Are you a fan of WWE or martial arts? Are you looking for a game that will allow you to enjoy the hand to hand combat and experience the thrills of the boxing ring? Then playing a Combat Sports Game may fulfill your desire. Boxing and mixed martial arts are not like your typical fighting game. These games offer more arena-based combat sports. These games do not rely on flashy moves or superpowers; they showcase real-life, like boxing or martial art formation.
Difference between Combat sports games and Fighting games
At first, both the game genre may seem the same. But there is a slight difference between combat games and fighting games. They both involve fighting. However, there are differences in how they are played, their scoring system, and their setup.
A combat sport is a type of competitive contact sport that mainly consists of one-on-one combat. A contender in combat sports wins by scoring more points than the opponent, defeating the rival with a hold, crippling the opposition (KO), or attacking the opponent with a particular or specified technique.
On the other hand, fighting games involve hand-to-hand fights or fights with hand-held weapons. There could be magical or supernatural powers involved in a fighting game. The players can use a wide array of power-ups and special moves to defeat the opponent.
Most of the time, there is a story behind fighting games. But in combat sports, the story is based on simply the characters’ careers.
We can say that all combat games are fighting games; however, not all fighting games are combat games.
Most Popular Combat Sports Game
We have gathered here the 12 most popular combat sports games. Most of these games are based on UFC, WWE, or other forms of combat sporting events. A reminder to the readers, we only listed combat sports-based video games on this list, not all types of fighting games. So without further adieu, let us start the fighting!
1. Fight Night: Champion
Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox One.
Fight Night: Champion elevates the boxing experience by offering an experience never seen before in any combat sports game. This innovative version will make history by building on the best-in-class gameplay and physics engine. ‘The Full Spectrum Punch Control technology,’ as well as the shoulders and face controls, provide the additional gamer control over their opponents in the game. Fight Night Champion will help you survive the torturous journey to redemption.
In addition to the story mode, the game includes a bare-knuckle combat mode that is both violent and enjoyable. Despite being nearly six years old and designed for last-generation devices, Fight Night: Champion is still a stunning game. With precise gaming controls and different combat modes, Fight Night Champion is the most popular online fighting game.
2. UFC: Undisputed 3
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.
UFC: Undisputed 3 is one of the best mixed martial video games. The game features ‘Ultimate Fighting Championship’ elements and bases itself on the famous fighters of the championship.
UFC: Undisputed 3 was the last game of the Undisputed series, and the game gained public praise for its practicality, resemblance to real-life fights, and smooth controls. The game offers a better subdivision and two unique control mechanism that suits both new and pro players. UFC: Undisputed 3 comes with career mode and also a particular method called ‘Pride Mode.’ The particular model is based on the former Japanese MMA organization.
3. Rocky Legends
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox.
Released in 2004 for PS 2, Rocky Legends is one of the classic combat sports games. This game was the follow-up or sequel to the first Rocky game. Rocky Legends offers more arenas and combat grounds for you to explore. The game also features new moves and controls compared to the previous series version.
The fighters in Rocky Legends are more versatile, and you can control them more efficiently. If you want to have a taste of classical fighting championship, then I recommend playing Rocky Legends.
4. Greatest Heavyweights
Platform: Sega Megadrive/ Sega Genesis.
Greatest Heavyweights is a boxing console video game published in 1993. This amazing combat sports game features real-life boxing players and moves taken from actual fights in the ring. Greatest Heavyweights is a sequel to Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing.
Greatest Heavyweights allows the gamers to play the role of different heavyweight champions like Rocky Marciano, Joe Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Jack Dempsey, and many more. A perfect game for those who want to relive the past glory of retro boxing.
5. EA Sport’s UFC 3
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One.
EA Sport has given us some of the best sports games. UFC 3 is one of EA Sport’s greatest hit games for PlayStation 4 & Xbox One. Although fans initially criticized the game for lacking some key features, the developers soon overcame the faults with different updates and patches.
With realistic fight scenarios, UFC 3 has a fantastic striking system and combo moves. Get into the ring and fight with some of the legends of the UFC arena.
6. Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing
Platforms: Sega Genesis, Game Gear.
Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing is another masterpiece combat sports game. Unfortunately, the game was released for the console and is not available for PCs. However, you can use an emulator to play the game on your computer. Real Deal Boxing was one of the first serious boxing games, and it is still an iconic game for classic game fans.
You can move around 360 degrees in Real Deal Boxing. It was something that was not possible in earlier games. So, Real Deal Boxing is not just a video game; it is a landmark of progression in video game technology.
7. Creed: Rising to Glory
Platforms: Oculus Quest, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows.
Creed: Rising to Glory is a fantastic combat sports game for PC. The game is entertaining. However, the control mechanism on PlayStation is rather tricky. The game is more suited for computers. A narrative and exclusive fighting style enhance the overall experience of Creed: Rising to Glory.
Players take the role of Adonis Creed and follow the journey of his rise. The game also features Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago, and Rocky characters. The VR experience of Creed: Rising to Glory is exhausting. If you want to get physically active, playing Creed: Rising to Glory may help.
8. Victorious Boxers: Ippo’s Road to Glory
Platform: PlayStation 2.
Ippo’s Road to Glory is commonly known as Victorious Boxers. It is a boxing game featuring combat sports. The players play the game as Ippo. We follow the rise of Ippo in a featherweight boxing career.
The game combines arcade and fighting styles to give the players an outstanding experience. The boxing simulation in Victorious Boxers is amazingly on point. The characters also show realistic facial damage in fights. Overall, this is one of the best classic combat sports games.
9. Toughman Contest
Platforms: Sega Genesis, 32X.
Toughman Contest is another one of the classic combat sports game. It is a pretty good boxing simulation game for boxing fans. The game is based on controversial real-life amateur boxing contests. Toughman Contest features some of the famous boxers of that time, including Eric “Butterbean” Esch as the final boss.
The fights were more realistic compared to other heavyweight championship games of that time. The battles are fast-paced and focus on strategy and combinations.
10. WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain
Platforms: PlayStation 2.
Almost every child on the planet dreamed of being the next Kane or Steve Austin during the 2003 time of wrestling entertainment. A level of imagination connected to the sport that practically every showgoer wanted to participate in. We were given a chance to enjoy the WWE boxing arena in WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain.
WWE SmackDown was one of very few combat gameplay that featured professional wrestling in its basic form. If you are a die-hard fan of WWE, WWE SmackDown is a must.
11. EA Sports UFC 4
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One.
If you are a die-hard fan of MMA, then you have to play EA’s 2020 sequel of the UFC division, UFC 4. It is one of the best games that is based on the MMA championship. From legendary fighters to career building, UFC 4 covers all of it.
With enhanced tutorials and follow up, UFC 4 gives the player a memorable experience. You can get the game for free if you are a PlayStation Plus subscriber. The fights are short, which makes the game more fun to play. The raw power and tactics determine the winner in the arena.
12. Fight Night: Round 4
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile.
Fight Night: Round 4 is a boxing video game and is the sequel to Fight Night Round 3. If you are up for facing some legendary boxers in the ring then you have to play Fight Night: Round 4. The game features boxers like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.
The game series is a huge part of iconic boxing games and in Fight Night: Round 4 they have grown a lot. It gave the players free control over the characters. The characters come with their unique fighting styles, making Fight Night: Round 4, one of the most realistic boxing games.
Even in combat games with arcade-like features, such as the Rocky titles, players must struggle to identify their opponent’s weaknesses. Of course, this is precisely what fight enthusiasts want in a videogame, so here are ten of the best combat sports games – we’re not counting fantasy fighting videogames.