The Opinion Banner

“Vintage NES wrestling games”

This week is a first in a multiple part series going over my favorite wrestling games. This week I’m doing my favorite NES games. I’m going to do my best to remember and with the help of wiki I’ll be able to give you a good description of the game along with my memories I have of playing it. Hope you enjoy the first part of this who knows how long series. Next week I’ll be discussing my favorite SNES wrestling games.

WWF WrestleMania NES – created by Rare and published by Acclaim Entertainment in 1989.


This is one of the first games I remember playing as a kid when it comes to wrestling. I was extremely young at the time but I remember not being able to get the hang of this compared to the older kids. The roster didn’t consist of too many wrestlers but at least they were all big names. Hulk Hogan, of course, who was solo on the cover. You also had Andre The Giant, which is an awesome piece of history. The rest consists of Macho Man, Ted DiBiase and Honky Tonk Man as well as Bam Bam Bigelow who’s one of my personal favorites. What I remember most about this game besides the roster was the fact that small little icons would slide across the ring that would allow you to regain some health if you got them. Hulk Hogan had a cross, Bam Bam had fire if I remember right, Honky had a guitar. Ted Dibiaseof course had a dollar sign, and I can’t remember what Macho Man had. It’s a fun game and good attempt for the first licensed WWF game by NES.

WWF WrestleMania Challenge NES – developed by LJN in 1990.


This was my absolute favorite game as a kid and for some reason was way easier to me than WWF WrestleMania. What I liked about this game was the small changes to the roster. The color was also more vibrant in this game. The view was from the corner of the ring kind of over top. I remember if you played the challenge you had to play as this corny character called “Yourself”. This was a jobber looking character who you had to use to defeat the top talent on the game. The roster consisted of Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, “Macho King” Randy Savage much like the first time, but in this game The Ultimate Warrior made his appearance as well as Big Boss Man, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan,”Ravashing” Rick Rude and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. As you can see the cover wasn’t just Hulk Hogan this time, WWF opted to put all the top stars on it. The game play in this game was fairly easy and I still enjoy playing it today. I’m not sure why but the roster is one of my favorites.

WCW (World Championship) Wrestling – released in 1990.


This was probably my second favorite wrestling game for NES. At the time I had no idea what the NWA was and I had never watched any WCW wrestling. After looking this game up on wiki to find the history, it told me that this was the first and only game to date released by NWA. As you can see my cartridge has the Road Warriors on it, but soon after this game was released the Road Warriors ended up going to WWF as the Legion Of Doom. They ended up replacing Road Warriors on the box, instruction booklet and cartridge with Sting. I would actually like to get my hands on a copy of the Sting version. This game was fun to me because like most young kids I was a big fan of LOD at the time. I also recognized Ric Flair in the game. He shortly after went to the WWF as well. Another superstar that caught my eye was a fellow by the name of Ricky Steamboat. Rick Steiner was also on the roster, not his brother Scott. Sting, Lex Luger, Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda (I.R.S.), Steve Williams, Eddie Gilbert and Mark Henrys biggest fan, Michael Hayes (haha). This is actually quite the crazy roster if you think about it, and my apologies if I got anyone wrong. There was a Japanese version of this game released under a different name and with different characters. Big Van Vader, Abdullah the Butcher and even Andre The Giant to name a few. What I liked most about this game was the actual game play itself. There are actually quite a few moves in the game and it’s actually quite challenging without being too difficult. One of the funny things I remember is that when you went outside with your opponent on some occasions, a wrench would be thrown from the side onto the floor for you to use. You could crack your opponent a few times before it would fling away into thin air. I highly recommend checking this out.

WWF King Of The Ring NES – developed by LJN and released in 1993.


I never owned this game as a kid because I ended up getting a Super NES before this was released and worried about those games. I ended up buying this game a few years ago and it’s pretty fun and has a really good roster. It was the last game WWF made for NES. Much like the last WWF game where you played as “yourself”, in this game you could play as “you”. The King Of The Ring challenge was of course the main object of this game. The roster consisted of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, The Undertaker, “The Narcissist” Lex Luger, Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels, Yokozuna and Bam Bam Bigelow. This is interesting because you can see the new generation of wrestlers slowly making their way into the big time. Hulk Hogan and Macho Man were now sharing the spotlight with Bret Hart, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. A Young Razor Ramon and Mr. Perfect were just on their climb up. Bam Bam Bigelow was not the only big man anymore now that Yokozuna was around. Good game over all but didn’t get much attention due to the SNES being released.

Thanks for checking this out and enjoying my view on the NES games I have. Next week I’ll be doing one about my Super NES games, which should be fun as well. Please let me know your game memories and which games you liked the best and why. I’m sure there’s more wrestling games for NES out there so if I missed something feel free to give some info on it. Until next time!

James Bones