Wonderpod Online’s Top 50 Games: #6 is WWF No Mercy

SRD: Let me say something right from the word “go” in this entry, because I know there will be words to be had about this one, and rightly so. I do not mean to talk down to anybody who disagrees, so I apologize in advance if it comes off that way. This list was compiled in a manner that is far from scientific, I’ll admit. But it was, if anything else, absolutely fair. We had 9 voters with equal say in what went on the list and what didn’t. The ballots came back and with the exception of one slot (the #50 slot) the ballots decided not only what went on the list, but where. I say this not to excuse where this game was placed. To the contrary, I say it celebrate where this game was placed. Consider what WWF No Mercy represents. It is the end result of a series of wrestling games on the Nintendo 64, both WCW and WWF, and is arguably the best fighting game on the entire system. The platform is flawless, the controls are fluid, the animation is the best a wrestling game has ever had, and the create-a-wrestler feature is so deep that you could very possibly put Scooby Doo into the game and make him a believable contender for the WWF Title. It captures the feeling of what it means to be both a video game fan and a professional wrestling fan. Best Pro Wrestling Game Ever, and it definitely deserves a spot in our Top Ten.

Al Creed: Amongst wrestling gamers, there is a standard that all games are held to, the No Mercy Standard. It is the benchmark which all wrestling games are measured against. The combination of smooth, easy-to-learn controls, almost open-ended gameplay, and the most extensive Create-A-Wrestler of its time made this game a real winner, and possibly created an example that may be impossible to live up to. Ever since 1999, THQ has time and time again tried to replicate the miracle known as No Mercy. They have come VERY close on several occasions, don’t get me wrong, but there’s always something not quite right.

G: During the late nineties through the year 2000, THQ created a number of games based on the professional wrestling organizations of the ECW, WCW, and the then WWF. This all culminated with the final installment: No Mercy. No Mercy had the advantage of a refined engine that corrected and smoothed out game play to almost perfection. Unlike many “button-mashers” in the genre of wrestling games, THQ managed to allow players to feel like they were in complete control of their wrestler at all times. Another advantage of being last in the series, was that the Create-A-Wrestler included every single move and character feature from all previous titles. This meant any ECW or WCW wrestler could be recreated with all of their moveset. It also had every type of wrestling match variant available in previous titles for game play. This meant that you could recreate any match, with any wrestler(s), that had appeared in any of THQ’s previous games. The end result was a clear-cut superior version of the THQ series, and dare I say, the best wrestling video game ever made to this day. Debate me, please. Send a copy of a better wrestling game to me (hard copy and console ideally), and I will play the shit out of it and get back to you. I’m convinced you are wrong.

Nintendo Legend: This is a game that, I suspect, purely is on the list because some of the panelists are more fans of wrestling than they are of video games. This could be a pity, really. WWF No Mercy is a fine game, but does a wrestling game really belong on this list? I think about it, though, and I do come to one realization: I often lump wrestling games in with fighting games, in the categorization of my mind. This actually works to No Mercy’s favor because, get this: Not only is it a smoothly played, tightly honed, well-balanced, extensively featured fighting game, but its Create A Wrestler mode is, in itself, an awesome feature not really emulated by any other fighting title to such extent. That, alone, makes this an amazing game, and one best played with some friends. Let the trash talk fly.

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