I am a huge wrestling fan, and I have been for many years now. How many years you are probably wondering, well twenty-six. I have also been a life long video game fan. There have been a ton of great WWE games so making just a top five is going to be really tough, but I am going to give it a try. I am only including one game from each series so there can only be one Smackdown game and one Smackdown vs. RAW game.
5. Smackdown vs. RAW 2009 (released 2008)
Xbox 360, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
This for me is the best game in the whole Smackdown vs. RAW series. Now I will fully admit that by this point and for the two instalments after that the Smackdown vs. RAW series really had not changed a great deal, but one thing made me pick this game over the rest – Road to Wrestlemania. This was the first game to have this as its single player mode and the job they did was amazing. The John Cena story in particular felt like you were inside an actual WWE storyline. Unfortunately the Road to Wrestlemania mode got worse each year after this until they eventually canned it.
4. Wrestlemania Challenge (released 1990)
I still remember getting this bad boy for Christmas and the copy in my collection now is the same one I got that Christmas morning. This is the best WWF game by a mile on the original NES. It has a great roster and it has a very unique game play style. I found that it was just as much fun playing the AI as it was my friends. What makes this game so good in my opinion is that it was made with the NES in mind. Steel Cage Challenge and King of the Ring tried too hard to be like the 16-bit wrestling games and really suffered in the process. Wrestlemania Challenge however is just pure 8-bit gaming gold.
3. Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (released 2002)
I loved the other three games in the Smackdown series, but this one took it to a whole new level. the roster was absolutely phenomenal. It was crazy the amount of wrestlers you could pick from. On top of that the amount of match types was also through the roof. Of the original Smackdown series before it moved onto Smackdown vs. RAW I feel this one had the best season mode. This game felt like it was made for the Playstation 2 more so than its predecessor Just Bring It.
2. Wrestlemania The Arcade Game (released 1995)
Playstation, Sega Saturn, PC, Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive, Sega 32X
This in truth is not really a wrestling game. It is actually a fighting game that just so happens to feature wrestlers as its characters. I love this game, and I think many people misunderstood it. All eight characters are truly unique so you really want to play through the games as each of them. It is the gameplay that just keeps me coming back to this. The arcade version is by far the best, but the home ports (minus the SNES) most notably the Playstation and Saturn are still great fun.
1. WWF No Mercy (released 2000)
I know its been said a million times by a million people that this is the best wrestling game, but I have to wholeheartedly agree. I love this game and out of all the THQ Nintendo 64 wrestling games (including WCW and Japan) this is the best. The guys at AKI just “got” what pro wrestling was all about. Its not a sport its a form of entertainment, and these guys made a great game around that. I class this not only as the best wrestling game ever made, but also as one of the best multi player games ever made. The amount of time me and my friends spent (or wasted depending on how you look at it) really is crazy.
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This post was written by Jason Delacey. He currently lives in England and has been gaming for 25 of his 30 years of life.