game, but it’s the best boxing game the SEGA genesis/32X had.

– Gameplay Video


8. Wii Sports & Wii Sports Club – Boxing (Wii, WiiU)

#8 Wii Sports & Wii Sports Club Boxing
– See It On Amazon
Boxing is one of the sports available on Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. One of my favorite boxing games to play vs friends or family members. Use your customized Mii character as your boxer. Using the Wii motion remotes, you punch back and forth with your hands and place your hands up to block. These are not serious boxing games, they’re actually silly, so don’t expect an experience with tons of depth. When you feel like having a good time with other players locally, these are probably most fun boxing games you can play.
– Gameplay Video


7. Ready To Rumble Boxing: & Round 2 (Dreamcast, PS2)

#7 Ready To Rumble Boxing and Round 2
– See It On Amazon
Ready To Rumble Boxing & Round 2 (Part 2) is over the top boxing games featuring corny characters with insane personalities and exaggerated combo moves. Developed by Midway (Famously known for Mortal Kombat games). These games have that fun and fast arcadey feel that Midway was known for. The Rumble meter is the coolest feature in these games. When you land hard punches against your opponent, your meter will slowly fill up to spell “RUMBLE”. Once your rumble meter is full you can perform special unique combo moves with your chosen character. The single-player mode becomes challenging once you start facing harder opponents. Me and my older brother had a blast playing Ready To Rumble on the SEGA Dreamcast together. It’s a fun classic that deserves a revisit from time to time.
– Gameplay Video


6. Punch-Out!! (Wii)

#6 Punch-Out!!
– See It On Amazon
The Wii reboot of the original Punch-Out!! game. Once again Doc Louis is training Little Mac to become the best boxer ever. Little Mac will face all the same goofy opponents from the NES version, plus a few new ones. You can choose to use the Wii motion controls, but this game is best played with normal controls. Punch-Out!! is in full 2D/3D this time around, so opponents moves and personalities are expressed much better. I love this game, but I feel more could have been added to it. It feels a lot like the NES game but with new graphics and clunkier movements. For some reason, I still prefer the gameplay of the classic NES and SNES versions. I always thought the narrow close up camera view dulled down the experience a little. Overall if you have a Wii, this is a must pick up boxing game.
– Gameplay Video


5. Victorious Boxers: 1 & 2 (PS2)

#5 Victorious Boxer 1 & 2
– See It On Amazon
Victorious Boxers 1 & 2 were the first video games that simulated an amateur boxers career realistically. You begin as a poor Joe Smoe, and eventually, work yourself to the top of the boxing pro brackets. Victorious Boxers features anime style characters and a Rocky-like story that inspires you to try to become the best boxer ever. I really like the controls and movement in these games. Using the right analog stick controls head movement, that works wonderfully when combined with nice footwork. Warning though, this game is very difficult and technical. You will have to learn how opponents move, block, and attack to be successful. Out of the two games, part 1 was better. If you have a PS2 and want a challenge, Victorious Boxers is a nice choice.
– Gameplay Video


4. Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)

#4 Super Punch-Out!!
– See It On Amazon
When I was a kid Super Punch-Out!! was one of my favorite games on the SNES. I thought it was harder and much more complex than the original game. The power meter and the variety of power punches were a nice addition to Super Punch-Out!!. Knowing when to throw a hard power punch or a power punch flurry is essential. It took me weeks to defeat the last two opponents in the campaign mode (Nick & Rick Bruiser). Learning how to attack them and memorizing there move sets for the defense was a challenge. Most of the opposing boxers are from the arcade and the NES version of Punch-Out!!. I liked most of the boxers, but I think the final two opponents could have been thought out better. Overall the gameplay is simple, yet challenging to master. If you still play the SNES, you got to check out Super Punch-Out!!
– Gameplay Video


3. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (NES)

#3 Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
– See It On Amazon
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is one of the most iconic games available for the NES. It was hard for me to decide if I liked Super Punch-Out!! (SNES) or the original Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! better. I think because Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is so easy to pick up and play that I always preferred it over any other game in the series. Learning opponents move sets does take some time, but it never feels too frustrating. Timing punches, blocks, and movements are the most important aspects of Punch-Out!! There were two versions of this game, one where Mr. Dream is the last opponent and one where Mike Tyson is the last opponent. I always preferred the original game with Mike Tyson in it. The goofy made-up boxers felt like training sessions compared to the last boss Mike Tyson. Anyone who owns an NES should own a copy of this game!
– Gameplay Video


2. Fight Night Round 3 & 4 (PS3, Xbox 360)

#2 Fight Night Round 3 & 4
– See It On Amazon
I decided to place both Fight Night Round 3 and Round 4 on this list together. Both games are very similar to each other, but I give the slight edge to Round 4 because of the improved graphics and gameplay physics. I think Round 3 was the breakout game in the Fight Night series. Round 3 was the first boxing game to introduce HD graphics if you are playing it on an Xbox 360 or PS3. These graphical improvements made this series stand out as the most realistic boxing games ever made. Not only are the graphics awesome, but the gameplay was equally upgraded in Round 3 compared to Round 2. The playable boxer roster is huge in these games, featuring the most well known professional boxers. The career mode is pretty fun with training, upgrading stats, and facing increasingly challenging opponents. If you are a fan of boxing and want to play something serious and professional, then games from the Fight Night series should be at the top of your list.
– Gameplay Video


1. Fight Night Champion (PS3, Xbox 360, Backwards Compatible on Xbox One)

#1 Fight Night Champion
– See It On Amazon
This is the only boxing game that can be played on a current generation console. Fight Night Champion works wonderfully on Xbox One game consoles via backward compatibility. This game still holds up great graphically compared to modern game titles. Besides the career mode, Fight Champion does everything a bit better than Round 4, making it the definitive Fight Night game to play. The boxing gameplay has also been improved, to feel more realistic. When boxing against opponents in Fight Night Champion, blocking, dodging, knowing when to punch, and conserving stamina are all important attributes. The champion story mode is a lot fun, that starts out in prison surprisingly and later on ends up in the professional boxing league. In my opinion, Fight Night Champion is the best boxing video game released so far. I am hoping a new Fight Night game is announced in the near future for PS4 or Xbox One.
– Gameplay Video


* Honorable Mentions *

Real Boxing games (IOS, Android) – Real Boxing is a series of games available on mobile devices. These are probably the only boxing games worth playing if you’re a mobile gamer. They provide cool career/training modes based on real professional and fictional boxers such as Manny Pacquiao and Rocky Balboa. Since they are free to play (with micro-transactions), they might be worth a try.


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Chris D.
Level Smack founder. I am a long time webmaster. I have been playing video games all my life since the NES days. I am a video games fanatic and a self-proclaimed video games historian. I hope to bring unique & helpful articles as often as I can. We are seeking writers for LevelSmack.com, Please Contact Us.