Boxing games

Human beings have been entertaining themselves through combat sports for hundreds of years but few fighting sports have achieved the heights of boxing, the “noble art” of punching your opponent until they can’t take any more! Of all the combat sports in the world, boxing is still the most recognizable.

The Queensbury rules which govern modern boxing were first drawn up in London in the 1860s, and they brought a sense of fair play and safety to the sport. It was at this time that the iconic boxing gloves were first introduced, and it was decided that there would be 15 rounds in a bout (it’s now just 12).The major differences between then and now are the amount of money involved, the size of the audiences, and the number of games and movies based on the sport.

Boxing Without the Punches

Over the years, there have been dozens of enormously popular boxing video games. Boxing games range from the arcade button-bashers to more detailed fighting simulations. Boxing has a number of features that make it uniquely suitable for video game adaptation;

  • Everyone knows boxing. We all know that there are 12 rounds of three minutes each. We all know that boxers wear gloves, and even if we don’t quite understand the scoring, we know that the winner is the fighter that manages to punch the other fighter more often, and harder!
  • Because it doesn’t allow for kicks, holds or throws, boxing was a great fit for early arcade machines, which couldn’t accommodate the complex control systems that would have been needed to simulate more free-form fighting sports.
  • Being the most popular fighting sport, games based on boxing are a safer bet for developers looking to be sure of a hit game.

Round One!

Sega’s Heavyweight Champ was the first boxing game, released way back in the seventies. It featured an unusual control system designed to give the feeling of throwing and blocking punches. It was also in black and white! Despite these unusual features, the arcade was a major hit for Sega and showed the market for fighting games in general and boxing games in particular.

Before long, Nintendo joined the fray, releasing Punch-Out!! in 1984 as an arcade. The game allowed players to see through their own boxer to give a more realistic view of their opponent and was a very popular, spawning sequels in the arcade and on consoles, including a version which featured “Iron Mike” Tyson himself.

Young Contenders

Punch-Out!! spawned a series of sequels and imitations, including Ready 2 Rumble Boxing for the Dreamcast. But as well as providing fun, boxing games have gotten a great deal more sophisticated, and graphically compelling. When Electronic Arts released the Fight Night series in the mid-2000s, they wowed the industry with realistic facial physics that really made you feel every punch to the face!

The Classic Rules

Boxing games almost all share certain elements of play, which they get from the sport itself. You’ll be pressing buttons to move around the ring, to block incoming blows and land blows of your own. Usually, there are several kinds of strike, each representing a different balance between speed and power. You’ll need to select the right one whenever there’s an opportunity to strike.

Just like the sport itself, boxing games are a real challenge to the reflexes and you’ll need to master complicated combinations of simple moves if you want to win. Early opponents may be easily smacked around, but eventually you’ll come up against someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’ve ever got to Mike Tyson on Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, you’ll understand just how hard a strong opponent can push you.

Boxing Games and Fighting Games

You can tell boxing games from more traditional fighting games by how restrictive the rules are, and how fluid the perspective is. You might find yourself looking down on the ring from above, or looking straight at your opponent in a first-person perspective.

You also won’t be able to do a lot of the wild, fantastic things you can do in many fighting games! No casting fireballs, performing roundhouse kicks or uppercutting your opponent into a pit of spikes here. This is a genre for those who like their fisticuffs served with a big dose of realism, and often with a career mode attached.

There are many different rituals in boxing, and the more realistic boxing games incorporate these to create a more authentic experience. You might find yourself training in a gym between bouts, and even doing press conferences before a significant fight or weigh-in.

On the other hand, there are more stylized and wacky boxing games which add silly or strange elements that are definitely not in the Queensbury rules!

GamePix’s Collection of Boxing Games

If you’re looking for a slice of boxing action in game form, then you’ll find it here. Each of our browser boxing games is playable immediately without any need for downloads or installations. There’s something here to suit every taste, whether you want a realistic, toe-to-toe bout or something weird or hilarious, we have a game for you. Our selection includes;

  • Hajime no Ippo, or ‘the first step’, a boxing game based on the manga series of the same name. You can experience all of the joy of the original anime in Hajime no Ippo the game. Gameplay wise, it’s a little like the classic Super Punch-Out on the old Nintendo systems. It’s a game that incorporates a classic anime style, with plenty of dramatic poses and emotional expressions.
  • Undisputed, a pixel-art boxing game where players must fend off successive opponents from a top-down viewpoint
  • Boxing Stars, a classic, side-on boxing game with simple controls, in the “bobblehead” realistic style that takes seconds to understand but a long time to master!

Whatever kind of boxing game you like, you can play it here for free, so lace up your gloves, put in your mouthguard and wait for the bell to ring. Round one!


Are there any boxing games?

Yes indeed! There have been boxing video games for almost as long as games have existed and for pretty much every game platform you can think of. Here on GamePix, all of our boxing games are free browser games, ready to play on any device and whenever you are.

What happened to boxing games?

Nothing! Boxing games have featured consistently in the game line-ups for every games system since the beginning of video games. They might not have been as prominent in the PS4 generation but they’ve never gone away and are seeing a resurgence. Here on GamePix we’ve always featured a wide range of free browser boxing games, so why not pick one up and scratch that pugilistic itch?

What are the most popular boxing?