WWE 2K14 is officially released, will it someday grace this list?
Today marks the official release of the WWE's latest video game, WWE 2K14. With a ton of hype around new game modes and gameplay improvements, not to mention the addition of the 2K name, WWE 2K14 is already being hyped as one of the best wrestling games ever made.
Only time will tell if WWE 2K14 lives up to the hype or not, but in celebration of a new WWE video game to play, let's take a look at the greatest WWE video games that have ever graced our consoles.
Here are the seven greatest WWE video games of all time.
If you aren't a fan of Nintendo 64 you may as well skip most of this list. Whether you like the old console or not, you have to admit that they did things right when it came to professional wrestling video games. WCW/NWO Revenge was just one of many excellent N64 games that got a whole lot right.
Revenge utilized an infamous grappling engine made by AKI that really changed the way wrestling games were played. It was no longer an arcade-esque adventure in who can slam buttons the fastest, performing the same two moves over and over. Instead, we started to see the development of unique move sets that made each character feel different from the next.
Speaking of characters, just look at the roster. The roster showcased over 60 WCW superstars and even had some amusing fictional characters to round out the roster, including everyone's favorite, AKI Man.
WCW/NWO Revenge was easily one of the best wrestling games ever made for its various gameplay modes and exceptional grappling engine. It's notable for being the last AKI project for N64 before THQ got the rights to the WWF brand.
Speaking of the WWF Brand...
THQ's first stab at a WWF-branded video game, WWF WrestleMania 2000. WM2000 was revolutionary enough for starting THQ's long line of WWF/WWE video games, but it wasn't all about what it stood for. This creep could roll, man.
WM2000 was a glorious Frankenstein-esque creation from the folks at THQ and the wrestling video game geniuses at AKI. AKI brought parts of both WCW/NWO Revenge and WWF Attitude together to create the fighting engine for WM2000, which was awesome to say the least.
Besides the improved gameplay, WM2000 brought with it an impressive roster and was one of the first professional wrestling games that let players mess with wrestler's attires. You could put Undertaker in all pink or even put HBK in trunks instead of his trademark pants.
One of the best things about this game however, was its create-a-wrestler mode. The surprisingly deep customization mode was impressive for a game of that time. WM2000 also featured a story mode that allowed players to take their favorite wrestlers from rookie to the WrestleMania main event.
WM2000 also drove to provide a more TV broadcast feel to the game, featuring improved entrances and RumblePak functionality to add that extra little oomph to a Kane Chokeslam.
Overall, WM2000 was way ahead of its time. The intuitive gameplay from already successful games paired with some new features made this a wrestling game to remember on N64.
WWE '13 was easily the best wrestling game made for next-gen consoles.
WWE '13 made up for a lackluster product in 2012 and gave the WWE Universe one of the best WWE gaming experiences since the PlayStation 2. THQ has made great wrestling games and they've made rough ones. WWE '13 is one of the great ones.
WWE '13 took advantage of next-gen graphics to make this game really look and feel like you were a part of the WWE. With the ability to customize just about everything from what shows you participate in throughout the WWE Universe mode to fully customizable arenas, this game really had it all as far as customization.
With a heavy focus on the Attitude Era, WWE '13 also brought back a ton of big-name legends for players to put into their game, which added a whole new level to the stellar gameplay. But what if you wanted to integrate guys like El Generico or Kevin Steen into your WWE Universe and didn't want to waste hours creating them? All you had to do was head to the WWE Community Creations and in a matter of minutes you could download creations from users all over the world.
WWE '13 has certainly set the bar high for 2K and WWE 2K14, which is a great sign for WWE gamers everywhere.
Now we get to the classics that changed everything about WWE video gaming. We'll start with the game that started it all on PlayStation, WWF SmackDown. SmackDown, another one of THQ's first runs at wrestling games after leaving Acclaim, set the stage for the future of wrestling games.
SmackDown brought the WWE Universe an exceptional story mode, the amazing WWE roster of the early 2000's and great overall gameplay. Grappling and counters became more commonplace and required players to use actual skill as opposed to random, blind, doo-dah luck.
Another spot where WWF SmackDown really shined was the creation suite. Players could not only customize just about everything about their create-a-wrestler, they could throw them right into the innovative story mode and compete for WWE's biggest belts.
SmackDown really revolutionized professional wrestling gaming on a major level. It was the best wrestling game out there for fans of PlayStation...until they released its sequel.
Thankfully for the makers of the WWE Raw series and WWE gamers everywhere, the separate SmackDown and Raw titles were brought together for the aptly named SmackDown vs. Raw series. One of the especially shining examples in the series was SmackDown vs. Raw 2006.
SvR 2006 added an intuitive stamina/momentum system. Gone were the days of hitting 34 German suplexes in a row, hitting your finisher, pinning your opponent and winning the match. Now players had to use a little strategy while mixing strikes, submissions and grappling maneuvers throughout their matches until they had the opportunity to hit a finisher and win the match.
If you kept hitting the same moves the crowd wasn't into your match, which didn't give you momentum to hit your finisher. It was all about putting on good matches.
SvR 2006 also made the countering system considerably deeper with a counter for almost every move. Players also had the chance to chain together moves after counters to make a reversal even more devastating than it was in past games.
SvR 2006 also brought along General Manager mode, which was accepted with open arms by WWE fans and would eventually lead to WWE's intuitive WWE Universe mode in newer titles.
Overall, SvR 2006 got the SmackDown vs. Raw series going in the right direction and brought two franchises together while setting the stage for the future of professional wrestling video games.
With such a ridiculously awesome roster alone, this game was awesome. Add in the fact that the gameplay was some of the best we've ever seen and this game was absolute gold.
SmackDown: Here Comes the Pain was the fifth wrestling game created by Yukes, and it was easily one of the best. Here Comes the Pain had one of the largest rosters in the history of wrestling games with almost 70 playable Superstars and Divas, including the addition of legends and current Superstars alike.
The roster wasn't the only great thing about this game. The grappling system, which was already great, was improved and played nicely with improved visuals and quicker, less clunky gameplay. Thie legendary game also brought new match types including first blood, bra and panties and the dreaded Elimination Chamber.
Here Comes the Pain even improved their already interactive backstage environments and made an already solid game even better. The gameplay was extremely satisfying and smooth and few WWE video games have ever been as fun to play as SmackDown: Here Comes the Pain. This game simply had it all. It had the gameplay, the customization, the presentation, it had everything...well, almost everything.
If you don't think WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64 was, and is, the greatest professional wrestling video game created you need to seriously reevaluate your life. Yeah, the graphics aren't next-gen, blah blah, boohoo. It's not about the graphics, it's about the gameplay and the overall user experience, and for that, No Mercy is No. 1.
This game was just about as close to perfect as it gets. Much of my middle school and high school existence revolved around this masterpiece, and for very good reason. This game had a stellar control scheme, a great create-a-wrestler mode and, to this day, the greatest story mode a WWE/F video game has ever seen.
Oh, and you like awesome rosters? This game had over 60 Superstars and Divas to choose, including a TON of secret characters that could be unlocked through the insanely thorough story mode, which is amazing. You pick any wrestler, even a created one, and start the story. Different things happen depending on whether you win or lose and what decisions you make. With so many different branches and choices, this story almost never played out the same which is something you can't find in wrestling games today.
Let's not forget about the gameplay and the controls. No Mercy's controls set the stage for almost every WWE game that has come along since. They aren't extremely in-depth or intense, which makes for a comfortable and enjoyable gaming experience that just feels right.
Everything about WWF No Mercy was amazing. This game had absolutely everything you could ever ask for in a wrestling game and is simply the greatest WWE video game of all time.