Professional wrestling video games aren’t as prominent as they once were but, boy, do they have a storied history.
These games date back to late 1980s and early 1990s as arcade fighters and quickly rose throughout the ‘90s.
By the late ‘90s, wrestling games were all over the place, coinciding with the Monday Night Wars. This was a ratings war between the then-World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) and the now defunct World Championship Wrestling.
They’ve continued until today as All Elite Wrestling is slated to release its first console game in the near future.
With so many different wrestling games out there, which one is your favorite?
I know that professional wrestling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’m probably one of the few watching athletic theater play out in such dramatic fashion on a regular basis.
That said, I know there were many who did buy into the Monday Night Wars, debating the merits of both WWF and WCW. These debates eventually extended to video games.
One of the constantly top-rated wrestling games was WWF No Mercy, which released in 2000. This game received wide-ranging positive reception and was a top performer on the Nintendo 64.
Easy controls, fun storylines, and in-depth character creation were all positives that many pointed to as making this game top-notch. The game also came with 60 playable characters, meaning any WWF fan could play as their favorite from the Attitude Era.
Those on the other side of the Monday Night Wars generally gravitated to WCW/nWo Revenge (1998) as a top option. This game was the sequel to WCW vs. nWo: World Tour (1997) and garnered top honors on the Nintendo 64.
Not only did this game receive praise for its grappling system, but it also became one of the top-selling games on the N64 with 1.88 million copies.
These two games tend to get held up as the best two from that era. Recently, WWE wrestlers debated which of the two was the best game.
Wrestling games, however, don’t stop with those two. There are numerous others that have come out over the years, most of them being WWE properties.
Some other top options include WWE 2K14 (2013), WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain (2003), WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (1999), WWE All-Stars (2011), and WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006.
Wrestling games are a lot of fun even if you’re not the biggest fan of the actual product. Still, there is a high likelihood that a game crossed your path in the late ‘90s or early 2000s, especially given how successful many of them have been over the years.
So which wrestling game is your favorite? Is there one that invokes a lot of nostalgia for you? Have you played one recently? Let us know in the comments below or head over to our Discord channel to join the conversation.
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