Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. The game’s actual fighting has also been incredibly revamped.
  2. It's faster, harder, dirtier, louder, and quite simply, the most brutal beat-'em-up we've ever had the joy of playing. In fact it's more than brutal - it's downright vicious. And smack our head repeatedly into an iron girder if it isn't fun.
  3. Anything bad you remember regarding Vendetta, you won't see it in this follow-up.
  4. The next game should be unstoppable, but it better well feature Eric B. and Rakim.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The best jam wrestling/street fighting/kick boxing game on the market.
  8. The innovative KO style of the fights and the inventive way of using the crowd and the environment to lay the smack down is very satisfying.
  9. I recommend it if you aren’t squeamish about knocking the crap out of very realistic and very familiar looking people.
  10. 90
    As far as sequels go, Fight for NY is to "Vendetta" what "The Empire Strikes Back" was to "Star Wars."
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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]
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Aug 23, 2013
    Tremendous graphics, a deep customization system, an incredible variety of fighting moves and a compelling story, Def Jam: Fight for NY is one of the top games of the previous generation.

    Just being able to beat up, then team up later with Ice-T is worth the price of admission.
    Full Review »
  2. ZiftK.
    Jun 14, 2006
    A really good fighting game. The fighting system is solid, anyone with a taste for fighting games should give this one a try.
  3. PhillipF.
    Nov 28, 2004
    Truly a great game. As a wrestling game, it's excellent. The story and (awesome) graphics make it even better.