Wrestling. You either hate it or love it. From the Rocks classic matches, to Chris Benoit's five star masterpieces. Most wrestling have all, at one point, wanted to recreate their favourite match. With the introduction of wrestling matches, we have been able to do just that, but with a big variety of wrestling games out now, which ones are good, and which ones aren't? In this list, I will count down what I think are ten of the best wrestling games.

A Japanese game, and no, I'm not just placing the Puro games at top because I am biased towards them. These games really are something. With a huge chock of unlockables, a very up to date roster, and a huge variety of moves, modes, animations, and other goodies, this game features a grappling system that is in-depth, yet quick to grasp, and a MASSIVE create-a-wrestler mode, this is easily the king of wrasslin'. The Hulk Hogan, the Ric Flair, the Dusty Rhodes, the Mitsuharu Misawa, the Kenta Kobashi, of wrestling games.

Words cannot begin to describe how complex this wrestling simulator is. From Adam Ryland, Total Extreme Wrestling 2007 will ask you to, at first, choose what kind of objectives you want to have in your game, and then, you make your character. Frighteningly scary stuff, let me tell you. Edit your stats, and you may be there all day, trying to adjust the twenty or so attributes. TEW2007 features an entirely fictional roster, but I don't think there has been a Extreme Wrestling/Warfare game to date that didn't feature a community dedicated to stats for certain eras. It's still young, but this has real potential. It's free for a trial version, which gets you to grips with the [hard as hell] system, but after that, you gotta pay, bud.

And now we come to the big dogs; the top three. First off, number three is.... on a Gameboy Advance? Well, yes, folks, this grandiuer... is a gameboy game, surprisingly. Once you're over the initial shock of such an awesome game being produced on a handhold console, you can really get to enjoy it. Although it is in Japanese, and features a mostly Japanese roster, Fire Pro Wrestling introduces a great grappling system, and, while it doesn't have a lot of matches, it has different matches from your standard Ladder, First Blood, or other matches. Featuring Mixed Martial Artists as well, this is number one on my list.

Good lord, it is about time this game had exposure. Ever since I've heard people being pissed off about the recent Smackdown vs Raw 2007's General Manager mode, I have directed them to this gem. Best of all, this thing is free. Initially, it can be quite overwhelming, and is the predecessor to another game on this list, Total Extreme Wrestling 2007. Basically, you take control of a promotion, and manage finance, happiness, morale, rosters, and try to bring other rival federations to their knees. With a big community that has brought out a big amount of scenarios, ranging from 1985, to in-depth ones from certain dates starting around 2003, you can monitor the indys, and try to secure your ratings. Ever wanted to make Hulk Hogan job to Savio Vega? Granted he doesn't have certain clauses in his contract, it can be done. You book matches, and decide the outcome, how they win, what match type etc. The premise of Total Extreme Wrestling is pretty much the same. Only times it by a large figure.

Here Comes the Pain! Who could ever forget Brock Lesnar, that big lump of muscles with no neck. Well, this game is named after him, and as you might be able to tell with him being the coverboy of about every single thing on and in this game, he is one of the strongest. Regardless, Here Comes the Pain is a quick-paced, arcade style game, with a great roster we may never get again, and a decent, easy to grasp grappling system. With a huge variety of matches, and divas being able to compete in all matches, this is a game where you want to bring your mate around. And your mates mate. Grab some food, sit down, grab some controllers, and have a blast.

No Mercy. A very good game for it's time. It was fun, clean, and.... well, I admit it, I have never actually played this game, but from what I hear (and have read on the marvelous guides on it), it has a nice, crisp, clean grappling system, a big roster, that, best of all, has Steve Blackman in it, and a VERY good career mode. Lose a match? Who cares, you just unlocked three more different storylines to branch off into. Also, every wrestler can capture any title. So yeah, Trips can get that Womens title, and Rikishi is a viable contender for the light heavyweight title.

Wrestling what? Wrestling Encore. This little gem from developer MDickie (Matt Dickie) is a great game, obviously, as its on this list, that only really suffers from a lack of move depth, and a proper grappling system. The premise is that you go through career mode, and you first start in wrestling school. Fighting against other students, building up, and getting a feel for the game. Once you interest a big promotion (six of them, loosely based on real-life federations, like the WWF and UFC), they will come to get you to sign a contract, where you can try and barter with them to raise it. You can also try and get control over your gimmick, health cover and other clauses. With jumping between promotions, and a HUGE chock of events (after several months playing such a small game, I still uncover something new), such as unfortunate suicides, backstage brawls, weddings, and steroid allegations. This game is very ambitious, but suffers from not being too in-depth out of the moves department. The grappling system is primitive, but one thing more than makes up for it. The ability to make any match you want. If you really wanted to, a 40 man Exploding Barbed Wire Cage Match with 100 weapons and items in the ring. But still no Vince Russo on a spear match. Too bad, but other than a few errors, this game is definitely a step forward in wrestling games. Bigger developers should pick something up from MDickie, and they could really improve their games.

The flagship of the Smackdown vs Raw series, 2006 showcases what the rest of Smackdown vs Raw should be. It has a GREAT roster, that we aren't ever going to again. Ever. Plus a big chock of challenges, storylines, a good create-a-wrestler, and the grappling system everyone has come to know and love.

WWE Raw 2. No, don't quit this list just yet. I have my reasons. This game, while having some utterly horrible areas, also has a few redeeming ones. It doesn't have a lot of match types, but it features an intriguing system, whereby you can choose backstage actions. For example, stealing from another superstar. Though I myself did not like it, I think it has redeemed itself by trying to do something new.

The Rock.... has a nice.... THE ROCK BOTTOM! Ah, the countless hours spent tinkering with Just Bring It's horrible (but at the same time, hilarious commentary). If it were up to me, this would have made the list just for making my ribs hurt from laughing. Regardless, as you will hear me say for a lot of the games on this list, it has a good roster a good create-a-wrestler, quite a lot of moves, and... well, for it's time, the series were just improving with each game. It has a nice, big list of matches to choose from, and a long list of nicknames for your create-a-wrestlers that you might actually consider, instead of the recent Smackdown vs Raws first names.

And there we have it. My top ten list. You might not agree with me, but that's why I said my top ten, and not yours. From the WWF, to Japan.

List by htorniS (04/16/2007)

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