EA Sports UFC Review Roundup

Is EA's new Xbox One and PS4 MMA brawler a champ or is it down for the count?

The month of June has been fairly light for high-profile games, but one such title was EA Sports UFC for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which launched on June 17. Now that reviewers have entered the virtual Octagon and tried their hand at the the MMA brawler, it's time to find out: is it a champ?

The $60 game, which is powered by EA's Ignite engine and is available only on current-generation consoles, currently has a Metacritic score of 73 for Xbox One and 71 on PlayStation 4. To help you get up to speed with what the critics are saying, we've rounded up some reviews and posted excerpts below.

For more on the critical reception to EA Sports UFC, be sure to read GameSpot sister site Metacritic's full coverage.

GameSpot -- 5/10

"The graphical foundation is in place, but there are too many flawed combat systems to call this a strong debut for what's sure to be an annualized series. EA Sports UFC manages to make only certain aspects of MMA both fun and functional, forcing most fights to play out in a familiar, brawling fashion. Even if you do enjoy swinging for the fences, there's just not enough content here to justify the full retail price. It might look the part of a world champion, but EA Sports UFC will need a great deal of fine-tuning before it's up to snuff." [Full review]

IGN -- 6.8/10

"EA Sports UFC looks the part to a tee, and its exhaustive list of moves and techniques represent the complex nature of the sport well. But knowing that each second could be your fighter's last is what gives weight and drama to mixed martial arts, and without that, these bouts fall flat. I love the amount of respect the developers clearly have for every aspect of the sport, but reverence and attention to detail alone can't stand in for a missing sense of danger and excitement." [Full review]

AusGamers -- 4.7/10

"EA Sports UFC is form over function. It's all show, no go, a pretty fighter without the know-how to back it up in the octagon. The Ignite engine successfully delivers a game which makes casual observers double-take as they attempt to work out if they're watching the real thing or not, but anyone with the controller in their hand will know something is wrong. Like so many early releases in a console's life cycle it's a showcase title--get it if you want to justify your console purchase to your significant other or if you want to punch-on with your mates without the legal repercussions, but fair warning--dig at all and you'll realize just how shallow the game really is." [Full review]

Game Informer -- 8/10

"EA Sports UFC isn't the easiest fighter to learn--it's a complex beast that rewards dedicated warriors who are driven to succeed. Each match plays out like a chess match where combatants feel out their opponents' strategies and exploit openings. EA's attention to detail might feel unnatural to fighting fans weaned on titles like Street Fighter and Smash Bros., but UFC's methodical pacing will knock out MMA enthusiasts." [Full review]

EGM -- 9/10

"The best representation of the action that happens inside the Octagon yet. While it's not simple, the control scheme is still easy enough to learn that it takes the experience to an entirely new level as you break your opponents down standing up, in the clinch, or on the mat. With outstanding next-gen visuals, EA Sports UFC is good enough to carry around a championship belt." [Full review]

Shacknews -- 7/10

"EA Sports UFC may not be as fully fleshed out as UFC Undisputed 3 was, but it's a splendid starting point for what could be a powerhouse franchise for the team. The gameplay dials most of the right numbers, even with the simplified ground game, and the presentation nails the sport's authenticity, right down to that painful tap-out. It'll obviously get places in a few years, but for now, it's got just the right amount of appeal to knock fans out." [Full review]

VideoGamer -- 6/10

"UFC is simply OK when it should have been great. Considering how long it's been in development, and the breadth of content at EA's disposal, I can’t help but be disappointed by what’s on offer." [Full review]

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
EA Sports UFC

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51 comments
aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

So this is the Sacred 3 video review eh? I guess the GameSpot "B Team" is on shift at the moment...

yoda101280
yoda101280

uh, I clicked on video review for sacred 3, why am I here...

gandialand
gandialand

fighting games are becoming more realistic. the gameplay is perfect.

blackace
blackace

I haven't played the game in depth yet, so I can't really make a solid judgement. I played as Bruce Lee in 3 fights and I lost the first 2 fights. One was a lucky bunch. The 2nd match I tired out and couldn't move. In the final match I knocked out the guy in the first round.

lilflipp
lilflipp

Ground game is too complex to make it legit. You'd need some crazy physics and mechanics. If you could control your limbs and hips, and do things like hip escapes and use momentum that way you would actually have to move the correct limbs towards the right direction and body weight transfer. That way you would need to use a bit more of your brain and use human kinetics to escape stuff.

You could try and bait a submission and as the opponent is trying to defend by moving the body or limb in a certain direction, it would leave openings that you could go for. It would be more strategical, more like real jiujitsu.

A bit like what Hockey games have done with decking.


Maybe I'm asking too much. xD The ground game just doesn't feel right. It's about stats more than knowledge.

VintAge68
VintAge68

Eurogamer had 7/10 --which is still far more acceptable than the GS guy's flawed 5... Thanks for adding some more flavors to this picture

Ensabuhnur
Ensabuhnur

THQ was just better at making MMA games. Imagine that, another sport game that EA paints a pretty picture with but forgets the gameplay on.


Hey

ITS IS IN THE GAME, ITS NOT IN AN EA GAME 


LOL

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

People hate Tom when he gives a game a score lower than other people, it's such a "Tom" thing to do.

When other people do it, it's fine apparently.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

its nowhere near realistic from what ive watched on you tube. If they made it realistic as hell, not just a slug fest, it would be a more interesting game. It should be like a tactical chess match. NOT a slug fest. Sure have a slug fest mode, but it should have a full on simulation mode. That every punch you throw takes energy. Every kick has a consequence, if it misses. Every move you go for has a risk. Something thats ALWAYS missing in games like this, is the risk vs reward element to fighting.


They should of gone with 2K Sports. 

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Disappointing.  I keep hoping that they will bring Fight Night back but I know they will ruin it.

ritjos71
ritjos71

I've played pretty much every MMA game to come out in the past 5 years. This game is gorgeous, and I've found it fun to play. The in the ring content of this game feels solid to me. I do think the animations need some work, especially with the quicker fighters who don't look 100 percent fluid when they are stringing together a quick combination. With that said though, I feel this is the best submission system ever implemented. The ground/clinch game is very strong as well.


The rest of the stuff in the game isn't as impressive though, outside of the opening "Ultimate Fighter" in career mode, it is just tedious as you climb up the ranks. I do like the perk system that lets you customize your fighter on the fly between fights, actually allowing you to build a strategy for each fight whether it be offensive/defensive or ground/standup/submission. That's sadly where the customization ends though because essentially every fighter you make and every fighter in the game are the same character. They all have the same move sets filled with spinning backfists, superman punches, and off the cage attacks. Even though several fighters go their whole careers without performing any of those attacks. 


I'm not disappointed that I bought this game, and I'd recommend it to any MMA fan, but I really hope EA takes a year off maybe two before they toss out their next attempt at a UFC game. That way they can really focus on bringing out a more complete experience, as well as improve on the strong foundation they've built here with the combat in this game.

DGfishingtime
DGfishingtime

To the casual gamer, yes it will probably review bad. To us hardcore fans, most of us love it. There is depth to the gameplay. Just not the amount of modes. Especially offline where so many will play the game. The abilities are a great addition. The core gameplay is solid. Yes, people play it like they just know how to hit buttons. However, trying to actually play it like a real MMA fight will make you enjoy it that much more. No 100% accumulated head damage like Undisputed had. I've been to so many decisions that I actually think the judges are right from the UFC. Of course some decisions make you scratch your head, but it was a decision. Very few matches went to a decision in Undisputed.

itz_sinz
itz_sinz

How could a game with such potential and promise, turn into such a turd? ... ah yeah, EA are making it. Nevermind.

mattcake
mattcake

I have literally zero interest in UFC, but I still woulda bought it if it played as good as it looks. Now I'll pick it up in a bargain bin and probably never even unwrap it. I'm lazy like that.

DEATH775
DEATH775

Looks like this will be on PS+ next year. YAY :)

domisbatman
domisbatman

This game isn't bad those 4s and 5s aren't even justified.It's a solid UFC game,I was actually shocked on how good it was.

smackdowner360
smackdowner360

The game is garbage good job ea putting no work at all into this.Glad the pre orders was low and the game will flop no doubt.Glad i passed on buying this piece of trash

uraveragegamer
uraveragegamer

I actually enjoy playing this game... Yes there are some limitations & yes EA could have just recycled most of the gameplay formula from THQ's Undisputed franchise but as strangely as this may sound to many I am glad they took another direction.

Starting a game from the ground up is never an easy task especially if developers are trying to bring a new feel & experience that is different from a company who has basically set the blue print on how to make a really great MMA game (THQ)... So with that being said there is definitely much room for improvement but I for one am pleased with this 1st installment of the game.

I don't knock games based off of someone's review because a review is basically just someone's opinion. I play the game used first then I decide for myself whether it is worth keeping or returning. With that being said I give EA UFC a 7.5/10 score. I'm keeping my copy for sure.

Gen007
Gen007

It's trash and that was to be expected really I mean i hate to be on that bandwagon but it's EA. Also classic EA is to deliver the most underwhelming product possible when you know there's 0 competition and never will be.  That's exactly what they've done here. I wish it would have been possible for someone else to take over the UFC license but in reality it would have been impossible for someone to take it from EA which is a shame. As a UFC i guess im just going to have to face the fact that ill probably be die before there's another good UFC game. Hold your copies of undisputed 3 close folks.

Megamoss1984
Megamoss1984

Doesn't look particularly good, a bit disappointing.  Undisputed 2009 was a blast and I played it regularly.  The balancing was perfect and what it lacked in variety it made up for in tension, replayability and a sense of satisfaction.

On the plus side I've seen a video of some technical glitches and they're absolutely hilarious.

kellian1
kellian1

So EA takes exclusive control of a sport and proceeds to ruin the video game for said sport? Some things never change...

FighterforJC
FighterforJC

Take it from me, the ONLY real authority on this game.  The bad reviews ALL came from ARCADE fighting fans who hoped to land 10-hit unblockables but got something else coming.  This is HANDS DOWN the best MMA game ever made.  Is it perfect?  Not at all.  Is it better than any UFC Undisputed game?  By a mile.

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

So low UFC ratings are telling me that Bruce Lee dies of Brain Hemorrhage.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Other critics liked it better than Gamespot, but it still doesn't seem like a champ. Better put that 60 dollar on some champ-agne instead.

Stiler
Stiler

The main problem with this game is the ground game/clinching/submissions, it all just feels fcheap. 


The main problem is how EASY it is to get out of, just keep a clicking on your left thumbsticka nd you can EASILY get out of ANY ground position, even full mount. There's never any sense of "oh crap I'm in a bad position" while playing because of this. 


Also all fighters having access to the suplex throws and other things, not all fighters should have access to that move and the window is sooooo short to block it, it leads to many people online just spamming takedowns over and over and over.



Then you have the fighters like Jon Jones, who is just simply OP as hell, seriously every fight he will rock you in just a couple of hits. It's like playing against Mike Tyson in punch out.

DrKill09
DrKill09

EGM?!  I thought they went out of business back in like 2009.

Armyboy5
Armyboy5

I bought a PS4 for this -.-

Snowx1
Snowx1

@aegis_kleais  lol

jellyman68
jellyman68

@ritjos71 Nice to see an objective analysis of the game. I keep seeing comments written by people who obviously haven't even played the game, or have never sparred or fought in their life and have inaccurate views on what is realistic in a fight. EA can certainly do better with this game, but it's nowhere near as bad as the "omg complete waste of money worse game ever EA have ruined this" comments that I keep seeing.

haze0986
haze0986

@DGfishingtime hardcore fans of what? EA? because no hardcore mma fan would say this game has depth, youve clearly never watched or have never played a ufc game before...this is less in depth than undisputed 09

itz_sinz
itz_sinz

@domisbatman What's solid about it? Career mode was just embarassing, Online is filled with tranny and move spammers. The animations are awful and I mean God-awful. The stats of the fighters aren't realistic, I mean c'mon, Johnny Hendricks has won 1 fight in his career via submission, but has a 92 Submission rating!? Higher than Wanderlei Silva who's a BJJ Black Belt. This game really is a joke.

itz_sinz
itz_sinz

Go and compare EA MMA to Undisputed, then compare EA UFC to Undisputed and you tell me if this was really made from the ground up. 

joey2010
joey2010

@kellian1 Indeed. Reminds me of the disastrous job they did with the harry potter games. The people over in EA needs to burn in hell for all the disservice and these inhumane things they keep doing.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

@FighterforJC it's pretty obvious you never played the last 3 ufc games. 

and lol this is more arcade than mvc 

Guimengo1
Guimengo1

@FighterforJC


Couldn't it just be that it progressed from EA MMA which was well inferior to Undisputed 3? EA has been very consistent at doing that with their sports games. New game, sure, but same mindset and people behind will not show significant improvement.


Undisputed had plenty of issues but it felt quite reasonable.

VintAge68
VintAge68

@Armyboy5 I played it and I iked it :[] and I know also several video gamers that practice fighting and liked the game, too. And don't forget, EA does also pay for using *real* fighter names (incl Bruce Lee) and licenses...

BuBsay
BuBsay

@Armyboy5 Buying a console in excitement for an EA game will always end in disappointment.

VintAge68
VintAge68

@Gelugon_baat @VintAge68 Well, that's your standard line, try finding another one :/


One question: are you getting paid by GS for putting down dissenters 

under the guise of offering constructive criticism...?

DGfishingtime
DGfishingtime

@haze0986 Actually, I was a moderator for the Undisputed series forums and was even flown out to California to test UFC Undisputed 3. Forget the flashy moves, forget playing the spammers. Well thought out matches with friends make this game totally a different experience. How is this less in depth than 09? Please elaborate. I remember 09 where you could just keep hitting the body and it would keep your opponent from blocking. Let alone striking. You had to try and keep moving away and finally get your block up, or be able to catch a strike.

jellyman68
jellyman68

@itz_sinz Nah you just don't know what you're talking about. Wrestling is a great base for BJJ and Hendricks is one of the best wrestlers in the world. He can use his BJJ if he chooses to, and can stop other people using theirs as his record shows.

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

@VintAge68 Christ, what a dipsh*t this individual is.  


Always mixing it up with somebody.  Always inherently correct.  Always tries to ingratiate themselves to staff. 


I've seen this act before. Quit wasting your time with them.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@VintAge68 

Why should I change to another line? There is no other reason that you would support the other publication.

No, I am not getting paid. I just don't like you.

itz_sinz
itz_sinz

@jellyman68 @itz_sinz Dude, I've been watching UFC since the early UFC 20s ... I think I have a good idea what I'm talking about. Hendricks has a solid ground game. i.e Wrestling, he doesn't have solid BJJ especially not one that deserves a higher rating than so of the other fighters. 

jellyman68
jellyman68

@itz_sinz @jellyman68 Watching doesn't really inform you of anything. Try training. You could be the best BJJ black belt in the country but if you come up against someone who trained wrestling instead of BJJ you're going to get submitted. A great wrestler with average BJJ is going to dominate an average wrestler with great BJJ.