Bear's Claw, <i>Victorious Boxers</i> (PS2)-
No refs, no rings, and no Dan Haggerty to save your sorry ass—it's just you versus one cheesed-off grizzly. He may be slow, but he's by far the most devastating opponent ever seen in any fighting game. A single swipe from the bear's paw means instant K.O. death. Our advice: bring a magazine when fighting him. That way you'll have something to read during all of the inevitable reload screens.
Back to the Best of Gaming
The Beast's Cheat Code Punches, <i>Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing</i> (Sega Genesis)-
Go into the character creation mode, type "The Beast," and you'll transform, Hulk-esque, into a green version of one of the game's shittier characters, Alan Beast. The only difference is that all of your power and stamina stats are maxed out, allowing you to dole out unlimited face spankings with reckless abandon.
Ivan Drago's Uppercut, <i>Rocky</i> (PS2, Xbox)-
Ever since we first saw Rocky III, we've wanted a shot at Clubber Lang. So we were heartbroken to learn that the game's A-list opponents—Apollo Creed, Tommy Gunn, and yes, Lang—are all tomato cans. For a real challenge, step into the ring with this Ricky Schroeder on Roids. Just don't say we didn't warn you when, after you thought you had him cornered, he strings together a vicious combination of uppercuts that can't be stopped with anything but the reset button.
Hoy Quarlow's Wooden Crutch, <i>Super Punch-Out!!</i> (SNES)-
He's 78 years old, weighs 100 pounds, and looks like he should be in a nursing home sipping Metamucil mai tais, but trust us—Hoy is a one-man pain-making machine. He brings a withered wooden crutch into the ring with him which he uses to deliver vicious, Ike Turner–style beatdowns that take anywhere from one third to half of your health.
Bald Bull's Bull Rush, <i>Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!</i> (NES), <i>Super Punch-Out!!</i> (SNES)-
Our favorite shorn Turk (sorry, Mahmud of Ghazni!) has a knack for providing the most memorable moments in any Punch-Out!! game. Here's how it usually goes: you've won a few fights, you start getting cocky. Suddenly, Bald Bull backs up to the far side of the ring, and before you can count your heirs—wham!—he hits you like an 18-wheeler driven by Halle Berry, knocking you down for the count.
Balrog's Turn Punch, <i>Street Fighter II</i> (SNES)-
Slower than grandma on her Rascal scooter, Balrog almost never gets any playing time from our inner circle of friends. But, for those who know the secrets of the ghetto-bred Mike Tyson lookalike, turning opponents into ear meat is as simple as holding down all three punch or kick buttons for a few seconds. Letting go unleashes the turn punch, which, executed properly, could take out half a health meter in one blow.
Butter Bean's Power Punch, <i>Toughman Contest</i> (Sega Genesis 32x)-
Defeating all of the game's international superstar fighters awakens boxing's grizzliest of bears from hibernation. The buxom Butter Bean hops—OK, waddles—into the ring and proceeds to rain punches down on you like you've been hiding bacon bits in your butthole. He tops off his flurry of flabulous fists with one of his power punches, which can sap up to a quarter of your energy.
Furious Fax Motar's Turn Punch, <i>Ready 2 Rumble</i>-
What would a post–Iraq War boxing game be without a character that evokes Saddam Hussein? Sporting a pony tail and a Saudi smirk that screams "Wanna see 72 virgins?" Faz pisses on the rules of boxing by taking a few steps backward and then throwing a health meter–halfing spinning elbow punch, cleverly named "Cruise Missile," that'll knock you into Dubai.
Brock Lesnar's Flailing Arms of Meat, <i>UFC 2009 Undisputed</i> (Xbox 360, PS3)-
You don't just sashay into the Octagon and expect to win some fights without some hardcore mixed martial arts training...unless you're Brock Lesnar. The world-class wrestler and former WWE superstar needed just under a year and a half of full-on MMA training to get into the ring with the legendary Randy Couture and completely dominate a fight against him, winning the UFC Heavyweight title in the process. The monster from Minneapolis is able to defeat veterans of the sport with his sheer strength, massive frame, and power punches—remember, this is a guy who has to cut weight just to make the 265-lb. weight limit.
Mike Tyson's Dynamite Punches, <i>Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!</i> (NES)-
Before the "Baddest Man on the Planet" lived up to his name in every conceivable way, he was the face of the best boxing game ever. Fight your way through 13 other opponents and you'll go toe-to-toe with Tyson and his one-hit knockdown Dynamite Punches. Precise dodging and cat-like reflexes are your only shot at survival, which is why, almost 22 years after its release, we have yet to beat the game. The cartridge just sits there atop our dresser... judging.
Nick Bruiser's Dashing Forearm, <i>Super Punch-Out!!</i> (NES)-
With Mike Tyson doing time, the sequel to the original Punch-Out!! divvied final-boss duties between inbred fictional brothers Rick and Nick Bruiser. Rick's nasty, but Nick's nastier. How do we know? After he knocks you down—and he will knock you down many, many times—he turns his back on you and returns to his corner. So cold, bro! His punches go off like cannon blasts, and even if you block them, they still do alarming amounts of damage.
Eiji Date's Corkscrew Punch, <i>Victorious Boxers</i> (PS2)-
Never heard of him? Never heard of Victorious Boxers? You're not alone. Our advice: report to your local game store, roll up your sleeves, and root through the used bin until you turn up a copy of one of the most thrilling, pants-peeing fighting games ever crafted. You'll realize just how good it is during your bout with the slick-moving, hard-punching Date, especially when you're trying to avoid his turn-you-Japanese corkscrew punch. How powerful is it? In the anime series, it can open a portal to another dimension.