Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
Buy On
  1. 87
    Even if you don't end up the biggest fan of the grappling system, the Blazin' Moves are certain to leave anyone impressed. There's a great sense of fun, of true enjoyment in the development of Fight for NY and that translates to the game.
  2. No doubt, this is a more brutal, bloody, and foul-mouthed effort than last year's game, but this emphasis on mature content is backed up by great gameplay and an incredible atmosphere.
  3. As for the action itself, this is some very fast-paced and brutal - very brutal - action. Although the control scheme is relatively simple, you'll quickly learn that ther is an exact science to adminstering grapples and harsh environmental moves at just the right moment. [Oct 2004, p.126]
  4. Besides the camera, the graphics are some of the best I've seen in fighting games.
  5. The controls feel precise and fluid as they react according to the situation you are in. If one thing that may be a downer to some casual gamers is the difficult A.I. in the game.
  6. 80
    The fighting is hard-hitting, intuitive, and satisfying, and the story-mode is well-developed enough to give it long-term legs despite it's lack of an online multiplayer component. On top of that, the manner to which the hip hop element has been realized is really impressive.
  7. An extremely violent, bloody, foul-mouthed and visceral fighter filled with plenty of style. Unfortunately, good looks, a cool character creator and some sweet environments are commodities that lose their luster after several hours of play.
  8. 80
    Controlling your fighter can become a difficult chore as the characters often feel sluggish and almost unresponsive in heated bouts where quickly moving CPU characters always seem to have the advantage.
  9. 90
    On any platform, though, this is the best 3D fighter of the year (and the best urban fashion simulator of any year, if that means anything).
  10. Yeah, this is a bit of a button masher, but there is enough style to the game and depth to the system that you can get beyond this.
  11. A larger story line, greater number of options and plenty of interactive environments make this title one for any fight fans. It may not completely live up to its design, but it more than makes up for it in style.
  12. 80
    An incredibly fun game born of a fascinating concept that follows through on its potential in almost every way. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, or of solid grapplers with a huge does of the old ultra-violence, you’ll find plenty here to keep you bouncing in your seat.
  13. AceGamez
    Although the violence is a lot harsher, the gameplay and tension has been revamped to give a more intuitive feel without losing the need to improve those button tapping skills.
  14. If you’re not into hip-hop, then FFNY will be a bit hard to take. The game practically oozes with it, from the language to the story to the celebrity rappers to the extensive hip-hop soundtrack.
  15. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The best part of all, though, is the story mode, which not only has a great create-a-fighter option, but also a surprisingly good story that almost flawlessly ties all aspects of the game together. [Nov 2004, p.132]
  16. 90
    The level of work that went into this game is way beyond the norm. It's obvious that no expense was spared in making Def Jam Fight For NY a big-time title... It's one the most polished fighting games available.
  17. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Whether you're a fan of hip-hop or not, Def Jam Fight for NY delvers on all fronts and simply shouldn't be missed by fans of fighting, wrestling, or brawling games. [Oct 2004, p.87]
  18. A really good beat-en-up that really absorbs players. Graphically the game is very well done, and the soundtracks enhance the whole hip-hop underground scene that the title is trying to represent and exaggerate.
  19. An exceptional game. Feel free to pick it up just to see your favorite rap stars and thugs beat up one another. You'll end up getting a nicely designed fighting game in the process.
  20. PSM Magazine
    It keeps you captivated most of the time. I just wish the fighting engine from the previous game had been left intact. [Nov 2004, p.82]
  21. I recommend it if you aren’t squeamish about knocking the crap out of very realistic and very familiar looking people.
  22. Despite the occasional glitch and lack of online play, Def Jam: Fight for New York is an excellent fighter that manages to revive a dying genre without needing to recreate it.
  23. So much better then the last version. And with saying that, the last version was also great. One problem I did find was how hard this game was. You can set the level of difficulty but damn even the easy is tough!
  24. One hell of a brawler. A fantastically weighted fighting system that perfectly demonstrates how thick, raw sound effects and smooth animation can suck you into the visceral, almost feral world of these underground fights gives your fingers, eyes and ears all something to digest while plowing through a story that actually keeps you in the game.
  25. EA Big did more than just nip-and-tuck with the sequel, creating a deeper and more satisfying experience. The improved graphics, hefty roster of fighters and unlockables, and involving game play mask the frustrating flaws found within.
  26. netjak
    Point blank…if you need a serious bare-knuckle fighting game in your collection, look no further. Def Jam: Fight for N.Y. is everything the hype boasts about and then some. Solid, diverse gameplay makes this title one of the best fighters this year.
  27. Even if straight-on wrestling isn’t your thing, the fighting element in the game is involved enough to please fighting game fans. Of course, fans of the hip-hop genre will love the atmosphere in the game.
  28. GMR Magazine
    Various artificially induced frustrations hold the game back from its true potential. Still, it's nearly there, and for those with strong jaws, it's an otherwise exceptional experience. The next game should be unstoppable, but it better well feature Eric B. and Rakim. [Nov 2004, p.122]
  29. The fact that it's got the deepest story ever seen in a fighter simply adds to the realistic feel of the brutal combat within.
  30. The game is easy to pick up and play, the sound and graphics are spectacular, and the amount of content jammed onto this DVD is just mind-boggling.
  31. A challenging level of difficulty plus next-to-useless instructions makes Def Jam: Fight For NY harder than it needs to be. But once you master your skills (and overlook the camera problems), it's one of the most viscerally fun brawlers in ages.
  32. Should the lyrically challenged feel left out, you can create your own brawler outfitted in ice courtesy of celebrity bling supplier Jacob the Jeweler. Better to look good than to—ow—feel good.
  33. 88
    With a new fighting system, four player battle mode, story mode, hot girls, over forty hip hop persona’s, twenty interactive environments, and stunningly brutal moves make this the most appealing fighting game in 2004.
  34. 90
    As far as sequels go, Fight for NY is to "Vendetta" what "The Empire Strikes Back" was to "Star Wars."
  35. This inconsistent AI provided some major frustration, as well as some pain to my controller as it came in contact with one of my walls.
  36. Delivers on all fronts. Sure it has its minor flaws, but with a stellar story, crazy amounts of celebrities, licensed soundtrack, and fun fighting engine, you would be hard pressed to find a game as enjoyable as Fight for NY.
  37. Improves on "Vendetta" in every aspect [with a] well-told story mode and improved fighting engine.
  38. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 7 / 8 / 8 - 31 silver [Vol. 846]
  39. A game that practically reinvents the original and presents what's arguably one of the most visceral, compelling fighting experiences you're likely to have this side of 2005.
  40. Def Jam: Fight For NY is a good game -- there's no doubt about that -- but it's perhaps that rarest of fighting games -- one that's better off played solo, or against one other player only, rather than in true multiplayer.

Awards & Rankings

#22 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#11 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 84
  2. Negative: 4 out of 84
  1. Jan 31, 2018
    One of the best PS2-Games ever. DJ Vendetta is great too, but DJ FFNY is the best in the franchise. I think a modern DJ-Game would be pretty awesome.
  2. Dec 20, 2016
    SENSACIONAL! Uma obra de arte, um jogo feito com muita dedicação e carinho, um jogo que foi lançado em 2004 e até HOJE nunca foi superado. ÉSENSACIONAL! Uma obra de arte, um jogo feito com muita dedicação e carinho, um jogo que foi lançado em 2004 e até HOJE nunca foi superado. É incrível a qualidade imensa desse jogo, simplesmente o MELHOR jogo de luta de todos os tempos! Full Review »
  3. May 19, 2015
    Def Jam: Fight for NY, is when a bunch of artist are street fighters. They fight in 5 fighting styles.
    Martial Arts
    Street Fighting
    Def Jam: Fight for NY, is when a bunch of artist are street fighters. They fight in 5 fighting styles.
    Martial Arts
    Street Fighting
    You can use weapons, the enviorment to your adventage, and the crowd can help you. There are so many Characters, and Venues, to unlock and to choose from.
    This was defintinly an upgrade from Vendetta. The story takes place after, D-mob gets arrested. You rescue him, and you start fighting for him. However, after a while the storyline doesn't really pick off from where you left off in Vendetta. You have to help take over clubs, by fighting Crow's men. (Snoop Dog) The character customizations is great. You can choose you're fighting style, wear some amazing clothes and jewlery, make character look different, get tatoos, and hair cuts. Better blazing moves
    Full Review »