Top 10 Wrestling Games
Today I am not going to review a classic wrestling game instead I thought I would share with you guys what I consider to be the ten best wrestling games of all time. Now please keep in mind that this is my own personal list and it is not supposed to be “official” so if you think my list sucks, then please post one of your own in the comments below. I would love to hear what games you guys consider to be the best.
Number 10: WWF Wrestlemania Challenge
Nintendo Entertainment System
The NES would end up with four WWF games and each one was a different game play experience. My favorite out of the four by far is the second in the series Wrestlemania Challenge. This is a great arcade style wrestling game that features a great roster of wrestlers and really fast action. The game let you play as “yourself” and take on Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and the other big names of the WWF to become the WWF Champion.
The game is really fun when playing against the AI, but it is in two player where this game really shines. Playing against another skilled player is kind of like a game of cat and mouse where you will chase each other around the ring waiting or trying to force them to make a mistake which will let you attack. The big advantage I think this game has over the other NES WWF games is that there was no Super Nintendo around in 1990. The games that came out after this tried far too hard to be like their 16-bit big brothers and were not as much fun because of it. As far as 8-bit WWF action goes this game is the best you can get in my opinion.
Number 9: WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2009
Xbox 360, Playstation 2,3, PSP, Wii, DS,
Smackdown vs RAW 2009 to me is one of the most under rated games in the series. I felt that the two games after this were really soulless and just not as much fun to play. Smackdown vs RAW 2009 gave us the Road To Wrestlemania single player mode. This instead of letting you pick any wrestler in the roster forced you to pick from a small selection. While it sounds limiting it actually made the single player mode so much more fun. As each story was written and crafted around those specific wrestlers. The John Cena one in particular is just amazing and I still say it’s one of the best single player stories in a wrestling game. Sadly the Road To Wrestlemania mode went downhill with each yearly release until they dropped the mode.
A huge focus of Smackdown vs RAW 2009 was the tag team matches. Now tag matches in wrestling games when the AI is involved are usually more of a chore than fun, but this year they were much better. They were not perfect, but your partner was not a complete moron.
Number 8: WWF Royal Rumble
Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive
This would be the second WWF game to be released for the 16-bit consoles and it really is hard to write all of what this game added over its predecessor Super Wrestlemania. The game looked, sounded and most importantly of all played better. There was a ton of new game modes added and for the Super Nintendo version there was finally a WWF Championship mode which was bizarrely missing from Super Wrestlemania.
The core game play had not really been changed, but there was new moves added and the ability to cheat by raking your opponents eyes or choking them out. These illegal moves could only be done outside the ring or when the ref was knocked out. You could even smash your opponent over the head with a steel chair. The Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive would both have different rosters. Each version would have five exclusive characters. To name just a couple, Sega had exclusives like Hulk Hogan and Jim Duggan and the Super Nintendo had Ric Flair and Yokozuna.
Number 5: Smackdown vs RAW
I am sure this inclusion will raise a few eyebrows, but it was between this and Here Comes The Pain and it boils down to me having more fun with this game. This was the very first game in the Smackdown vs RAW series and one of the most notable things the game did was give the graphics engine a kick in the butt. This still to this day is a very nice looking game. The character models really did get a ton of work put into them. The game also had voice over’s in the single player season mode for the first time, but being honest this is not as cool as it sounds.
The game play I felt was more fun that in was in Here Comes The Pain. You still had that same core game play, but many new things were added such as these cool little mini games before a match would start and there was even mini games during the matches as well. You could turn these off if you wanted, but I thought they were really cool. The real reason this game is on my list though is that this was the first year I really got into the create a wrestler scene. Well I say I got into it, what I mean is that I would use the formulas I got online to make some really cool looking wrestlers. While many will disagree I thought that the create a wrestlers in this game if they were made properly looked really close to the in game character models.
Number 6: WWE All Stars
Xbox 360, Playstation 2,3, PSP, Wii, 3DS
In the years leading up to this game THQ and Yukes had been doing all they could to make their yearly WWE games more of a simulation type game. Many gamers loved this approach, but there were some like me who loved those arcade style wrestling games that were more focused on being fun than they were being realistic and that is what WWE All Stars delivered. It made wrestling fun again and stopped treating it like it was a real sport.
I would argue that this is one of the best fighting games of this console generation. It features over the top looking wrestlers with big ridiculous physiques and they do some of the most insane wrestling moves you will ever see. They can do stuff like a pile driver that will make them jump high above the ring, an elbow drop that will see them do flips and spins in mid air. If you want a wrestling game that is all about having fun this is for you. I would even argue that someone who is not a wrestling fan would enjoy this game.
**Stay tuned for part two which will be up next week. And if you like the sound of any of these games you can find reviews on all of them here on Gamester81.com**
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