Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a huge fan of professional wrestling. I watch Monday Night RAW and Smackdown Live every week, and rarely get tired of it. Since it’s Wrestlemania season, and I’ll be attending this year, I decided that this article will be similar to my Animal Crossing article, where I go through a series instead of focusing on one game. This time we’ll be focusing on the N64 AKI Wrestling games, which are some of my favorite games of all time. Today I’ll be looking at WCW vs. nWo: World Tour, WCW/nWo: Revenge, WWF Wrestlemania 2000, and WWF No Mercy.
Let’s start with WCW vs. nWo: World Tour. World Tour was released in 1997, and is pretty simple in gameplay. Use the A button to grapple your opponent, B to strike, and there are various combinations of striking and grappling that the wrestlers can use. There is a pretty good cast of wrestlers in this game, featuring WCW wrestlers, and wrestlers from the Villianous nWo faction. Some of the standout wrestlers are Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Nash. There are a few different game modes, but none of them are very special. The championship mode just has you beat everybody and you win a trophy, not a title belt. World Tour is okay, but Revenge improved on the formula tenfold.
WCW/nWo: Revenge is my second favorite wrestling game of all time. The cast is made a lot bigger than World Tour’s, with the exclusion of Ric Flair, for he was fired from WCW at the time. The main mode of the game is championship mode, but it’s done a lot better than in World Tour. Instead of fighting random wrestlers, you pick either the World Heavyweight Championship, United States Championship, Cruiserweight Championship, Tag Team Championships, or TV Championship. You fight cruiserweights if you go for the Cruiserweight title, you face top guys in the company when fighting for the World Heavyweight, tag teams for the Tag Belts, and midcarders for the US and TV titles. The roster also adds some of my favorite wrestlers of all time, like Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, and everybody’s favorite: THQ Man! There are a few joke wrestlers in the game that are hilarious. The controls are also fixed, and graphics are touched up. The wrestlers still look like giant pieces of beef jerky, but for the time, they looked amazing. WCW/nWo: Revenge is an all time classic.
After Revenge, AKI started to make games for the WWF, now the WWE, instead. Starting in 1999, AKI released WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the N64. I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of this game. The single player mode of the game makes you pick two wrestlers and all I’ve ever played in it is tag team matches, since I can’t figure out how to have a singles career. This confusing single player mode aside, the gameplay is very solid. Staying with Revenge’s fixed controls and having an amazing WWF Roster, the game has potential. I’m going to talk about the roster in the next game on the list since it only improves it, but Wrestlemania 2000’s multiplayer mode has potential to be amazingly fun. This is also admittedly the game in this article that I’ve spent the least amount of time on, so I can’t say too much. The final verdict on WWF Wrestlemania 2000 is, well, it’s alright.
The final game I’m going to talk about is one of my favorite video games ever made. WWF No Mercy, released in 2000, is as close to perfect as a wrestling game can get. The roster is amazing, and when a game is featuring names like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mankind, The Undertaker, Kane, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Y2J Chris Jericho on the first page alone, you know you’re in for a wild ride. The Championship modes have become story modes, all with wrestlers talking to each other and cutting promos, several different match types, like cage matches, triple threats, ladder matches, hardcore matches, and more! There are a ton of unlockable characters too! You can unlock them in story mode or by eliminating them in survival mode, a 100 man Royal Rumble type event. The game has wrestlers in it like Edge and Christian, who were still in the WWE until 2011! I’ve spent so many hours on WWF No Mercy, and even ran a tournament at last year’s TooManyGames Expo! There is also a very unique create-a-wrestler system, which wa new at the time. Never before could you create yourself and your friends and have them put on 5 star wrestling matches! WWF No Mercy is generally considered the best wrestling game ever made, and I agree.
Today I really just wanted to share my love of video games and wrestling with you guys. I actually got to attend Wrestlemania in Orlando, Florida last week, and it was the time of my life. I’m proud to be a wrestling fan, and wrestling games will always be amazing.