DAR Games: Ranking The WWE PS2 Games

By @TrueGodImmortal

In years past, wrestling video games were formidable and something to look forward to. Whether you had a Nintendo system, Sony system, or a Microsoft system, wrestling games were essentially some of the most popular, especially during the boom period of the Attitude Era, and the subsequent Ruthless Aggression era that followed. The most popular of those games would end up being almost all on Sony and Nintendo systems up until the next generation of consoles came along. Sony would then take the crown as the Playstation 2 era began, and aside from a game or two, nothing really stood in their way of gaming dominance. That begs the question of why there were no games that could challenge them. Could it be the PS2 was so far ahead of the competition? Possibly. Could it be that the games for the PS2 were miles ahead of the other games? Possibly. Today, I wanted to look back at the WWE wrestling games for the PS2 and rank them from the worst to best. We will not include any of the games that came after 2006, because we were well into the PS3/Xbox 360 era, even though PS2 was still massively popular. Regardless, these are the games from 2000 through 2006 from the WWE on PS2. What ranks no. 1? Read on to find out.

7. WWE Crush Hour (2003)

-This game was terrible. I don't even see a need to include it on my list, but it technically was a WWE game and it fits the description, so why not include it? The issue with this game was that it was Twisted Metal meets WWE, but no one asked for this at all. No one wanted to see this type of game and as a result, it was a flop. I don't have too much to say on this game, as I only played it once at a friend's house, but the game was so bad I only wanted to play it once. That should tell you all you need to know. If you never played this game consider yourself lucky honestly.

6. WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It (2001)

-The first ever Smackdown game on PS2 was actually one of the worst in the series, but to a young True, I had no issues with the game at all. I loved this game from top to bottom, even if it was a lazy attempt. The graphics were awesome and the arenas looked great, along with a nice detailed roster as well (though smaller than the PS1 Smackdown game from the year prior). The gameplay was a bit of an issue, as the game truly lacked in that department. This game featured commentary and was the first to bring wrestling games into the next era. However, the story mode was absolutely boring and had nothing going for it. I did enjoy some of the match types at least LOOKING better, most notably the Hell In A Cell and Cage matches, but aside from the graphics, this game was pretty standard and bland. The PS2 series was not off to a great start at all.

5. WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2007 (2006)

-This is the last WWE Smackdown one that I'll have on the list for a few reasons. Sure, on the Xbox 360 this game is much better, but for the most part, it was still a solid edition for the PS2. Truthfully, once the Smackdown series got into the PS3 and Xbox 360 world, there was really no point to continue releasing games for the PS2, but the PS2 was still so popular that it made sense to go with. The PS2 version was a bit lesser than the 360 versions, but the fact that this game was not a PS3 release cripples the PS2 version of this game. It misses the mark overall, while still having a decent grappling system and some good graphics in place. However, if you played the 360 version, you would know it was extremely superior to the PS2 version, which is a reason I won't include the later editions of the game that made it onto PS2 almost as a quick money grab from those not willing to invest in a PS3 or 360.

4. WWE Smackdown vs RAW (2004)

-A turning point in the series was the first game to be branded Smackdown vs RAW. It took the brand split to a different level game title wise, and I was a fan of the game even though it felt like it was missing something. I cannot pinpoint what in particular it felt like it was missing, but the gameplay was solid, though not overly excellent like the previous two games. What made those two games great is essentially what is lacking a bit from this edition, but the addition of Bret Hart to the roster along with the legends made it very interesting. Gameplay wise, they implemented a new system that would be one of the selling points, and while that system was pretty solid, there was definitely room for improvement. Still, for the time, it was a good game and one to build on.

3. WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2006 (2005)

-I love this game. The last official PS2 release for the Smackdown series was easily one of the best. Before the PS2 crowd switched over to PS3 and Xbox 360, they were treated to a very good game that boasted solid graphics, a very detailed system, and a damn good roster. It was the first WWE game of the new era, as Batista and John Cena are on the cover and they represent the change in the company. The system is the highlight of this game, but the roster and the additional legends make it a really fun game. It was even a fun play on the PSP as well.

2. WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (2002)

-I think the company knew that Just Bring It was a failure despite the good sales of the game. The WWE built a brand up and success was imminent no matter what. However, with the first official WWE game and the second PS2 edition, THQ and Yukes created a game that was everything Just Bring It should have been. Armed with a bigger roster, the brand split implemented, the best story mode thus far in the series, and improved gameplay for sure, Shut Your Mouth was one of the most fun wrestling games ever, WWE or otherwise. If this was about preference, this game would be at the top of my list personally because I played this game more than any other wrestling game in history and I still own this game for the PS2. Gameplay, story mode, excellent graphics for the time, what more could you ask for? Shut Your Mouth excelled at the highest level for a wrestling game.

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

-The ultimate. The magnum opus of the WWE Smackdown series. My second personal favorite, but definitely the best of them all has to be atop the list. The game features an excellent career mode that was on par with what Shut Your Mouth gave us along with some of the most elite creation options ever on a wrestling game. It was ahead of its time with the best gameplay of the Smackdown series period, some good graphics for the era, and most of all, the beautiful roster. Every wrestler you could want on the game was here, and then some. With great gameplay, a deep roster, and superb execution, Here Comes The Pain no doubt wears the crown for the WWE PS2 games.



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