DAR Games: The 5 Greatest Wrestling Video Games

By @TrueGodImmortal 

Perhaps this is better suited for EOTR? Maybe. Maybe not. Whatever the case may be, with the impending release date and cover art for WWE 2K18 sure to be on the way, I wanted to step back and take a look at 5 of the greatest wrestling games of all time. Now, this includes all promotions, but you'll likely only see WWE and WCW on this list (unless you were one of the few who enjoyed those ECW Acclaim games or the awful TNA game that merely had great graphics). Will you see a number of the WWE Smackdown games? Some of the classic WWF arcade games? There's only one way to find out. Let's get into it.

Honorable Mention
Before we hop into the top 5, let's take a look at some of the games that were great but just missed the mark.

*WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (1999)

-THQ is essentially the measuring stick for the WWF game developers and WCW as well. The makers of WCW/NWO Revenge took features from that game and infused it into this game while having the WWF full roster as the company was beginning to pull away from the competition in quality. Adding in the favorite gimmick matches like First Blood and Steel Cage among others, Wrestlemania 2000 gave us the most enjoyable experience in a WWF game up until that point... but it would soon be beat.

*WWE '13 (2012)

-You might be surprised to see it on the list, but truthfully, WWE '13 was everything I wanted in a WWE game after so many misses in the Smackdown vs RAW games. With CM Punk on the cover, this game showcased an Attitude Era mode which allowed us to go back into time and appreciate the moments we all loved and some of us missed. With that mode, along with a massive roster, WWE '13 was a dramatic improvement over the final two Smackdown vs RAW editions, and a huge step up from WWE '12.

5. WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (2002)

-This is the most slept on game in the entire WWE game series. It's on par with the widely recognized greatest, which I'll get to in a second, but for the most part, I loved everything about this game. From the story mode that took you through real life scenarios and allowed you to replay storylines that we witnessed on TV to the large roster of wrestlers that we hadn't experienced before in a WWE game, Shut Your Mouth was my favorite game when it came out. It deserves much more credit because it provided a template for how a WWE game should be, and the next edition took it a step further.

4. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns (2005)

-While I wasn't the biggest fan of this game at first, it really grew on me. Blessed with the top notch gameplay and ridiculous depth, this game boasts over 300 wrestlers and an endless supply of match types and variety, something that allows for hours and hours of endless gameplay. Fire Pro substituted the flare and the graphics of the other wrestling games and instead packed their game with content upon content, which makes this game a favorite still for many people in the gaming community without a doubt.

3. WCW/NWO Revenge (1998)

-Let's be clear: N64 was the king of wrestling video games. PS1, while far advanced in graphics for the most part, lacked the solid gameplay that N64 would bring. This is why WCW Nitro and Thunder failed as PS1 only games, but WCW/NWO Revenge flourished. The roster was massive, including managers, and the arenas were true to life as can be, a big improvement over the generic feel that sort of plagued the World Tour game that came before it. Before WWF changed over developers and won the gaming world over, WCW/NWO Revenge was everything you wanted and then some at the time.

2. WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain (2003)

-There are very few wrestling games with the depth of Here Comes The Pain, along with the excellent gameplay that comes along with it. There's a really large roster, with great match types and overall exciting features that made this game great. It was also the first and only WWE game to feature Goldberg until recent years, which made it even more special to me. The game was ridiculously outlandish, allowing you to utilize helicopters, hardcore matches, and throw your opponent from a building. Now, if that doesn't equal video game over the top greatness, I don't know what does. HCTP is the best game in the Smackdown series.

1. WWF No Mercy (2000)

-The standard by which most wrestling video games are measured by. This is the greatest game I've ever played in the wrestling genre and it's not even close. The pace of this game was perfect, the gameplay was perfect, everything about this game set the standard going forward for WWF games and beyond. The game was blessed with the type of depth you would not expect from an actual wrestling game and even some 17 years later, it is still the greatest to ever come along. Could you imagine a game with gameplay similar to No Mercy, but with the graphics and mechanics of today? It could be a full fledged classic and rival it, but WWE doesn't seem like they'll be able to pull it off. Only time will tell, but for now, No Mercy reigns supreme with no challenger in sight. Here's hoping 2K18 at least makes an attempt to take the crown.



Popular Posts