As a wrestling fan, there’s not much better than a good wrasslin’ video game. Luckily, I came of age in an era where the games were only getting better and better. One year, we had the SNES Royal Rumble, and then only a few years later, we were straight destroying fools in No Mercy, or WrestleMania 2000 (two of the best wrestling games ever made).
Fast forward to now: I own WWE 2K15, but can barely look at it, because of the awesomeness that is 2K16. I want to play that game so bad. Where else could I put Finn Balor, Shawn Michaels, Daniel Bryan, and Kevin Owens into a Fatal 4-way Ladder Match?
I’ll answer that for you: nowhere. Daniel Bryan is probably never going to wrestle again, thanks to injury, and HBK is full-on retired. I can’t even fool myself into thinking that it might happen. There’s no way. THERE’S JUST NO WAY!!!!
Anyway, let’s get back on topic:
Does anyone remember this game? I do. It was solid. They introduced a lot of elements in this game, which would go on to be a big part of future wrestling games. For instance, it was the first game to feature all twelve WCW PPV venues, as well as all three of their major TV shows (Nitro, Thunder, and Saturday Night). Mayhem was also the first wrestling game released in the U.S. to include backstage areas, a feature which would be expanded upon in its sequel, WCW Backstage Assault. Finally, it was one of the first wrestling games to integrate audio commentary, which was provided by Bobby Heenan and Tony Schiavone.
This is the best thing that WCW, as a company, ever did. Yeah, i wrote it. I stand by it. Turning Hogan heel was huge, and so was the nWo. However, given enough time, World Championship Wrestling managed to squander both.
They couldn’t do that with this game, though. It will forever live on, as it was. If you get a copy of this game, it’ll be exactly how you remember it. It won’t spout racist crap at you, and it certainly won’t pull up in a limo that is packed full of about 48 hardbody dudes. It’ll just be “WCW/nWo Revenge,” the best fighting game of 1998, as decided by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
Seriously, that’s an award that the game won. It was definitely WCW’s crowning achievement. About three years after it came out, the company was out of business and owned by Vince McMahon. Suck it, Team WCW.
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns
This game is on this list, exclusively because of how much fun I have had playing it, while drunk with Team WCW. It’s interesting. The controls veer towards the old WWF games on NES and SNES, but they don’t annoy me nearly as much. There’s just something about it. Sure, it’s hard, but it’s also a lot of fun. Plus, it offers a roster of over 300 wrestlers, all from various promotions.
That’s awesome. It doesn’t matter which wrestler or promotion that you’re a fan of – odds are you’ll find someone to play as.
NUMBER 2 (TIE)
No Mercy/WrestleMania 2000
These two games always went hand in hand for me. The engines were exactly the same. WM 2000 came out first, and was well-received. So, they decided to keep the majority of the game intact, and only change a few elements, including the Championship story lines, wrestler entrances, CAW’s, and others. The biggest change had to be the improved graphics.
Basically, when they made No Mercy, THQ and the WWF managed to make the perfect wrestling video game for the Nintendo 64 console.
NOTE: If you press play on that video, I would suggest muting the audio – the song placed over it is awful.
I know what you’re thinking, “how can you put this at the top of the list, when you haven’t even played it?”
Pretty easily. I’ll show you. For starters, the 2K Showcase Mode is focused on the career of Stone Cold Steve Austin. You get to play through his incredible rivalry with Bret Hart in ’97, as well as Austin’s various other feuds.
The Terminator is a playable character in the game (after download). As I stated before, there are over 120 other wrestlers to choose from, including Kevin Owens, The VaudeVillains, Finn Balor, Daniel Bryan, Mikey Whipwreck, Shawn Michaels, Shane McMahon, and soon and so forth.
Oh, and one of my favorite new additions: you can jump your opponent during their entrance. The career mode is also back. If you play that, at some point, you come in contact with The Authority, and have to choose whether to support, or defy them. That’s really awesome.
I mean, come on. I don’t have to actually play this game to know that it is hot fire. I own 2K15, and I love it. 2K16 is the updated version of that. There’s a much better roster, and a bunch more stuff to do. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: A screenshot of Stone Cold in 2K16 (Courtesy of WWE.com).