The 10 Worst Wrestling Video Games of All Time (According to Metacritic)
Wrestling video games can be a difficult thing to judge. It’s easy to criticize some games from the 1990s as missing, but given the technology at the time, they were pretty good. This is to say how certain games of the 2000s (especially SmackDown: here’s the pain) are still considered among the greatest wrestling games ever made and hold up well today.
Given WWE’s grip on video games for years with WWE2K, it’s harder for another game to come out. Unfortunately, some games fail, unable to make it, and fare less well because of how they should be better. The Metacritic site has specialized in collecting wrestling game score reviews over the decades and these stand out among the worst in the market. While they may have defenders, these are the ten lowest-rated wrestling games on Metacritic, and some players may still wince when paying money for them.
ten Lucha Libre AAA Heroes Del Ring: 49
Making a game based on the beloved Mexico-based promotion must have sounded good. With so many high-flying masked characters, the potential was there for a great game. Sadly, that never happened as the game had decent controls and graphics, but nothing stands out from WWE games of the time. It has been heavily criticized for being way too slow, the complete opposite of what Lucha libre is. It is not so much a horrible game as a horrible disappointment to be sadly forgotten despite its good things.
9 Fire Pro Wrestling 2012: 48
When the Fire Pro Wrestling franchise was announced for Xbox 360, fans were excited to have a new generation of graphics to make the famous realistic wrestling simulator shine like never before. Instead, they got a cartoonish game with wrestlers with giant heads in what amounted to a simple button press.
Throwing the power of an Xbox 360 into it was bad enough without wobbly controls and lackluster gaming. He is the black sheep of a fantastic family of wrestling titles.
8 WCW Backstage Assault: 48
It makes odd sense that WCW’s latest video game doesn’t have in-ring action. Yes, WCW Backstage Assault, released just months before the company went bankrupt, has a solid roster of nearly 50 of WCW’s top stars… all fighting outside the ring.
The action only took place in parking lots, offices, backstage and more using pin or bids to win. So no tag team matches or actual wrestling fights amid bad graphics and bad controls. Riddled with horrific reviews, it’s a fitting ending to WCW video game history.
seven TNA impact: 43
Perhaps it’s fitting that TNA’s only entry into video games has turned into a muddled mess. Impact had a good roster and was having fun like an Ultimate X game, among other things. But problems abound, from bad controls to everyone with the same moveset to problems.
You also had to beat a tough story to unlock free games and the fights themselves just aren’t fun, thanks to some excruciating AI. It is telling that soon after this developer Midway went out of business and a subsequent mobile port did little to fix a game that had no real impact.
6 Backyard Wrestling 2: This is the neighborhood: 43
Most game suites try to improve on the original, streamline what worked, and cut out what didn’t. And then there are the games that get worse over time. The “list” includes Insane Clown Posse, long-forgotten underground wrestlers, and a few adult movie stars.
Despite ideas like an “environmental attack” using your surroundings, the gameplay remained sloppy and even downgraded from the first. There could be glitches and other bountiful issues and the career path of creating a star hasn’t worked. This belonged buried in a backyard.
5 ECW: Anarchy Rulz: 38
Released just months before ECW’s bankruptcy, it offers plenty of options, from wrestlers to match styles. Too bad more doesn’t fit into the actual gameplay. It’s a shame the game offers a lot of depth into match types, from hardcore wars to more standard combat and even Dusty Rhodes in his brief ECW tenure.
But the graphics were harsh, the controls wobbly, and the Dreamcast version (remember that?) Was a lot worse. Unfortunately, the failure of this game was an omen for the ECW itself soon falling and not “reigning” over nothing.
4 The Simpsons Wrestling: 32
As the comic book guy would say, “Worst Simpsons video game. Ever.” The concept of the beloved cartoon show taking the fight sounded good… and then came the part. The camera is set in the wrong place and the action is less of a real wrestling, more of a classic “best of three rounds” fighting game.
Bad designs and sloppy controls ruined the supposedly fun bits of the characters incorporating their personalities into the moves. It was less of a struggle, more just slapping and sort of immobilizing someone when they were face down. As a wrestling game and The Simpsons, it hardly fails.
3 Mucha Lucha! Lost Code Mascaritas: 26
Mucha Lucha was a popular CW children’s cartoon about a trio of friends learning the secrets of Luchadores. This Game Boy Advance entry has them trying to find a lost “code” and fight their way through various baddies.
It’s less of a real wrestling game, more of a side-scrolling beat ’em up… and it’s horrible. Even though this is based on a cartoon, the graphics are poor and the attempts at “wrestling moves” amid punches and kicks are excruciating. Even the most die-hard fan of this show couldn’t stand this game.
2 Hulk Hogan Main Event: 26
The Xbox 360 Kinect is remembered as a decent idea but a horrible execution. It’s hard to choose a Kinect game that’s actually playable, and this is a prime example. The idea was for Hogan himself to be a “coach” for the player, letting him rise like a star in the company.
As bad as some control wrestling games can be, trying to emulate movements with waves and steps was like a horrible interpretive dance gone wrong. The cartoon style also baffled people and made it another failed project with Hogan’s face on it.
1 Legends Of Wrestling II (Game Boy Advance): 24
Thanks to the use of classic wrestlers, the first Legends of Wrestling game wasn’t that bad. The sequel, however, was a massive descent from graphics to the controls. While the console versions for PS2 and Xbox were rough, the Game Boy Advance version was horrible.
It looked even worse than the old SNES WWE games, from the graphics to the controls. Even putting aside the limitations of the GBA, it was miserable and it’s no wonder it ranks as the worst wrestling game Metacritic has ever reviewed.
2K Games has faced a lot of criticism for its handling of the WWE 2K Series. Some of the wrestlers in the video game series look downright awful!
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