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8 Best Pro Wrestling Video Games of All-Time Ranked

8 Best Pro Wrestling Video Games of All-Time Ranked

Here are the best pro wrestling video games of all time ranked

The world of professional wrestling is a weird and wonderful form of entertainment. In many ways, it’s kind of like an action-packed live-action movie in which the wrestlers are performing all the stunts with Shakespearean tales that keep you engaged until the final bell rings.

It’s all of the above ingredients why we’ve been treated to many wonderful pro wrestling video games over the years that span(dex) multiple generations. So with that being said, I’ve compiled a gruelling list of the eight best pro wrestling games of all time.

Check out our chat with WWE Superstars below!

RetroMania Wrestling (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch)

RetroMania Wrestling is a fantastic indie game released in 2021 and is considered to be the spiritual successor to the classic arcade game, WWF WrestleFest (we’ll speak about that game later).

Developed by RetroSoft Studios, RetroMania Wrestling came with 19 playable characters at launch from classic names to darlings of the independent scene with the likes of The Legion of Doom (aka Road Warriors), Nick Aldis, Matt Cardona (formerly known as Zack Ryder), and Zack Sabre Jr to name a few. It also had a decent amount of modes with a branching story campaign, tournament modes, versions of the Royal Rumble and more. This charming game comes highly recommended.

RetroMania Wrestling/
RetroSoft Studios

WWE 2K14 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Released in 2013 and developed by Yuke’s, WWE 2K14 won't be the first 2K Games entry on this list but it’s the first game fully published by 2K taking over from the then-defunct THQ, now known as THQ Nordic.

Other than featuring high-octane gameplay, perhaps the standout features of WWE 2K14 were its modes, ‘30 Years of WrestleMania’ which brought together some of the best matches over three decades including Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase, Sgt. Slaughter vs. Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker vs. Kane, and more. It also featured beat “The Streak” mode in which you can try to beat Undertaker’s legendary WrestleMania streak or relive those moments as Taker, on a harder difficulty setting than what is considered to be the default. 2K began its WWE run with a bang that has so far lasted a decade not to be counted out.

WWE 2K14/

WCW/nWo Revenge (Nintendo 64)

It didn't matter whether you were familiar with WCW or the faction known as the nWo at the time, 1998’s WCW/nWo Revenge for the N64 is a true cult classic and would help lay the foundations for the likes of WWF WrestleMania 2000 and WWF No Mercy, providing a golden-era of pro wrestling titles for N64 games. WCW/nWo Revenge had a fun but slow grappling system that did away from more traditional arcade-inspired button-mashing games. It had a large roster of characters for its time, good character customisation and a challenging arcade mode. If you own an N64, you need to add this to your collection.

WCW/nWo Revenge/

WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role (original PlayStation)

Released in 2000, unlike the N64 games, WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role was all about fast-paced action and the glitzy glamour of the sports entertainment world. It featured a story mode which had local multiplayer support, which is always fun playing with siblings and friends, loads of unlockables and an improved Create-a-Superstar suite over its PS1 predecessor, as well as being able to create move-sets, taunts and stables. WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role has been so ingrained in my mind, that as I type these words, I can still hear its title music.

WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role/

WWF WrestleFest (Arcade)

WWF WrestleFest of 1991 is one of my earliest memories of playing video games in an arcade. WWF WrestleFest had two modes, ‘Royal Rumble’ in which players ran a solo gauntlet to claim victory by eliminating competitors and ‘Saturday Night’s Main Event’ which was a tag team gauntlet with the final battle being a title match against the Legion of Doom.

‘Royal Rumble’ was playable with up to four players and ‘Saturday Night’s Main Event’ for two players. You had the choice of 10 characters including Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Mr. Perfect. My fondest memory of WWF WrestleFest (well for me at least), was my autistic child brain casually walking up to the arcade machine, putting in my 10p or 20p and eliminating a kid that that being playing the Royal Rumble from start to almost finish, until I ruined his day claiming victory. It’s fair to say that there were some tears but they weren't mine. I have no regrets.

WWF WrestleFest/

WWF Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (PlayStation 2)

I struggled to pick just one game from the PlayStation 2 library of WWE games, but ultimately I settled with 2003’s WWF Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain. For its time, WWF Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain had the best console graphics for any wrestling game and a new grappling system which allowed you to target and damage chosen body parts, adding a strategic element especially when it came to submission matches. It also marked the video game debut of the Elimination Chamber, and the unsavoury match type, Bra and Panties. Thankfully the days of the latter are long over with. Still, with its fantastic graphics, awesome story mode, backstage brawls and more, WWF Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain is one of the best console wrestling games of all time.

WWF Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain/

WWF No Mercy (Nintendo 64)

We all knew that WWF No Mercy would make this list and this was another tough choice as it was between this and its predecessor, WWF WrestleMania 2000, making WWF No Mercy the second N64 game on this list. WWF No Mercy improved on its predecessor in almost every way. It had an amazing branching story mode offering loads of replay value, a more in-depth character creation, and improved graphics. The gameplay may not have evolved all that much over its predecessor, but the subtle improvements were enough to place WWF No Mercy amongst the upper echelon of N64 greats.

WWF No Mercy/

WWE 2K24 (PC, PlayStation and Xbox One)

This may seem like a controversial pick to be my number one wrestling game but if you take off the nostalgia goggles, objectively speaking, you might understand why WWE 2K24 claims the spot at the top of the mountain. WWE 2K24 has the deepest roster of playable characters with over 200 to choose from, which annihilates most video games in that respect of any genre. It has a wealth of fun modes from the ‘Showcase of the Immortals’ reliving 40 years of WrestleMania, building upon what we had in WWE 2K14. It has two campaigns for your created character, a Universe mode that lets you book your dream matches, a competitive co-op General Manager mode and the ever-evolving MyFACTION, and much more.

WWE 2K24/

On top of that, WWE 2K24 not only looks great with WWE Superstars recreated to near perfection but the gameplay is accessible for a variety of playstyles. Visual Concepts have knocked it out of the park this year which has now set the bar high for next year's WWE 2K25. I cannot wait to see how that contest turns out.

So, there you have it, that concludes my list of the top video games of all time and I'd also like to give a special mention to AEW Fight Forever which just missed out on my list.

Featured Image Credit: THQ/2K

Topics: List, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Retro Gaming, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Indie Games