With over 50 games released with the WWE license, it should come as no surprise that there are stinkers sprinkled throughout a catalog of good to great games. For every great game like No Mercy or Day of Reckoning, there’s a dud of an entry like WWE 2k15. But what are the worst of the worst?
Games like WCW Backstage Assault and Legends of Wrestling don’t make the cut this time around due to not being under the WWE (WWF) license. Those are for a list at a later date.
Ok, enough delaying. Let’s take a look at the worst WWE Video Games of all time starting with a game that wasn’t even a wrestling game whatsoever yet had the WWE license.
WWE Crush Hour (2002, PS2/GameCube)
This game... I don't even know where to begin with this. WWE Crush Hour was one of the earlier attempts at a WWE spin-off title, and it failed miserably.
Looking to capitalize on games like Twisted Metal, Crush Hour puts players in control of WWE Superstar-themed battle cars. The game featured “special moves” for vehicles, but it just wasn't very fun. It was a boring car battle game with no redeeming values other than the neat premise of each vehicle getting wrestler-like entrances. The only thing this game was good for was predicting the ultimate arrival of the WWE Network.
Wrestlemania 21 (2005, Xbox)
A return to the console after a two-plus year hiatus, Wrestlemania 21 saw a few delays before it finally came out, and the end result wasn't pretty.
The gameplay was slow, there were numerous game-breaking bugs and online play was limited to just single matches. The game did have a few good match types, but the gameplay was too buggy to enjoy any part of actually playing it.
The story was pretty damn enjoyable, however, and the graphics were pretty nifty for the age of the Xbox which keeps it out of the bottom five. It's definitely worth looking up the cut scenes just for the storyline itself.
WWF In Your House (1996, PlayStation)
A roster of just 10 superstars and a small amount of match types pretty much guarantees a spot on a worst games list. The gameplay wasn't too bad, but when things get repetitive after one play session, it's just not a game that was ever worth more than a few day rental from Blockbuster back in the day. That being said, the site of Undertaker raising the dead to finish opponents is pretty cool.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 (2008, PS3/Xbox 360)
Smackdown vs. Raw signaled a reboot for the franchise, leaving the cupboard pretty bare for fans when the game came out. The game featured a unique “Road to Wrestlemania” mode that allowed players to take control of one of three superstars, and go from the Royal Rumble to the Grand Daddy of them All.
It was a neat concept, but it just wasn't fun. Also, the game hyped up tag team wrestling at a time when the tag team division just wasn't all that good. It made little marketing sense. Lastly, the omission of legends was also a big downer for many reasons, but none more obnoxious than the fact it led to the next entry on our list.
Legends of Wrestlemania (2008, PS3/Xbox 360)
After not having legends in the aforementioned Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, Legends of Wrestlemania was released with a full price tag. It was a clear sign of greed from company and publisher (THQ). Quick time events, over-simplified controls and boring gameplay made for a title that left more people feeling ripped off than legendary.
WWE Wrestlemania X8 (2002, GameCube)
When this game came out, I really wanted to like it. I was a GameCube fanatic, and I wanted nothing more than a great game on the console. Unfortunately, fans were given this mess. Wrestlemania X8 featured clunky controls, a max of two – yes, two! – wrestlers in the ring at one time and graphics that looked more like they belonged on the N64 than a newer console. Seriously, nothing about this game was worth the money it cost to buy it. It also had some of the worst sound ever in a WWE video game to this day.
WWE 2k15 (2014, PS4/3/Xbox 360/One)
Where to begin with this one? WWE 2k15 was the series' debut on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and the game fell flat on its face.
When a company has to release all of the features that aren't in the game ahead of launch – and said list is longer than what made it into the game – you know you have a bad game on your hands. Everything that was done right in WWE 2k14 was thrown out the window with the removal of features like Create-An-Arena and Create-A-Finisher, among others. The career mode dies the second you finally make it anywhere of importance, and there is nothing in it that makes it worth playing more than an hour or so. The only plus is that it marked the return of WWE games to PC.
WWF Raw (2002, Xbox/PC)
The first WWE game on the original Xbox, RAW may have looked the part of a next-gen (at the time) video game, it played like it was programmed by a team of five year olds.
Match flow was non-existent, performing moves was harder than completing the Turbo Tunnel of Battletoads, and the momentum system nearly guaranteed matches ending without seeing a finisher used. The career mode was terrible and the creation suite was as vanilla as it could be.
WWE Wrestlemania XIX (2003, Gamecube)
This game being on this list isn't going to surprise anyone, but its spot as the second-worst WWE video game will. The gameplay was enjoyable and the roster was impressive, but the game just wasn't really fun to play.
There were just five arenas to choose from – Raw, Smackdown, Summerslam, Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania XIX – and the career mode wasn't a career mode at all. Instead, it was a “Revenge Mode” that was just a beat 'em up mode that saw players trying to get revenge – get it? – on Vince McMahon for firing him. It was a cool mode, but having it be the only real single-player option killed this game.
WWF Royal Rumble (1999, Dreamcast)
As if there was any doubt, right? This game was awful in every possible way.
This was a pure arcade game being passed off as a wrestling game. What fans expected to be a Dreamcast exclusive video game was nothing more than a port of the Royal Rumble arcade game with no improvements whatsoever. It had just two game modes, a small roster that lead to the same people coming out in a single Royal Rumble match. The title was nothing more than a button-mashing mess where wrestling moves, even finishers, did absolutely nothing in terms of helping the outcome of a match.
With No Mercy and the original Smackdown out at the same time, there was no reason for anyone to pick up this game...at all.