I’m not generally inclined to include licensed
sports or “sports” games on the Definitive
50. They just don’t tend to hold much importance
after next year’s release.
I have to admit though, that wrestling games
were absolutely some of the defining titles
of the N64. Including WWF No Mercy.
The popularity of what was then known as the
WWF was at its peak in the late 90s and early
2000s thanks to superstars like The Rock and
Steve Austin. The N64’s lifespan matched perfectly
with that of the Attitude Era.
Wrestling games are really about the customization
– and No Mercy provides players with the ultimate
sandbox for creating their own scenarios.
This game puts all of the insanity of the
WWF’s characters, stories, and presentation
under the control of gamers to relive, re-cast,
and re-write to suit their own imaginations.
On top of that – and most importantly – you’re
able to make your own wrestlers, whether they
be based on fictional characters, your enemies,
your friends, or yourself. The game boasts
a massive set of customizable appearance options,
and even selectable moves and other characteristics
for your sweaty avatar.
Wrestling games are plenty of fun – even when
you’re not playing them! Building up a roster
of your friends in No Mercy and letting the
game AI decide who the best athlete is is
plenty entertaining on its own. Of course,
you can also take your creations up against
the real pros, or various long-forgotten clowns,
and teach them a personal lesson.
No Mercy sucks players in with ever more unlock-able
customizations. All it takes to get them at
the Smackdown Mall is money earned playing
career mode. It’s worth it too, as this remarkably
deep mode allows you to not just play, but
live, through a series of matches and watch
the branching storyline unfold. Even losing
opens up more possibilities.
It probably goes without saying, but No Mercy
includes a mighty roster of some of the most
popular wrestlers, both male and female, of
its time. There are innumerable match options,
from the simple 1 on 1 to tag teams, triple
threat matches, ladder matches, and every
other kind of absurdity you remember from
No Mercy was developed by Japan’s AKI Corporation,
who also made most of the system’s other wrestling
games, or at least the good ones, both WWF
and WCW. They’ve since been renamed syn Sophia,
Inc. and they now make the Style Savvy games.
Let me know what you think of professional
wrestling and the Definitive 50 in the comments
section below. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe.
Check back next week for entry #33 on the
Definitive 50 N64 games.