Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. It’s your good buddy @KC_Carlyle here again. Today we will be talkin about 10 of my favorite wrestling video games. So before we get to the list I have a few honorable mentions.
(Honorable mentions WWE 2k series, WWE SmackDown series, WWE SmackDown vs RAW series. ) Now onto the list!
#10 WWF Royal Rumble SNES
Ahhh some very fond memories of this game. I owned both versions of this game at different times in my life, (Sega Genesis and SNES). I chose the SNES version for this article because of the difference in the rosters. The Sega Genesis and SNES versions had seven of the same wrestlers. The shared wrestlers are Bret Hart, Undertaker, Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Crush, and “The Narcissist” Lex Luger. Those are all pretty good choices to play through the game.
Now the differences are the remaining five superstars. On the SNES the other five wrestlers were Ric Flair, Mr.Perfect, Ted DiBiase, Yokozuna, and Tatanka. Over on the Sega Genesis has Hulk Hogan, I.R.S., “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, “The Model” Rick Martel, and Papa Shango.
The playstyle was pretty straight-forward. You could punck, kick, run, grapple, jump off the top rope, and go outside of the ring and hit your opponent with a chair. The game had a “momentum meter” during the grapples. The winner of the grapple is the wrestler who fills his side of the meter. Every wrestler has the same basic moveset, and their own “Signature move”, that can be performed when the opponents life is low enough.
Game modes include One on one, tag team, tournament (where yu can compete for the world title) and of course “The Royal Rumble”. All in all I enjoyed this game quite a bit through the years and I highly recommend it.
#9 WCW vs The World
WCW vs The World was the first THQ wrestling game I remember playing. It defined what the control style of the wrestling video game should be at the time, and with the technology we had at the time. While it has been a very long time since I have played the game I can guarantee that it is very enjoyable. With a roster of fifty one wrestlers most inspired by other wrestlers who were HUGE in Japan. The WCW roster was Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Edyy Guerrero, The Giant, Jeff Jarrett, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Ric Flair, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, “Lord” Steven Regal, Sting, and Ultimo Dragon. As for the other wrestlers they are fictional versions of Japanese legends.
Guys like Jushin “Thunder” Liger known as Abispa in the game, The Great Muta known as Bad blood in game, Stan “The Lariat” Hansen known as The Count in game. Sabu known as David Harley in game, Bruiser Brody known as Grizz Lee in game. Terry Funk is known as Major Tom in game. Now, this last one kind bothers me because it felt like they were rippin on him. Road Warrior Hawk was known as Overdose in game.
As far as gameplay goes, if you have played any of THQ’s wrestling games on N64 you will be right at home. tap the button for weak strike/grapple. Hold the button for strong strike/grapple. A run button, and a momentum meter that tells you when you can use your signature move.
#8 WCW/nWo World Tour
WCW/nWo World Tour was the first N64 wrestling game to be released in the U.S. as far as I know. The gameplay was the same as WCW vs The World. It had quite the extensive roster. The game was nice during your wrestler selection screen, mostly because the wrestlers were all divided into different factions or companies.
What was interesting to me about this game, was having the ability to grab a weapon from the crowd but you could not bring it in the ring! The other thing I enjoyed about the game was the hidden characters. DDP, Wrath, Glacier, and Randy Savage. They were all pretty much par for the course, but once you unlock all those characters you have a chance to compete in a league called “World Wide Wrestling” should you complete this, you will unlock a character named “Joe Bruiser” who is basically just Muhammad Ali! so all in all a great game.
#7 WCW vs nWo Revenge
This is one game that I have logged a ridiculous amount of hours on. So many World War 3 matches with all sixty people. This game is basically just a much nicer updated version of the game we just talked about WCW/nWo World Tour. In revenge some things that were added were things like licensed pay-per-view and TV arenas, a cartoon referree modeled after WCW referree Mark Curtis, internal cartridge memory, and instant replay.
The roster also grew as well as having the inclusion of all the active WCW Championships. This game is definetly worth checking out and it is still pretty cheap so pick it up if you are into WCW and N64.
#6 WWF Wrestlemania 2000
As a young buck this was a ” game changer” for me. I was a fan of all wrestling, but I was always more of a WWF guy instead of a WCW guy. So when we heard that THQ was making a WWF game my buddies and I hit the freaking roof! This was the first wrestling game i knew of, that allowed you to customize your wrestler, from head to toe. The roster was a who’s who of “The Attitude Era” it was also cool that you could have a manager escort you to the ring. They could also get involved in the match. There was a few things the game was missing, but my friends and I were happier than hogs in mud to have a WWF game from THQ.
#5 WWE All Stars
Now on to WWE All Stars! This game was great when it was released. The over the top arcade action was a nice change of pace from the simulation style the games had taken. Being able to play at a faster arcade style paceand looking at the arcade inspired art style was very refreshing.
The game so featured a roster of contemporary superstars as well as legends. Here are just some of the wrestlers I like on the roster starting with the legends side. Andre The Giant, Eddie Guerrero, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Steve Austin, Roddy Piper, Macho Man, and Ultimate Warrior. On the contemporary side I like Big Show, Edge, John Morrison, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. This game is great for sitting down with your buddies on the couch. While gettin down on some local multiplayer and having a few drinks.
#4 WWF Wrestlefest
This was actually the very first wrestling video game I ever played. I remember being at a 7-11 standing on a chair playing as the “Big Boss Man”. This is one of the very best wrestling games ever! It’s just a shame that it was never released on any consoles. I played it a few years at “The Galloping Ghost Arcade”. Now the gameplay was pretty simple with the arcade cabinet having only two buttons per joystick.
The game contained two different game modes. The first being “Royal Rmble” and the other being “Saturday Nights Main Event”.
In “Royal Rumble mode you choose a single superstar and go through the “Royal Rumble”. In Saturday Night’s Main Event” you choose a tag team of two wrestlers, you then climb the ranks until you reach the title match against “Legion of Doom”. If you have an arcade emulator I highly suggest playing WWF Wrestlefest and it’s predecessor WWF Superstars.
#3 WWF In Your House
Now we come another very over the top wrestling video game.WWF In Your House, this game was done by Akklaim who was the company who ported the “Mortal Kombat” games to the home consoles. This game like it predecessor “Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game” (which we will discuss Shortly), was heavily inspired by “Mortal Kombats” gameplay. All of the moves are very over the top and done with specific button combinations like “Mortal Kombat” games.
The ten person roster consists of Bret “Hitman” Hart, The Undertaker, and “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (all returning from the previous game). The newcomers include Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Goldust, Ahmed Johnson, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Vader, and The Ultimate Warrior. On commentary you had Vince McMahon and Mr. Perfect. The game is still one of my all time favorites.
#2 WWF No Mercy
Now we get to the cream of the crop of the N64 wrestling games. No Mercy was everything we wanted and more! The customization options were expanded. They put a store in the game to unlock new weapons, attire, move sets, customization options, and characters. There were other characters who could be unlocked by completing the different championship storylines.
This game improved on Wrestlemania 2000 is every conceivable way. it gave us the much awaited ladder match, let us hit each other with the bell (sound effect included). It was just an all around great game. I really can’t say enough good things about ths game. It is still pretty cheap to pick up, so do so if you feel inclined. You won’t regret it.
#1 WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game
Now we get to my “numero uno” of wrestling games. Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game was the wrestling game I have spent the most amount of time on in my life. First of all do not I repeat DO NOT buy the SNES version! It does not have the full roster! This game is my favorite for a number of reasons. Mainly because like “In Your House” it’s just “Mortal Kombat” meets wrestling.
Things like The Undertaker hitting you with an actual tombstone, Razor Ramon’s arm turning into a Razor Blade, Doink hitting you with a mallet or electrocuting you with a joy buzzer. Other things like Bam Bam Bigelow burning through the ring after the flying headbutt, or Yokozuna flying through the air trying to hit you with the “banzai drop”.
As the predecessor to “WWF In Your House” it plays almost exactly the same except for the difference in controllers. All I can say is if you have a chance to play it or better yet own it. Do it, it’s worth every single penny!
Well thank you all for reading. Remeber to follow us on twitter @edfswrestling, follow me @KC_Carlyle.
images courtesy of wikipedia, amazon, deviant art, and emulator online.