WWE SmackDown vs. Raw (formerly trademarked as WWF SmackDown!, WWE SmackDown!, and WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW) is a series of professional wrestling video games developed by Yuke's and published by THQ. The first game released was on the PlayStation console in 2000, which prompted the releases of sequels on the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mobile, Nintendo DS, and the Wii. The original series, produced from 2000 until 2003, was titled under the SmackDown! name, while the present series, which has been produced since 2004, is titled SmackDown vs. Raw (the Raw brand of games was originally licensed to Nintendo)Template:Citation needed. In Japan, the series was published by Yuke's and was known as Exciting Pro Wrestling until 2005. Following SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, THQ took over as the Japanese publisher and the series adopted the western name.[1]

Each game is based on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), a professional wrestling promotion, is playable in different professional wrestling match types, and features a roster based on WWE. A season mode has also been included since the series introduction, which is an arcade-like feature in which the player chooses a superstar to work with through a series of storylines that involve challenging for championships and choosing options that affect the superstar's career.

The WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series reception has been positive, and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 was rated 31st and 28th (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively) in IGN's "Top 100 Games" list.[2] The series has been criticized for its unappealing season mode, poor audio quality, and small modifications to the features in each game, although it has been praised for presenting an engaging representation of the WWE franchise.[3] Due to the series' popularity and reception, it is among the best-selling video game franchises, with 47 million copies shipped as of 2009.[4]


Main article: List of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw video game titles

The series began under the WWF SmackDown! series name, with the release of WWF SmackDown! After releasing Know Your Role and Just Bring It under the same name, World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was ordered to change its name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).[5] As a result, all WWF products, including unreleased video games, were ordered to avoid using the WWF acronym. Due to the name change, the series was renamed to the WWE SmackDown! series.[6] After the release of Shut Your Mouth and Here Comes the Pain under the same name, THQ announced the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW, a new installment into the original WWE SmackDown! series.[7] Since the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW, the WWE SmackDown games have been released under the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw name. Games released after WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW were titled with the year after their year of release, such as WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006, which was released in November 2005. As of WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role, it is supposedly tradition to release a new SmackDown vs. Raw game in November of every year.[8] However, this "tradition" was broken at least twice when:

Then there was the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 which for the first time in game's history introduced ECW superstars from past and present all playable characters in the game. There have been eleven games released in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series—five under the SmackDown! name, and six under the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw name. The first game released was WWF SmackDown! and the most recent release was WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 which has currently been released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii and Nintendo DS consoles, as well as a mobile edition for iPod touch and iPhone.[9][10] WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 is currently in development by THQ. More information for the title will be announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2010.[11]



All games up to the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 retained the same game functions and mechanics as the original WWF SmackDown! release. For example, players pressed the grapple button and a directional button to perform an attack or throw. When WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 was released, new game mechanics were introduced, in which a new control scheme altered the grappling system of the game, called "Ultimate Control moves." Unlike the previous games, where the player pressed two buttons to perform a grapple or an attack, players were able to place their opponents into a grapple position and then choose to perform a move by moving the directional buttons of their system's controller. For example, the player could place their opponent in a suplex grappling position and then either perform a normal suplex or a inverted suplex slam.[12][13] Before the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, in order for players to force a superstar to submit, they had to tap buttons to move a marker towards the end of the meter labeled "Submit", and the only way for opponents to escape was for them to move the meter towards "Escape". Included with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 was a new submission system, in which the player had to move the analog sticks of their system's controller in different directions to force the opponent to submit, while the opponent could do the same to escape the submission hold.[14]

Every game in the SmackDown vs. Raw series used to have the amount of damage inflicted to the player's chosen superstar, measured with a meter on the HUD, where a design of a male figure presented the damage. As a move was performed against a superstar, the affected area of the body flashed—the more damage that is done to that specific body part, the more likely it is for the superstar to submit. Colors were used to represent the amount of damage done to a specific body area; yellow represented minimal damage, orange represented moderate damage, and red represented maximum damage.[15] This was however taken out of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010. Now the only way to tell how damaged the opponent it is to watch their physical body actions that indicate how hurt they are. The more damage inflicted to opponents, the more likely it is for them to lose the match. There are four ways to win a match in every game: by pinfall, submission, knockout, countout; alternatively, the match could end in a draw. With the introduction of an on-screen referee in WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, the ability to win by disqualification was also included.

Included with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw was the option of fighting "dirty" or "clean". When players select "dirty", the superstar is booed by the audience in the game; conversely, the "clean" superstar is cheered by the audience. With the "dirty" or "clean" option comes the inclusion of performing a special maneuver when playing. Players using a "dirty" superstar must direct their superstar into building up their "dirty" meter by performing "dirty" tactics, such as attacking the referee or taking the pad off the ring's turnbuckle. Unlike performing dirty tactics, "clean" superstars build their meters by performing "clean" tactics, such as an aerial technique or performing a taunt. When "dirty" superstars' meters build up, they are able to perform a signature low blow; likewise, "clean" superstars can perform the opponent's signature move.[16][17]

With the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 was the inclusion of a stamina system, which was a measure of the superstars' stamina. The stamina system was measured by a meter on the HUD; the meter decreased when performing a variety of moves. The meter increases, however, when the player does nothing with the superstar or holds down a selected button that increased the stamina, which varied depending on the player's system. When the superstar's stamina was low, the wrestler reacted by moving slower when performing moves, walking, and running. If the meter decreased completely, the superstar fell to the ground until the meter increased.[18][19] This system is disabled by default since WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008.

Season mode/ Road to WrestleManiaEdit

In the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series, the player was able to choose a "superstar" from a roster and compete in an arcade-like feature called season mode. In season mode, players direct their superstars through different career obstacles through a year of WWE programming to gain respect with other superstars and popularity among the fans. Like superstars from WWE, the superstars in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series season mode are involved in storylines that affect their career in some way. Beginning with the release of WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, the WWE Brand Extension has been included in season mode, and superstars are exclusive to one brand of WWE. A result of this feature is that the player's superstar may only wrestle superstars and compete for championships from the same brand on which he is a part of. In season mode, the player's superstar has the ability to earn and wrestle for a variety of championships based on actual WWE Championships. When superstars win championships, their respect and popularity increase, which also increases their involvement in main event matches. As the superstar's respect and popularity increases through the year of WWE programming, is becomes more likely for the player to achieve the main goal in season mode, which is to earn a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania, the WWE's flagship pay-per-view event and the final stage in season mode. After the final stage, season modes begins again with the same superstar chosen before, though the player has the option of switching superstars. The superstar is then a part of the WWE Draft Lottery and is assigned to a brand.[20][21]

Season mode was replaced with Road to WrestleMania in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, and has remained in the games ever since. In this mode, players can choose from superstars to play as in single-player or multi-player storylines. The difference is that each storyline is tailor made for the superstar the player chooses. This mode is a more authentic experience and less arcade-like that the former season mode was.

Exhibition modeEdit


Other than the season mode, every game features an exhibition mode, where different professional wrestling match types are available. Basic matches included in every game are "one-on-one" matches, where a player chooses one superstar to wrestle another bot operated or human operated superstar, or tag team matches, where a pair of superstars team together to face another team. These basic matches may also expand into six-man tag team matches or non-elimination type matches, which include four or more superstars.[22] Besides basic matches, hardcore based matches are also included, such as the Steel Cage match, which has been included in every game, the Ladder match, the Elimination Chamber, which was first included with the release of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain,[23] and ECW Extreme Rules matches, which is basic hardcore wrestling based on the ECW brand of WWE (which first appeared with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008).[24] Also included in every game is the Royal Rumble match, which is based on WWE's actual Royal Rumble match, in which a player chooses to compete as one superstar, and must wrestle against twenty-nine other superstars.[25] Two recently new matches are the Inferno match, introduced in the 2009 game and the Championship Scramble introduced in the 2010 one. This mode was renamed "Play" in SmackDown vs. Raw 2010.

Online gameplayEdit

Starting with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, online gameplay was made available for players who had a Sony Network Adapter and a Sony PlayStation 2. Online gameplay was kept at a minimum, as online players only had two game modes to compete in: one-on-one and a Bra and Panties match, in which a player competes as a WWE Diva and strips the opposition of her clothes, until she is left with only her undergarments.[26] When WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 was released, the online gameplay was changed, and players were able to compete in more match types, defend created championships, and compete with up to four players in each match.[27] With the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 on the Xbox 360 console, players were able to rip music from their computer's hard disk drive into the video game, where the music can be used in superstars' ring entrances.[28]


Every game in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series includes a roster of "superstars" based on superstars who compete for WWE. Every year, WWE acquires new superstars and releases old superstars. As a result, every time a WWE SmackDown vs. Raw game is released, the new superstars are added into the game and the old released superstars are removed from the game to reflect the changes in the actual WWE. From the release of WWF SmackDown! to the release of WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, superstars were not divided into brands. In 2002, the WWE split its entire roster into two brands of wrestling, called Raw and SmackDown!, which were named after WWE's television shows.[29] The WWE Brand Extension was first featured in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth.[30] In 2006, WWE launched a new brand, called ECW, which was named after the original Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion.[31] The new ECW brand was first featured in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008.[32] WWE holds an annual draft lottery, in which WWE superstars switch brands. The games in production when the draft occurs include the changes that take place in the draft. For example, when WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 was in production during June 2007, the 2007 WWE Draft took place, and the draft changes were included in the video game. Another brand of wrestling included in the series is the legends program, which was first included with the release of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain.[33] Popular WWE alumni or members of the WWE Hall of Fame have been included since then under the legends program. This was featured up until the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, as alumni and Hall of Fame members were not featured in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 due to production of WWE Legends of WrestleMania.[34] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 was also the first game to feature characters as downloadable content.[35]

As of the release of the most recent version (SmackDown vs. Raw 2010), the only superstars who have been selectable characters in each installment of the game are The Undertaker, Triple H, Kane, and Edge. Vince McMahon has also appeared in each game, although he was not always a playable member of the roster. The Big Show and Matt Hardy have appeared in ten of the eleven installments, as well as The Rock.

Create modeEdit


The series features a create-a-superstar mode, where players are able to create their own wrestler, including their move set and ring entrances. The feature was introduced when WWF SmackDown! was released in 2000. As new games were released, the mode was altered; the first change came with the release of WWE SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role, which featured a mode in which wrestler taunts could be created and customized. This was further modified in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, which enabled players to create the walking style of a wrestler.[36] With the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006, the game first featured the ability for players to make an entrance for the created superstar.[37] The feature was expanded with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, as players could place pyrotechnics and special effects in any part of the superstar's entrance.[38] As an addition to SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, a create a finisher mode was introduced where the player chooses up to 10 out of 500 animations combined to make their own personalised finisher. On WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010, it is possible to change the colors a Featured Superstar's attire, this new mode is known as "Superstar Threads". In this game there is also a new creation mode to create your own storyline called "WWE Story Designer".


Every game in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series has been developed by Yuke's and published by THQ.[39][40] The game engine was originally based on the one used by the Japanese professional wrestling video game series Toukon Retsuden, which was also developed by Yuke's.[41] Before the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, the only communication possible in season mode was through subtitles. Voice over, however, was included in season mode with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW. WWE superstars pre-record a script, which is then assigned to the voice of the corresponding superstar in the game. With the exception of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, pre-recorded commentary by WWE commentators has been included in each game since the release of WWE SmackDown! Just Bring It.[42]

Yuke's studios in Yokohama, Japan worked with WWE writers to create storylines for the season modes of each WWE SmackDown vs. Raw game.[43] When WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 was released for more than one console, Yuke's had to port their original game codes that make up each game mode and graphic designs to a new game engine that supported the new consoles. When new features are added to WWE SmackDown vs. Raw games, developers have to create new gaming codes for the features. Along with the features, the developers have to test the game for any errors.[44] An improvement done yearly by Yuke's with each release of a WWE SmackDown vs. Raw game is the polygon count for the 3D models of the superstars in each game.[45]


Game System Metacritic Game Rankings
WWF SmackDown! PlayStation 87% (33 Reviews)[46]
WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role PlayStation 90/100 (15 Reviews)[47] 85% (30 Reviews)[48]
WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It PlayStation 2 76/100 (24 Reviews)[49] 78% (48 Reviews)[50]
WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth PlayStation 2 82/100 (27 Reviews)[51] 84% (55 Reviews)[52]
WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain PlayStation 2 85/100 (27 Reviews)[53] 86% (55 Reviews)[54]
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW PlayStation 2 80/100 (46 Reviews)[55] 81% (58 Reviews)[56]
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 PlayStation 2 84/100 (45 Reviews)[57] 84% (56 Reviews)[58]
PlayStation Portable 81/100 (31 Reviews)[59] 82% (35 Reviews)[60]
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 PlayStation 2 80/100 (27 Reviews)[61] 78% (31 Reviews)[62]
PlayStation Portable 78/100 (13 Reviews)[63] 80% (10 Reviews)[64]
Xbox 360 81/100 (50 Reviews)[65] 80% (54 Reviews)[66]
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 PlayStation 2 71/100 (11 Reviews)[67] 71% (11 Reviews)[68]
PlayStation 3 74/100 (27 Reviews)[69] 72% (29 Reviews)[70]
PlayStation Portable 68/100 (10 Reviews)[71] 67% (9 Reviews)[72]
Xbox 360 71/100 (41 Reviews)[73] 70% (42 Reviews)[74]
Wii 59/100 (13 Reviews)[75] 61% (14 Reviews)[76]
Mobile 55% (1 Reviews)[77]
Nintendo DS 61/100 (12 Reviews)[78] 62% (11 Reviews)[79]
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009
Nintendo DS N/A 56% (16 reviews)[80]
PlayStation 2 78/100 (9 reviews)[81] 77% (8 reviews)[82]
PlayStation 3 78/100 (37 reviews)[83] 78% (26 reviews)[84]
PlayStation Portable N/A 73% (8 reviews)[85]
Wii 79/100 (18 reviews)[86] 78% (16 reviews)[87]
Xbox 360 80/100 (45 reviews)[88] 80% (41 reviews)[89]
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010
Nintendo DS N/A 73%[90]
PlayStation 2 N/A 80%[91]
PlayStation 3 83/100[92] 81.59%[93]
PlayStation Portable N/A 72%[94]
Wii 80/100[95] 82.67%[96]
Xbox 360 80/100[97] 82.59%[98]

The original WWF SmackDown! was one of the most popular games for the PlayStation console in 2000, selling over 975,000 units for the PlayStation,[99] and selling over one million copies in the United States.[100] The game lost appeal due to the failing of a well-established season mode that was deemed "disappointing." The season mode was criticized for the lack of in-depth storylines and the way superstars spoke in season mode, through "putrid lines" and "blocked text."[101] WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role received a better reception than the first WWE SmackDown game, as IGN stated that season mode "actually works properly", though the audio of the game was lacking as there was no commentary, and only generic music was included in the game.[102] WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, according to IGN, did little to improve the season mode of the game,[103] while GameSpot stated that the addition of audio commentary detracted from the playing experience.[104]

WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth and WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain received more positive reviews from both IGN and GameSpot, both of whom cited the expanded season mode as an improvement, although flaws were still visible in the mode. It improved from the previous three WWF SmackDown! games, as it was written by actual WWE storyline writers.[105][106] Both games also featured generic music, though the quality of it had improved. Shut Your Mouth featured little improvement to the commentary, which was then removed completely from Here Comes the Pain.[107][108] WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW received a more positive review than previous games, as GameShark stated that it was "a wonderful new edition to the SmackDown! family, serving up slick graphics, vastly enhanced gameplay, and lots of other bells and whistles that make the whole package shine."[109] WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 received a positive review and a 9.2/10 rating by IGN due to the additions of matches, the General Manager mode, and the ability to defend championships in exhibition mode.[110] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 received more negative reviews due to lack of an appealing season mode and little improvement of features, with the exceptions of the "Ultimate Control moves," "Struggle system," and the ECW Extreme Rules matches.[111][112] Template:-


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External linksEdit