There’s a buzz in the air this weekend, as millions of wrestling fans around the world prep for the grandaddy of them all — WrestleMania 30. Thirty years of WrestleMania is nothing to sneeze at, and video games have been there every step of the way. The daring violence and outrageous theatrics of sports entertainment have enthralled us for generations, and it’s exactly the kind of thing that translates perfectly to video games.
Gamers have always been able to count on wrestling to make a positive impact; from the NES all the way to the PS3, wrestling has provided us with many of our favorite gaming memories. In the spirit of the season, we’re counting down the ten greatest wrestling games of all-time. It was tricky to pin down just ten to put on this list, so feel free to offer any of your favorites that were left out in the comments.
10. Pro Wrestling
It wasn’t the first wrestling game ever released. It didn’t feature a license from the WWF, WCW, NWA, or even the AWA. In fact, it didn’t feature a single wrestler that had ever really existed. Yet, Pro Wrestling for the Nintendo Entertainment System helped set the stage for all wrestling games to follow and has more than earned a place on our countdown.
Pro Wrestling featured many of the aesthetics we take for granted in modern wrestling games. There was an actual visible referee, announce team, camera man, and crowd. It was the first wrestling game that attempted to feel like an actual television broadcast. The cast of wrestlers, though small, was unique and each played differently and came with his own set of signature moves.
While far from revolutionary now, Pro Wrestling set the stage for every wrestling game to follow.