Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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]
  4. I recommend it if you aren’t squeamish about knocking the crap out of very realistic and very familiar looking people.
  5. 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]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Besides the camera, the graphics are some of the best I've seen in fighting games.
  11. 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]
  12. 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.
  13. 91
    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.
  14. 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!
  15. 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]
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 90
    As far as sequels go, Fight for NY is to "Vendetta" what "The Empire Strikes Back" was to "Star Wars."
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 31
  3. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. Mar 18, 2014
    On par with Tekken 4, absolutely fantastic game, great story that doesn't necessarily follow on from Vendetta, customisation is brilliant and overall the best fighting game I've ever played... Sorry Tekken Full Review »
  2. Jan 13, 2014
    Awesome Game you will never get bored!!!!!!!!!!!!!This game is awesome.
    Def jam vendetta & fight for NY! With games like these i aint gotta
    pack no heat! Come on esse, come at me! Game day punk & your gonna take for the team! Your career ends here! you cant stop me son im gonna dance around you all night! its only a matter of time before you beg for this to end! Full Review »
  3. Dec 15, 2013
    I think that this game is very good! lots of things to do, I used to play this game alot when I was younger and the game was more playable, as in I played with my brother all the time, now we don't play it together anymore, Although, I have been playing it for awhile today. I just like to fight people in this game and earn cash and then buy things. the only problem is that I can't earn anymore points to upgrade my stats for my character, but no worries it's almost full anyways. Full Review »