THE MOST MODDED: WRESTLING GAMES
The bulk of the Most Modded series focuses on ROM hacks for consoles / handhelds and partial or total conversions for computer games. Wrestling games are interesting because they can be substantially updated just by making CAWs (created wrestlers) with their internal tools.
Not to say this section doesn't have some great hacks and total conversions, but you can add substantial value to a lot of wrestling games with nothing more than a save file or two.
These are the wrestling games with the biggest ongoing communities for each platform.CONSOLES:
( NES - Amazon eBay GameStop
1986's Pro Wrestling was the first wrestling game for the system, and thanks to that good ol' Nintendo Polish actually ended up being one of the best on the NES. Developer/programmer Masuo Matsuda left Nintendo shortly after for Human, where he was one of the founders of the Fire Pro Wrestling series.
There's almost nothing for fan modding of 8-bit or early arcade wrestling games; things really don't start picking up until the later Fire Pro entries in the 16-bit era. Of the early games, however, this one seems to get the most attention.
--- WWE Wrestling
is a rom hack that changes the graphics and wrestlers to resemble 2014-ish WWE, with a few older superstars like Stone Cold and the Rock sprinkled in.
--- Likewise, this Impact Wrestling rom hack
gives you a 2014-ish TNA lineup
Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium
( SNES - PlayAsia eBay
Seven Fire Pro Wrestling games were released in total for the SNES (and like a dozen total if you count all the 16-bit era systems), but the version of choice for modders is the last one released for both the SNES and the console generation. Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium is the prime pick given its ability to store up to 80 CAWs and massive roster of moves.
--- Of course, since it's in Japanese, probably the first thing you'll be looking for is an English translation
--- Save RAM files
with all sorts of rosters from the year 2000 and prior
--- Hardcore Gaming 101 CAW Instruction Thread
WWF: No Mercy
(Nintendo 64 - Amazon PlayAsia eBay GameStop
AKI's quartet of rasslin' games for the Nintendo 64 each still get a fair amount of attention, but the majority of it is focused on No Mercy, their final game for the system. These were the first polygonal wrestling games to actually provide a satisfying simulation of the sport (as opposed to basically being a repurposed beat-em-up).
--- Reddit's N64WrestlingGames
is one of the biggest social centers that focuses exclusively on AKI's classics
--- Showdown 64
is a total overhaul of No Mercy that has an extensive roster and arena collection
--- Impact Forums
collection of individual hacks / mods
--- Joe's No Mercy CAW Site
(text instructions for rolling up CAWs)
--- No Mercy CAWs
--- Dalton Imperial's No Mercy CAWs
Virtual Pro Wrestling 2
(Nintendo 64 - Amazon PlayAsia eBay
The West got four wrestling titles from AKI on the N64, but Japan actually got six - the two Virtual Pro Wrestling games use the same engine but have some tweaks and features not seen in any of the other games, as well as unique rosters focused on the major promotions of Japan. This one gets nearly as much love as No Mercy does.
WWE: Day of Reckoning
(Gamecube - Amazon PlayAsia eBay GameStop
Though it isn't by AKI, developer Yukes pretty much copied the AKI style as the foundation of this title. Add in the top-shelf character creation, which is better than the CAW options found in games released 10 years later, and you have one of the better wrestling titles of all time.
--- CAWs and tools
--- Huge DIY CAW instruction FAQ
--- Ancient thread
with a heap of CAW instructions and tools
--- Premade saves
of major CAWs of the era
--- CAW saves
WWE Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain
(Playstation 2 - Amazon PlayAsia eBay
Smackdown was released by Yukes a little after Day of Reckoning, I assume as a scheme to get people who owned both consoles to double-dip. They share a similar underlying gameplay engine, but Smackdown has a significantly different (and larger) base roster and a more in-depth single-player mode.
--- SmackTalks hacking forum
--- Legends of Modding forum
--- CAW saves at GameFAQs
--- CAW Instructions at Caws.ws
WWE 2K13 / WWE 2K14
(Xbox 360 - Amazon PlayAsia eBay GameStop
/ PlayStation 3 - Amazon PlayAsia eBay GameStop
The WWE 2K series is widely seen to have been a step backwards in gameplay from the N64 / PS2 / Gamecube era. However, of these games, the most popular entries with modders are the 2013 and 2014 editions as they had the most robust cutscene editor (better than later entries in the series). These are the games the very popular Video Game Championship Wrestling
league used for the bulk of their matches and promos, as well as many other Youtube fantasy wrestling feds.
--- Wrestling Legends
: Massive total conversion mod for WWE 2k14
--- Smacktalk.org modding forum
--- Caws.ws forumHANDHELDS:
Fire Pro Wrestling 2
(Game Boy Advance - Amazon PlayAsia eBay GameStop
When the SNES died, the 16-bit Fire Pro series continued rolling right along on the GBA. The second and final entry is more popular simply due to a larger roster of wrestlers and a few more options for creating CAWs.
Smackdown vs Raw 2006
(Sony PSP - Amazon PlayAsia eBay
Of the limited rasslin' options on the PSP, Smackdown vs RAW 2006 is generally seen as the best overall. It's basically just a very slightly pared-down version of the game released on the PS2. The CAW and entrance creation is strong overall, and you can even design your own title belts.
--- ZetaBoards modding forum
--- SmackTalks.org modding forum
--- Caws.ws archive
--- Save files at GameFAQsPC:
Fire Pro Wrestling World
The most recent (and long-awaited) entry in the Fire Pro series is available for PC and PS4 exclusively by way of Steam. In addition to series' longtime focus on precise timing rather than button-mashing, the game is structured in such a way that you're rewarded more for putting on an entertaining match rather than just beating your foe down as badly as possible. The game also has very robust character creation as well as a mod scene adding the things the developers didn't.
--- Carlzilla's Mod Suite
: Create custom rings and entrances, use MMA rules in regular rings, and a few other nifty additions
--- World of Mods forum
--- Reddit sub
MDickie Wrestling Games
MDickie is a freeware/indie developer who has been steadily cranking out all sorts of wrestling games since the mid-2000s. His games are known for being highly customizable and covering territory that mainstream wrestling games would never go near, like managing a federation from the top down. However, as you would probably expect from a one-man operation with a shoestring budget, the gameplay has a reputation for being pretty clunky. These games have attracted a big fanbase and a good deal of modding action, however.
--- MDickie website
Total Extreme Wrestling series
( Amazon eBay
Are you the type of sports fan who prefers to play franchise manager over on-the-field action? The Total Extreme Wrestling series is about the only comparable option in the commercial field. This series has had almost-yearly entries since 2004 and focuses on the booker's job, with everything handled using text and static pictures. Of course, the game can't come with licensed content and performers, but a strong fan modding community very quickly adds that sort of thing to each installment.
--- Mod thread
@ Grey Dog Software