Over the years, WWE video games have dramatically improved in terms of graphical capabilities and ability. Seriously, imagine telling yourself twenty years ago that you’d be able to play a game featuring WWE, ECW, and WCW legends from the past and present. That, and many custom wrestlers are available in this year’s WWE 2K23 title.
That’s a good thing too, because wrestling fans have had to suffer through a lot of bad WWE video games over the years. While a lot of old titles were released to critical acclaim, there were many more wrestling games released to nothing but dismay and poor reviews.
10 WWE 2K15
A harsh reality for gamers is that whenever a next-gen console releases, it’s almost never as fun as they hoped. Obviously, it depends on what comes out on launch, but also, it takes developers time to get used to the new console and its capabilities.
While fans were hyped for WWE 2K15, it was clear that a lot of the effort went into graphical elements and not much else. The game looked incredible, especially in terms of player models. That being said, the gameplay was mild, and there wasn’t much content in this one.
9 WWE 2K Battlegrounds
WWE 2K Battlegrounds was the replacement title for WWE 2K21. More WWE All Stars than Smackdown vs. Raw, this video game was more of an arcade-style title, which was also cheaper than a full release.
This game wasn’t bad, it just felt soulless. The gameplay was alright, but there wasn’t much to do, and the simplistic arcade-style gameplay gets tired quickly.
8 WWE Attitude
WWE Attitude was released by Acclaim Entertainment in 1999 for all consoles. The title was very similar to the previously released WWE War Zone game, which was also not well-received. Sadly, Attitude got an even worse reception.
Admittedly, the PlayStation port of the game did receive decent reviews, but the other ports were panned. The gameplay was pretty bland, but the graphics, sound, and technical ability all were blasted.
7 WWE Aftershock
WWE Aftershock is probably the most hilarious proof of the company’s greed. If a game console existed in the 90s and 2000s, you can bet that the company had a game in the works for it. That would include the short-lived Nokia N-Gage.
The phone/portable game console didn’t last long but did get a bland WWE Aftershock release in 2005. The game itself was incredibly mediocre, as the development team was likely aware that damn-near nobody would ever play it.
6 WWE Rage in the Cage
Speaking of consoles that didn’t have much success, WWE Rage in the Cage was a Sega CD exclusive. To their credit, they made good use of the next-gen console, as the game looked great and smooth for 1993.
Sadly, it just wasn’t a great game. While it functioned fine which is better than other titles on this list, it was still a very barebones title without a lot to do.
5 WWE Betrayal
WWE used to get creative with some of their wrestling games. For example, Crush Hour was a Twisted Metal style vehicle title, where wrestlers fought in cars. That was a good example of WWE’s creativity, while Betrayal would be a bad example.
Released in 2001 for the Game Boy Color, the game was a very bland side-scroller beat-em-up. Not a bad concept for a game, this just didn’t feel connected to the WWE at all. While high-profile wrestlers are featured, this title just feels like a Streets of Rage rip-off with a wrestling theme.
4 WWE Raw (Xbox)
There was a low-profile WWE Raw video game released in 1994, but we’re discussing the 2002 edition. As the Smackdown! series of games was killing it on the PlayStation, they decided to capitalize by making a Raw franchise for Xbox.
While the Smackdown! games were praised, and the Raw titles were panned. The 2002 debut was much worse than the sequel, however. As the game felt extremely wonky and clunky, even at the best of times. Simply put, it wasn’t fun.
3 WWE WrestleMania: Steel Cage Challenge
A lot of the arcade-style WWE games that were released in the late 80s and early 90s were quite fun. Sadly, 1992’s WWE WrestleMania: Steel Cage Challenge was anything but. Instead, it was a bland, boring slog of a title.
It was extremely barebones, and the game felt lifeless. That’s not to say that someone can’t have fun with this title, but they’re going to have to put some effort in.
2 WrestleMania 21
The WrestleMania series of games were odd to look at in hindsight. While not always good, WrestleMania 21 far outshines the others as the worst in the series. Furthermore, it’s one of the worst wrestling games ever.
The gameplay itself isn’t bad, just bland. That being said, the game was quite literally unplayable and would crash hilariously often. It’s worth noting that the game was released in 2005 as well, putting out a massive patch or update wasn’t as feasible back then. As a result, many fans just had to deal with the broken game.
1 WWE 2K20
One of the most recent WWE video game releases is the worst ever. In late 2019, Yuke’s released WWE 2K20, a title that was instantly panned. Furthermore, the game was arguably the worst of the year, period. It just wasn’t fun, and the gameplay felt exactly like WWE 2K19.
The biggest issues are the terrible MyCareer mode, which has graphics straight out of a PS2 game, and the bugs. WWE 2K20 was barely playable on launch, and it took months to make it into a semi-competent title. By that time, it was too little too late.