WWE is arguably one of the most popular entertainment shows around the world, Wrestle Mania (WrestleMania 35) one of the biggest events in the world. So, if you are a fan of WWE and video games, you are at the right place. Today we going to take a look at some of the best wrestling games of all time. Wrestling games from WWE, WWF and the like are cult classics for anyone who grew up watching their favorite wrestlers battle it out in the squared circle. From the dangerous Stone Cold Steve Austin to the eerie Undertaker, many of us grew up watching them and what better way to experience wrestling than playing as our favorite wrestlers in video games? Here’s the list of best WWE wresting games ever. The list includes wwe 2k17 games, www 2k18 games, wwe champions games, wwe fighting games, wwe free online games, smackdown and royal rumble games.
22. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 (2010)
The Raw vs. Smackdown games have always been amazing just like the real-life PPV event (Survivor series). The game is actually one of the best of the PG-era and has a number of great storylines for players to discover. It was also the very first WWE game to come with the much-loved Universe mode. Universe mode has become a staple of the franchise since the release of WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011. If you are someone who misses the early 2010s wrestling era, then you should definitely check the game out as it contains some of the now-retired favorites who wrestled through the iconic Attitude era.
21. WWE 2K18 (2017)
While the game did offer an action-packed experience to fans, it did not bring any major gameplay changes or new game modes to tinker with. It was essentially WWE 2K17 but with slightly tweaked graphics and an updated roster to keep the fans up to date. However, if you are someone skipped 2K17 and want to catch up on the last couple years of wrestling then you should definitely check out 2K18. The improvements to the AI over the years shows in the title, and 2K Games did a great job with the title when it comes to offering polished gameplay.
20. Pro Wrestling (1987)
This might be a title that most of you have not played. The title came out at a time when the Nintendo Entertainment System was the talk of the town. Originally launched in 1987, Pro Wrestling is one of the games that shaped how we perceive wrestling games. The game did skip on licensed wrestlers, and we got to play with characters with slightly tweaked names to avoid any copyright issues. However, despite being an 8-bit game, it was one of the best of its kind back in the day. The combat was complex, and you needed to time every move right if you did not want to lose. While getting an NES to play the title might not be an ideal solution, you can always pick up the rebooted NES classic console to try it out if Nintendo offers itg officially sometime.
19. WWF Attitude (1999)
WWF’s Attitude Era is regarded by many as the best by many. Despite the game having several flows, it is one of the most popular games in the WWE/WWF franchise because of how unapologetic wrestling was back in the day. Unlike the PG-era content we get to see now, wrestlers were fearless, and the McMahon family could get away with a lot of crazy stuff. Coming to the gameplay, it was quite complicated compared to the other titles that came out during the late 90s. Not all fans took too kindly to how the game was developed. Players wanted a more casual experience instead of having to focus on the slow and complicated mechanics that dragged the game down.
18. WWE 2K17 (2016)
2K17 put WWE back on the map in the world gaming after a disastrous few years. The game managed to fix a large number of flaws that held the franchise back when it comes to making an impact in the world of gaming. The ladder matches and the massive roster is what drew most gamers into the title. While we did not get to see some of the biggest legends including Hulk Hogan, the game managed to hold up quite well, and fans loved it. The Universe mode that was launched with WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 did not see any major changes, but the new MyCareer mode is where the game innovated. While some call the game mode uninteresting, others truly enjoyed it. Being able to take a wrestler through their entire career journey is something we have always wanted, and the game did not disappoint with it.
17. Saturday Night Slam Masters (1994)
Capcom is known for games like Resident Evil 2, Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom and the like but did you know that they also released games for the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo Entertainment System? The larger than life characters adopted into the game duration generation when mainstream wrestling games did not even exist. While the game did feel a lot like Street Fighter, the only way to win was to either pin or make your opponent submit. It was a fresh take on fighting games that fans loved, and there is nothing like it till date.
16. WWE Day of Reckoning 2 (2005)
Before THQ started pushing out WWE games to every platform imaginable to man including the Nintendo Switch, publishers released unique games for each console. Think of it as a PS4 vs. Xbox war but each console in the early 2000s era would be home to one or more unique games from the WWE franchise. The GameCube received two great Day of Reckoning titles, and we strongly believe that Day of Reckoning 2 is possibly the best WWE game to come out on the GameCube. The grapple system, the graphics, the story mode – it all connected quite great. While in the day and age of larger than life graphics overshadow everything in existence the GameCube title at its time did look like one of the best-looking games ever made.
15. WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game (1995)
WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game is essentially a Mortal Kombat game that was rehashed using WWF characters. It feels and plays exactly like the old Mortal Kombat games, and there were some unique twists to the classic fighting game. Each character had something unique associated with him, and you could make them bleed those said objects. Imagine taking on the legendary Bret Hart and having hearts pop out of him as he takes damage. The game does not boast of the best talent in the history of the franchise, but the gameplay itself is what kept players hooked to it. You did get to play with a fair share of legends like Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, but there were too many lesser known wrestlers who did not add much to the roster.
14. WWE 2K19 (2018)
WWE 2K19 is the latest game in the WWE franchise until WWE 2K20 comes out that is. The game featured the largest roster we have ever seen, and THQ did a good job of adding some of the best-known legends in the industry to the roster including the likes of John Cena and legends like The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). When it comes to gameplay, there are no significant differences compared to 2K18, but it’s definitely a game that offers a lot of polish over its predecessor. THQ has reached a stage where constantly polishing the yearly releases will eventually lead to a perfect WWE game with no drawbacks. If you want to play nothing but the latest and greatest, then WWE 2K19 has you covered with the latest roster lineup and wrestlers to play with. It also has a number of Hall of Fame entrants and legends that you can pick and play with against your friends, online or in the various game modes to prove yourself in the ring.
13. WWF Wrestlefest (1991)
Wrestlefest was the most iconic arcade game from the WWE franchise. If you want to play the game in 2019, you’d need to either find a retro gaming parlor that has the game intact or you’d need to buy one from a game collector while losing your entire life savings in the process. But back in the early 90s, every neighborhood had an arcade parlor, and Wrestlefest was the go-to game for many. You got to play with some of the most loved wrestlers including Hulk Hogan, Mr. Perfect, and Ultimate Warrior. A console version of the game was planned, but the game was canceled for unknown reasons. However, if you want to play the game on your phone, you could try out the iOS remake of the game. It does not include the original cast as THQ saw it fit to update the roster which left a lot of retro gamers disappointed as they were looking for the authentic experience.
12. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 (2006)
The stamina bar that many of us hate was first introduced in the 2006 title WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007. While we may not like its inclusion much as it takes away the flow of being a fast-paced wrestling game, it did add a lot more depth and strategy into the game compared to its predecessors. The roster quality was on point as WWE was at its peak in the era. We got to see Chris Benoit for the last time in the game, and the franchise has avoided featuring Benoit due to the nature of his death ever since. Kurt Angle was also another legend who got featured in the game due to him receiving the Hall of Fame induction that year.
11. Tecmo World Wrestling (1990)
Retro and modern are not terms that go hand in hand. However, Tecmo World Wrestling is a title that modernized wrestling games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. While other Nintendo fans were busy playing Pokemon games or Mario, Tecmo chose to offer a fresh take on the NES which was primarily designed to be a “family” console. Tecmo World Wrestling was brutally fun, and while there were only ten characters in the roster, there was a lot of gameplay variance. With over 20 moves per character, there was a steep learning curve to the game that hardcore players loved. It is still one of the best games to try out if you love retro gaming and want to try out an 8-bit wrestling game.
10. Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 (2002)
The Nintendo 64 is one of the consoles that brought “3D” models into gaming. After playing 8-bit games for so long, the N64 was a one of a kind console that made gaming a whole lot more fun. Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 is one of the best wrestling games ever made. It’s been 19 years since its release, and yet gamers all over the world love it. Even though it did not feature WWE, WWF or WCW wrestlers officially it was one of the games that shaped how wrestling games are made. Unfortunately, the game was a big hit in Japan, and it did not see a widespread release. Hardcore fans had to import the title in Western countries while others simply grew up without knowing about it.
9. WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role (2002)
While the N64 games were trying to offer a sense of realism to fans, this PS1 WWF game was trying to do the exact opposite. Sony’s PlayStation 1 is known for some really fun games and Know Your Role is definitely one of the most entertaining titles on the console. With multiple finishers possible back-to-back and lot of juggling involved, allowing you to throw your opponent around as much as you wanted – it was truly a recipe for a great wrestling game. It is only unfortunate that the Smackdown franchise did not do as well long-term and got overshadows by RAW. If Smackdown continued to be as relevant over the years we would have two separate franchises battling it out instead of RAW being the poster child of the franchise while Smackdown continues being only a shadow of its former self.
8. WWE All-Stars (2011)
One of the best things about the WWE franchise is that it does not shy away from lending its IPs ensure as many platforms get to experience the fun wrestling experience that the company has to offer. If you are someone who is into arcade-like wrestling games with lots of button mashing involved then WWE All-Stars is definitely one of the best games to try out. The coolest thing about the game is that it saw launch on the 3DS which is one of the most amazing handhelds out there and it also packs 3D graphics. Being able to see your favorite wrestlers battle it out in 3D glory is definitely an experience most players are not going to forget anytime soon.
7. WWE 2013 (2012)
WWE 2013 is yet another landmark game in the franchise. The WWE franchise decided to stop lending IPs to aggressively to other developers and platforms just to get to most of the audience. Instead, it chose to develop its own identity and focus on improving the core WWE games as much as possible. Universe mode saw some major changes and THQ has been carrying on the drive for improvement in recent games like 2K19 as well. Most importantly, WWE 2013 is one of the few games that you should actually pick up for the story. It offers some of the best storylines seen in the company’s history, and it is no surprise that 2013 is hailed as one of the best games in the history of WWE.
6. WCW/nWo Revenge (1998)
If you look at the WWE franchise now and someone told you that WCW almost overthrew WWE and put it out of business, you would probably not believe it. WCW was on a rampage in the 90s, and the New World Order storyline is one of the best wrestling crossovers we have ever seen. The New World Order had some of the best wrestlers in the industry, and it’s no surprise that everyone straight up loved the late 90s era in wrestling. While WWE did prevail eventually and it was all part of a plot, it made things no less entertaining for the fans.
5. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns (2005)
If you thought WWE’s rosters were expansive with plenty of wrestlers to play with, wait till you find out how many wrestlers Fire Pro Wrestling Returns had. This famous title had over 300 wrestlers who were featured from all over the world and players could also design another 500 wrestlers using the character customization screen. It blew everyone’s mind off when the roster size was announced, and the gameplay quality backed up the quantity as well. Many wrestling fans consider Fire Pro Wrestling Returns to be one of the best wrestling games ever made due to the variance in gameplay and the near-perfect game design. One of the most important things about Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is the accessibility. It made wrestling games much easier to get into with its simplified mechanics without bringing the skill cap down too much.
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4. Def Jam: Fight for New York (2004)
Developed by AKI Corporation for the GCN, PSP, Xbox, and PS2 Def Jam: Fight for New York is one of the most heavily marketed games of all time. The game by Def Jam was set to be bought out EA, but WWE stepped in and bought publishing rights for themselves. It’s your standard wrestling game with a nice twice as you get to play with characters like Carmen Electra and Danny Trejo, people you would never see inside the squared circle professionally. While the game did manage to be extremely popular, it failed to generate the hype needed to keep the franchise going for years. However, it was great to see AKI try and develop something new for the fans who were slowly getting bored of the saturated market of wrestling games.
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3. WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (2003)
One of the biggest issues with WWE games is how linear they feel after you’ve tried out a few games. However, the 2003 title WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain threw every rule in the rulebook out of the window. If you are a hardcore wrestling fan who is looking for a classic experience, then this is definitely not the game for you. However, if you do not mind having unique rules applied to your matches for good measure, then you will absolutely love the game. You can do absolutely anything in the games as there are no rules. From throwing opponents out off of a building to setting them on fire, there is a lot of fun to be had. While there are fans who complained about the game not being realistic enough, it’s okay to have fun sometimes, and not everything has to be so linear.
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2. WWE 2K14 (2013)
WWE 2K14 is one the most popular games on both the PS3 and the Xbox. The game marked a transition period for the WWE franchise. A couple of games prior to 2013 did not do too well and it was up to WWE 2K14 to keep the video game sales up. And it managed to do just that. The story mode is one of the most memorable with over 40 WrestleMania games being featured throughout the story. The improvements to the gameplay were just drastic, and there was even a game mode that allows you to attempt and break The Undertaker’s WrestleMania record. It is one of the best wrestling games of all time by any metric, and if you are looking for one of the most engaging and impactful WWE games of all time, WWE 2K14 is one of the best you can get your hands on.
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1. WWF No Mercy (2000)
Coming to the end of our list, our pick for the best WWF/WWE game of all time is none other than WWF No Mercy. There is no game in the franchise that can even think about topping what No Mercy did. AKI is known for its quality games, and No Mercy was no different. The game needed players to take their time and master each character from the roster. There was a mod system that was added to fine tune the stats of your favorite wrestlers. We also got access to the infamous create-a-wrestler mode that featured a ton of filters and customization options which remain unmatched even now. The game offers a ton of re-playable content, and you can keep coming back and still be surprised by how much time and effort was put into the game.
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