Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) combines numerous fighting styles into a spectacle of athleticism and strategy. In video gaming, many developers have recognized the appeal of MMA and created games that recreate its excitement and challenge.
The following list explores ten of the best MMA video games that capture this eclectic fight sport's essence – from precisely replicated moves and strategies to detailed reproductions of famous fighters.
UFC Undisputed set the standard for MMA video games. You can find it on both PS3 and Xbox 360, renowned for its truthful depiction of mixed martial arts nuances. This game had a nuanced combat system with a special focus on ground fight tactics. Just like gaming in crypto pokies players had to strategize and make decisive moves to secure victory.
The game had small problems, such as the absence of a southpaw stance and clipping. However, it surpassed former MMA titles substantially. Although simpler than its UFC counterparts, the system for reversal and submission was more user-friendly and mirrored real-life MMA closely.
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns brought an unexpected twist to wrestling games with its MMA mode, Gruesome Fighting. Available on PS2 and PlayStation Network, this game diverged from traditional wrestling gameplay, offering matches won through submission or KO.
The depth of its character creation tools was remarkable. Despite its wrestling roots, Fire Pro Wrestling Returns delivered a compelling MMA experience, blending the thrills of wrestling games with the tactical depth of mixed martial arts.
Pride FC: Fighting Championships
Anchor Inc.'s Pride FC: Fighting Championships marked their entrance into the realm of MMA gaming. Not initially a UFC title, it mirrored the Japanese MMA promotion, Pride FC. This entity later fell under Zuffa, LLC's ownership - the parent company of UFC.
The game set the stage for THQ’s series, UFC: Undisputed with robust gameplay dynamics and harsher rules. Though not perfect, it became notable for its real depiction of a less constrained period within MMA.
EA Sports UFC 2
EA Sports UFC marked a significant step up from its predecessor in EA's combat sports franchise. The game boasted exceptional visuals, an expanded roster including female fighters like Ronda Rousey and a fast, smooth stand-up game.
While the ground game presented a steep learning curve, the overall gameplay was more accessible than later UFC titles. Despite some content limitations, UFC 2 set itself apart with its striking graphics and fighter movement, capturing the dynamic nature of MMA.
Released for PS3 and Xbox 360, EA's MMA was a significant entry in the sports gaming genre. Before partnering with UFC, EA developed this title, focusing on the Strikeforce organization and a variation of Pride FC.
The control stick implementation felt awkward, but the game laid the groundwork for EA's future UFC titles. It stood out for its realistic approach to MMA, capturing the essence of the sport despite some gameplay limitations.
Fire Pro Wrestling World
Fire Pro Wrestling World continued the legacy of its predecessor with an engaging MMA mode. The game maintained the mechanics that made Fire Pro Wrestling Returns popular, including its comprehensive character-creation tools. Players could download a vast array of MMA fighters and wrestlers and craft their unique combatants. While not as complex as EA UFC 4, the game's simplicity added to its appeal, offering a more accessible experience with unpredictable matches based on fighter stamina.
UFC Undisputed 2010
UFC Undisputed built significantly upon its predecessor, enhancing the MMA gaming experience.
This installment introduced notable improvements, particularly in The Ultimate Fights Mode and an enriched Career Mode, offering deeper engagement for players. The game also revamped its clinch and ground grappling systems, allowing fighters to use the cage wall for strategic advantage.
EA Sports UFC 3
EA Sports UFC 3 represented a high point in MMA gaming with its exceptional visuals and animations. Despite criticism for its focus on cover star Conor McGregor and microtransaction elements, the game excelled in recreating the stand-up aspect of MMA fights. Its slow-motion replays showcased the impact of punches with stunning realism.
However, the ground game and the challenging submission system needed refinement. EA Sports UFC 3 balanced impressive graphics with engaging gameplay, though some aspects held it back from being the ultimate MMA title
EA's UFC 4
EA's UFC 4 marked a significant evolution in EA’s series of MMA games. At launch, the game faced criticism for issues like an exploitable clinch system and the removal of elbows from the dominant position.
However, subsequent patches and updates significantly improved the gameplay, making it more accessible than its predecessors. EA's UFC 4 stood out for its balanced approach to combat, offering a mix of striking and grappling that appealed to a broad range of players.
UFC Undisputed 3
UFC Undisputed 3 is often revered as the pinnacle of MMA gaming. As final game from Yukes under the THQ agreement brought significant improvements over its predecessors, particularly in the stand-up game and a refined submission system.
These enhancements made it more accessible to a wider audience, including both MMA fans and casual players. The inclusion of the Japanese PRIDE FC league added authenticity and variety, offering a different fighting experience compared to the UFC.