Most people think of WWE 2K, SmackDown vs. RAW or WWF No Mercy when thinking of wrestling games, but here’s our list of alternative WWE games you must play.
In the WWE Games Series there have been some incredible entries; fan favourite WWF No Mercy (released December 15th 2000) and WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (released November 7th 2003) top the list whilst the WWE 2K16 (released October 30th 2015) continues to improve on 2K’s entry game: WWE 2K14 (released November 1st 2013). Despite being very different from one another, all of these games were entries in the main game series, but what about other forays in the games industry by WWE?
WWE All Stars
Released: April 1st 2011
Platforms: PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360
Developers: THQ, Publishers: THQ
A simulation game, but turned up to 11. WWE All Stars has developed into quite a cult WWE game. Even though it’s the only game on this list to have actual matches pitting superstars against one another, it was only included by how zany it was. It’s lack of depth in match stipulations was outshined by how fun the game was to play. It was an over-the-top arcade-style wrestling game with exaggerated bodies, huge super moves, combos and crazy effects on the screen. It had an addictive gameplay and was one of the most loved alternate WWE video games, to the point where a vocal crowd will speculate that WWE All Stars 2 is on its way, each time WWE has a new trademark around video games. The game has a very good score of 75 on metacritic and had a roster of 43 superstars post-DLC.
WWE Superstar Slingshot
Released: April 4th 2011
What do you do when Angry Birds is the most popular game on the iOS Store? Clone it! That’s exactly what WWE did with this game. It’s difficult to track down who exactly developed this game but it was only available for iOS and wasn’t the best app out there for a number of reasons. The menus were clunky but mainly the physics felt wrong. Considering it was an Angry Bird’s rip off, it’s not exactly acceptable to have a much worse physics system in place. It was interesting at the time as Angry Birds was all the rage, so playing a somewhat similar game with some WWE superstars was worth the download, but didn’t keep the player hooked for long.
Released: August 24th 2001
Platforms: GameBoy Color
Developers: WayForward Technologies, Publishers: THQ
This side-scrolling game for the GameBoy Color, much like old fighting games on the Sega Mega Drive, allowed the player to play as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H or The Undertaker to attempt to rescue a kidnapped Stephanie McMahon (by the superstars you don’t choose to play as) for Vince McMahon, in exchange for a WWF Championship shot. You roam the streets beating up everyone that stands in your way with a series of punches, kicks, use of weapons and your finisher. Eventually you make your way to Stephanie and become the champion! The game received mixed reviews of around 50 due to a limited moveset and enemy set. I remember playing this game a lot at the time, which just goes to show what we’ve evolved to.
Released: August 14th 2014
Platforms: iOS, Android
Developers: Cat Daddy Games, Visual Concepts, Publishers: 2K
A very different game style for WWE, that is essentially a digital version of Top Trumps. In an exhibition match each player has a team of four superstars, two women and two support cards. There are three matches, usually a male superstar match, women’s match and tag team match. In a match, the player then has to choose one or two superstars to face their opponent’s choice based on a selected category for the match (Power, Toughness, Speed or Charisma). A win overall will allow the player two picks from a board of turned cards, whereas a loss will award one pick. A perfect win of 3-0 will provide the winner an extra pick. The game has five modes: Exhibition, King of the Ring (KOTR), Road to Glory (RTG), People’s Champion Challenge (PCC) and Ring Domination Match (RDM). The game is currently on its second season (from August 19th 2015), is updated regularly, and has a metacritic score of 85, which is extremely good and is matched by WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (85) and only succeeded by WWF No Mercy (89) and WWF Smackdown! 2 (90), so it is in very, very good company. It’s also free.
WWE Crush Hour
Released: May 15th 2003
Platforms: PS2, Gamecube
Developers: Pacific Coast Power & Light, Publishers: THQ
In a weird precursor to the WWE Network, the plot of the WWE Crush Hour has Vince McMahon controlling every television network, placing WWE Superstars in the shows and commercials. The game is therefore a new project from Vince, a demolition derby-style show pitting WWE Superstars against one another with custom cars loaded with guns. The player can choose from 32 WWE Superstars, all announced by Howard Finkel in the character selection screen and battles, then go to war in various game modes in custom stages based on WWE programming, accompanied by commentary from Jim Ross as well as quotes from all of the superstars. Personally, I remember have a ton of fun with this game, despite its metacritic score of 56. It was a fun game, released as a budget title, that was very different to anything that WWE had done at the time. I would have fun if this were re-released or a spiritual successor was released on mobile. It probably doesn’t age well, but it might be worth loading up and seeing how crazy this game was.
Looking at these titles, I would love for WWE to expand their video game library even more. They are clearly focusing on mobile now with WWE Super Card and WWE Immortals, but I believe there is room for more. It will be interesting to see if they continue to create new and different video games because it has created some interesting properties in the past and is currently proving to be quite successful for them.
What other WWE games are you fond of? Share yours in the comments!
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