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Release year: 1987 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Nintendo R&D3

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (NES)

When we talk about fighting games these days, we are used to 3D fighting environments that feature total control of both attack and defense. Back in 1987, not many people think it is possible to do. However, there is one game at the time that showed that all these are possible. This is Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (AKA パンチアウト!! Panchiauto!!) for the NES. Considered as one of the greatest games of all time, Punch-Out!! is basically the first successful boxing video game and the prequel of Super Punch-Out!! (SNES).

The story of the game is pretty simple. You take control of Little Mac, a boxer who is aspiring to become the heavyweight champion of the world. Armed with punching skills (along with his specialty, the uppercut), Little Mac tries to move up the ranks, fighting a number of goofy characters along the way. At the final mission, Little Mac will go up against Mike Tyson, the then-heavyweight champion of the world. On later versions of Punch-Out!!, Tyson would be removed from the game. However, for a generation of gamers, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! and the famous boxer are inseparable.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! Cover Box

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Cover (NES)

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! stands out as basically the first-ever sports game that used the likeness of a professional athlete. This move is commonplace these days, so you can say that Punch-Out!! is a trailblazer. However, beyond this, Punch-Out!! stands out because of its excellent gameplay. The Little Mac storyline is well-played, and even the fighters he goes up against are lovable in their own right. And then there is the fighting element. Each opponent fights in a certain way, so you have to form a strategy for fighting them. Also, Punch-Out!! allows for all kinds of movements and combinations, which also makes it ahead of its time.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is considered a classic for good reason. It is a very influential game, the gameplay has aged well (it is still VERY addictive up to this day), and just about every element in the game (from the characters to the sounds) is endearing.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! game has been ported to Nintendo NES (this version), Arcade (original), Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! - Nintendo NES
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