Day 2 of Wrestling Action Coming at ya!
Welcome to day 2 of Brutal Gamer’s “Top 5 Wrestling Games of all Time!” as chosen by some of our staff at the Brutal Gamer offices. How many of you remember WWF Royal Rumble? Man, I remember playing this game endlessly when I was a kid. Me and my buddies would hang out in our rooms while our parents did their adult thing and we our bedrooms would become arenas! We would shut lights off to make matches look more epic! We even made our own announcements replaying how good ole JR use to announce. We even took on the same swag as some of our favorite wrestlers. My friend swore he was the “Excellence of Execution” and I was always “The Bad Guy”. Razor Ramon was the man back in the day, just saying.
What was most interesting, especially looking back, was how God-awful some of the graphics were. For their time, they were fantastic, but man, looking back, our favorite wrestlers looked like clay figures. But we didn’t care. It wasn’t about how many frames per second our systems were pumping out or whether it was HD or if I had an expansion pack. Nope. We popped in the cartridge which had everything the game will have upon purchase. No secret locked donwloads or timed expansions. When we bought our games, it was the whole package. HD was non-existent. The only thing we needed to worry about in those days was whether we had an extra controller. Times were simpler then. Great times.
Moving right along to the rest of our feature, we have one of our writers Top 5 all geared to go. Our judge today is Mark S.! Check out his picks below and sound off on what you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Have a better Top 5? Let me know in the comments below. Now, without further ado…
#5. Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (PS2): “The early PS2 era of wrestling games went from one strength to another with Just Bring It!, Shut Your Mouth and the magnum opus of that generation, Here Comes the Pain. A real game changer for the Smackdown franchise, with the first to introduce Legendary wrestlers on top of more than 50 current Superstars (a roster that, by today’s standard, feels overwhelming stuffed with brilliance).
The gameplay was (and still is) incredibly tight and rewarding. The later games decided to slow things down a bit too much, but Here Comes the Pain finds the perfect balance between fun arcade style combat and the later simulation experience the 2K games would move towards.
And do not even get me started on THAT engine. Gorgeous.”
#4. Wrestlemania 2000 (N64): “If I am not mistaken, this was THQ’s first WWF game. And they came as close to knocking it out of the park as anyone could have. What I remember loving most about this was how endless and huge the season mode felt. It was the first of its kind at the time and even though it could have used a proper storyline, fighting your way to a championship match was really a great deal of fun. I never cared much for the earlier wrestling games since the controls always went over my head, but Wrestlemania 2000 was very easy to just pick up and play, while requiring some degree of skill.”
#3. WWE Supercard (Android, iOS): “I probably deserve all the flak I get for including this one, BUT this is just so addictive. It has kept my attention a lot longer than any WWE game released over the last few years. It’s dumb, completely unoriginal and allows me to have a super shiny Stone Cold Steve Austin on my phone. So, win?”
#2. WWF No Mercy (N64): “The definitive wrestling game. I can honestly say, in no uncertain terms, that No Mercy is perfect. An extensive storyline, over 60 wrestlers and the introduction of tag-team ladder matches (best gimmick matches in wrestling history), everything was spot on. And this game was incredibly hard (but fair)!
One thing that separates this from the rest is the dedicated fan base it has. It is still possible to find mods with all the recent superstars, and most look fantastic. It feels like a game that will never and can never die.
#1. WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role (PS1): “This right here was my childhood. The most played game on my PS1. Sadly, it does not hold up as well as the N64 games (the season mode is pretty horrible looking back), but the amount of hours spent running through season after season as Chris Jericho waiting for the game to hand out a title shot (went a full year without the title being defended once) while delivering the smackdown to Kane on a weekly basis.
Still, removing the nostalgia glasses, I do genuinely believe this game delivers the most enjoyable arcade experience out of all the Smackdown games released. It’s frantic, flashy and life consuming (for a kid, anyway).”
There you have it folks! Another Top 5 Wrestling Games of all Time list made by one of our staff! Great choices all around and being someone who has played the vast majority of these games, it is really hard to come up with my own top 5! But, alas fair reader, you will have to wait until Day 4 to see my list! I hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Toss your boots over by the buckets of sweat, throw your wrestling trunks in your gym bag and lets reminisce about the simpler days when button mashing wasn’t a bad thing or frowned upon. It was a skill… it was a science. With that, here’s a picture of another classic wrestler being awesome. Hooyah!