As MMA has grown over the years, it’s actually produced a handful of pretty good video games. A few came up (UFC Undisputed, EA’s MMA games, etc.) in our look at one MMA fighter’s reaction to his character, and there are others that weren’t mentioned there as well. But for a sport that’s only grown more mainstream, and developed more stars over the years, it still feels somewhat underrepresented in the gaming world.
Given this — and really just for fun — we gave a bit of thought to some additional MMA-related games we’d like to see.
Lifestyle Console Game
If you look to what we might call “major sport” video game franchises in recent years — FIFA, MLB: The Show, NBA 2K, and Madden — what’s kept them interesting is the addition of lifestyle elements. These franchises now let fans play out simulations of entire careers even beyond sport. Players can choose endorsement deals, make living decisions, wear different outfits, and so on. These may all seem like small extras, but they add whole new dimensions to sports games, and we really haven’t seen anything comparable related to MMA. A full, lifestyle console game with this sort of extensive career mode would be welcome, and would undoubtedly become a big hit with fans of the sport.
The mobile arena is actually not a bad place to look for some MMA gaming action. For those interested, Android Headlines has done a nice job in the past of highlighting the best options in this medium — such as MMA Fighting Clash, Weekend Warriors MMA, MMA Federation – Fighting Game, and EA Sports UFC. What would really be a fun addition to this selection, however, is a less realistic, more playful MMA RPG. A role-playing game in which you could choose a given story background to play through and then work your way into MMA would simply be a lot of fun. A player could have the option, for instance, of starting as an amateur boxer, playing through a college wrestling career, training as a Navy SEAL, etc. The game would turn a typical “career mode” into a longer journey, with more focus on story than action in the octagon.
MMA Legends Slot Reel
Online slot sites have become fertile ground for games with specific themes. And while there have been forays into UFC in this category before, the only game of note is now nearly a decade old. Today, most of the closest examples are games that have general tie-ins with combat and martial arts. A Street Fighter II slot has made the rounds at a number of sites for instance, and a Bruce Lee-themed game on Gala Bingo certainly taps into martial arts enthusiasm in its own way. But what’s missing is an updated, modern slot reel revolving around the legends of MMA. Imagine a game with everyone from Amanda Nunes to Jon “Bones” Jones on the slot reels, and you get the idea. Ideally, it could also include mini-games wherein you could pit MMA legends against each other (a feature that does exist in the aforementioned Street Fighter II slot).
Signature VR Game
In virtual reality, as in the slot arena, there are games that involve MMA either directly or indirectly. We’ve even read about real-life fighters training in virtual reality (and specifically through a boxing game based on the film Creed). What doesn’t exist yet though is a signage VR game with MMA licensing, an extensive selection of characters, and online multiplayer components? It’s a no-brainer for the medium given that fighting-oriented games actually work pretty well in VR. But if we had to guess, it’s probably just a matter of time. The VR gaming world is still coming into its own, and once it’s a little more refined, and more money is being put into game development, we’d actually expect to see a game like this emerge.
Hopefully, we haven’t seen the best of MMA gaming yet, and some concepts like these are still coming our way. In the meantime, if you have any other fun ideas for MMA games you’d like to see, let us know in the comments!