Here’s an interesting fact for all you young wrestling fans out there: there were more than two dozens worth of WWE games released before the company settled for the once-a-year standard they’re known for now.
This news would definitely come as a surprise for you, seeing as there are hardly any WWE games that have a lasting legacy. Other than the Smackdown! games, older fans don’t talk about any other wrestling releases for the most part. The reasons for this is because most of us have forgotten about a majority of the WWE games that were once available, and here are 10 we’ve picked out with reasons as to why they’ve left our memory.
10 Day Of Reckoning (2004)
This game was the final time the WWE tried to improvise with names for its video games, and Day of Reckoning even got forgotten when it was released due to its strange cover art confusing people whether it was a wrestling game or not.
Now that we’ve had over a decade and more of the same titles for wrestling games, this one sounds more like an attempt from WWE to have a single-player mode based game. It’s a shame it’s not well known, though, as Day of Reckoning’s create-a-wrestler mode and single-player campaign were well ahead of its time.
9 WWF Raw (2002)
Absolutely no-one can recall there being a WWE game exclusively released for the Xbox, let alone them remembering one that was based on Raw. At this time, the Smackdown! series ruled the roost on the PlayStation, with the Xbox alternative going unnoticed.
It didn’t help that the game was all kinds of awful either, as WWF Raw had terrible graphics and presentation even for 2002 standards. It was clearly a half-hearted attempt to appeal to the Xbox fanbase, which was barely any to begin with.
8 WWE All Stars (2011)
This game looks like an alternate universe where using steroids was legal in the wrestling business, with the superstars having freakishly huge frames and a cartoonish appearance. It was released when the Smackdown vs. Raw series was still on, so WWE All Stars came across as a joke more than anything.
Now that the wrestling gaming platform tries to be more realistic than before, this entry is one even the WWE would want to forget. Fortunately, nobody really remembers it even exists, even when there were legends of wrestling available on the game.
7 Smackdown Vs. Raw 2008
It’s not so much as us forgetting about this game as much as everyone deliberately trying to avoid acknowledging it. Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 totally ruined the series’ high run, giving fans an awful story mode that sucked all the fun out.
Replacing the campaign was a “24/7” mode, which was a terrible representation of a WWE superstar’s life. This turn was so widely ill-received that WWE went straight back to its tried-and-tested formula the next year. A decade later, fans forget there was ever a WWE video game released for 2008 at all.
6 WWF Superstars (1992)
We get that making handheld video games might have been tough back in the early ‘90s, but WWE Superstars was so lame that it seemed to have been made in the ‘60s. It didn’t matter which wrestler one selected, since every wrestler had the same moves.
Plus, the 1990s were a time where Nintendo churned out like ten games per day, so it was easy to sift through these offerings without being the wiser about a new WWF offering. Now that we’ve had several memorable games from the series, we can certainly understand why nobody would remember this one where the same thing happened over and again.
5 WWF King Of The Ring (1994)
The reason why we love playing wrestling games is because every superstar has his own identity, but games like WWF King of the Ring took away this uniqueness. Here, there were no signature moves at all, and you’d have to make do with abilities like quicker speed.
Since fans eventually got modes like King of the Ring and other gimmick based matches in one package later on, the thought of having to pay full price for just one tournament sounds baffling. This is why this particular game hasn’t had any kind of legacy despite having garnered favorable reviews when it was released.
4 WWF Betrayal (2001)
With the release of high quality consoles like the PlayStation 2, the average WWE fan shifted to home consoles to have a lifelike idea of wrestling rather than a cartoon style one, which is why WWF Betrayal came across as a joke - and it still looks like a bad joke.
It was a side-scroller, where there were only a handful of wrestlers to choose from who had to rescue a kidnapped Stephanie McMahon to get a title shot. You can credit the fanbase that was crazy about good quality games in 2001 for not having left any legacy of WWF Betrayal for us to derive from.
3 WWE Aftershock (2005)
Forget WWE video games here, the question is if anyone even remembers the Nokie N-Gage? Back when Nokia innocently thought they could have an iota of success in a market ruled by Nintendo, they released this phone/gaming hybrid, where they managed to snag a WWE game.
The result was a disastrous affair, where it looked like a parody of previous wrestling games released. Of course, since the N-Gage itself was a commercial failure, it goes without saying that WWE Aftershock got buried the same day the mobile platform did.
2 With Authority! (2001)
Now here was a wrestling game that wasn’t even a wrestling game in reality - you got a video game version of card game! That’s right, With Authority! had the player go through fights based on wrestler’s card strengths, with there being commentary simultaneously to make things feel interesting.
But we’ll have to be frank about the fact that wrestling fans don’t give two squats about card based offerings - even if they happen to be online multiplayers like this one - and the time of With Authority’s release meant it was largely ignored and now remains forgotten.
1 Road To WrestleMania X8 (2002)
While it wasn’t the worst, it certainly was far from the best, and Road to WrestleMania X8 also suffers against the memories of today’s fans due to it being a prequel of sorts rather than an actual WrestleMania game.
There’s also the matter of it being rather unspectacular, as the limited options with the Game Boy Advance meant it was inevitable for the game to be a “button masher”. Finally, as the “Road to WrestleMania” mode became a staple of WWE video games later on, few would remember there was an actual game based on this scenario.