19th Mar2020

Ten Best: WWE/WWF Video Games Ever!

by Chris Cummings

Wrestling video games have been being released since the 80s. We’ve seen countless titles from a handful of promotions released through the years, with some being lousy, some being so-so, and some hitting those wonderful heights and being stonkingly good. Now, I have played A LOT of wrestling games, but I haven’t played all of them, so I guess that makes this a bit of a tough one, but I will go off general opinion too, as well as my overall feelings on a game. Let’s just do this, shall we?

wwe-wrestling-game

10. WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game – Arcade, Genesis, 32X, SNES, PS1, Saturn, PC

Now, you might think that this is a controversial pick for this spot. Some may place a Def Jam game here, or maybe one of the awesome Day of Reckoning titles that were released back in the day on the Nintendo Gamecube, but I loved WrestleMania: The Arcade Game. I played it until my thumbs and fingertips were red and my eyes were jolting from side to side. It was cartoony, it was silly, it had a limited roster and it wasn’t remotely realistic, but it was so much fun. Whether you were smashing an opponent over the head with a concrete gravestone as The Undertaker or electrocuting an opponent using your hand-buzzer as Doink, this was a madcap wrestling game with a big ole bucket of charm. What can I say, I love this one.

9. WWE Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth – PS2 (2002)

The PS2 had some fun WWE games, like Smackdown Vs. Raw and Know Your Role, but I believe SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth is the best from this era of gaming. Stacked with the stars of the time, with the ability to beat people up and around arenas and ringside, this was a really fun title that had so much going for it it was hard not to love. Lots of match options and fluid gameplay, it was a definite high point in pro-wrestling gaming history.

8. WWF WrestleMania 2000 – N64, Game Boy Color (1999)

Before No Mercy came WrestleMania 2000. Coming at a time where pro-wrestling was experiencing a real boom, this was full of the mega-stars of the era, from The Rock to Triple H to The Undertaker to Stone Cold, and played like a wrestling-nerds dream. A dream of headlocks and bodyslams, but a dream nonetheless. Nice crisp controls and visuals, and new additions that hadn’t previously been seen in other titles, this was a revolutionary WWF game that would begin a real stream of high-quality titles from the company.

7. Fire Pro-Wrestling World – PC, PS4 (2017)

Now, just to be clear… I never played a Fire Pro game prior to picking this one up on PS4. This was totally out of the blue and surprised me just how unique it was when I first played it. Taking a more strategic and thoughtful approach to matches, the gameplay is something that takes patience and focus, but when it all clicks together and you pull off some of the awesome moves and combinations, man is it worth the time and effort. A real ton of fun with a roster that is pretty much endless if you start adding your own guys, this is an easy must-buy in modern day wrestling game circles.

6. WWF SmackDown! – PS1 (2000)

Oh, the memories. WWF SmackDown! for the PS1 was a revelation at the time. I’d recently been a War Zone and Attitude player, and those games were clunky and tough to learn, so when SmackDown! came around it was a real gift. Fluid and faster gameplay with easy to learn and master controls, and a fun roster of stars from the time, this was so much fun. I still play this game (and it’s sequel) to this day and think they hold up when it comes to the gameplay. Visually I thought it was unreal back then, but times have changed and it’s hard to see why now. Lovely game, though. The nostalgia is strong.

5. WWE 2K14 – PS3, Xbox 360 (2013)

Whether it’s the great roster on offer, the creation suite, the excellent 30 Years of WrestleMania story-mode, the Streak Mode involving trying to repeat The Undertaker’s famous WrestleMania streak, or the overhauled Universe Mode, this was a delightful surprise when it came out back in 2013. Packed with match-types and wrestlers, I played this a ton of times and had a blast with it. As far as recent-enough WWE titles go, this is where it’s at.

4. WWE All Stars – PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS (2011)

This was a surprise. I played this game again just this week and had a great time with it. It’s a more arcade-style wrestling title, with over-muscled and cartoonish characters from a variety of eras. The (at the time) modern talent, from names like Cody Rhodes, John Cena and The Miz mingled with old-school named like Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and Dusty Rhodes. The gameplay was slick and the animations of finishing moves and general moves was so over-the-top it was brilliant. I love this one.

3. WCW/nWo Revenge – Nintendo 64 (1998)

WCW/nWo Revenge was a really top notch title, and one that I recall being blown away by when I first played it. I rented the game from a local video shop called “Choice Videos” and played it all weekend, and had the coolest time. I wasn’t even a WCW fan really, but being able to kick some booty as the ma-hoo-sive roster of talent they had in the late-90s was a blast and a half. Still a blast now, too. Oof.

2. WWF No Mercy – Nintendo 64 (2000)

No bleeding Mercy. The N64. This is a classic, that’s for sure. I, sadly, didn’t play this game until MUCH later so perhaps my attachment isn’t quite as high as it surely is in many gamers, but make no mistake about it… I know how good this game was. A kick-ass roster of Attitude Era stars and some of the best gameplay ever, this was a revelation when it hit the markets in 2000, and remains a fun-as-hell game to go back to today. Wonderful.

1. WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain – PS2 (2003)

Now, there’s a big ole debate about whether this game, or No Mercy, is indeed the best wrestling game of all the times. Still… for me personally I played Here Comes the Pain a hell of a lot more. I played this game to death. I loved it… and though it’s been a few years since I played it, I would love it now too. It has so many fun things going for it, excellent controls, a lovely big roster, a ton of match-types and game-types. It’s, in fact, the perfect pro-wrestling video game, and in my view the very best to date.
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So there we have it. The Nerdly Top Ten of Wrestling Games. Now, I know many of you will want some additions and subtractions here, and that’s fine. Let us know what your favourite wrestling video games are! Thanks for reading!

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