Because wrestling games have been around for so long, it’s easy to see why. After all, sports entertainment is full of colourful characters, captivating stories, and epic action scenes, which are all things that make a good video game.
Thanks to WWE, WCW, and AEW, there have been a lot of great licenced wrestling games over the years. Many of them still work well today. People who want to find the best wrestling games ever made are going to have to go back a long way in the history of gaming to find them. Some of the more recent games can be very good or very bad.
1. Fire Pro Wrestling D
It has been around since the late 1980s, but it wasn’t until more than a decade later that Fire Pro Wrestling started making money in the west. Around the turn of the century, there were a lot of different ports of Fire Pro Wrestling. Each one had a letter at the end of the title to show which system it was for. All of them were pretty good, but Fire Pro Wrestling D. was probably the best one of the bunch.
Fire Pro Wrestling D was made and published by the company that would later become Spike Chunsoft. It didn’t get a proper North American release. There was no way to stop people from importing the game. They took advantage of the Dreamcast’s weak copy protection instead. The game has a lot of western wrestlers in its huge roster, but it’s the tight controls, different game modes, and great grapple mechanics that make it stand out from the rest.
2. WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain
When WWE SmackDown! came out in late 2003, it was only for the PS2. If you like wrestling games, you’ll like this one. It’s called “Here comes the Pain.” The game had more than 50 superstars to choose from and a pretty good “Create a Wrestler” mode. Players were able to make their own wrestlers, too. In this game, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper were both there. This was also the first WWE game to feature legends.
As far as looks go, it hasn’t held up very well. However, its gameplay has aged like a good bottle of wine. Twenty years after it came out, it’s still a lot of fun to play and perfectly captures the Ruthless Aggression era of the WWE, which is what the game is all about. Sadly, this was the last of the Smackdown! games, which were replaced by the much worse WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw series.
3. WWF Attitude
It’s one of the best wrestling games from the late 1990s. Attitude, which came out in 1999, was made in the same way as War Zone, which came out a year earlier. It was smoother than any 3D wrestling game before it. This game had a lot of wrestling rules, bad voice work, and a good single-player mode. It was everything a wrestling fan of the Attitude Era could have ever wanted.
There are moves that can be done by pressing button combinations in the game. This was a little different from what modern players have become used to. It doesn’t hold up as well as one would like, but it was still fun to play. For its time, it was a great game and is still fun today. It was also the first game to show Gangrel’s famous rise from a fiery stage, so that’s also pretty cool.
4. Legends of Wrestling II
A long time ago, wrestling fans dreamed of a game that let them play as legends of the business as they moved from territory to territory and made their names in a pre-WWE world. then there was “Legends of Wrestling.” Abdula The Butcher, Eddie Guerrero, and Hulk Hogan are just a few of the megastars that players can play as in the first game in the series. That’s before the “create-a-legend” mode is taken into account.
It’s up to the player to pick a territory to work in in this game. There, they’ll be able to experience unique storylines and feuds. Some of these are even based on real-life events, like Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman’s famous feud in the movie. If you’re a wrestling fan today, you probably won’t be able to get excited about that right away. But it’s still pretty cool.
5. WWE Day Of Reckoning II
Day of Reckoning II is mostly a single-player WWE game that focuses on story. It was a great choice for GameCube players who wanted something different from WWE games on the Xbox and PlayStation 2. A player can make their own wrestler and level them up as they go through a WWE career. They can make decisions, change brands, win titles, and work their way up from the bottom of the barrel to be the main event at WrestleMania, if they want to.
Because Day of Reckoning II is hard, it keeps players on their toes, which makes it more interesting. People thought Day of Reckoning II was interesting and unique for its time because it used chains like rocks, paper, and scissors. This game is probably one of Nintendo’s best-kept secrets. It has great visuals for its time, and it’s a lot of fun.
6. Fire Pro Wrestling World
Fire Pro Wrestling has a special place in many gamers’ hearts because it’s a fun non-WWE game with real-life wrestlers from all over the world that they can play. Fire Pro Wrestling World is a little better than its predecessor, but thanks to its better graphics and functionality, it still edges it out a little. Starting with Kenny Omega, one of the best wrestlers in the world, you can play as him.
It’s not all that the game has going for it, though. There are some great superstars in Fire Pro Wrestling World, but it also improves on the classic timed combat style that puts strategy above all else. This is a wrestling game for people who think about what they’re doing. When it came out, it was very different from anything else that was out there at the time.
7. WWE 2K17
It looks like Yuke’s is finally getting things back on track after a bad start on current-generation consoles. The game has more balanced gameplay, better triple threat and ladder matches, and the return of favourite match types like backstage fights. The roster of WWE 2K17 is also very big, with a lot of current stars and fans’ favourite wrestlers. There are a few notable omissions, like Hulk Hogan. There aren’t very many modes in the game.
The MyCareer mode isn’t very interesting, and WWE Universe hasn’t changed much in the last few years. Only the Hall of Fame showcase is available as a DLC. While the game is going well. It needs to get better in the next few years so Yuke’s can compete for the title.
8. Saturday Night Slam Masters
This is Capcom’s first game in the world of professional wrestling, and so far, it’s been very good. The art of Tetsuo Hara, the creator of Fist of the North Star, is used to make the characters bigger than life. The action is fast and furious, with special moves and finishers. In this game, you have to pin or submit your opponent. It’s kind of like Street Fighter. No other wrestling games are like it.
9. WWF Wrestlefest
In the early ’90s, home consoles didn’t have any good wrestling games, so WWF fans had to go to the arcades to play video games. WrestleFest had bright, cartoony graphics that were just right for the time. And even though the roster was small, it was almost perfect. Legends like Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, and Mr. Perfect were all there for you.
This type of gameplay could also lead to a lot of different moves, which could be a precursor to future wrestling games. In 2012, THQ made a new version of the game for the iPhone with a WWE roster that was more up-to-date. There were plans for console versions, but they were scrapped when the company filed for bankruptcy.