WWE video games have come a long way. There have been many of them, some of which have been great, others not so much.
Now that we have moved into the era of Playstation 4 and Xbox One it’s hard not to get nostalgic for some of the old WWE video games. Still to this day fans constantly talk about great games like “SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain” and “WWF No Mercy” for the Nintendo 64.
The hype is at an all time high for WWE 2K17 which is set to be released later this year thanks to a cover featuring Brock Lesnar, and Goldberg’s inclusion as a pre-order bonus, and there’s little doubt that the game will push the boundaries of what a wrestling game can do.
But before the release of WWE 2K17 rolls around, let’s take a look at 10 WWE video games that every WWE fan needs to play.
#10 – WWF Royal Rumble
This is 16-bit gameplay at its best right here. Whether you actually know how to play or you’re just mashing buttons this game is easy to get into. The game offered a few different match types and a pretty awesome roster. It’s not something that can be compared to today’s games but it was great at the time.
#9 – WWF Wrestlefest
This was old school gaming at its finest. WWF WrestleFest was an arcade game that many people spent their hard earned quarters on in 1991. They may not look like much now, but the graphics were pretty good for the time period and the gameplay was a lot of fun. There was a remake on iOS but apparently it has been taken down.
#8 – WWE Raw 2
When it comes to the legacy of WWE video games this one kind of fell under the radar due to the fact that it was a Xbox exclusive but it’s a hidden gem. The game was released in 2003 and it features one hell of a roster made up of top WWE guys as well as former WCW stars. The true magic of this game however lies in the season mode. Season mode plays out a lot like a real wrestlers career would and it can become very addictive. We wouldn’t mind seeing something similar to the season mode in this game implemented into future games.
#7 – WWE Day Of Reckoning
This is another one of those WWE games that fell under the radar due to the fact that it was exclusive to the Nintendo Gamecube. The Gamecube wasn’t exactly a smash hit at the time so a lot of fans missed out on this one. The game is unique because it follows a specific story.
You work your way up the WWE ladder and choose a brand. If you choose Raw you join Evolution and if you choose SmackDown you join The New Ministry. Eventually the game builds to an Iron Man match at WrestleMania XX. The game is certainly different and worth playing if you can get your hands on a copy and a Gamecube.
#6 – WWE All Stars
This game seems to be the John Cena of WWE video games because it has a polarizing effect on the audience. Some people loved the over the top graphics while others absolutely hated it. The look of the game might convince you that the game is geared toward kids but the gameplay itself is very addictive.
The game plays out a lot like older THQ games such as WrestleMania 2000 and WWF No Mercy except the wrestlers look like they’ve been taking a bunch of steroids and failed the WWE wellness policy. Every move is over exaggerated. The high flyers fly way too high, the giants and way too strong and every time you hit a finisher on your opponent they sell it like The Rock was selling the stunner. Don’t get turned off by the childish graphics, the gameplay on this one may be extremely unrealistic but that’s the beauty of it.
#5- SmackDown Vs. Raw 2006
Every SmackDown Vs. Raw game after this one became pretty much the same game but this one holds a special place in people’s hearts because the gameplay is different from later titles in the series. Although graphically it’s pretty much the same as the games that followed, the control scheme was one of the more intuitive control schemes ever developed for a wrestling game.
The game had a stacked roster and also included the now infamous General Manger mode. General Manager mode was something most people didn’t think would be a hit but fans have been begging for the mode to make a return ever since the release of this game.
#4 – WrestleMania 2000
This game pretty much set the standard for what a perfect wrestling game needs to be. Still to this day the control scheme of this game is copied and used for wrestling games and other fighting games alike. When it comes to wrestling video games, this game lives up to the WrestleMania name as it truly changed the industry.
The game came out at the height of The Attitude Era and features all of your favorite stars. You can run through a career mode and win titles or you can just bash your friends in multiplayer. It doesn’t matter what you do with this game as long as you recognize it for the classic that it is.
#3 – WWE 2K14
Let’s face it, every game from WWE 12 and up so far has been pretty much the same exact game with a different number behind it. With that being said, they’re really fun games. Are they the best games WWE has ever put out? Not by a long shot but they’re still great.
WWE 2K14 plays out pretty much exactly like WWE 12 and WWE 13 but this one gets the edge here for one reason only and that reason is the “30 Years of WrestleMania.” mode. This was one truly glorious addition to the game that lets players relive historic moments from first WrestleMania to WrestleMania 29 and everything in between. Once you get started it’s hard to turn the game off as your TV screen begins to ooze nostalgia. One can only hope that we get a “40 Years of WrestleMania” mode when the time comes.
#2 – SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain
This game is considered by many wrestling fans to be one of the greatest wrestling games ever and some will argue that it is the best ever. When THQ debuted their new SmackDown series it showed promise but also left a lot to be desired. This is the entry in the series where many fans thought that THQ got it right.
Many fans are still playing this Playstation 2 classic to this day thanks to the awesome roster, superior gameplay and excellent options. It was the first game in the SmackDown series to feature legends and it was also the first time fans were able to play an Elimination Chamber match in a WWE game. This is the game that paved the way for future games of its kind and it was the last WWE game before the SmackDown Vs. Raw series took over.
#1- WWF No Mercy
If you only play one WWE/F game in your lifetime, let it be this one. Where WrestleMania 2000 stepped up to the plate, WWF No Mercy hit a grand slam. This game takes everything you loved about WrestleMania 2000 and improves on it. The graphics were slightly better, the roster was bigger, the gameplay was still perfect and they added all the match types you could ever want. Not to mention that the story modes were some of the best ever featured in a wrestling game.
Still to this day many fans will say that this is the best wrestling game ever created and we’re going to have to agree. Something about this game is just so magical and perfect. Make no mistake about it, when it comes to WWE video games, this is the holy grail.