When it comes down to older pro wrestling games from the 90’s one of the few memorable titles that appeared on the PS1 back in the day was the original Smackdown title from ’00. For those who do not know WWF Smackdown was a game developed by Yukes and published by THQ about a year after the pilot episode aired in Spring 1999. The original Smackdown game had the look, feel and roster from ’99 despite being released in early 2000. THQ & Yukes Smackdown game from early 2000 had a more arcade styled form of gameplay similar to that of the WWF Royal Rumble title for Dreamcast which also came out that year. There was a variety of game modes and features within the first WWF Smackdown title that were not included in other games wrestling games that came before it. The Season mode for WWF Smackdown allowed players to choose any character they wanted as they participated in random matches in various shows and pay per views. Players got to witness more cutscenes than they ever saw in preceding wrestling games from 90s within the Season Mode from WWF Smackdown. It should also be noted that WWF Smackdown was one of the first wrestling games that allowed players to fight backstage.
Those who were fans of hardcore or falls count anywhere matches were excited to see more realistic brawler like gameplay; which reflected a lot of the action that took place during the Attitude Era from ’98-’99. There were various weapons that could’ve utilized in hardcore matches including chairs, pipes, steel stairs and more to inflict damage on opponents inside and outside the ring. Similar to that of WWF Wrestlemania 2000 for the N64 players also had the ability to create their own wrestler. However, the customization options in WWF Smackdown felt more limited in comparison to that of the WWF Wrestlemania 2000 game from ’99. The upside to the create a wrestler mode is the fact that players can enter them in a Pre-Season Mode. Unlike the regular Season Mode in WWF Smackdown the Pre-Season allowed players to build up their CAW’s attributes & skills within a time span of a year. While it was optional to play through the Pre-Season longer than a year players were free to enter them into the regular Season after just one. While the regular Season Mode allows players to compete for various titles such as WWF, Intercontinental, European, Tag Team and Hardcore; titles matches randomly took place based on a superstar’s ranking.
While the gameplay in WWF Smackdown was fast-paced and had great soundtracks during matches the game had few downsides. There matches such as: Ladder, Table, Casket, Hell In A Cell, TLC and others that were not included in the original WWF Smackdown game. The matches just mentioned would however be included in the sequel known as WWF Smackdown 2 for the PS1 which came out in November 2000. The cutscenes for the WWF Smackdown game had no voice overs but had BGM that went perfectly with each scene during Season Mode. Aside from the roster being somewhat outdated and lengthy loading times WWF Smackdown was a very fun pro wrestling game for the PS1. Also, WWF Smackdown is considered to be legendary because without it the Smackdown vs Raw series from the 00’s never would have existed.