Game Recs

WrestleQuest Is the Best Wrestling Game of the Past Decade

Out of the way, 2K.

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Skybound Games

A good pro wrestling game is hard to pull off. By very nature, many of them attempt to replicate an art that is scripted, while pretending it’s not. This often puts players in frustrating situations that feel nothing like a real pro wrestling match.

But that’s where WrestleQuest, a new turn-based RPG, comes in. It gives players a wacky experience that has all the drama of a WWE match, while sprinkling tons of personality and nostalgia throughout. It’s made for pro wrestling fans, finally delivering a worthwhile experience that blows the WWE 2K games (and that god-awful AEW game) out of the water.

Utilize some of your favorite pro wrestling moves like flying elbows and powerbombs.

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WrestleQuest, from developer Mega Cat Studios, is a party-based RPG that leans far away from realism. Instead of attempting to replicate the experience of a real match, its foundation is built upon classic turn-based RPG systems in games like Final Fantasy. You get a slew of moves to choose from, a gorgeous overworld that connects the stages, and the ability to level up your characters along the way. But it builds upon that with its incredible pro wrestling themes that tie the whole thing together.

You won’t cast magic spells in this game. Rather than shooting fireballs at your foes as you would in fantasy RPGs, you’ll utilize classic wrestling moves to take down your opponents. Battles play out as wrestling matches that require you to damage your enemies and pin them to secure a victory. You’ll get to use maneuvers such as the Burrito Body Slam and the South of the Border Stunner, which all look and feel as wild as they sound.

There are tag-team combos, a satisfying pinning minigame, a crowd hype meter, and plenty of buffs to enhance your performance during battles. These qualities alleviate many of the frustrations that come with traditional wrestling games, preserving the pacing, heart, and soul of a real match.

Combat is turn-based, but still manages to recapture the flow and pacing of a real match.

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On top of that, the game is tastefully inspired by the Golden Era of WWE (WWF at the time), which ran from around 1982 to 1992 and is one of WrestleQuest’s best qualities. The game features prominent superstars from that era such as André the Giant, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and even The Road Warriors. To further recapture the essence of that era, all the characters are bulky action figures you’d see in the late 80s, while the art style and music are reminiscent of classic NES games.

It handles nostalgia very well, dishing out a ton of references to this particular time period. But even if you didn’t grow up with this particular era, the game caters to all wrestling fans thanks to its clever writing. One of my favorite lines in the game happens very early on. “Are you a superhero?” an NPC asks. “Superheroes are fake,” your character responds. “I’m a pro wrestler!” Mega Cat Studios knows its audience and clearly created something the team wanted to play.

WrestleQuest features a variety of interesting locales to explore.

Skybound Games

There’s a surprising amount of depth to the gameplay, as well. This is true, not just of the battles, but in terms of the dungeons, too. As you explore the dungeons, you’ll encounter traps and environmental puzzles to solve, along with plenty of hidden items to collect along the way. This helps break up some of the repetitiveness of the battles themselves, giving you more to do.

WrestleQuest shines brightly thanks to the way it pays homage to wrestling’s Golden Era (and pop culture of the time). Its thoughtful implementation of classic pro wrestling themes is easily its strongest aspect, which works nicely alongside its fun, rewarding turn-based combat. But don’t let its silly art style fool you. It’s a much deeper experience than you might expect, offering lots of things to do — all in the name of being a pro wrestling champion.

WrestleQuest launches for Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC on August 22, 2023.

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