There are few and far between boxing video games available in the marketplace. It’s a real bummer as I personally enjoy the sport, but more importantly, loved the Fight Night franchise. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sunk into Fight Night Round 3 and just how often I find myself going back to that game today. It’s an iconic series and it’s unfortunate that EA just doesn’t have the love for the IP these days.
While the Xbox One and Microsoft company has boasted the backward compatibility aspect to their Xbox One console along with the latest Xbox Series X/S platforms, it’s a shame that some of those boxing video game titles that were present in earlier Xbox console generations just didn’t make the cut. If you were hoping to enjoy games like the Fight Night series then you’re only left with one. However, we are going to do our best here and offer some games that may help scratch that boxing itch of yours.
#4 UFC 2
UFC 2, alright it’s not technically a boxing game but get used to seeing UFC on this list because that’s as close to a new boxing game as you can get at this point. MMA had blown up and it might have taken over boxing in some people’s eyes. One of the biggest franchises and promotional companies out there to be a front-runner for the MMA sport is the UFC. This company has brought out some iconic athlete fighters that are turned into household names. People like Chuck Liddell, Rhonda Rousey, and Conor McGregor to name just a few of the more iconic UFC fighters that blew up thanks to the company. It was only a matter of time before we started seeing video games pumped out and on this list, we’re going to start it off with UFC 2.
This game came out in 2016 and it was showcasing two of the more iconic fighters at that point, Rhonda Rousey and Conor McGregor. Both athletes dominated their divisions and as mentioned, were known all over the world. This game was overall the game received some good reviews as it offered players the feel of being in a UFC fight with the various techniques and fighting skills. Despite being an MMA game there was a game mode in particular that put this game on the list and it’s the Knockout Mode which we’ll be diving into a bit deeper with our next pick on the list.
#3 UFC 3
UFC 3 takes everything we enjoyed about UFC 2 and further enhances the gameplay. Visually you’ll see an improvement, there are more technical gameplay mechanics for fighting, and one of the biggest upsides was the revamped career mode known as G.O.A.T. Now players could become a fighter and attempt to be the greatest of all time where you’re fighting in different matches along with training your fighter between matches. But as mentioned in our previous point, the reason UFC games make a bit of sense for this list is the Knockout Mode.
Within the Knockout Mode players don’t have to worry about grapples or any ground game. This is a simple face-to-face fight where players are attempting to knock an opponent out. While you’re able to throw punches and deliver some body shots, there are some elbows, knees, and kicks featured as well. So it’s not a perfect example of a boxing game, but again, we’re working with a very limited list of boxing games.
#2 UFC 4
Lastly, we have UFC 4 a video game that takes a turn for the cover athletes. While both UFC 2 and UFC 3 both featured Conor McGregor who was in his prime for the UFC, this time around the game takes a focus on two other iconic fighters that stepped into the limelight, Jorge Masvidal and Israel Adesanya. Overall, the game again had featured a career mode similar to UFC 3 and it’s still, as it should be, heavily focused on MMA fighting.
Fortunately, those of you who don’t necessarily want to take up with the ground game or worry about grapples will find that there’s the Knockout Mode here as well. It’s again exactly what we saw with UFC 2 and UFC 3. However, it’s worth noting that there have been boxing guest fighters featured in the UFC games such as Mike Tyson in UFC 2. In UFC 4 players were given the ability to control Tyson Fury, a British professional boxer and two-time world heavyweight champion.
#1 Fight Night Champion
So being that this is the only boxing video game available for the Microsoft Xbox One, we have to give it the number one spot. With that said, it’s a deserved spot on our list as well since so many fans out there have thoroughly enjoyed the Fight Night franchise. Thanks to Fight Night Champion being available through EA Access Vault, players can dive into this game which originally was available for the likes of Xbox 360. Unfortunately, the other Fight Night video game titles haven’t been included in the mix at this point. With that said, Fight Night Champions was the last installment to the series in general which was overall liked by both fans and critics.
This is also the first and only EA Sports game to receive a mature rating due to the strong language throughout the campaign storyline. The developers at the time wanted to portray a gritter boxing video game and something that seemed more realistic. In this title we had harsh language along with more realistic cuts and bruises that fighters would typically endure in this dangerous sport. With that said, players had a pretty stacked roster of athletes to fight as or against, and as mentioned the career mode would give players the ability to create their own fighter.
Much like the past Fight Night video game titles, players would create a boxer and work their way through a career along with training the fighter between matches to further buff up their stats. Another aspect of this game that made it a bit easier for newcomers to join the game was a new punch mechanic system. With this game, players only had to flick the right analog stick to send out different punches rather than using a series of button presses.