Back in the 80s, boxing was a BIG sport. With Muhammad Ali making the sport relevant along with names like Joe Louis and George Foreman, boxing gained traction and fame during this time. There was a game released for the NES called Punch-Out!! that built upon that fame.
Originally, the series started as a set of arcade games in 1984. The systems used two televisions, one for keeping vitality and statistics while the other showed the action. There was a sequel called Super Punch-Out!! that came out in the same year, featuring a different set of fighters.
As for the NES installment, Punch-Out!! was developed and published by Nintendo. It takes a Bronx fighter named Little Mac on a journey to fight the best boxers in the WVBA. That includes a Frenchman, a Spaniard, and a massive hippo-like fighter. The cavalcade of characters makes for an intriguing journey, leading up to a fight with Mike Tyson (or Mr. Dream in some versions due to the expiration of the deal with Tyson).
Punch-Out!! is a game that requires sufficient strategy. You must figure out how to beat opponents in a specific fashion. That includes looking for the tell and attacking specific weaknesses. Therefore, Punch-Out!! is more of a puzzle than a fighting game.
That's a part of what makes the game charming. You need a particular strategy going into every fight. How will you counter your opponent? When will your foe give up their weakness to you? These are important questions to consider when playing Punch-Out!!
There's also memorable music that makes the game appealing. That includes running on a trail in New York with Doc Louis, your trainer, and in the ring. The gameplay is also challenging, leaving you to rely on your best skills.
Punch-Out!! is one of the most underrated games for the NES. It leaves its players thinking about their next move, coming up with a winning strategy. I recommend picking this game up and giving it a whirl.