The 12 best wrestling games on Nintendo consoles

Ah, professional wrestling, the only real sport. Is there anything better than having a big fake fight? Of course not, that’s why kids have game fights all the time. And, just like wrestling, sometimes those fights get all too real when someone gets into a shoot.

Wrestling, of course, has quite a history, not only in The World, but also on Nintendo. So we’ve decided to brave the squared circle and unleash twelve of the best, biggest, and most interesting wrestling games in Nintendo’s history all over your candy asses. And, if you disagree with the list, just pretend it’s a russo-style deviation!

WCW Wrestling (NES, 1989)

Editor: CFI / Developer: Nichibutsu

Release date: April 1990 (UNITED STATES)

Still the only officially licensed game with the NWA, WCW wrestling is an outstanding show for gra fans on the NES. Its original Japanese version was called Superstar professional wrestling, but for the western debut it was rebuilt with wrestlers from WCW including Sting, Ric Flair, “Dr Death” Steve Williams and – interestingly – the Road Warriors, who uniquely also appear in the version Superstar Pro Wrestling. It’s also rather cutting-edge, allowing the player to customize the movement of the chosen wrestler before a match.

Certainly there is no so much moves – eight to choose from per wrestler – but this feature combined with the fun pick-and-play gameplay itself made for an early winner.

Tecmo World Wrestling (NES, 1989)Tecmo World Wrestling (NES, 1989)

Editor: Techmo / Developer: Techmo

Release date: April 1990 (UNITED STATES)

Fascinating, it is the first grap-game to offer a complete play-by-play announcer. No, of course, this is not a complete speech sample – the aptly named Tom Talker offers his full-color commentary in the form of pop-up bubbles. Indeed, if that was all the game had to offer, it would be almost enough to justify its place on the list, but each of the ten imaginary wrestlers here has over 20 moves each – an impressive number considering the limitation. previous games. could be.

Brilliantly, Gaiden ninja“Theatre” type sequences are used in the action replays, in order to show the impact of particularly devastating movements.

Super Fire Pro Wrestling (Super Famicom, 1991)Super Fire Pro Wrestling (Super Famicom, 1991)

Editor: human entertainment

Release date: December 20, 1991 (JPN)

The iconic Fire Pro Fight The series debuted on PC Engine, but it’s made the jump to Nintendo here for the first of seven (!) entries on Nintendo consoles. What makes Fire Pro so beloved and unique is its focus on timing – not just the fact that button-mash won’t get the player anywhere thanks to a fiddly grappling hook/counter system, but also by terms of adherence to rhythms and momentum. of a real wrestling match, in which the action goes up and down before culminating with a spectacular finisher and spectacular kicks.

Saturday Night Slam Masters (SNES, 1994)Saturday Night Slam Masters (SNES, 1994)

Editor: Capcom / Developer: Capcom

Release date: September 2, 1994 (UNITED STATES)

This great explosive coin conversion is best known for its inclusion of final fight esteemed mayor of Metro City, a certain Mike Haggar. Despite the use of some popular attack moves street fighter 2, the controls are simpler overall, with only punch, kick, and jump buttons available – though wrestlers can venture outside the ring to loot weapons from the mob. The SNES version contains the Single and Team Battle modes of the arcade game, allowing four players to use a multitap.

Amusingly, the game’s western localization makes the rather dubious claim that wrestler Gunloc is Street Fighter Guile’s brother – something that sticks around. resolutely not canon.

Funaki Masakatsu Hybrid Wrestling: Tougi Denshou (Super Famicom, 1994)Funaki Masakatsu Hybrid Wrestling: Tougi Denshou (Super Famicom, 1994)

Holder Funaki Masakatsu co-founded the MMA organization Pancrase, which predated the UFC and offered future WWF Attitude Era star Ken Shamrock. Prior to his successful MMA career, however, he was a professional wrestler for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and it is this aspect of his life and work that the next entry on our list focuses on.

The most notable feature here is the create a wrestler mode, which lets you, well, create a wrestler and then watch their life unfold on screen, including the wedding and the birth of their child, which can himself being trained as a wrestler and becoming playable at age 18. Awesome.

WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (SNES, 1995)WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (SNES, 1995)

Editor: Acclaimed Entertainment / Developer: Sculpted Software

Release date: November 1995 (UNITED STATES) / January 25, 1996 (UK/EU)

If Slam Masters is inspired by the Street Fighter book, then WWF: WrestleMania: The Arcade Game does the same for Midway’s mortal combat series. This digitized scrapper is as cartoonish and over-the-top as the WWF product was when it was released, seeing The Undertaker throwing fireballs all over the ring. There’s little pinning strategy here – just drain your enemy’s health bar to fetch the pin.

It’s not the best version of the game – indeed, the Mega Drive version is (whisper it) superior – but it’s still great fun to this day, hence its inclusion in our list.

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