With WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 coming out in only a month’s time, I thought it was fitting for me to compile a list of the top 5 video games in the Smackdown franchise. In case you did not know, the series started in 1999 and has now produced twelve main entry Smackdown games. Ever since 2004, it is now been called Smackdown vs. Raw. According to THQ, the series has shipped an impressive 40 million copies. It won’t stop there as THQ recently extended its contract with the WWE to produce more video games for the next 7 years.
Here are the top 5 video games in the Smackdown series:
5)Smackdown! 2 Know Your Role
The second game expanded on the playable first game introducing more backstage areas for you to explore and wreck havoc in. Not only that but it was the first to include the impressive Hell in a Cell match. I had many memorable matches throwing Mankind around while I was being The Undertaker. My only gripe from this PSone era game was the long loading times during the Career mode. Aside from that, this game was a multiplayer favourite of mine back in the day.
4) Smackdown vs. Raw 2006
This iteration from the franchise came out in 2005 and introduced a lot more game features and had a respectable main current roster as well as an impressive list of “Legends”. The game introduced us to the GM Mode which allowed gamers to sanction their own matches just like a member of the creative department would do in real-life at the WWE. Although released solely on the PS2, it boasted some of the most realistic graphics ever seen at the time. Not to mention you could unlock a plethora of goodies too. One noticeable unlockable that stood out to me was the chance to play in the outdoor Wrestlemania IX stage.
3) Smackdown vs. Raw 2010
The newest game on the list was a major improvement over the disappointing 2009 addition of the SvR series. The level of creativity in the game could make any fan occupied with this game for hours. The fact you could create your own storylines, shows and PPV events was arguably the main reason this game stood out form the rest of the game’s released recently. It was also the first in the game to incorporate the HAVOK physics engine. This helped the game improve its collision detection meaning for more realistic gameplay. Let’s hope Smackdown vs Raw 2011 can improve on this improving formula.
2) Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth!
Released in 2002, Shut Your Mouth! rectified many of the shortcomings prevalent ih Just Bring It! Among those were more competent commentary and you could use weapons and environments more creatively. For example, I could be Jeff Hardy and climb up the King Of The Ring staging area to perform a mega Swanton Bomb. Another example was that you could fight in the parking area and fight on top of the cars! The main story mode may have been the longest one in the series to date, but it had a lot of interesting storylines and allowed you to unlock a lot of extra content too.
1)Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain
Without a doubt, this is the best game in the series so far and is yet to be beaten. The inclusion of four grapple holds allowed you to perform more moves than ever before. Also noteworthy was that it was the last game to include the enjoyable backstage areas for you to fight in. It was also the last in the series that allowed you to store up to 5 finishers. Now you only get to use your finisher once when you have earned it, and even then there is a time limit for you to use it before you have to earn it again! My personal favourite feature of this game was the roster. It was the debut of guys like John Cena and Randy Orton but it also had Goldberg and current UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. Even current TNA performers such as Kurt Angle and RVD were in this game. A lot of dream matches could be staged while playing this game. Not to mention it’s still a kickass game to play despite being over 7 years old.
That’s it; this is my list for the best Smackdown series games. Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain to me is still yet to be beat in terms of both gameplay and roster. Smackdown vs Raw 2011 is certainly looking promising but we’ll all have to wait for its outcome when it releases in late October.