Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
Buy On
  1. 86
    Not only has it created an all-new level of control that makes every pugilism title before it look like child's play, it's also created a mechanic so flexible and natural that it should very well change the way developers look at the sport from now on.
  2. Fight Night 2004 reinvigorates the boxing genre. It also offers the most realistic control, gameplay, and graphics that the genre has ever seen.
  3. Succeeds in creating a completely new formula for the sweet science. [Apr 2004, p.88]
  4. Simply put, this is one of the most accurate and lovingly devised sims ever created.
  5. Offline play is extremely polished, and worth price of admission alone. I could not make that statement without Total Punch Control, as it makes the game even more challenging. Online is a great bonus, but it seemed rather rushed near the end.
  6. Without a doubt the best boxing game ever made for any platform. A few touches here and there will no doubt bring perfection. As it is, it’s a knockout!
  7. 90
    Its incredibly diverse control system is implemented into a truly enjoyable game that has enough simulation elements to please boxing fans and strong gameplay that can be appreciated by a diverse crowd.
  8. By virtue of its impressive new control scheme and solid delivery, Fight Night 2004 doesn’t really have any peers and by default can be declared the unanimous champ. However, it still needs a much better single-player Career mode before it can stand toe to toe with other, deeper sports games.
  9. 100
    Fight Night's Career mode should be the model that other boxing games should follow...Hands down, Fight Night 2004 is the victor in all weight classes this year. [May 2004, p.84]
  10. 85
    The graphics and control system are almost worth the price of admission all by themselves -- it's rare to find a sports game have this much pick-up-and-play addiction in this age of sim-oriented titles.
  11. games(TM)
    The confines of boxing itself impose some limitation in areas such as variation but, in taking this genre from a dead end to the cutting edge of gameplay authenticity, Fight Night is an absolute triumph. [May 2004, p.104]
  12. The Total Punch Control system is the most intuitive and natural boxing scheme ever invented, and will be the standard that other boxing (perhaps even other fighting) games will be judged by.
  13. 80
    The career mode needs the same polish found in EA's other sports franchises, boxers would benefit from additional moves (like clinching) or individual ratings for specific punches, and some notable roster omissions might disappoint ardent fans (Holmes, Hagler, De La Hoya, Foreman, and others are MIA).
  14. AceGamez
    A must have title - no exceptions and no buts. This game features in my all time top ten and has the depth and nuance of play to keep anyone enthralled for some time.
  15. Play Magazine
    But what's truly astounding about Fight Night is the damage inflicted on the Boxers...Using state-of-the-art facial mo-caps, players will see a boxer's face bruise, swell and get cut during fights. [Apr 2004, p.72]
  16. Probably the best boxing game ever to enter the ring of console gaming. It will appeal to both boxing enthusiasts and fighting game fans with its great gameplay and innovative and intuitive control system.
  17. Fight Night does what any good "sports sim" should: It teaches you how to excel at the sport it sims while still remaining fun, somehow. [May 2004, p.87]
  18. 80
    Be forewarned: your Street Fighter skills will be made irrelevant within roughly 10 seconds. Here, tactical forethought and impeccable timing count for way more than brute force.
  19. A solid Career and Create-a-player mode nicely round off a genuine oh-go-on-then-one-more-go game but the real fun to be had is in fighting on multiplayer.
  20. If you can deal with the slight learning curve for the controls, Fight Night won't disappoint any boxing fan. [May 2004, p.97]
  21. Computer Games Magazine
    By far, it's more fun to play against a human player with experience, than to play against the weak A.I. - the one area of the game that was glossed over. [Aug 2004, p.6]
  22. PSM Magazine
    The graphics and animation are solid, the camera is well-balanced, and knockdown replays capture all the sweat, blood, and punishment the sport offers. [May 2004, p.24]
  23. The total control punching system needs some work and some smoothing out, but it's still got some playability and fun.
  24. Surprisingly, for a game with such attention to finer details and apparent depth, the commentary gets a little flat and repetitive after awhile, even if it does have (perhaps because of) the EA Sports “attitude”.
  25. FN2004's brilliant analog stick punching system gives boxing its own genre - this is much more than just a beat 'em up with big red gloves and silly shorts on.
  26. A sublime evolution of a serious sports simulation that doesn't make life easy to start with but rewards you with depth, blood and belts. [Playstation 2 Max]
  27. The control system may be so new and fun that it's masking some of the game's problems. If so, then so be it for now because all we can do is love hitting this way.
  28. 89
    Cemented in the hall of sporting classics alongside titles like "Pro Evolution Soccer" and "Tiger Woods," Fight Night is a true modern classic.
  29. The detail in the fighter models and their movements is frighteningly convincing, and performing a violent action against another human being feels appreciably authentic.
  30. The career mode is enhanced, giving gamers the ability to not only design their boxer down to the size of his nose and colour of his shoes, but take their virtual pugilist through a training regimen while choosing their bouts with higher-ranked opponents.
  31. Instead of the usual push-button pugilism, throw punches using the analog stick—the direction and speed of the stick determine the swing; the trigger controls handle bobbing, weaving, and blocking.
  32. 80
    Sadly, Fight Night has left out back-alley options like fixing fights, in-fight cannibalism or even a seemingly drunk Larry Merchant doddering about the ring during the post-fight interviews. There’s always next year.
  33. The Xbox version is superior to the PS2 version but those without the choice will still get some great gameplay out of Fight Night 2004, even if they aren't the biggest fan of boxing.
  34. Once you get used to it, this game becomes both intuitive and satisfying.
  35. If you're looking for a comprehensive boxing title, then this is it. The depth of the gameplay and options, including online gameplay, will keep any boxing fan happy for a long time.
  36. Playboy
    Fight Night adds a bit of bob and weave through a control system that allows you to swivel your fighter at the hips. [Apr 2004, p.38]
  37. Taking on generic career-mode opponents can't match fighting friends. And chances are, they'll be no match for Leonard, Lewis, or Ali.
  38. But the game does have drawbacks. The road to the top is a long one and things become repetitive long before you get the chance to glove up against "The Greatest". And training - which is essential to boost your power, stamina and chin - becomes a real chore.

Awards & Rankings

#55 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. MuhamadA.
    Feb 17, 2005
    This game is f..king great just think MikeTyson punchout FightNight very fun game!
  2. [Anonymous]
    Nov 18, 2004
    For the most part, a great game. New punching system is awesome once mastered and the graphics and animation rule. Fought my way to the top, For the most part, a great game. New punching system is awesome once mastered and the graphics and animation rule. Fought my way to the top, won my first title...defended it once, then my boxer I worked so hard to mold was forced to retire! Needs more things to buy with the millions you earn. Full Review »
  3. TroelsP.
    Jun 3, 2004
    Nice game.. career mode is fun, but there arent realy other things to do than play career.