Visual Concepts (2013-)
2K Sports (2013-)
|First release||WWF SmackDown!|
March 2, 2000
|Latest release||WWE 2K20|
October 22, 2019
WWE 2K is a series of professional wrestling sports simulation video games developed and released annually since 2000. It was co-developed by Yuke's and Visual Concepts, but starting with WWE 2K20, Yuke's had left the development team. It is published by 2K Sports. The premise of each game in the series is to emulate the sport of professional wrestling, more specifically, World Wrestling Entertainment, and present improvements over the previous installments. The games feature WWE match types, storylines and wrestlers.
Every game produced in the WWE 2K series until 2019 was developed by Yuke's and Visual Concepts, and published by 2K Sports. From 2000 to 2012, the publisher was THQ. The game engine was originally based on the one used by the Japanese professional wrestling video game series Toukon Retsuden, which was also developed by Yuke's. Before the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, the only communication possible in season mode was through subtitles. Voice over, however, was included in season mode with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW. WWE superstars record a script, which is then assigned to the voice of the corresponding superstar in the game. With the exception of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, pre-recorded commentary by WWE commentators has been included in each game since the release of WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It.
Yuke's studios in Yokohama, Japan worked with WWE writers to create storylines for the season modes of each game. When WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 was released for more than one console, Yuke's had to port their original game codes that make up each game mode and graphic designs to a new game engine that supported the new consoles. When new features are added to WWE 2K games, developers have to create new gaming codes for the features. Along with the features, the developers have to test the game for any errors. An improvement done yearly by Yuke's with each release of a WWE 2K game is the polygon count for the 3D models of the superstars in each game. Technical limitations had occurred through the series which lead the developers to adjust custom characters while loading. Beginning with WWE '12, promotion render art photos were used up to WWE 2K16; from WWE 2K17 on, the promotion render art was replaced with in-game rendering to accommodate created characters to lessen loading times. The in-game announcer calls out the names when selecting the wrestler beginning in WWE 2K17 and continues through WWE 2K18 (now in WWE 2K19); as for the in game render photos in the 2k19 title, the wrestlers stand still without posing differently than the previous two installments. During the Wrestlers' entrances (whether solo tag team or trio tag team) the commentary is expanded to an extensive library of words relative to the real life counterparts of WWE superstars.
|WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role|
|2001||WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It|
|2002||WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth|
|2003||WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain|
|2004||WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw|
|2005||WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006|
|2006||WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007|
|2007||WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008|
|2008||WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009|
|2009||WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010|
|2010||WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011|
The series was originally named SmackDown!, after WWE's own SmackDown television program. The first release in the series was WWF SmackDown! in March 2000, which along with these subsequent titles, remained exclusive to Sony's PlayStation consoles. After the brand extension, the series was retitled SmackDown! vs. Raw in 2004, to indicate the Raw brand was also featured. Within a few years, the series had expanded to a yearly release cycle for various seventh-generation consoles as well as mobile devices. Yuke's had also released the games in Japan under the name of Exciting Pro Wrestling. However, after SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, THQ took over as the Japanese publisher and the Japanese releases adopted the western name. The series was later renamed as just simply WWE, starting from 2011 and 2012.
After THQ's dissolution in January 2013, it was reported that the publishing rights for the WWE video game series were acquired by Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two confirmed the acquisition in February, saying that it would also retain the services of Yuke's and the THQ staff that worked on the WWE series. WWE 2K14 was the first game to be released under the 2K brand.
In early 2016, WWE and 2K signed an agreement to extend 2K's licence of the series, exact details of which are unknown.  2019's WWE 2K20 became the first game under the 2K banner not to be developed by Yuke's.WWE 2K20 was instead developed by Visual Concepts, who had worked on previous games.
The first game in the series, WWF SmackDown! had a clear cut system for moves such as combining an arrow key with the circle button for grappling and moves and combining an arrow key with the X button for striking moves. Most of the later games, from WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role to WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 used the aforementioned control scheme. When WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007 was released, new game mechanics were introduced, in which a new control scheme altered the grappling system of the game, called "Ultimate Control moves." Unlike the previous games, where the player pressed two buttons to perform a grapple or an attack, players were able to place their opponents into a grapple position and then choose to perform a move by moving the directional buttons of their system's controller. For example, the player could place their opponent in a suplex grappling position and then either perform a normal suplex or an inverted suplex slam. Before the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, in order for players to force a superstar to submit, they had to tap buttons to move a marker towards the end of the meter labeled "Submit", and the only way for opponents to escape was for them to move the meter towards "Escape". Included with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 was a new submission system, in which the player had to move the analog sticks of their system's controller in different directions to force the opponent to submit, while the opponent could do the same to escape the submission hold.
Every game in the SmackDown vs. Raw series used to have the amount of damage inflicted to the player's chosen superstar, measured with a meter on the HUD, where a design of a male figure presented the damage. As a move was performed against a superstar, the affected area of the body flashed--the more damage that is done to that specific body part, the more likely it is for the superstar to submit. Colors were used to represent the amount of damage done to a specific body area; yellow represented minimal damage, orange represented moderate damage, and red represented maximum damage. This was however taken out of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010. Now the only way to tell how damaged the opponent is to watch their physical body actions that indicate how hurt they are. The more damage inflicted to opponents, the more likely it is for them to lose the match. There are four ways to win a match in every game: by pinfall, submission, knockout, countout; alternatively, the match could end in a draw. With the introduction of an on-screen referee in WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, the ability to win by disqualification was also included.
Included with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw was the option of fighting "dirty" or "clean". When players select "dirty", the superstar is booed by the audience in the game; conversely, the "clean" superstar is cheered by the audience. With the "dirty" or "clean" option comes the inclusion of performing a special maneuver when playing. Players using a "dirty" superstar must direct their superstar into building up their "dirty" meter by performing "dirty" tactics, such as attacking the referee or taking the pad off the ring's turnbuckle. Unlike performing dirty tactics, "clean" superstars build their meters by performing "clean" tactics, such as an aerial technique or performing a taunt. When "dirty" superstars' meters build up, they are able to perform a signature low blow; likewise, "clean" superstars can perform their signature move at double its normal damage.
With the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 was the inclusion of a stamina system, which was a measure of the superstars' stamina. The stamina system was measured by a meter on the HUD; the meter decreased when performing a variety of moves. The meter increases, however, when the player does nothing with the superstar or holds down a selected button that increased the stamina, which varied depending on the player's system. When the superstar's stamina was low, the wrestler reacted by moving slower when performing moves, walking, and running. If the meter decreased completely, the superstar fell to the ground until the meter increased. This system is disabled by default for WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 and was disabled until 2K took over the series, bringing in a similar system with WWE 2K16.
The weak/strong grapple system from the past games was removed from WWE '12 onwards. Characters now perform different moves based on their opponent's current physical state. Players now have a window of opportunity to attack while still in a downed state and can also interrupt moves and Royal Rumble eliminations with attacks. Similarly, the pinning meter from the past games has been reworked to make it more difficult to kick out as a wrestler takes more damage. The game's artificial intelligence has also been adjusted to prevent players from overusing the same move. In addition, the ability to store finishing moves has returned. "Dynamic Comebacks" gives players on the verge of losing the opportunity to successfully hit a combination of moves to gain two finishing moves. New "wake up taunts" bring a downed opponent to their feet for a finishing move (such as pounding on the ground before RKO finishing maneuver). Players also have the ability to target specific limbs during matches and perform submissions through a "Breaking Point" submission minigame. OMG! moments were introduced to WWE '13. These are moves than can be performed in certain situations with certain superstars when a finisher is obtained. An example of this is Mark Henry superplexing the Big Show, making the ring break and the match stop. Better weight detection was implemented to WWE '13, so that small superstars such as Rey Mysterio are unable to lift larger wrestlers such as the Big Show, super heavyweights like now have different frames to better capture their enormous size. Pinning is now not only influenced by damage, but the power of the move that was previously executed. In WWE '13 alongside selecting arenas, characters and the number of finishing moves available at the start of a match (a new option, which can range from 0 to Infinite), players will be able to adjust a setting called 'Match Experience'. Three settings - "Quick", "Normal" and "Epic" - will affect the overall pacing of a fight, independent of AI difficulty. Factors such as momentum, damage, enemy aggressiveness and even kick out and reversal rates will be affected.
To overhaul the gameplay of the series, 2K15 features five times the animation data of WWE 2K14, containing over fifty days work of motion capture by the WWE superstars. Over four times the amount of dialogue for commentary was recorded. The general gameplay of the game too has been revised, with the wrestlers being divided once more into classes, as was present in the Smackdown vs. Raw series. This creates what is known as "in ring psychology". The classes (brawlers, giants, grapplers and high-flyers) all provide different and unique sensations within the game to provide more diverse mechanics. In addition, the game's overall core mechanics have been fundamentally altered.
WWE 2K16 introduces Working Holds, which allows the player to go through a collar-elbow tie-up situation in order to either damage the opponent or regain stamina to reverse the tide in the match. Dirty Pins now come in various animations and also A.I. for the referee is improved; for example, they break up collar-elbow tie-ups when the wrestlers are holding each other at the corner for too long. The Reversal Limit system was introduced to prevent players from reversing throughout the match, they come as minor and major ones depending on the class of the wrestler/diva. This method can be toggled on/off in the Options section.
WWE 2K17 retains the control scheme from the previous title but implements two styles of submissions. Ladders can now be propped many of ways, OMG's such as Kevin Owens' Apron Pop Up Powerbomb makes its debut and a new mini-game involving the Money in the Bank Briefcase to name a few features changes the aesthetics to ladder matches.
WWE 2K18 re-works the carrying system. High Flying moves such as elbow drops are performed faster and attack animations are massively improved. There's also new corner finishers such as Randy Orton's Corner RKO and John Cena's Corner AA.
In the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series, the player was able to choose a "superstar" from a roster and compete in an arcade-like feature called season mode. In season mode, players direct their superstars through different career obstacles through a year of WWE programming to gain respect with other superstars and popularity among the fans. Like superstars from WWE, the superstars in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series season mode are involved in storylines that affect their career mode in some way. Beginning with the release of WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, the WWE Brand Extension has been included in season mode, and superstars are exclusive to one brand of WWE. A result of this feature is that the player's superstar may only wrestle superstars and compete for championships from the same brand on which he is a part of. In season mode, the player's superstar has the ability to earn and wrestle for a variety of championships based on actual WWE Championships. When superstars win championships, their respect and popularity increase, which also increases their involvement in main event matches. As the superstar's respect and popularity increases through the year of WWE programming, it becomes more likely for the player to achieve the main goal in season mode, which is to earn a World Heavyweight Championship or WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, the WWE's flagship pay-per-view event and the final stage in season mode. After the final stage, season modes begins again with the same superstar chosen before, though the player has the option of switching superstars. The superstar is then a part of the WWE Draft Lottery and is assigned to a brand.
Season mode was replaced with Road to WrestleMania in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, and remained in the games until WWE '12. In this mode, players could choose from superstars to play as in single-player or multi-player storylines. The difference is that each storyline is tailor made for the superstar the player chooses. This mode is a more authentic experience and less arcade-like than the former season mode was.
Road to WrestleMania was replaced with Attitude Era Mode in WWE '13. This single-player mode is an abridged recreation of a memorable time in sports entertainment, allowing players to journey through various storylines as eight of the most popular superstars of that time, including "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
The chapter-based saga moves through WWE's struggle and eventual triumph during the "Monday Night Wars," which saw the company on the brink of defeat at the hands of a powerful rival, WCW. Told from the perspective of the WWE during that period, matches and in-game cutscenes are supplemented by video packages assembled by WWE's own editors.
In WWE 2K14, a single player campaign titled "The 30 Years of WrestleMania" was introduced, a nostalgic gameplay mode that recreates nearly three decades of WWE history, including 46 matches, classic WWE footage and many legendary characters. The mode features a distinct roster of wrestlers and alternate gimmicks, who wrestled at WrestleMania. In this mode matches have primary objectives, required to beat the game, and bonus historical objectives, which result in recreated WrestleMania moments. Sometimes the player must follow a guided sequence of inputs, rather than freely control the character. The player competes through storylines of various lengths, switching predetermined characters as they are completed. Each chapter has its own title and focus; "Hulkamania Runs Wild" focuses on Hulk Hogan and early WrestleManias, while "The New Generation" showcases the rise of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in the mid-1990s. The "Attitude Era" chapter brings back some matches from WWE '13's "Attitude Era" mode, as well as some not covered before. The "Ruthless Aggression" chapter focuses on the departure of The Rock, lessened focus on Triple H and rise of Randy Orton and Edge. The final "Universe Era" chapter focuses on the rise of John Cena and the returns of The Rock and Brock Lesnar. The video packages provided detailed the intro to Wrestlemania, Wrestlemania III, Wrestlemania V, which background glimpses IV, Wrestlemania VI, Wrestlemania VIII, an intro to the New Generation Era leading to Wrestlemania X also another promoting X, Wrestlemania XII, a video opening the Attitude Era leading to XIV, Wrestlemania 2000, Wrestlemania X-Seven, two videos about Wrestlemania X8, two about Wrestlemania XIX, two of Wrestlemania XX, Wrestlemania 23, Wrestlemania XXIV, A interchange video regarding the Ruthless Aggression Era to the Universe Era opening for XXV, Wrestlemania XXVI, Wrestlemania 27, next, a video of Wrestlemania 27, which crosses into XXVIII and another of XXVIII which culminates the first battle between the Rock and John Cena. Videos for XXIX was not included as three important matches were just finished at that event in the same year when the game was released. The matches were Undertaker vs. CM Punk; Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar & The Rock vs. John Cena for the Reality Era WWE Championship. The last video was an overlook of what happened throughout the decades showing some events going to the future of that pay per view.
WWE 2K15 features the 2K Showcase, the core stories include CM Punk vs. John Cena & Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels. These rivalries detail from 2002 to 2004 (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) and 2011 to 2013 (CM Punk and John Cena). Three other stories which were included as DLC include The Path of the Warrior, a highlight behind the life of the Ultimate Warrior and his meteoric rise concentrating on championships to the Hall of Fame as commemoration. The Hall of Pain, a story behind the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry as he punished many to become the World Heavyweight Champion and attempts to gain the WWE title. And lastly, the One More Match story, which stars captain charisma, Christian as he complained about having one more match as his way of getting multiple second chances of earning the World Heavyweight Championship. Originally, these stories were meant to be produced for WWE '12, WWE '13 & WWE 2K14, but the developers chose to use WWE '12 for Road to Wrestlemania, the Attitude Era for and 30 years of Wrestlemania for .
WWE 2K16 details the historical career of Steve Austin, from his days at ECW when he was angry that things were not going to happen in a good sense for him to WCW when he and Brian Pillman began to become a strong tag team leading to Austin suffering injury and going through a rub shot in WWE as Stone Cold, an anti-hero that was not going to be tame into a corporate man. Video Packages contain commentary that was remixed from WWE '13 and WWE 2K14 with the exception of some not documented before. Through DLC, the WWE Hall of Fame showcase contains what if matches and some from WCW; these matches were announced on Oct 7th 2015 and to be released alongside the Deluxe Editions of the video game.
WWE 2K17 discontinued the 2K Showcase Mode for the physical disc version but later made one for the 2016 Hall of Fame. In the 2016 Hall of Fame 2K Showcase, seven matches have been announced. Cactus Jack & Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin & Michael "P.S." Hayes) (WCW Saturday Night 1992), The Fabulous Freebirds (Buddy Roberts & Michael "P.S." Hayes) vs. Kerry & Kevin Von Erich (WCCW 1986), Ivory vs. Jacqueline (SmackDown 2000), Sting (gold and black tights) vs. Ric Flair (Clash of Champions 1988), Sting (n.W.o. Wolfpac ring gear) vs. Bret Hart (WCW Halloween Havoc 1998), Papa Shango vs. The Godfather (Dream Match) & Big Boss Man (with Albert) vs. Big Show (Armageddon 1999).
WWE 2K18 terminated the showcase mode.
WWE 2K19 reinstates the 2k Showcase entitled The Return of Daniel Bryan, a comprehensive experience through the narration of Daniel Bryan and the player has to complete 11 missions and a what if match from Daniel's time in Velocity to Wrestlemania 34.
WWE 2K20 focuses on the story of the Four Horsewomen of NXT (Becky Lynch, Bayley, Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair) and their iconic matches from NXT up to WrestleMania 35.
Starting with WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006, a General Manager mode (or GM Mode for short) was introduced. It allowed the player to act as the General Manager of the Raw or Smackdown brands (or ECW brand in WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008). After choosing a brand, and selecting to participate in the WWE Draft, or using a default roster, you then start a calendar year of hiring and managing Superstar and Divas, booking matches, establishing rivalries, and other options to try and win WWE fans to support your brand. You must manage finances, contract or release Superstars & try to make better matches than your rival brand. At the end of the year at WrestleMania, Vince McMahon will give The General Manager of the Year award to the show that was able to hold the most fans.
In WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008, GM Mode was combined into one game mode called WWE 24/7 Mode. This basically allowed Superstars to train, make special appearances or other actions between matches during full calendar years. After achieving specific goals through the game, a percentage will increase of becoming a WWE Hall of Famer / General Manager of the Year winner, and the mode does not end until this percentage reaches 100%.
The series has had a "WWE Universe" mode since SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 which replaces the career mode from previous games. The mode builds storylines, and integrates cut scenes and rivalries between wrestlers based on the matches that are wrestled. These cut scenes appear randomly before, during, and after the match. In WWE '12, championships was not able to be toggled on and off from most wrestlers. WWE '13 introduced the option to toggle on and off rivalries injuries and tag team changes also crowd reactions. WWE 2K14 was the last title to use the method of created arena before it was removed in WWE 2K15. In WWE 2K15, secret hints had to be unlocked through actions in this mode; there were 300 to collect. WWE 2K16 allows wrestlers to be branded by multiple promotions. WWE 2K17 replicates real television with a promo engine. WWE 2K18 has remade Universe Mode from scratch as a new goal system is put in place and draft system has been removed as player can reshuffle them. In WWE 2K19, Money in the Bank options are expanded to Mid-Match, Pre-Match or Post Match cash ins; also, the player can also switch control of the superstar once pausing the game. WWE 2k20 introduces more matches on the card add/delete promos and more rivalries encountering than before.
This game mode was introduced in WWE 2K19, Gauntlet and Step type towers and a Million Dollar Challenge were many that debut. In WWE 2K20, The game mode returns though there is one tower entitled "Roman's Reign" using narrative commentary from Roman Reigns on his matches from Extreme Rules 2013 to Stomping Grounds in 2019.
This mode was introduced in WWE 2K15, social media followers were counted for the WWE Universe liking the player (the number of followers can decrease if bad performances occur during matches); pre-set cutscenes that used to be created for Story Mode in WWE '12 to WWE 2K14 appear at random times. In WWE 2K16, the player has to fight for ranks to earn championships (the main goal is to reach the WWE Hall of Fame by fulfilling certain requirements). WWE 2K17 brings in a promo engine and every action can trigger a backstage brawl depending on what answer the created superstar gives. WWE 2K18 continues with the promo engine from 2k17 with free roaming now a central focus. In WWE 2K19, the MyCareer Mode features a story of a created superstar helping a brand named BCW (owned and operated by Barron Blade, who has debuted since WWE 2K15), the character faces many obstacles caused by the Authority in his quest to be the WWE Universal Champion. For the first time ever, the MyCareer Characters are playable for exhibition and universe mode. In WWE 2K20, male and female characters can fight together via mixed match challenge features to progress in the mycareer mode.
Other than the season mode, every game features an exhibition mode, where different professional wrestling match types are available. Basic matches included in every game are "one-on-one" matches, where a player chooses one superstar to wrestle another bot operated or human operated superstar, or tag team matches, where a pair of superstars team together to face another team, Mixed Gender Tag Team matches have been removed in WWE 2K18. These basic matches may also expand into six-man tag team matches or non-elimination type matches, which include four or more superstars. Besides basic matches, hardcore based matches are also included, such as the Steel Cage match, which has been included in every game, the Ladder match, the Elimination Chamber, which was first included with the release of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, and ECW Extreme Rules matches, which is basic hardcore wrestling based on the ECW brand of WWE (which first appeared with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008). Also included in every game is the Royal Rumble match, which is based on WWE's actual Royal Rumble match, in which a player chooses to compete as one superstar, and must wrestle against twenty-nine other superstars. Two recently added matches are the Championship Scramble introduced in the 2010 game and the "I Quit" match from . In WWE'13 the 'special referee' match type (which hadn't been seen since Smackdown vs. Raw 2007) made its return to the series. The exhibition mode was renamed "Play" in SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 to WWE 2K14 and renamed Exhibition in WWE 2K15 before returning as Play mode in WWE 2K16. In the PS3 & Xbox 360's version of WWE 2K17, Play Mode is required to unlock content from characters. attires, & championship belts (Arenas are unlocked from WWE Universe Mode after collecting 300 + stories or more). WWE 2K18 introduces 8 man matches a new version of Elimination Chamber and a re-worked version of the Royal Rumble match. In WWE 2K19, multi-man matches such as Fatal Five Way and Triple Threat Matches are also more prevalent in match types; Big Head Mode is an option that can be toggled on and off. WWE 2K20 introduces the Mixed Match Challenge as a new match type involving team specific factions and certain ones who have tag team finishers yet to be announced.
Starting with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, online gameplay was made available for players who had a Sony Network Adapter and a Sony PlayStation 2. Online gameplay was kept at a minimum, as online players only had two game modes to compete in: one-on-one and a Bra and Panties match, in which a player competes as a WWE Diva and strips the opposition of her clothes, until she is left with only her undergarments. When WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 was released, the online gameplay was changed, and players were able to compete in more match types, defend the created championships, and compete with up to four players in each match. With the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 on the Xbox 360 console (PS3 would not see this feature until WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009), players were able to select music from their system's hard disk drive into the video game, where the music can be used in superstars' ring entrances.WWE 2K18 adds Road to Glory as a continuation of MyCareer Mode in lieu of being the end part of the game. Backstage brawls and 8 man matches are also added to this feature. In WWE 2k19, 2k Towers have been introduced for offline and online (some implemented to assist Road to Glory mode); the Wyatt Compound is used in a backstage brawl match (this is also an integral area in the MyCareer Mode). In WWE 2k20, Lobbies return with quick matchmaking and more responsiveness for Road to Glory mode.
Every game in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series includes a roster of "superstars" and "Divas" based on superstars who compete for WWE. Every year, WWE acquires new superstars and releases old superstars. As a result, every time a WWE SmackDown vs. Raw game is released, the new superstars are added into the game and the old released superstars are removed from the game to reflect the changes in the actual WWE. From the release of WWF SmackDown! to the release of WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, superstars were not divided into brands. In 2002, the WWE split its entire roster into two brands of wrestling, called Raw and SmackDown!, which were named after WWE's television shows. The WWE Brand Extension was first featured in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth. In 2006, WWE launched a new brand, called ECW, which was named after the original Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion. The new ECW brand was first featured in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008. WWE holds an annual draft lottery, in which WWE superstars switch brands. The games in production when the draft occurs include the changes that take place in the draft. For example, when WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 was in production during June 2007, the 2007 WWE Draft took place, and the draft changes were included in the video game. Another brand of wrestling included in the series is the legends program, which was first included with the release of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain. Popular WWE alumni or members of the WWE Hall of Fame have been included since then under the legends program. This was featured up until the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, as alumni and Hall of Fame members were not featured in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 due to production of WWE Legends of WrestleMania.WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 was also the first game to feature characters as downloadable content.
''WWE '12'' has 56 wrestlers and 78 by DLC, ''WWE '13'' with 84 and 107 by DLC, ''WWE 2K14'' with 82 and 103 by DLC, ''WWE 2K15'' with 76 and 113 with DLC, ''WWE 2K16'' with 133 including DLC giving this title "the highest character roster in the video game's history" with 165. ''WWE 2K17'' carries 145 for the physical disc versions for PS3 and Xbox 360; 150 for the NXT Edition made for PS4 & Xbox One with DLC at 172. ''WWE 2K18'' contains 197 for the standard version (202 via Deluxe and Collector's Edition) with DLC announced at a later date. An update on the WWE 2K18 roster revealed on September 25, 2017, the final roster is 220 (197 on disc virtually reading 204 by attires counted). ''WWE 2K19'' has 217 characters on disc (224 via Woo Edition) and 236 with DLC counted as final. ''WWE 2k20'' has 217 characters on disc (221 via Smackdown 20th Anniversary Edition) with DLC yet to be finalized.
The series features a create-a-superstar mode, where players are able to create their own wrestler, including their move set and ring entrances. The feature was introduced when WWF SmackDown! was released in 2000. As new games were released, the mode was altered; the first change came with the release of WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role, which featured a mode in which wrestler taunts could be created and customized. This was further modified in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, which enabled players to create the walking style of a wrestler. With the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006, the game first featured the ability for players to make an entrance for the created superstar. The feature was expanded with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, as players could place pyrotechnics and special effects in any part of the superstar's entrance. As an addition to SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, a create a finisher mode was introduced where the player chooses up to 10 out of 500 animations combined to make their own personalised finisher. The create a finisher feature was removed on next-gen consoles, starting with WWE 2K15. On the 360 and PS3 versions of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010, it is possible to change the colors of a featured superstar's attire, this new mode is known as "Superstar Threads". In this game, there is also a new creation mode giving players the ability to create their designs.
From WWE 2K14 alongside the "Superstar Threads" feature, in the "Create a Superstar" mode there was a new part of it called "Superstar Heads". This feature allowed players to take certain in game models and modify or create a new attire for that model and use it as an alternative attire for the superstar that they have done it for. This was only available for very limited superstars and players couldn't any headgear or masks to the superstar. A DLC was soon released which featured vintage versions of some of the existing models as well as few new models.
From WWE 2K15, on next generation consoles a new feature was available to players which was similar to the "Superstar Heads" feature that had previously featured on WWE games but this new feature was called the "Superstar Studio". This new "Superstar Studio" allowed players to take any existing in game model and modify their attires into anything that the player desired. Whilst this was exclusive to next generation consoles, players playing on last-gen consoles had the returning "Superstar Heads" mode which featured all of the models from 2K14 as well as a new Brock Lesnar model. WWE 2K17 brings back Highlight Replay and Create-A-Victory features from WWE '13 and SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain respectively. WWE 2K18 introduces Create-A-Match where players can save changes and use them in Play Mode.
|WWF SmackDown!||(PS1) 86%[a]|
|WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role||(PS1) 90/100|
|WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It||(PS2) 76/100|
|WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth||(PS2) 82/100|
|WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain||(PS2) 85/100|
|WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw||(PS2) 80/100|
|WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006||(PS2) 84/100|
|WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007||(PS2) 80/100|
|WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008||(NDS) 61/100|
|WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009||(NDS) 58/100|
|WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010||(NDS) 75/100|
|WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011||(PS3) 74/100|
|WWE '12||(PS3) 72/100|
|WWE '13||(PS3) 76/100|
|WWE 2K14||(PS3) 74/100|
|WWE 2K15||(PC) 70/100|
|WWE 2K16||(PC) 74/100|
|WWE 2K17||(PC) 61/100|
|WWE 2K18||(NS) 35/100|
|WWE 2K19||(PS4) 77/100|
|WWE 2K20||(PC) 43/100|
The original WWF SmackDown! was one of the most popular games for the PlayStation console in 2000, selling over 975,000 units for the PlayStation, and selling over one million copies in the United States. The game lost appeal due to the failing of a well-established season mode that was deemed "disappointing." The season mode was criticized for the lack of in-depth storylines and the way superstars spoke in season mode, through "putrid lines" and "blocked text."WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role received a better reception than the first WWE SmackDown game, as IGN stated that season mode "actually works properly", though the audio of the game was lacking as there was no commentary, and only generic music was included in the game.WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, according to IGN, did little to improve the season mode of the game, while GameSpot stated that the addition of audio commentary detracted from the playing experience.
WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth and WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain received more positive reviews from both IGN and GameSpot, both of whom cited the expanded season mode as an improvement, although flaws were still visible in the mode. It improved from the previous three WWF SmackDown! games, as it was written by actual WWE storyline writers. Both games also featured generic music, though the quality of it had improved. Shut Your Mouth featured little improvement to the commentary, which was then removed completely from Here Comes the Pain.WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW received a more positive review than previous games, as GameShark stated that it was "a wonderful new edition to the SmackDown! family, serving up slick graphics, vastly enhanced gameplay, and lots of other bells and whistles that make the whole package shine."WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 received a positive review and a 9.2/10 rating by IGN due to the additions of matches, the General Manager mode, and the ability to defend championships in exhibition mode.SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 received positive reviews upon release. According to video game review aggregator Metacritic, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 received favorable reviews on all platforms. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one eight and three sevens for the Xbox 360 version, and one five, one seven and two sixes for the PSP version. The game received praise for presentation and the high amount of content, but was criticized for glitches, including commentary and ring announcing problems, and collision detection issues, with wrestlers being able to skip climbing an occupied ladder, making the Money In The Bank match extremely difficult. For example, if one wrestler is on top of the ladder, another wrestler may suddenly superplex him, without even climbing the ladder.WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 received more negative reviews due to lack of an appealing season mode and little improvement of features, with the exceptions of the "Ultimate Control moves," "Struggle system," and the ECW Extreme Rules matches.WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 was rated 31st and 28th (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively) in IGN's "Top 100 Games" list. It is among the best-selling video game franchises, with 60 million copies shipped as of 2013.WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 was met with mostly positive reception from numerous video game publications. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 81.29% and 80 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; 80.60% and 81 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 79% and 78 out of 100 for the Wii version; 76% and 76 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version; 73.29% and 75 out of 100 for the DS version; 71% and 71 out of 100 for the PSP version; and 48.33% and 42 out of 100 for the iOS version.WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 was met with positive to mixed reception upon release. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 80% and 80 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version; 77.47% and 74 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 76.84% and 75 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; 74% and 72 out of 100 for the Wii version; and 60% and 62 out of 100 for the PSP version. Greg Miller of IGN gave the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game an eight out of ten. He praised the game's Universe Mode and the wrestler animations, but criticized the limitations of Road to WrestleMania mode and the inaccurate commentary. In addition, he stated that the grappling system could be "frustrating at times." Miller gave the Wii version of the game a 7.5 out of ten, however. He mentioned the same criticisms from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, but also criticized the graphics.GameSpot's Chris Watters rated the PS3 and X360 versions seven out of ten, lauding the game's customization options, while finding fault with the game's collision detection and the lag during online multiplayer games. He also claimed that the series was starting to "show its age." The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of WWE '12 garnered mixed reviews. IGN gave the game a 9.0 out of 10, stating that the gameplay changes are "breathing new life into its core mechanics". Mike D'Alonzo of G4 called it "the best wrestling game ever made". However, Andy Hartup of Computer and Video Games gave the game a 6.7 out of 10 and wrote that the game, "offers little more than some new gloss painted over an old product". Game Informer's Dan Ryckert echoed the sentiment, stating, "Thanks to a severely downgraded story mode and a lack of substantial improvements, this is the weakest WWE title in years."
A brand new Struggle Submission System will give players intuitive and natural control over their WWE Superstars by using the game's popular analog controls. Realism and strategy are at the forefront, as players will now control the amount of pressure they apply to their opponents.
Also, 360 kids get to rip music from their hard drive and put it in as entrance music.
So you've got everyone from the well-known (Orton, Triple H), to the less well known (Elija Burke, Paul London), and some more in between, including a healthy dose of Divas (the ridiculously named Kelly Kelly is a personal favourite) and plenty of unlockables, but there are no Legends - an omission which is sure to disappoint and even anger some fans (THQ is saving them for the upcoming WWE Legends of WrestleMania game).