Video game

Five Wrestling video games for every gamer appetite – Daily DDT

With all this talk about upcoming wrestling games, I think there is ample room to talk about the retro wrestling games that paved the way. Wrestling games are the hardest games to develop, in my opinion, because their audience is very picky and the physics behind a good wrestling game is impossible to master.

Here are the five retro wrestling games that mastered it.

#5: The best wrestling game for a hybrid of arcade and simulation: Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (PS2)

The Smackdown series was WWE’s first successful game series. When the franchise came to the PS2 with the sequel Know Your Role, not too many gamers were blown away by it. Then Shut Your Mouth came out and improved on everything. Shut Your Mouth is the perfect hybrid of fast beat’em up action, but still keeps the atmosphere of pro wrestling. It flowed nicely and had tons of WWE content. Very few wrestling games have hit this sweet spot.

#4: The best wrestling game for a middle school sleepover party:  WWF No Mercy (N64)

Imagine it is the early 2000s. You and a bunch of buds are having a sleepover party. The mom has ordered Dominoes pizza and your best friend rented Aliens 3 from Blockbuster. The only thing to make this night magical is playing No Mercy until 2 am. No Mercy became the poster child for wrestling perfection, but it will forever be remembered as the best multiplayer game for wrestling fans. The animations were clean, the controls were crisp, and it actually featured entrance music. Where else could you have a Hardy Boys versus Team 3D table match with excellence?

#3: The best wrestling game for those who couldn’t care less about wrestling: Ultimate Muscle: Legends Versus New Generation (GC)

Very few people can recall Fox Kids airing a cartoon about whacky wrestlers battling each other in anime-style rings. Ultimate Muscle was a love letter to Japanese wrestling but wrapped in a Looney Tunes coat. Who can forget Dik Dik Van Dik, Kid Muscle, Ramen Man, Bone Cold, and Buffalo Man? The game was even better than the cartoon. Aki was the game’s producer and they were on fire for wrestling games in Japan. Legends vs. New Generation was constant frantic action, a grapple system that took catlike reflexes, and finishing moves that looked like Dragon Ball Z inspirations. If you try to find the game now you will have to pay a few hundred bucks to get it on eBay.

#2: The best wrestling game for those who hated WWF: WCW/NWO Revenge (N64)

I can say with the global acceptance that WCW had more stink bombs than golden nuggets in the gaming world. But then there was that one moment where WCW had the help of Aki and produced one of the finest gems on the Nintendo 64 library. Aki had introduced such a fine fighting system that worked so smoothly that the WWE took it from them the next year. The wrestling game foundation is built on what Aki made for WCW/NWO Revenge and it will be remembered as the one very playable WCW game.

#1: The best wrestling game for those who love Japan: Giant Gram 2000: All Japan Pro-Wrestling 3 (DC)

In the early 2000s, we had only heard rumors that Japan was producing some fine Japanese wrestling hits. It wasn’t until the Dreamcast came out with a way to play Japanese games on an American console that we could enjoy them too. Giant Gram 2000 was developed by Scarab and released by Sega. It featured the best wrestlers from All Japan with some of the legends. If you didn’t understand a lick of Japanese you could bumble your way through the games Gauntlet Mode. The wrestling system involved arcade moves that had to be memorized for each wrestler. The matches were fast, but each one had edge-of-your-seat suspense on who would win.




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