Best Wrestling Games. Top 30 Covers.
Wrestling video games just work so well. Sports entertainment and video gaming go together like fish goes with chips. If you are a wrestling fan or not, sports entertainment has given us some of the best and worst retro gaming experiences. From backstage brawls to count out wins. From all female rosters to monster imposters. Updownleftrightastart gives you the coolest list of wrestling video game covers we can find. But which do you think is the best?
The Monday Night Wars
In Your House
This was my first Playstation wrestling game and one of the most absurd wrestling arcade video games I have played. It was essentially wrestling meets Mortal Kombat. Anyone remember Doink with a massive electric hand? The best thing about this was watching turkey’s erupt from Yokozuna as you punched him in the gut. But still has to be in my list of the best wrestling games.
WCW NWO Revenge
A Nintendo 64 effort from the height of the Monday Night Wars. I have never actually played this but I am going to guess if it is realistic, any match between Goldberg and Hogan will have to be appalling.
Wrestlemania 2000 on N64
There are a few good facts on this game. It was the first WWF game with THQ and one of the first have a real create a wrestler function, the type we are familiar with today.
Featuring a massive roster with some obscure wrestlers like Jeff Jarret, Droz and the Headbangers. It is also of only two games in which Michael Hayes is playable (the other was on the NES). Another fact is that no one ever wanted to play as Michael Hayes. Ever.
One of the 50 playable characters is one of the Godfather’s Hoes. We miss you attitude era.
WCW vs the World
The first WCW videogame of the Monday Night Wars.
What a lineup this game had! Hogan, Flair, Sting, Guerro, Malenko, Benoit, Luger, UltimoDragon, The Steiners!!!
Cutie Suzuki No Ringside Angel
There was a time when this was the only wrestling video game available for the Mega Drive and even that was on import. The first (and to my knowledge) only all female wrestling game on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis to feature an actual wrestler. Cutie Suzuki in her own game. You know her right? Cutie? Suzuki? No…?
Super Wrestling Angels
Released on the Famicom. The second all female wrestling game on a Japan only release. Comes with a super cool looking Japanimation/Manga style cover.
Released for the PS2. The game allows you to have a face or heel side for each character and is one of the few mud wrestling video games (Well in one mode). How we all loved misogyny in the mid noughties!
True confession. I find this cover a little bit arousing.
Best played while reading a copy of Zoo magazine
An iconic NES game and the third wrestling game for the system. It was actually one of the first games with an in ring referee sprite.
I played this not long ago and it is actually not that bad. The characters are fairly unique in terms of how they play and you can even go outside the ring. A game that really holds up well.
For the Megadrive/Genesis. It was a Sega Arcade video game that was later ported, you begin as amateur Bruce Blade who has to work his way up to the Sega alliance title! What an oily roid freak!
I remember this always being in the bargain bin games alongside Last Battle.
Rock and Wrestle
For Commodore 64, Spectrum, Amstrad and MS-Dos where it was known as Bop n Wrestle.
Temco World Wrestling
Another for the Nintendo Entertainment System. 1989. Non licensed wrestling fun which was the first wrestling game to feature a play by play announcer!
American Tag Team Wrestling
Possibly the most generic wrestling video game I have been able to find. Released in ’92 on multiple home computer platforms.
The big question is why it has Tina Turner on the cover.
Champion Pro Wrestling
By Sega but put out on the Phillips MSX.
Very little I could find out other than it is a very straightforward wrestling game in which you have to fight you way from jobber to top rank. Piledrivers, sleeper holds aplenty!
Arcade video game wrestling by Konami. Some unlicensed wrestling tag team action with great names for some lookalike WWE wrestlers.
Kamikaze Ken and Alan the Empire to name a few!
Springfield locations, all the best Simpsons characters. How can it be that bad?
Well lots of people think it is. Rumour has it that it was pulled from the demo disc of Playstation magazine at the last minute because it was so, so terrible. Often ranked as one of the worst games of all time.
Tag Team Match: M.U.S.C.L.E.
On the NES. Again! Based on the Japanese anime and Manga series Kinnikuman.
Some of you may know him from the tiny pink figures that came in tubs during the Eighties.
One of the Japanese characters finishers is apparently named the Nazi Gas Attack. I can only imagine what that finisher looks, sounds and smells like.
Eighties/Nineties Glory Days
My first Megadrive wrestling game actually and as such you would think I have some fond memories of it. Even as a kid I knew it was not great. Slow, clunky but at least you could be Papa Shango! (You will notice a Papa Shango theme emerge in this article)
The first wrestling game on the Nintendo Gameboy handheld.
Strong roster of Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man, Mr Perfect and the Million Dollar Man.
WWF European Rampage
Aimed at the home computer market in Europe, you must choose your own tag team and work your way through Paris, London and Berlin before a showdown with L.O.D at Madison Square Garden.
Released around the time I went to see WWF at Sheffield Arena. Macho Man got beat by Flair at the end, so I cried all the way home. I was a child by the way, not like a 30 year old man.
For Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST and MS Dos systems
Commodore 64 version and my choice as one of the best wrestling games! I had to beg, steal and borrow because it was a large box one, thus more expensive and my mam said they were a rip off. (The only other large box game I managed to get was Turtles)
Yes I do still have the Big Boss Man pin badge
King of the Ring
The NES does have a lot of similar wrestling games.
I played this not long ago and although it does not control great, the roster and pretty primitive build a character function more than make up for it .
The only WCW game released for the Super Nintendo console.
If you are British and ever taped WCW from late night channel 4 circa 1994, then this is what you are getting! Barry Windham, Rick Rude, Ron Simmons etc etc
If you did tape WCW from late night channel 4 in the UK, you will be disappointed to find out the game does not run over into Eurotrash.
Wrestlemania Steel Cage Challenge
I could not choose between the Master System or NES versions of the game, as one cover has Papa Shango on and the other has The Mountie. And you already know about my love for the Papa.
Rage in the Cage
A pretty standard 16 bit LJN style wrestling game but with a massive roster! Kudos as it was released for the Sega CD which had very few games anyway.
Money Inc, The Nasty Boys, Headshrinkers, Rick Martel, Bam Bam, Kamala, Tatanka to name a few obscure ones.
Go Your Own Way
Saturday Night Slam Masters
A really cool, unlicensed game by Capcom. It is set in the world of Final Fight and even contains fan favourite Mike Haggar.
Lots of out of the ring action like old school WWF hardcore matches. Imagine a wrestling game mixed with Streets of Rage. A really great arcade video game port to the Super Nintendo but be warned that this is not an easy cookie!
Monster Pro Wrestling
We are getting obscure now with Monster Pro Wrestling for the forgotten NEC PC Engine console.
Played a PC Engine for the first time recently and what a great little console it was!
Giant Gram 2000: All Japan Pro Wrestling 3
We can not have a wrestling list without some All Japan on it.
A Japanese only release for the Sega Dreamcast. It did feature some classic western wrestlers such as Bruno Sammartino and Bruiser Brody.
ECW hardcore revolution
A direct port from the WWF attitude game with ECW characters and items replacing the WWF stuff. This made it slightly less hardcore and as such it did not garner it’s target audience.
One of two games on the list that feature legendary backflipping stoner Rob Van Damme and the only one where he is not driving a quad bike.
For Dreamcast, Playstation, Gameboy colour and N64.
Backyard Wrestling: Don’t try this at home
Mixed reviews for this middling game that cashed in on the hardcore wrestling craze of the time. You could wrestle in backyards, parking lots, even on the set of a talk show.
The tagline/warning was pointless. We all tried it at home. Our backyard was full of stepladders and smashed up IKEA chairs. I attempted a shooting star press from the garage roof. And mostly succeeded
Weird and Wonderful
Micro League Wrestling
The first ever licensed WWF video game for C64 and Atari ST. This was part of the Micro League series of games that were essentially a Championship manager style management game. An odd choice for one of the best wrestling games.
As such, this was weirdly a turn based strategy game.
WWF Crush Hour
Pushing the limits of a best wrestling game here. Released for Gamecube and PS2 by THQ, this was WWE wrestlers in vehicles. With guns attached to them.
Features audio commentary by Jim Ross which I just have to hear.
What do you think is the best wrestling video game of all time? Know any great covers that we don’t? Let us know below