Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!

aka: Punch-Out!!, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
Moby ID: 10305
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out is one of the most popular and biggest selling video games of all time. Step into the ring as Little Mac, a 17-year-old fighter from the Bronx, ranked number three in the minor circuit. Your goal is to work your way up through the rankings so that you can challenge Mike Tyson, Kid Dynamite, in a dream fight.

But the road to the championship is long and hard. You'll have to work your way up through the minor, major, and world circuits by winning 14 bouts against some very tough opponents.

The rules of the World Video Boxing Association govern your bouts. Each match is three three-minute rounds long. Any boxer knocked down for a 10 count is Knocked Out (KO). If a boxer goes down three times, he'll find himself a Technical Knock Out (TKO). If both boxers make it to the end of the third round, the ref determines the winner.

Once you're in the ring you'll have to beat your opponent with smart fighting. Use left and right punches, as well as uppercuts to knock your opponent to the mat. Dodge your opponent's blows with some fancy footwork. Dazzle them with your brilliance and you'll be the World Video Boxing Association Champion. On the other hand, you might find yourself down for the count.

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Credits (NES version)

13 People

  • Nintendo of America
Game Designer
Character Design
Music Composer
Electrical Engineer



Average score: 85% (based on 31 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 104 ratings with 6 reviews)

The Most Entertaining Boxing Game Ever Made.

The Good
I'll start this review by stating that I am simply not a sports game fan. That aside, this still remains one of my favorite NES games of all time. This holds to Nintendo's ability to make an entertaining game back in their glory days.

Mike Tyson's career behavior not withstanding, the game offers a colorful selection of characters with personality, instead of two palette-swapped fighters blandly pounding away at each other. Each character was different, fully animated and entertaining. Same went for all of the little nods to the company, from the amusing Mario cameo, to Doc's advising Little Mac to join the Nintendo Fun Club (Pre-Nintendo Power). Even Little Mac himself had a bit of spirit to him, which kept him from being the generic boxer found in the arcade.

The music was simple, and as unforgettable as it might have been, it stays with you, same as the majority of classic themes from those old 8-bit games. The sounds are basic, with bleeps for laughter and grunts, but again, it works.

Gameplay is where it excels. The game is simply FUN. Never before or since has there been a boxing game as entertaining to me as Punch-Out!! The gameplay is rock solid, and even when you learn all the strategies and secrets, it's still fun to blow through over and over again. It's one of those classics that simply remains at its heart a great game, and never loses what made it special in the first place.

The Bad
Every boxer is different. And while the early ones are easy, the later ones can get cheap. Especially when they unrelentingly pound on you, or take you down in one hit (Mike Tyson).

And while battery save games were still finding their way from novel to mainstream, I have never been a password fan. The passwords in Punch-Out!! are not as bad as some games that came out, but it was still a tedious process to put in codes when you were ready to go.

Regardless of its issues, there's not enough to really bring this game down.

The Bottom Line
Punch-Out!!, like Kid Icarus, is a franchise that screams for an update. It got a SNES sequel, and Little Mac has recently made an appearance in Electronic Arts' Fight Night Round 2, but the series either needs a Game Boy Advance, conversion, a fighter appearance in the next Smash Bros. game, or an all new title on the next system.

Regular Punch-Out!! is just fine. But Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! - For all the hype and controversy it got back in the day, it remains a true classic.

NES · by Guy Chapman (1748) · 2005

Not Even Mike Can Ruin The Greatest Game Of All Time

The Good
Now, mind you, I was six. This was years before I discovered the internet, and the internal workings of a video game, and how to rate control schemes, and, most importantly, replayability. Before I even knew what the notion of playing games over meant, I completely personified it by wearing the copper out on my M.T.P.O. cartridge. I played this title like Mike locked himself in a room with my mom and demanded for me to finish the game before he opened it. I was focused, I was passionate, and I would not quit. Unfortunately for my mother, she's still Kid Dynamite's proverbial captive, but I'm going to beat it, I promise. It's just that pleasurably difficult. It's simple, you start by kicking the snot outta glass joe, and you end by watching Super Macho Man wipe the floor with you. If you're some of the chosen few who can win the Major World Circuit title, and face Tyson, then you belong to a select fraternity of gentlemen. Have you ever seen two jeeps pass each other on the road? Ever see them wave at each other? That's the jeep fraternity. Every jeep owner waves at every other jeep owner, I don't know why, but it happens. Now watch for people who aren't in jeeps waving at each other. I guarantee you that's people who've beaten Mike Tyson's Punch Out. They just know; there's a mutual acknowlegement of how they carry themselves. It's like climbing Everest. Tyson took you down in one punch, even if you blocked it. It didn't matter. If you beat him; you were god. No, seriously, a tiny angel greeted you, and informed you that the land was overrun by monsters, and it was your job to slay them. But alas, Actraiser is another review for another time.

The Bad
Great Tiger. Forget how easy he is, once you learn how to beat him. Forget how much harder Bald Bull, Sandman, Super Macho Man, and Tyson are. When you first fought Great Tiger, when you first got spanked by Great Tiger, when the guy disappeared and started kicking your ass in blurs, y'all stood up and said, "Badass."

Oh, yeah, and bringing back Piston Honda, Don Flamenco, and Bald Bull in the last circuit was pretty cop-outish, I thought. Still great fights, but logically, if you beat them, how do they show up later fighting a champion they've already lost to?

The Bottom Line
If you own an NES, there are a few, key must-own games that define the system. This is inarguably on that list.

NES · by Jeff Clawson (6) · 2003

Mario is the referee, what else do you need

The Good
Any sense of realism is quickly abandoned the second you beat Glass Joe and you are set up against the most stereotypical German ever, followed by a guy from Japan who can only speak in words like "Honda" "Kamikaze" and a few car brands. I don't like realism, so it's funny to see a game throw it overboard like this and sailing away on the S.S. Sillyness (why isn't sillyness a word?!?). The stereotypes just keep flying at you and the game reaches it's top when you have to fight against an Arabian magician.

The controls are really fluent and fast with only the special ability been bound to the start button (why in the world would you choose start for this?), aside from that one stupid choice you will easily learn how to dodge and attack while fighting Glass Joe (no tutorial needed). It feels pretty awesome to successfully dodge somebody and then give them the uppercut and the best thing is that you don't need any weird combo moves to pull such a thing off.

The graphics absolutely blow my mind every time I see them, seriously just play Super Mario Bros. for a few minutes and then switch to this game, it looks like you just jumped eight bits forward. Characters look awesome, there is a crowd in the back and it has a cut-scene where Little Mac jogs through New York City and you can see the statue of liberty on the background. That is just amazing, I can't even begin to imagine how they managed to fit this on a NES-cartridge.

The Bad
Opponents never stay the down, they always climb back to their feet and the only way I ever beat them was through TKO (taking them down three times in just one round). It doesn't bother me too much since I still made it to the magician guy and almost beyond, but it just feels off that somebody still stands up within ten seconds after he got punched down eight times in just a few minutes. It gets a little problematic when fighting the characters who require a special tactic because you can't really take them down fast enough most of the time.

The Bottom Line
Punch-Out!! is a funny game with a lot of character to it, realism is keelhauled several seconds in, the graphics are breathtaking and the gameplay works perfect, so I don't know who wouldn't enjoy this game. The only people I can't recommend this game to are the ones who are looking for something casual and easy to play because this game tends to be very hard and requires multiple sessions in order to get past certain parts. If you can handle a little challenge, then this game is definitely worth checking out.

NES · by Asinine (956) · 2011

[ View all 6 player reviews ]



In between each tournament, Little Mac jogs through New York while his trainer Doc Louis leads him on a bike. This harmless scene became one of the biggest internet sensations, at the same level of Zero Wing's All Your Base, when a SomethingAwful.com user added the caption "Nigga stole my bike!" in one of their weekly photoshop contests. The picture soon spread and became a hype, in spite of the racist undercurrent. One of the end results, a YTMND showing the animation, along with a voiced song, can be found in the related links section.

NES version differences

When the 3-year licensing deal with Mike Tysonwas up, Nintendo decided not to renew it as Tyson was no longer world champion. The character was redesigned and named "Mr. Dream" and the game was re-released as simply Punch-Out!!. Not all passwords from the old version were compatible with the new one.

Technical issues

The "Little Mac" storyline was a product of technical issues that developers were confronted with in bringing the game to the NES. The arcade games featured a see-through character to allow the player adequate view of their opponent. This method would not work on the NES, therefore the idea of a tiny main character (Little Mac) was adopted in successful effort to provide a clear and full view of the opposing boxer.

Version differences

Originally, the arcade version of Punch Out! featured a Russian character named "Vodka Drunkenski." In the NES version his name was changed to "Soda Popinski." Although it seems clear that the primary motivation for this change was Nintendo's censorship guidelines (one of which forbids liquor references), it's also possible that the name was changed at least partially motivated by a desire to tone down the character's image as a stereotypical Russian drunk.


  • EGM
    • February 2006 (Issue #200) - named #44 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"* Game Informer Magazine
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - voted #14 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll

Information also contributed by Big John WV, CaptainCanuck, D Michael, PCGamer77, and Sciere


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Related Sites +

  • Nigga stole my bike!
    A YTMND showing an animation of the famous "Nigga stole my bike!" phenomenon based on a scene from this game, along with a voiced song.
  • Video review of NES accessories (WARNING: Laguage)
    The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews some NES accessories and some associated games, including the U-Force and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on NES.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 10305
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by RKL.

Nintendo 3DS added by Lance Boyle. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Wii added by Sciere. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual.

Additional contributors: Shoddyan, Sciere, Alaka, LepricahnsGold, Thomas Helsing, Harmony♡.

Game added September 10, 2003. Last modified June 14, 2024.