[Top 10] Best Wrestling Games To Play Today

Best games to lay the smack down

With well over a hundred titles to boast, professional wrestling is certainly not an underrepresented genre in gaming. However, with those sorts of numbers, there are bound to be train wrecks amongst the gems. Below are the cream of the crop, the best titles - whether simulation style or arcade - that you should be spending your money on.


10. WWE 2K Battlegrounds (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC) 


The most recent release on our list, WWE 2K Battlegrounds was something of a nostalgia trip for many fans. Released in lieu of a full 2K game due to the pandemic and problems with WWE 2K20 (the less said the better), Battlegrounds is a fast paced arcade brawler. This is in stark contrast to the more simulation style gameplay the 2K series had been pursuing for close to 10 years now.

From supernatural power ups - like Undertaker shooting fireballs at his opponents - to cartoon style character models, it was a breath of fresh air to see a WWE licensed video game not take itself too seriously. Over the top action and a giant roster should keep you hooked for hours on end. 

Although criticised for a bare bones story mode and the presence of micro transactions, WWE 2K Battlegrounds is a call back to wrestling games of yore that placed more importance on fun than realism. Seems like a fairly obvious formula, right?

You’ll often find it on sale, or it can be downloaded for free with either a PS Now or Xbox Game Pass membership.


9. WWE 2K14 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) 


Although its predecessor set the standard with a historically accurate story mode, WWE 2K14 blows old attempts out of the water. 30 Years of Wrestlemania sees you, the player, fight through many iconic moments from the grandest stage of them all.  

Gone are the days of mindless slogging through a campaign. 2K14 sets the player specific objectives as they take a trip down memory lane. Each match in the story mode is painstakingly detailed, involving you in the action like few other wrestling games can.

A big draw for older wrestling fans is nostalgia value. And although our childhood favourites may have hung up their boots, we can still live through them vicariously in 2K14. With a stacked roster of current day superstars and legends, there really is something for wrestling fans of all ages. 

It’s not just the roster that’s stacked though. There are more creation options than any game that came before it here - and some that came after! Your creativity is set free on attires, entrances, championships, arenas. You name it, you can make it in WWE 2K14. 

It’s by no means perfect though; the 2K engine was in its early stages for wrestling games, so the gameplay can be a little clunky and slow at times. But this minor hiccup shouldn’t take away from the love letter to wrestling fans this game really is.


 8. WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2010 (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360, IOS)


Without Smackdown VS Raw 2010, we would not be praising half the features I mentioned regarding WWE 2K14. 

In addition to the superstar and entrance creation, SVR 2010 set gamers free by allowing them to create storylines and cutscenes. 

Created superstars often felt flat and distinct from the larger roster; their icons in the superstar selection menu looked out of place, and it was hard to build something that felt anything but generic.

his is not the case here. SVR 2010 allowed fans to create storylines entirely based around their own characters. This game gets some serious immersion and innovation points for that alone.

Road to Wrestlemania is back from the previous year. It sees you - as one of 6 superstars - play out a path to the show of shows. With many twists and turns, don’t be surprised if you play through all 6 in one sitting.

Is there anything better than that sweet SVR gameplay? It sits somewhere between the crazy arcade games from the PS2 era and the simulation style games we have now. The SVR gameplay formula arguably reached perfection here, with an improved HUD, extra game modes and a better Royal Rumble match.


7. WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2007 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PSP) 


Although the graphical ambitions displayed in the trailer above weren’t quite realised here, WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2007 is one of the greatest games in the SVR series. 

Being able to take the fight into the crowd was a much needed return to the crazier gameplay of years prior. Fans would offer you weapons, but if those didn’t take your fancy, there were other foreign objects and obstacles that gave the SVR series a much needed injection of fun.

This was the first time the series turned to an analog control system, which greatly added to the fluidity of the gameplay. 

The story mode featured branching paths and allowed you to play with a variety of WWE superstars. The general manager mode was completely revamped from the year before, now giving you greater freedom when it came to winning the ratings war.

One of the greatest features of this mode is that it can be played on the go. Yes, the previous year's entry was also PSP compatible, but SVR 2007 is an upgrade in virtually every way. The fact that the PSP port was the same as the console version - minus some graphical prowess, naturally -  is still an impressive feat to this day.


6. TNA Impact! (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii) 


Now to the black sheep of this list. 

WWE is the biggest wrestling entertainment company in the world, so it is not surprising their games dominate this list. That doesn’t mean to say there aren’t other wrestling games worth your hard earned bucks. 

TNA was at the height of its powers in 2008, so it was only natural to release a video game. Although helped a little by a particular underwhelming SVR game the same year, TNA Impact was a highly original and desired spin on the genre.

Players took control of one of 25 superstars in exhibition mode, or a created wrestler in story mode. Somewhat limited in terms of creation options, TNA Impact made up for this with a high octane game engine that genuinely felt more fun  and natural than WWE’s recent offering. The X Division mode, which sees players partake in high flying action, was genuinely innovative and some of the most fun I’ve ever had with a wrestling game. 

The roster, though small, was all killer no filler. Wrestling fans had been crying out to play as the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Sting, and they finally got their wish. Their character models are also stunning for the time; it seems like it took years for the WWE games to catch up with the graphics on display here.

Sadly, plans for a sequel were stopped when Midway Games ran into financial troubles. This by no way takes away from the gem that is TNA Impact. 


5. WWE 2K19 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) 


After years of dull simulation style wrestling, the developers at 2K finally caught wind that wrestlings fans were not interested in their offerings. 2K19 saw something of a return to form for the series. 

One of great things about 2K19 is that it doesn’t take itself so seriously. The gameplay was a lot less sluggish, and there was even a bobble head mode which felt like a throwback to some of the wackier SVR story mode segments.

Back too was Showcase mode, this time taking us through Daniel Bryan’s storied WWE career. The attention to detail  and pacing in this mode really give it a cinematic feel.

2K19 has arguably the best roster in any wrestling game ever, with nearly 200 - yes,8 times the roster of TNA Impact - superstars to choose from. It really is dizzying. 

Since WWE 2K20 was an absolute dumpster fire, WWE 2K19 is the way to go if you want an up to date roster with a host of names from the past. Not to mention the impressive character models and creativity options.


4. WWE All Stars (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360)


WWE 2K Battlegrounds is a great game, but it’s no All Stars, even if it wants to be.

Somewhere in between a fighting game and a wrestling game, All Stars remains to this day the best arcade style WWE game. 

Although at surface level the controls might not seem as sophisticated as other wrestling games, All Stars puts an emphasis on Mortal Kombat style combos, which will keep you coming back over and over again to perfect those moves. This gave the game an element of satisfaction WWE games can lack. 

It fares better than Battlegrounds on this list because of additional content, more natural gameplay, and a better attempt at a story mode (which isn’t saying much).

One of the great features in All Stars is Fantasy Warfare mode, which pits the stars of today against legends. This can be done in other games featured in this list, but only All Stars dedicates promo packages and an entire mode to this idea.


3. WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2008 (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360, Mobile)


Okay, final SVR game, I promise. 

The best of the SVR collection, SVR 08 was in my opinion the complete package. Not only were there branching storylines like in other entries, but wrestling styles were introduced. This allowed you to choose how each wrestler played; hardcore superstars would have a Hulk Hogan-esque burst of power when bloodied, dirty superstars would hold onto the ropes during a pinfall.

SVR08 was also the first game in the series to feature ECW. Both current roster and legends were brought in to represent the land of the extreme. Additionally, a great ECW invasion storyline is part of the story mode.

Sadly, this was the last WWE game to feature general manager mode. Fans demand its return in vain every year, and with good reason. General manager mode in SVR 08 let you take control of any of the three brands and fight against each other for ratings, draft picks and further bragging rights. With the various tweaks made to the mode, SVR 08 gave wrestling fans the best example of a much loved game mode.

Plus, being able to choose between Raw, Smackdown AND ECW gave the player an extra degree of freedom.

Boasting an iconic soundtrack and graphical update from the previous year, SVR 08 deserves the bronze medal here.


2. WWF No Mercy (Nintendo 64) 


Up to this point, my list might have caused some uproar amongst wrestling fans. But there can be little surprise about the top two; they are virtually the same for most fans.

Released in 2000, it maintains its legacy to this day. Fans still beg for a remaster and keep their N64s alive just for one game. 

The reasons for this fanfare are abundant. 

For one, this game came out in what many consider to be the peak of WWEs popularity. With superstars like The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H and Mick Foley all available as playable characters, the game's roster presents a near perfect moment in time for wrestling fans.

One common critique of modern wrestling games is the lack of variety in wrestling moves. Sure, each and every superstar in the 2K series looks distinct, but there are only a small pool of styles, meaning all high flyers will wrestle with the same moveset, for example.

Somehow, WWF No Mercy surpasses modern wrestling titles in the scope of wrestling maneuvers available to the player. Not only does this help the stars of the attitude era feel more like themselves, it opens up a whole new world of character customisation options. 

And although limited compared to the next entry, WWF No Mercy allows you to take the fight into the crowd, backstage, as well as other wacky locations. All this and more make No Mercy near endless fun even 20+ years after its release.


1. WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (Playstation 2) 


It’s a toss up between these two, but Here Comes the Pain is the deserving winner. 

This game introduced body damage and submission metres to give the gameplay a great technical edge; it really made you think more, without taking away any of the intuitive fun.

Not only that though; Here Comes the Pain was the first time Elimination Chamber mode was featured in a wrestling game. This is arguably the best match type in WWE games period, and it was perfected on the first attempt: being able to scale the cage, throw your opponents through the glass chambers and hearing that timer count down are just some of the things that make this mode so addictive.

This game also had a crazy array of backstage locations and a campaign that gave you the ability to ask for title matches and brand swaps. It makes modern entries seem dull in comparison

Best, there was no commentary! This is a plague on most wrestling games. A little music over the gameplay is a hell of a lot better than the same uninspired commentary that seems part and parcel of nearly all wrestling games.


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As a Philosophy graduate and published creative writer, I write about gaming from a fresh and original perspective. I like browsing bookstores and reading when I can get away from Hyrule.
Gamer Since: 2002
Favorite Genre: Sports
Currently Playing: Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Top 3 Favorite Games:Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 2-Maximum Edition, Grand Theft Auto V

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