Top 5 Best Wrestling Games Of AllTime
For those wrestling fans who aren’t ready to enter a ring and whip out some wicked grappling, they always have the option of wrestling video games. These computerized experiences allow fans to strap up the boots as their favourite wrestler and open a can of “Whoop-Ass” on their opponents. With WWE being the only company out there to lend their license to video-games, there are very few options for gamers to experience the crazy, kayfabe world of pro-wrestling but with downloadable community-created wrestlers and an ever-increasing roster of Legends and current Superstars, WWE 2K games are fast becoming the go-to game for wrestling fans. With 2K Sports recently announcing the latest instalment to the series: WWE 2K18, we take a look at our pick for the top 5 best wrestling games of all time.
List of Top Wrestling Games of All Time:
WWF SMACKDOWN! 2: KNOW YOUR ROLE (2000):
The WWF Smackdown! series was arguably the best wrestling series on the original PlayStation with Smackdown! 2 taking our pick in this list due to its expanded roster, increased match stipulations and the ability to unlock characters such as Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold and Mick Foley in the Season mode. Though wrestling games at the time focused on the more realistic aspects of the in-ring action, Smackdown! 2 featured a heavy gameplay and multiple finishers to add an over-the-top feel to the game which in turn immersed gamers because it was just too much fun. Though it had its flaws and the graphics looks dated compared to today’s standards, its dynamic gameplay and a popular roster made it the best-selling combat sports game on a single format (PlayStation) with 3.2 million copies sold.
WWE ALL-STARS (2011)
First announced in E3 2010 by THQ, WWE All-Stars was a combination of a fighting game and wrestling game with combos featuring heavily in the gameplay. The arcade-style gameplay with over-the-top animations and larger-than-life appearances for wrestlers set All-Stars apart from the previous wrestling games. The game included a mixture of modern stars such as Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton etc. and yester-year greats such as Andre the Giant, Macho-Man Randy Savage and Bret Hart to name a few. All-Stars also included the popular “Fantasy Warfare” mode that pit current gen stars against legends (CM Punk vs Stone Cold anyone?) with thoughtfully put together promo packages which just added to the excitement. The arcade style gameplay and the overall game design was praised by gamers with the only complaint being the game lacked any real depth for a prolonged experience. Nevertheless, the cartoonish character models and gravity-defying manoeuvres along with simple controls helps the game pack a great punch and makes it a thoroughly entertaining experience for gamers and wrestling fans alike.
WWE 2K14 (2013)
To be fair, any of the latest WWE 2K games by 2K Sports could have made this list mainly due to their ever-improving graphics and gameplay, but WWE 2K14 takes its place in the list simply for the introduction of “The 30 Years of WrestleMania” mode and also “The Streak” mode. With more than 45 matches, classic WWE footage and many legendary characters, “The 30 Years of WrestleMania” mode allows players to relive some of the greatest moments in Wrestlemania history. In addition to this, “The Streak” mode focused solely on The Undertaker’s legendary WreslteMania winning streak allowing the players to defend the streak as The Undertaker or to try and break the streak with any wrestler of their choice. Though there have been vast improvements since, the graphics and gameplay were solid, the game modes were engaging and nostalgic and with DLC including the nWo and other Legends like Bruno Sammartino, WWE 2K14 is a great all-round experience.
WWE SMACKDOWN! HERE COMES THE PAIN (2003)
Released in 2003 on the PlayStation 2 by THQ, “WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain” was the last and undisputedly best game to solely use the SmackDown! name. The stacked roster of WWE at the time just added to the allure of the game with Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Undertaker, Kurt Angle, The Rock, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Steve Austin, Kane, Rey Mysterio, Batista and John Cena among the current and playable characters in the game. The game introduced a more complicated grappling system, while retaining the series’ fast gameplay along with the debut of match types like Elimination Chamber and Inferno match. The game also features a year-long season mode filled with intense storylines culminating in the following year’s WrestleMania. The introduction of new gameplay components such as weight detection, damage display and submission metres made for a great gaming experience. In addition to in-ring action, Here Comes The Pain also included some innovative and over-the-top backstage action with players able to use bikes, forklifts, lockers and a freaking helicopter to inflict damage on their opponents. With a massive roster, easy controls, loads of match types and near-perfect gameplay, it is understandable why this game is highly regarded.
WWF NO MERCY (2000):
In the late 90s, AKI Corporation, now Syn Sophia, Inc. had developed some great wrestling games such as WCW vs nWo: World Tour, WCW/nWo Revenge and WWF WrestleMania 2000 for the Nintendo 64. Though these games were fantastic and were received well, WWF No Mercy was inarguably the best game developed by AKI and probably is the best wrestling game of all time. The last WWE game released on the N64, No Mercy was way ahead of its time and set the standard that modern wrestling games are still struggling to match. With realistic wrestling matches, it allowed players to plan out their contest based on momentum instead of chipping away at a health bar which led to some compelling in-ring storytelling. It also included a single player Championship mode, with each title featuring its own storyline. It’s story mode offers branching storylines based on the outcomes of matches in which the player has to actually play through each story several times and lose matches in order to achieve a 100% completion rating.
With one of the most detailed character creation and customization, a famous roster, easy to pick up controls and the best single player campaign in wrestling game history, it’s easy to see why No Mercy gained universal praise at the time and is still held in high regard by gamers. And thanks to the rise of emulation (which lets players boot up old N64 games using nothing more than a smartphone or laptop), fans can now easily “mod” No Mercy to include entirely different rosters and arenas with little effort while retaining the core essence of the game. With every other game getting a HD Remaster, WWF No Mercy is certainly deserving of one. So, here’s our list of Best Wresting Games of All Time. Follow us on Facebook for more updates.