10 Worst Wrestling Video Games Of All Time [Feat. Cultaholic]


Being a wrestling fan can prove to be a rather
love hate relationship. For every incredible spectacle, there’s
a spectacular letdown. For every Hell in a Cell, there’s a Kennel
from Hell. And while numerous titles have done an excellent
job of recreating the bombastic sports entertainment showcase, most notably with 2K Sport’s recent
showings, there are more than enough duds stinking up the roster. There’s just something extra rubbish about
a terrible wrestling game. Maybe it’s because a game based on real
athletes requires such intricate animations, that any slight deviation becomes even more
jarring. Or maybe it’s because pitting a zombie gravedigger
against a fairytale monster who literally eats worms is already so ridiculous, any further
game engine hiccups take it right into looney town. The point is, wrestling can be inherently
silly anyway, and in a game genre where custom characters have to try really hard to out-mental
the real deal, the potential for insanity is at breaking point. These entries, however, are top contenders
for the tin-foil belt of terrible wrestling games. So JOIN US… as I run down the worst of the
lot with my friends from cultaholic! And Peter. I’m Ben from TripleJump, and here are the
10 Worst Wrestling Games of All Time. 10. ECW Hardcore Revolution
Ahh, ECW. The rough-looking, estranged uncle of the
mainstream wrestling family, who wore scuffed leathers, hung out at dive bars, and probably
had a side business selling questionable substances to equally questionable buyers. The lower budget, more ‘extreme’ alternative
to WCW and WWF, ECW was the happily ever after for fans of brutal barbed wire matches and
hardcore bouts. The 2000 release from Acclaim Entertainment,
however, didn’t do anything to stand out from the competition in the same way. ECW Hardcore Revolution was heavily blasted
for being near enough a carbon copy of Acclaim’s previous title, WWF Attitude, even down to
duplicate move-sets. For example, Danny Doring’s finisher, the
eloquently named ‘Wham, Bam, Thank You Mam’, was basically a double arm DDT. And aspects unique to ECW, like Rob Van Dam’s
‘Vandaminator’ finisher which involved a steel chair, weren’t in the game either. This reskin on an already aging engine somehow
made things worse, with choppier framerates and laughably low quality background detail. And just as a further dropkick to the face,
a sequel was released mere months later, which was… almost identical. Obviously. 9. Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighbourhood
It speaks volumes when the first instalment of your series literally tells players: “Don’t
Try This At Home.” They weren’t wrong. You probably shouldn’t. Despite that, they not only ignored their
own advice and made an entire game around dodgy, unregulated backyard wrestling, but
then made a sequel, fittingly titled, “There Goes the Neighbourhood”. In fairness, the game sets out to be ridiculous
from the start, following the Def Jam formula of rappers, adult film stars and hammed-up
caricatures, all slapping each other about in someone’s garden. The idea of seeing Insane Clown Posse members
like Shaggy 2 Dope getting pummelled by a wrestler named ‘El Drunko’, in a ‘Who
Is The Least Employable’ match, sounds oddly satisfying. But rather predictably, very little wrestling
is on show, with a few bizarre inclusions like Vampiro, doing little to justify the
‘Wrestling’ part of the title. Oh look, a chokeslam, well done… While Backyard Wrestling could stumble into
‘so bad it’s kind of good’ territory, with the silly characters and hilariously
weird news segments in the career mode, it’s clear to see why these garden scraps are so
thoroughly discouraged. 8. WWE 2K18 (Switch Port)
Since the release of the Switch, Nintendo has been steadily winning over the crowd with
it’s ever-growing library of impressive ports – Every Doom, Skyrim, and Witcher
announcement brings out JR-style ‘What in the Hell?’ levels of disbelief. But there’s one particular mess that was
so hopelessly unplayable on this pseudo-handheld, it makes us want to renounce wrestling, videogames,
technology, AND society as a whole, and move to a cabin in the woods for a simpler life,
before inevitably getting mauled by a bear, or a particularly large squirrel. WWE 2K18 was, by all rights, an excellent
title on other platforms, but the Switch version is notorious for being one of the worst ports
of all time. Not only were the visuals and textures pared
back significantly, leading to some haunting PS1-era wrestler likenesses, but the framerates
were also choppy, with horrendous slowdown throughout. Entrances were played in slow motion slideshow-vision,
and if you fancied any ambitious 6-man match-ups, make sure you’ve got your weekend cleared
– you’ll feel yourself physically aging as the game chugs along. We couldn’t place this too high up, seeing
as it’s only one version, but that version will leave permanent psychological scars on
anyone who dropped actual money on this. 7. Fire Pro Wrestling (Xbox 360)
You know what’s a genius idea for a game based on wrestling – you know, the thing
that lives and dies on its interesting, crazy, or relatable characters? Ditching those famous characters, for the
sake of an under-used console gimmick! The 2012 Xbox 360 release, Fire Pro Wrestling,
featured Xbox avatars in place of any recognisable names, which meant the only person you could
play as, was celebrated superstar, err, You! Finally, a chance to debut such potent signature
moves as ‘The Button Mash’, ‘The Abject Disappointment’, and the lethal finisher,
‘The Trade In The Disc At Your Local Game Store’. While the create-a-wrestler feature has been
a staple in wrestling games for decades, there’s a vast difference between a purpose-built
creator allowing you to challenge the best in sports entertainment, and…whatever the
hell this is. The Sims: Wrestling? Maybe? Even your opponents are bog-standard avatars,
devoid of personality. The saddest part is, this release went against
a long-running series of Fire Pro Wrestling titles, famous for highlighting the more specialist
pro wrestling circuits, like New Japan, Dragon Gate, and Ring of Honor. What a waste… 6. WCW Backstage Assault
Strangely enough, when you take away a vital component of wrestling, like, oh, I don’t
know, maybe THE RING ITSELF, you tend to end up with a gimmick worse than the GobbledyGooker
– hot take consider revising. The launch of WCW Backstage Assault in 2000
was the last gasp from the one-time biggest rival to then WWF, who were bought out just
three months after, and unfortunately, the game was a sad reflection of this. It didn’t even let you play in the ring,
instead going all-in on the ‘backstage’ aspects from its predecessor, WCW Mayhem,
to try and replicate the brutal hardcore brawls that were popular at the time. The result was a bland selection of behind-the-scenes
environments, but only one level is available from the start, so you were stuck running
impossibly fast around the Truck Arena, sparsely littered with items from the ‘Wrestling-Approved
nasty weapon list’. Framerates would tank frequently, camera angles
were hopelessly erratic, and animations looked about as graceful as a Big Show Ballet routine. This depressing farewell to WCW left a sour
aftertaste, especially after the popular WCW/NWO World Tour and Revenge titles from THQ.
5 World Wrestling Championship “No noise. Nothing. All of a sudden you hear the noise of a motorbike
and the bike speeds up to the ring, another wrestler jumps of and attacks his opponent,
the crowd goes wild. The referee tries to separate them in vain,
and needs help to get the job done… This is going to be ONE DIRTY WRESTLING MATCH… Have you got what it takes to battle it out
with the Pro Wrestlers of the WWC?” …This was an official statement from the
2006 PS2 classic, World Wrestling Championship. No further comment. 4. WWF Betrayal Like Backyard Wrestling, the name says it
all, because this 2001 Game Boy Color title BETRAYED the very idea of a wrestling game! “This isn’t Rassling!” WWF Betrayal was a glorified Double Dragon
side-scroller beat-em-up, picking from a staggering roster of four characters – The Rock, Triple
H, Steve Austin, or The Undertaker. The plot is even more nonsensical than most
of the Attitude Era storylines, with the other three characters inexplicably teaming up to
ruin your match, before running off to kidnap Stephanie McMahon. Not before some prime smack talk is laid down,
however, such as ‘There’s nothing like’ … long pause… wait for it … ‘whooping
on The Rock!’. Another ‘Not Actually A Wrestling Game’
culprit worth mentioning, is the infamous WWF: In Your House, which threw away any notion
of grappling, in favour of Mortal Kombat style fights, where the wrestler’s gimmicks would
manifest themselves into physical attacks. We’re talking Undertaker literally burying
his opponent, and Goldust turning his unfortunate victim into a golden statue. Savage. At least they kept a small level of pretence,
with fights occurring in a ring…of sorts. Betrayal, on the other hand, was simply a
dreadful brawler, with a few reskins and some low bitrate chiptune versions of the wrestler’s
entrance themes. 3. The Simpsons Wrestling This felt like a personal attack on our childhood. Whoever commissioned this shocking portrayal
of a classic franchise should be thrown into a ring packed with tables and a couple of
angry-looking Dudleys, then forced into watching an hour-long promo from the sweat king Shane-O-Mac. Unlike a couple of entries, this one did at
least include a ring – kind of important in a game based around the damn thing – but
everything else in this weird crossover felt like a bastardisation of both wrestling and
the Simpsons. It all looked so promising on paper, too… The characters lend themselves nicely to some
ridiculous gimmicks, with Groundskeeper Willie’s ECW-style rake weapon; Stone Cold Barney Gumble’s
beer swigging antics; Giant alien Kang (or is it Kodos?) pushing the boundaries of surreal
storylines. And of course, Bumblebee Man, playing the
role he was born for. But seeing it in action, with each match devolving
into a button mash-off with only a few select moves and wildly unpredictable controls, hope
slowly starts to fade away. Sure, it looks goofy and fun from the outside. But as one of the first 3D Simpsons games
on home console, this shameless cash-in could have jeopardised the making of The Simpsons
Hit and Run, and for that, we can’t quite forgive it. 2. 5 Star Wrestling Finally, a hyper-realistic game where you
can play as all your favourite wrestling superstars, like ‘Raging’ Andy Organ, Gregg Hearty,
and Curtis Angel! Unfortunately, these market-stall knock-offs
are only the tip of the copyright infringement iceberg. Entrance music, taunts, finishers, even tiny
details like tattoos and costumes are eerily similar to their real-life counterparts. Come on, Jonny “The Bull” Miavia, you’re
not fooling anyone with that ‘every-man’s elbow’! Sure, it was literally created by a company
called Serious Parody, but this title should be locked up for crimes against humanity,
let alone the NUMEROUS copyright breaches. The gameplay itself was, in a word, dire – just
as bland and derivative as the names on show, in fact, everything about this experience
feels like a twilight zone version of the real thing. The crowd roars with every move, yet there
are literally no spectators present. The hit sound effects are ripped straight
from a looney tunes episode. The graphics aren’t immediately offensive,
until you realise this was a PS3 title, released in 2015? The same year as the Witcher 3? Jesus… Sadly, this blatant rip-off is all that remains
of the Scotland-based promotion, 5 Star Wrestling, which ended in 2018 after just three years. 1 Hulk Hogan’s Main Event Looks like the all-American hero has got himself
top billing again. The infamous Patient Zero for the infectious
airbourne virus that is Hulkamania, Hogan has dabbled in everything from TV and movies,
to the not quite as infectious,‘Pastamania’. But this game ranks as one of the worst endorsements
the Hulkster has lent his iconic handlebar-ed face to. Hulk Hogan’s Main Event utilised Kinect
motion controls, which tells us everything we need to know, really. Matches resort to a glorified Just Dance routine,
copying whatever instructions are given to perform a crop of underwhelming moves…usually
15 overhead slams in a row. That is, if the poor motion recognition even
picks up on it. Thank Christian for the vast roster of playable
characters, though, such as… Erm…yeah, we got nothing. Not even a few cheeky cameos from Hulk’s
TNA links at the time, though we shouldn’t be surprised, given how he screwed over that
promotion with the world’s most expensive contract for a few leg-drops and power poses. You couldn’t even play as the 24-inch python
owner, having to settle for cheerleader Hulk instead. Everything about this was just terrible, proving
Hogan’s ability to sully a once-legendary reputation knows no limits. And that’s our list. Some truly garbage grapple-fests on show,
but by no means an exhaustive list – so let us know your best worst wrestling games
in the comments below. Big thanks to our friends at Cultaholic for
helping us narrow down these entries, you can find them here for more wrestling goodness
[VIDEO EDITOR NOTE: THIS WILL BE ADDED BY US UPON UPLOAD]. You can follow TripleJump on Twitter here,
and while you’re at it, why not support the things you enjoy by having a look at our
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share it with your friends, and subscribe to the channel. I’m Ben from TripleJump, and thanks for
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