With Creed III set to release in theaters soon, everyone is getting in the mood for some boxing. Boxing is a sport that while brutal has always had an allure to an audience that loves seeing combat sports. Many call boxing the sweet science, but it’s also been a sweet space for those who love video games. If you’re looking to get ready for Creed III, then you may want to revisit some of the fun boxing games you may have forgotten about.
Now while there have been many boxing games developed over the years, not all of them were hits or even mediocre successes. Sometimes you just have to take the loss and move on to fight another day. But the boxing games mentioned here are each game that was either fun or interesting enough for anyone to check out, even if you’re not a big fan of the sport of boxing. At the same time, none of these games is necessarily better than the other, both in terms of adapting to what boxing is or how fun they are to play. But if you want to get into that feeling of studying the sweet science, then you’ll want to check out these boxing games before you go see Creed III in theaters.
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
One of the more over-the-top takes on boxing developed by Midway Games in 1999. The game was released first on the SEGA Dreamcast, and then later ported over to the original PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Not only does Ready 2 Rumble Boxing simplify the sport, but it takes certain aspects of boxing to a far extreme.
And yet the competition was fierce while the gameplay was fun to get into, allowing players to take on challengers alone on a championship run, or box each other in multiplayer exhibitions. And to top it all off, legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer appears in the game and gives his iconic introductions and catchphrases just before a match. It’s everything fun that you love about boxing in a great package.
The fighters you play as each has their own gimmicks and outlandish personalities, but also have a variety of powerful punches and special moves to use in the ring. How ridiculous is it to get into the ring with a fighter named Afro Thunder, who sports a giant afro hairstyle and dances around the ring with smooth moves? And when a fighter lands enough hits to spell out RUMBLE on the screen, things can get pretty crazy just before a quick knockout.
The first game proved to be successful enough to entice Midway to develop a sequel, conveniently titled Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2. The second game featured more characters on the roster and a few special guest characters like Michael Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal as playable fighters. Even funnier was the inclusion of then-US President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton as well. There was also a third entry of the series called Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution for the Nintendo Wii but did not receive as good of a reception as its predecessors.
EA Sports Fight Night
When it comes to real-world boxing, the undisputed champion is the EA Sports Fight Night series released by Electronic Arts. From 2004 to 2011, there have been multiple entries of Fight Night that featured many professional boxers of all weight classes, as well as legendary boxers from throughout history. What many don’t remember is how Fight Night is actually a continuation of the EA Sports Knockout Kings series. These games were released annually from 1998 to 2002 on various platforms until they underwent a rebrand into the Fight Night series.
The Fight Night games were incredibly popular among sports fans because of the realistic approach to boxing. Everything from the entrances and presentation to the real damage and boxing mechanics was well received, convincing EA to continue releasing new entries for multiple years. Even the commentary emulated what boxing fans saw on television very well, utilizing the talents of media personalities like Max Kellerman. And of course, you could play alone in various Championship modes or enter the ring against other offline and online for ranked matches.
Much like many other EA Sports games, the roster of fighters in each new release of Fight Night was complimented by iconic boxers from different eras of boxing. Fighters like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, George Forman, Joe Frasier, and many others were often shown on the box art. Anybody that wanted to see dream matches between their favorite boxers could do so.
It doesn’t get any more old-school fun with boxing games than Punch-Out. Considered one of the great video game releases in arcades and for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Punch-Out puts you in the boots of underdog Little Mac as he aims for a boxing championship. Blocking his path is an ensemble of goofy fighters who will try to stop him. And if you played the game on NES, you had the chance to throw down with Iron Mike Tyson in a final battle that has gone down in video game history.
Punch-Out is one of the simpler games to adapt to the sport of boxing. Little Mac has a few punches that he can throw, but it’s all about timing your dodges and punches for the right moment. And because Little Mac is so small compared to his opponents, one hit from them is enough to knock him down or out cold. Yet at the same time, as it can be in real boxing, one good shot at the perfect time will knock out an opponent and bring Little Mac closer to the championship.
One thing that Punch-Out doesn’t get enough credit for is showing other aspects of boxing during the era it was released. Little Mac running with his trainer Doc Louis is something pulled straight from the Rocky movies, playing more onto the theme of boxing. Later entries, such as Super Punch-Out on the SNES and Punch-Out for the Wii, also included different aspects of boxing culture in comedic and goofy ways. With the release on the Nintendo Wii, Little Mac can end up in a boxing match against Nintendo’s Donkey Kong and his trainer Doc Louis too. While more of a parody of boxing as a whole, Punch-Out still remains a classic game series that keeps the sport of boxing on everyone’s mind in some way.
What are some of the boxing games you remember playing back in the day? Is there a favorite boxer you have that you watched on TV? Tell us about all of it in the comments down below!
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