Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Barring minor flaws in the face of greatness, Knockout Kings 2002 is the closest any boxing fan can get to perfection without the missing teeth and a serious reduction of IQ.
  2. The most intense and realistic boxing simulation ever created thanks to its deep and challenging game play, responsive controls, cutting-edge visuals, and something not enough boxing games have: emotion.
  3. It may not be a true simulation, but it does capture the movement and punches more accurately then any other game. The game looks awesome.
  4. The mix of realism, accessibility, and dazzling visuals makes this one of the best boxing games available on any console.
  5. Just what fans of the series had been waiting for, a solid game that's even more real than before.
  6. 89
    I found that I was remarkably addicted, but also frustrated with the defensive scheme.
  7. Most importantly, last year’s control scheme has been reworked to now offer extremely responsive and fluid control of your fighters.
  8. Delivers the thrill of being in the ring with a totally new control scheme that offers players a greater degree of control over their fighters. Plus, the mobility of the fighters has been drastically increased.
  9. The best next-generation boxing game we've played yet. [Apr 2002]
  10. Its gameplay flaws make sure Knockout Kings will never take the title.
  11. Every hard knock is rewarded in the form of a nasty bruise on your opponent’s face.
  12. These niggles aside, there’s no argument about Knockout Kings 2002 being the most exciting, addictive and authentic boxing game on PS2.
  13. The boxing isn't as solid as the graphics. It's more fun than in years past, but the collision detection is way off. [Apr 2002, p.104]
  14. A decent punching game, but little else. The boxer creator was paltry at best, and training was non-existent. [Apr 2002, p.74]
  15. For being button-masher friendly and suffering from uninspiring Career and Tournament modes, the game still somehow manages to end up as a rather top-notch boxer.
  16. Sadly there is one fatal flaw that destroys any illusion of this being a simulation – the controls. The punches are easy enough to get used to but moving your character around the ring is a nightmare.
  17. It has some bad control issues, but comes with plenty of boxers, solid AI, a new faster engine and some of the best boxing graphics yet.
  18. 70
    With a complex control setup, Knockout Kings 2002 can be frustrating even before the first round ends.
  19. While the control isn't quite to the lofty heights of "Victorious Boxers," it holds up well in comparison.
  20. The game becomes nothing more than a button masher.
  21. 53
    The gameplay is fast and furious and fun for about three fights. Unless button mashing becomes the latest fitness craze, Knockout Kings 2002 will not impress you or your fitness instructor.
  22. 30
    Saying that Knockout Kings requires extreme wit is almost as heinous as claiming that George W. Bush is the most intelligent man on the planet, it just ain't gonna happen.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. GiorgioR.
    Sep 4, 2003
    I love the game, great graphics and gameplay, but I cant understand why Knockout Kings does not include Mike Tyson, Geroge Foreman or even Ezzard Charles. Tyson was clearly, in his prime, one of the greatest ever, having all three belts by age 21, you cant beat that. As well as George Foreman, who made miraculous come back to win a title after 20 years of his first title. "1974" to "94". I mean these are two of the greats that will need to be included before I even think of buying the game. Even the other old great Ezzard Charles who held the title for 3 years before the Marciano put him out of misery, he was still a good boxer and worth putting in the game i think. It cant be that hard to add in a few more boxers to the game, why not, please let me know why??? Full Review »
  2. WindsChange
    Apr 28, 2003
    This game does not have the depth of prior releases of the KOK line, but it definately has some MAJOR replay value. The career mode is just awful, and the lack of fight intros is a let down, but the only action that matters is the 3 minutes in the ring. Invite a couple of friends (and Ralph) and have your own fight club. You will not be sorry. This game is worth the price tag. Full Review »
  3. Ronnie
    Nov 7, 2002
    Hi, my name is Ronnie. And I wanted to ask specific questions, regarding the boxing game (for playstation 2 or x-box), knockout kings 2002. I loved the graphics and the realism placed in the video game. But my questions are, why isn't their more fighters? If you look at today's boxers, whether their retired, about to retire, or prolong their careers. You will see, they have anywhere from 37-40-45-49-52-55- or 60 fights, to there credit. I think alot of boxing fans feel this way, that there isn't enough fights for there created boxers, on the game. I would like to add, only as a suggestion, that their should be, twenty rookie fighters, beat them, be placed in the top 10, beat them have a run for the title, beat the champion, and defend your title 10 times, before retiring or make a quest to unify the title (three major belts), in all three weight classes (light, middle, and heavyweight). Also, making a variety of color gloves,trunks shoes, available on the playstation 2 version. The last question is, why isn't the boxers in the video game, wearing the same color gloves? My friends and I were just curious of these things. And we all seem to think, that this will really sell the game. Myself being a former amatuer boxer; the video game is fine, just not realistic enough. Full Review »