With the recent announcement of ultimate Cro-Magnon bust-em-up, WWE SmackDown! vs RAW 2009 for every system under the sun, we rounded up images from all installments to see if history’s been kind to the aging grappler. Head here to chart the rise and fall of the core gameplay, even if it has changed little (why mess with sweaty success?) The graphics, however, have gone from what we’d consider Picasso baby-chum on the PS1 to near lifelike Real Doll status on the next-gen systems. Behold the visual history of the celebrated SmackDown! series.
WWF SmackDown! - 2000
It’s hard to imagine what we accepted as visually breathtaking a mere eight years ago on the original PlayStation. Still, THQ and Yuke’s first SmackDown contrasted heavily from AKI’s WWF No Mercy, released the same year on N64. Wrestlers rendered in SmackDown appeared more like their real-life counterparts and less blocky like Mercy’s rotund superstars. It would be a while before faces realistically resembled the wrestlers. Can you tell which McMahon is which in the screens below?