Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 100
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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”.
  6. 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.
  7. 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]
  8. As a reinvention it's a resounding success, and there are no pretenders to its comprehensiveness [May 2004, p.107]
  9. 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]
  10. At the very least a more responsive stick-based system would have been a plus. but as it stands it almost feels too much of a simulation at the expense of action - although doubtlessly some of you will admire that approach.
  11. 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).
  12. Succeeds in creating a completely new formula for the sweet science. [Apr 2004, p.88]
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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]
  16. Once you get used to it, this game becomes both intuitive and satisfying.
  17. While the gameplay is solid, the Total Punch Control is still no match for the reliability of the digital pad, and the game lacks the "Just one more match" appeal that makes other sports games shine.
  18. 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.
  19. 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]
  20. 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]
  21. Fight Night 2004 reinvigorates the boxing genre. It also offers the most realistic control, gameplay, and graphics that the genre has ever seen.
  22. 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.
  23. It works so well EA may have just have spoiled the chances of any other boxing title that harks back to the simpler time of button pressing to throw out your uppercuts and jabs.
  24. Simply put, this is one of the most accurate and lovingly devised sims ever created.
  25. 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.
  26. The detail in the fighter models and their movements is frighteningly convincing, and performing a violent action against another human being feels appreciably authentic.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 60
    The most realistic and polished boxing game that has ever been created. However, at the same time, it doesn't compel me to really appreciate the sport more. While it does force you to learn more about boxing in order to win at high levels.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  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, 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.