With WWE 2K19 finally turning things around after the horrible 2K17 and 2K18 I thought it would be fun to look at some of the wrestling games from the past.
I am a huge wrestling fan, have been as long as I have been playing video games so I play and collect wrestling games and these are my 7 favorite wrestling games.
WWF No Mercy
The amount of time I spent playing No Mercy with my buddies back in the day is just insane. For me, this is the best multiplayer game on the Nintendo 64. The fourth game in the AKI series of WCW and WWF games, No Mercy took things to the next level. It had a huge roster, lots to unlock and the grappling system added many new moves and possibilities for attack.
Multiplayer was the main reason I love this game, but there is a ton to do for single players as well. You can go after all the WWF titles and each one has its own story with branching paths for you to play through.
WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game
This is more of a fighting game than a wrestling one, but I love this game! WrestleMania the Arcade Game was made by the same team that did Mortal Kombat. It features digitized wrestlers with over the top moves. For example, Undertaker can smash opponents in the head with a tombstone and Razor Ramon’s arm can actually turn into a razor. This is just an absolute blast to play.
The arcade version on MAME is the one to play. The home versions (PS1, Saturn, and 32X) are fun, but there is no arcade perfect port of WrestleMania the Arcade Game for any home system so stick with the arcade.
This may seem a bit redundant as No Mercy is on this list, but I put hundreds of hours into WCW/NWO Revenge back in 1998. This is a more simplified version of what No Mercy offered, but at the time it was the greatest wrestling game around. It was so much fun to play and it featured far more WCW personality than its predecessors, WCW/NWO World Tour did. I still have a lot of fun playing this game to this day.
It does have some fun multiplayer modes where you can win WCW titles and unlock new wrestlers. But the main reason I am so into this game is for the epic multiplayer. Matches can last just a few minutes or as long as half an hour!
The modern WWE games feel like they have no soul and try to be too “realistic” WWE 13 though looked to the past for its inspiration and that is why I loved it. The main selling point of WWE 13 was the Attitude Era mode. This mode let you relive some of the biggest events of the Attitude Era. Austin 3:16, the rise of the Rock, DX, Brothers of Destruction and many more.
There was a ton of very well done video footage spliced into this mode and if you are a fan of late 90’s WWF, you would have an absolute blast with this game. It had a modern roster and also a roster that was based around the Attitude Era. WWE 13 is a really fun game and worth getting for the Attitude Era mode alone.
WWF WrestleMania Challenge
The NES had four WWF games and interestingly every single one of them has its own art and play style. WrestleMania Challenge released in 1990 is the second game and the best of the bunch. Made by RARE, WrestleMania Challenge is a fun and easy to play WWF Game, well I say it is easy to play in the Championship mode where you play as yourself. It can get very challenging when you face, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, and The Ultimate Warrior.
While basic, WrestleMania Challenge is a lot of fun and matches are like a game of chess where you run around the ring trying to pull off a move first and anticipate what your opponent is going to do before they do it.
WWF Super Stars
While it only has five characters, I would say that WWF Super Stars on the original Game Boy is the best of all the 8-bit WWF games. It has a small roster, only one game mode, but it has the largest personality. You pick from one of five WWF super starts and then try to defeat the rest. The pre-match interviews and after match analysis from Vince McMahon were unlike any other 8-bit WWF game.
WWF Super Stars also has fantastic graphics. They have used these big chunky sprites that capture the wrestler's personalities perfectly. The game even changes viewpoint when you exit the ring. This was the first WWF handheld game and none of them came close to matching this.
WWF Wrestle Fest
Due to Acclaim having the home console rights, Ocean having the home computer rights. Techno’s could never release their masterpiece of a game, WWF Wrestle Fest to the home market. Looking at this and then the WWF games that we had at home is like night and day. It has large sprites that perfectly capture every WWF wrestler. It features what at the time was a large roster and it captures the look and feel of the WWF perfectly.
Royal Rumble and Saturday Nights Main Event were the game modes. It had a cage match, you could fight outside the ring and all the wrestlers had their own moves, taunts, and mannerisms. Techno’s captured the WWF as it was in the early ’90s perfectly with this game and it is a shame they could not bring it to the Genesis or Super Nintendo.