Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
Buy On
  1. I don't listen to rap music and I know very little about it, but I am enthralled by this game's easy control; wild over-the-top moves; and enjoyable story mode.
  2. 90
    More than just a port of a PlayStation 2 fighting game—it’s a port of a very good PlayStation 2 fighting game... The GameCube version suffers a bit on a few fronts, most notably its controls and graphics.
  3. 89
    When it comes to two-player action, you'll be hard-pressed to find a smoother, slicker slobber knocker than this wrestler... The highest rated wrestling game on the site.
  4. There’s a ton of replay value with the numerous game modes, and the computer opponents can always be counted on for a challenge, especially with the expansive number of moves for each fighter.
  5. Game Informer
    It may not have the depth that wrestling fans expect - such as character creation, gimmick matches, or the largest assortment of moves - but the fundamentals of play are of a much higher quality than any other game in the genre. [Apr 2003, p.88]
  6. The stunning graphics, superb sound and beautifully addictive gameplay are several of the factors that make this a great game.
  7. A vicious high-adrenaline wrestling/street fighting game that defies conventional brawler concepts while managing to one up its nearest WWE competition in terms of style and gameplay.
  8. This game is beautiful to control, I just wish I could have a more broad story mode so I can play as the rappers or the other wrestlers instead of just 4 made up ones.
  9. As a wrestling game, Def Jam Vendetta manages to succeed on most every level, providing surprisingly deep gameplay, quality graphics and sound, and a distinctive atmosphere.
  10. If you’re a fan of the wrestling genre, Def Jam Vendetta is just what the doctor ordered.
  11. While the lack of extra modes or the theme of the game may turn some people off, most everyone else should enjoy the game.
  12. There's no denying that DJV is an awesome game with a lot of flash, charisma, style and action.
  13. 80
    Perhaps the best thing that Def Jam Vendetta has going for it, though, is its attitude. The developers took this idea and ran with it, a tactic that makes story mode as engaging as a B movie.
  14. Play Magazine
    Def Jam Vendetta is extremely violent (and I mean that in the most positive way).
  15. AKI certainly succeded in making a fun wrestling game. On top of that, they’ve managed to keep it completely free of ridiculous men wearing tights.
  16. 75
    Even with all its flaws, Def Jam Vendetta is the best wrestling game currently on the market.
  17. Nintendo Power
    The inventive momentum-building feature helps keep matches exciting and victory within reach. [June 2003, p.137]
  18. GMR Magazine
    One of the fastest-paced, most exciting wrestling games we've ever played... [But] effectively dealing with multiple opponents is highly problematic. [Apr 2003, p.70]
  19. Unfortunately, Def Jam drops the mic again by not providing any sort of Character Creator.
  20. It's with a sigh of unfufilled expectations and through clenched teeth that I say Def Jam Vendetta is the best US wrestler this generation.
  21. During the mulitplayer portion of the game, I also encountered some pretty big design flaws, which you might call bugs, but I hesitate to do so. A tag team match can't be ended the normal ways each time, and I've played with three of my friends for a half hour or more without being able to end a single match.
  22. Entertainment Weekly
    When all is said and done, Vendetta is an uninspired wrestling title that lacks Def Jam's trademark sheen. [21 Mar 2003, p.120]

Awards & Rankings

#68 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Sep 14, 2017
    An amazing wrestling game that got a massive following in which resulted in one of the greatest wrestling/games of all time Def Jam Fight forAn amazing wrestling game that got a massive following in which resulted in one of the greatest wrestling/games of all time Def Jam Fight for New York. This is what WCW 2000 became and what a result it turned out to be.

    The graphics are really good and the models of the rappers yet cartoonish with a mix of realism are pretty impressive. The animation was impressive too. The music is sublime. The second best rap soundtrack in a wrestling game ever. Fight For New York had the perfect soundtrack. The sound is superb. The gameplay is exactly like all the WCW/WWF games on the Nintendo 64. There are many moves and combos to perform. I love the BLAZIN move. Most of the finishers are pretty badass and some are terrible. The game has a massive roster. There are many rappers and characters to unlock along with costumes and venues.

    The only things the game was missing was the lack of match types, no create a fighter mode and no customization system. The reversal system was annoying and gets really infuriating when you are playing on a higher difficulty against the AI. The tag team AI was so anger inducing with the constant reversals and blocks. The camera and crowd graphics was also terrible.

    Fight For New York would improve on everything that this game was missing and everything else that need to be polished.

    Overall an amazing game.
    Full Review »
  2. Frostydablackman
    Apr 23, 2003
    The sh*t...this game is.
  3. Koala
    Apr 17, 2003
    Best Game Ever!