I’ve given you my own top ten titles, so now its time for the reader’s own picks. So without further ado, but with great fanfare I present to you their top ten:
10. WWF Attitude
9. Super Fire Pro X
8. TEW 2007
7. Smackdown 2: Know Your Role
6. Wrestlemania 2000
5. Day of Reckoning 2
4. Extreme Warfare Revenge
3. Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain
2. Smackdown Vs Raw 2007
1. WWF No Mercy
So No Mercy hits the top spot, and WWE titles make an extremely strong showing in the list beyond Grey Dog’s and Mr Ryland’s break into the top ten and a nice entry at number nine for the SNES’ Super Fire Pro X. But why did the list end up in such an order, quite simply in establishing this we had to get the information directly from the horses’ mouth.
Glitch featured Smackdown Vs Raw 2007 quite prominently in his voting form, even higher than some of his more inspired choices along the lines of Fire Pro Wrestling D on the Dreamcast and Giant Gram. He felt that this year’s incarnation of the Smackdown series “captures the essence of the current WWE very well. Only the repetitive nature of the story mode and rather haphazard counter system let it down really.” Another title featured on Glitch’s form was another Smackdown title, this time in the shape of Here Comes The Pain. In the great words of the man, the myth and the legend himself he felt that HCTP “had the superb, easy to use control system, a dream roster, and a career mode with absolutely loads of different stories, some repeating, some entirely random, and is still the best in the series by some margin as a result.”
Slim Jim placed another title in the Smackdown series at the top of his list, in the form of Smackdown 2: Know Your Role. Quite simply he felt that Know Your Role was “just the best game ever. Made me a wrestling fan, and I can still play it today for hours on end.”
Omar Days interestingly placed Extreme Wrestling Revenge at the top of his list, his reason being that “EWR is just brilliant. You can to run the WWE or whatever you want and it's just so easy to play.”
Returning back to the WWE titles featured on the list, Kurtmark made an interesting swerve and went for WWF Attitude as his top pick. Renowned for his unique opinion on many matters, while strange KM justified his choice for one reason, in his own words that was “The commentary by King and McMahon quite frankly. It might not be the prettiest looking game these days but that alone makes it worthwhile.”
In an unequivocal result, No Mercy topped many voters’ lists. Superkick Kid piped for No Mercy because he felt “It (No Mercy) kept me busy for a very long time. Unlocking everybody, buying stuff from the Smackdown Mall, getting 100% on the story modes to which I only ever got 100% on The Hardcore Title. The Survivor Mode was great and I even almost beat it once, stupid Big Bossman was the last guy to beat and he pinned me after a backdrop cause my character was so beat up. And the Create modes were great to, with editing the superstars and such. Just full of great
Mr Wyndorf is another advocator of the No Mercy cause, “Shock Horror!!! A wrestling fan likes No Mercy!...or not so shocking.” Wyndorf is a fan of the games longevity, and the sheer amount of branching storylines available to the player. As he quite rightly raises the point that, “Some didn't like the fact that you had to lose to advance to a certain storyline”, but he felt this was genius. He justifies this too; “Am I a sad loser because I would 'work' the match as normal, but then at the right point get DQ'd or counted out? Although, if it was that damn handicap against the Boss Man and Road-Dog in the pool hall, I just tried my hardest to win - knowing I'd lose...”
Inno was more blunt and to the point with his support for the No Mercy cause stating that quite simply it was because “It's No Mercy, beeeeee-yatch! That's why it's number 1 - because it is HANDS DOWN the best wrestling game ever. The controls, the damage system, the create-a-wrestler, the feel - everything that a wrestling game SHOULD be, yet that nothing can even come close to today.” Words that it is tough to question.
Wyndorf was also a fan of the customisation available in the game, editing both outfits and the way in which the player could “update any current characters as well as creating any new stars.” He shares an experience he had with the title where he “turned Prince Albert into Albert and switched Test's attire a little and I had made perfect N64 replica's of the forgotten T&A tag team.” He also shared his experience with creating wrestlers not currently on the No Mercy roster, and editing move sets to adjust the current roster to update them to the WWE roster of the time. Also the alternate attires available for the wrestlers on the roster, which wouldn’t have been achievable without the option of using presets and he feels that “presets are another thing today's wrestling games are missing. Aside from 3 characters in SD vs RAW 2007, you have to stick with the exact same attire for each wrestler. That my friend is very sad indeed.”
Wyndorf particularly approves of the control system, stating, “The controls are still fantastic and are still used to this very day in THQ's more recent offerings (don't let SD 2007's stick flipping trick you, it's still pretty much the same.) Beat 'em up purist’s slant the pedestrian action, as a wrestling fan I appreciate it.”
Evil Gringo further justified this, stating “Simply because it had the controls, the engine, the match types, the story mode, the CAW and move set that made all other games cry...It IS the best wrestling game ever and the reason why the SD vs Raw Series is so big.”
Chris2k agrees, as he thinks that No Mercy “is just the epitome of video gaming that the WWE are associated with. THQ made such a brilliant game engine with some fantastic options, particularly the Championship mode which is yet to be bettered in any game I've seen.”
Wyndorfs “favourite...favourite feature of all”, a feature not mentioned by anyone else including my good self, “is the replays at the end of every match. Yes, something so simple and something that is in every beat 'em up of the last 10 years, is something the SD! Series is missing. I just enjoyed setting up a ridiculous 'spot' to end my match with, just so I could watch the replay (from 5 different angles!) over and over again. Trying to time jumping off a ladder, onto your opponent...through a table, for the pin, and getting it all in the replay gave me hours of fun.” And who can hold this against him, it made the end of matches quite the spectacle and encouraged the player to finish with the big spot he mentions.
And to sum up the No Mercy support, Wyndorf shared his tale of how he acquired the title itself, in quite a David Dickenson esque move he “picked it up - about 2 months after launch for £9.99 in Woolworths!”
So the people have spoken, but are they right? Of course you can debate this in the Video Games forum, or you can even send me an email to debate your cause, or even to praise the choices made and opinions passed. I’d like to thank all of those who participated for their support, and keep tuned for a potential Worst Wrestling games listing in the near future, as for every No Mercy there is a Backyard Wrestling.