DAR Games: The Best & Worst THQ Wrestling Games

By @TrueGodImmortal

THQ was at the top of their game when it came to wrestling gaming. They are responsible for pretty much all of the best wrestling games ever, while also having a few clunkers and bad selections along the way. Today, we wanted to take a brief look back at a number of games from THQ and see where they all fall. Which games belong in the best pile and which belong in the worst pile? Let's take a look.

*WCW/NWO Revenge

-The absolute best WCW video game. This game was amazing and was everything a PlayStation lover like myself wanted Thunder and Nitro to be. It features a revolutionary grappling system, excellent gameplay, an amazing roster, and solid graphics for the N64. It is actually the best selling wrestling game for the N64 and is still one of the best selling wrestling games of all time, which is special considering how the wrestling world has become more of a corporate entity now. Revenge would give you hours of great gameplay, and allow you to make some classic matches, and the arenas looked excellent, all adding to the legacy of this game. 

*WWF No Mercy

-This is considered by many to be the GOAT game for wrestling and it is pretty clear why it is considered as such. No Mercy is a talking point for even the most casual wrestling fan and gamer because it represented a moment in time for both gamers and wrestling fans alike. If you were a gamer not too into wrestling, this was the game that you could still play and enjoy for hours. For the wrestling fan who was a gamer, this was the WWF game that you had been waiting for. I sometimes wish the AKI Corporation still developed games because they did not miss once on a game. They were instrumental in the Wrestlemania 2000 classic, as well as the two N64 WCW games and they were a pivotal part of this game. Everything in this game was a step up from Wrestlemania 2000 though. From the graphics to the epic Championship mode to the character creations, there were improvements all around, but most of all, the game was just flat out entertaining fun. Almost 20 years later, No Mercy is still the GOAT.

*WCW/NWO Thunder

-The one thing about the WCW games that never made sense to me was that the N64 always managed to get the best games, while the Playstation games were very subpar and didn't have the proper gameplay. The WCW Nitro game that came before this was pretty bad, but Thunder was even worse. Outside of the hilarious videos before selecting a wrestler, nothing about this game was good. The style, the camera angles for the matches, the fans, the graphics, the moveset, and all of that just paled in comparison to anything we wanted. The one good thing is that THQ was ambitious, adding in new match types and even allowing you to select your stable, but even that was a bit weaker than expected.

*WWE Crush Hour

-Why this game exists, I'll never know. Twisted Metal meets Monday Night was never something I wanted nor expected to have. Yet, here we are. The game gives Vince control over TV networks and allows him to place wrestlers wherever (easily a Vince concept), so he creates Crush Hour. So, I truly don't understand why this game was even needed, but for what it is worth, this game exceeds expectations in the worst way possible. Everyone with a brain knew this would be bad, but not THIS BAD.


-So, WWE and THQ took over the Playstation 2 side of things by doing what they didn't do with the first Playstation while working with WCW. As a result, we got subpar games. Unfortunately, this happens with WWE and every system that isn't the PS2, as evidenced by this sequel on the original Xbox, WWE RAW 2. It is weird to have the game called RAW 2, so right out of the gate, things are pretty strange. The modes and the gameplay were pretty boring and subpar and they lost the very little good that the first edition of this game had. This was a painful gaming experience.

*WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role

-So, the first WWF Smackdown game is a classic and should be always remembered and championed, but the second game is the better of the two. While I'm not really a fan of calling the game Smackdown 2, it fit well. This game takes the things we loved about the first and expands and gives us even better gameplay and worked on improving the graphics even more. With a huge roster, a fun season mode, and just all around entertaining fun, Smackdown 2: Know Your Role would becone one of the greatest selling wrestling games ever.

*WWF Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain

-While many crown this the best PS2 wrestling game and the best wrestling game ever, it is my personal third choice under Shut Your Mouth and No Mercy. Here Comes The Pain is excellent and a classic for sure and THQ was on a nice run here, at least on the PS2. After fixing the errors of Just Bring It with the classic Shut Your Mouth, they would take things a step further with this game, having a huge roster and also being the first WWE game to feature Goldberg. This was the first game to feature a Bra and Panties match, as well as the Elimination Chamber, and the other game modes we liked so much had improvement. My only letdown was that WWE and THQ didn't include a number of wrestlers that would have enhanced the game, like Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan (and his Mr. America gimmick), the Ultimate Warrior, and many others. That's my only real gripe with HCTP aside from the lack of free roaming in the season mode, but otherwise, it is a classic game.

*WCW vs The World

-I am indifferent to this game for so many reasons. While it wasn't a terrible game, it just left me wanting better or something a little more intricate. As a kid, I didn't hate this game, but the roster leaves you a bit bored if you were a huge wrestling fan who wanted to see the Japanese wrestlers and many others officially featued and not as fictional characters. The gameplay is a bit clunky and of course it resembles the Virtual Pro Wrestling series but that doesn't work nearly as well as it should in terms of the mechanics. THQ attempted to expand on a formula that was already working essentially and as a result they created this game that had potential but missed the mark just a bit.

*WWE Wrestlemania XIX

-So, GameCube doesn't have a lot of great wrestling games. Really, unless you considered Wrestlemania X8 or Day Of Reckoning to be great, then you're out of luck. I remember reading favorable reviews from critics on this game, then playing it and being confused. The gameplay and the mechanics both left me wanting more and the story mode was the worst thing I've ever played. How a critic could play this game and love it is beyond me. Seriously, the Revenge Mode sounds cool in theory until you actually play it. You're left fighting against Vince and his crew with Stephanie by your side, which leads you to battle random security guards in random locations, which makes absolutely no fucking sense honestly. The end of the story also is the dumbest thing ever. Simply put, the best word to describe this game is dumb.

*WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth

-So, this is one of my favorite games ever and honestly, my second favorite wrestling game just a notch below No Mercy. Yes, I prefer Shut Your Mouth over Here Comes The Pain. I still understand that Here Comes The Pain is probably a slightly better overall game, but I honestly think Shut Your Mouth was the most complete game in the Smackdown series. It had the most realistic graphics in the series to me, as most of the wrestlers looked exactly like themselves. This game came at a time when my interest in wrestling was slowly fading as both Austin and Rock were gone for the time being, and this game brought me back. The season mode is epic, starting with the recreation of the Flair and Vince initial brand extension draft and continuing from there. The game also had an open world feel to it as you could roam to an extent and that was a different change of pace from the other games. Shut Your Mouth had a great roster as well and the gameplay was top notch. This will always be my favorite.

*WWE '13

-The last of the THQ era was the best WWE THQ game in some years after the mediocre to decent run the company was on from SVR 2008 through WWE '12. While those other games were solid for the most part, the truth is, WWE '13 blew it out of the water with their roster and modes. At that time, nostalgia was huge for the wrestling world, as was CM Punk, so they would give you both of those things, with Punk being the featured wrestler on the cover and the Attitude Era mode taking the place of the Road To Wrestlemania mode from prior games. This works very well, as gamers can revisit the era that made many of us fall in love with pro wrestling and the gameplay and mechanics all fall into place well. It was a great final turn for THQ in the WWE series.



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  5. WCW/nWo Revenge was my shit. One of my favorite games of all time. Not the greatest game, but i bought WCW Vs The World the day i bought my first Playstation. It will always hold a special place in my heart.


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