The wrestling world is a much-raved and talked about sport, and its presence in the video gaming world makes the fun and thrill all the more close-to-home, personal, and individualized.
There have always been wrestling games – those digital experiences that allow fans to step into the shoes of their favorite superstars, whether it’s the Hulkster, the People’s Champion, or Stone Cold Steve Austin – for those diehard fans who aren’t quite ready to enter the ring or jump off the top rope.
Some of the best wrestling video games include;
1. WWF No Mercy
There hasn’t been a wrestling game that has surpassed No Mercy in two decades. AKI was at its best here, creating a flawlessly paced and accessible game with depth that fans are still mastering.
There are a plethora of mods available for gamers who want to add current WWE and NXT superstars to their roster.
With an extensive roster, a variety of match formats, and the deepest create-a-wrestler mode ever produced, No Mercy is infinitely replayable even without those mods, making it one of the top wrestling video games.
2. WWE 2K14
The WWE franchise had almost achieved perfection with WWE 2K14 contributed to the series’ poor transition to current-gen.
More than 40 of the best WrestleMania matches ever were featured in the story mode, and this meant including wrestlers ranging from Big John Studd to Goldberg for the ultimate WWE roster. Even most of the NWO’s major members were available as DLC.
3. WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain
One prevalent critique of recent WWE games is how, in the name of realism or to maintain WWE’s PG image, they impose arbitrary limitations on the player.
Inter-gender matches were allowed in older WWE games, and there were more hardcore alternatives. Inferno battles, for example, were played to set your opponent on fire literally.
You could literally throw your opponent off a building, grab a ride on a helicopter, and then perform an elbow drop off the chopper in Here Comes the Pain.
4. Def Jam: Fight for New York
When the WWE took out WCW in early 2001, AKI Corporation worked on a game. EA was seeking a partner for a fighting game based on the Def Jam Recordings label around the same period.
While the previous game is excellent, Fight for New York surpasses it in every aspect.
The game is similar to a quicker, more cartoonish version of the N64 wrestling games, but with rappers instead of wrestlers. For some reason, Danny Trejo and Carmen Electra are also present.
5. WWF WrestleMania 2000
AKI published one of the best wrestling video games ever made just a year after bringing the rivalry between WCW and NWO to the N64.
WWF WrestleMania 2000 uses the exact polygonal figures as WCW/NWO Revenge to deliver a HUGE roster of superstars to the 64-bit platform, complete with entrance tunes and distinctive animations, as well as all of the match styles you’d ever want and PPVs, including the largest show in the wrestling business.
WrestleMania 2000, however, is about more than simply the show’s spectacle and attractions. One of the best narrative modes ever created is included in the game.
6. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns
Many gamers believe Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is the best wrestling game ever developed.
While WWE games have only recently surpassed the 100-wrestler mark, Fire Pro Wrestling Returns has a roster of almost 300 wrestlers from throughout the world. On top of that, you can make another 500 wrestlers.
Tips for crafting flawless versions of your favorites can be found in forums all over the internet. You can see how they do in your promotion or infamous Japanese death battles.
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns may lack the flair of other wrestling games, and the depth may be too much for some, but this game is a must-have for the most dedicated wrestling fans.
7. WCW/nWo Revenge
It’s hard to imagine now, but back in the 1990s, WCW was on the verge of putting the WWF out of business. Part of it was due to the massively popular New World Order storyline.
Still, even without it, Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff had assembled one of the most incredible lineups in wrestling history, with Diamond Dallas Page, Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Raven, and The Giant (better known now as The Big Show).
Of course, we all know how WCW’s story ended, but in this wrestling video game, revenge is still a fun way to experience the rivalry that nearly brought Vince McMahon’s business down.
8. WWE ‘13
WWE ’12 felt like a prettier SmackDown game, with the transition from the SmackDown series to the current annualized WWE series being a little lacking. WWE ’13 was the year the company discovered its voice.
There is a more capable Universe mode here, but the real star is the Attitude Era story mode, which takes players through more than 60 matches during what is widely considered the best period in WWE history.
9. WWE All-Stars
There are few options for players who want more arcade-style grapplers, given that WWE is the only wrestling company that frequently lends its license to video games.
Before going out of business, THQ at least released one title for this demographic. In matches that routinely feature superstars jumping 20-30 feet in the air, All-Stars features a fantastic roster of modern wrestlers like John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, and greats from the 1980s like Randy Savage, etc.
There aren’t many features in the Path of Champions mode; however, the Fantasy Warfare mode is well worth the price of admission, as it imagines what it would be like for current WWE wrestlers to face off against legends of the past, complete with extensive video vignettes.
10. WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role
While N64 wrestling games aimed for realism, PlayStation WWF games were pure entertainment. SmackDown! 2 featured a juggle-heavy gameplay style focusing on different finishes to finish out your opponents.
These matches may not have looked anything like the WWF’s weekly television broadcasts, but damn if they weren’t entertaining.
The graphics are a little old now (as are pretty much all PS1 games), but it’s clear from this early game why the SmackDown games were so popular.
11. Virtual Pro Wrestling 2
Gamer’s love for AKI’s N64 wrestling games is practically universal. However, few North American gamers are aware that Japan received entirely different versions of these games, with Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 likely the best.
The game contains more moves and customization possibilities than the North American N64 games, despite the lack of a WCW or WWF license (although a handful of the wrestlers will be familiar to western fans).
This one has a minimal language barrier, so if you’ve already played WrestleMania 2000 and No Mercy, it’s undoubtedly worth the import.
12. Tecmo World Wrestling
Tecmo World Wrestling came pretty close to feeling like a modern wrestling game, even though early video game consoles had a hard time replicating pro wrestling.
Each of the ten characters, primarily based on Japanese professional wrestlers, had more than 20 moves at their disposal, with cinematic replays of the most powerful moves.
Even a bottom-of-the-screen announcer provided some decent commentary. Tecmo World Wrestling is still the greatest option for old-school gamers wishing to step into the squared circle after more than 25 years.
13. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007
With a strict endurance bar that required participants to rest after numerous powerful moves, the 2007 edition of SmackDown vs. Raw made a severe swing toward realism.
This didn’t detract from the pleasure since this edition also included the ability to throw matches into the crowd for some hardcore action.
While the gameplay has its supporters and detractors, it’s difficult to deny that the lineup in this edition is of high quality.
Undoubtedly, wrestling video games offer unbeatable excitement and thrill to game lovers. Its various moves, action-packed content is often second to none.
The games considered in the article, WWF No Mercy, WWE 2K14, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, etc., are yet the best wrestling video games of all time, but they are packed with super excitement.