WCW Mayhem | Retro Video Game Review

Welcome to our article on WCW Mayhem, a classic wrestling game in the Sony Retro Video Games collection. Released in 1999, WCW Mayhem was developed by Electronic Arts and created for PlayStation consoles. The game held high expectations as one of EA’s early wrestling titles, and it quickly found success among wrestling and video game enthusiasts. Nearly twenty years on, we’re taking a closer look at WCW Mayhem to assess its gameplay, graphics, storyline, sound design, replayability, and level of difficulty. With our in-depth analysis, we will provide an expert evaluation of the game and assign it a final score. Through this article, we hope to provide you with a comprehensive overview of WCW Mayhem, its relevance in the video game industry, and the history of Sony Retro Video Games. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and explore the classic wrestling game that captured the hearts of so many.


The gameplay is the heart of any video game, and WCW Mayhem does not disappoint. The game features fast-paced action, with plenty of signature wrestling moves, some of which are unique to certain characters. With a roster of over 50 wrestlers, each with their unique movesets and abilities, players will never run out of fresh combat tactics to explore.

The gameplay mechanics are intuitive and easy to learn. Players can perform moves like punches, kicks, throws, and grapples with simple button inputs. Additionally, the game features environmental and contextual interactions, adding to the immersive gameplay experience.

The performance of the gameplay is commendable. The controls are responsive and smooth, resulting in seamless combat animations. The game’s pacing is balanced, with matches lasting an average of 10 to 15 minutes, providing an adequate challenge to players.

Compared to other wrestling games of the era, such as WWF Attitude and WCW/nWo Revenge, WCW Mayhem stands out due to its fluid gameplay mechanics and extensive roster. While both games have their unique gameplay features, WCW Mayhem provides a better-balanced experience with more options for players to enjoy.

In summary, WCW Mayhem’s gameplay is engaging and easy to pick up, with plenty of depth for players to explore. The game’s mechanics and performance make it an excellent addition to any retro wrestling game fan’s collection.


WCW Mayhem’s graphics quality and design were impressive for its time. During the late ’90s, wrestling games were known for their subpar graphics, but Mayhem broke the mold with its improved graphics engine.

The visual elements in Mayhem were certainly noteworthy. The character models were well-detailed, and the wrestling moves looked real. The audience in the game was animated, which gave it a more authentic feeling, and the pyrotechnics in the game made it look like a real wrestling ring. All in all, the graphical design of Mayhem was definitely one of its strengths.

Compared with other wrestling games of the era, Mayhem outshone many of them in terms of graphics. The WCW brand had a lot of influence on the game’s look and feel, as it utilized the television graphics from the actual show. In contrast, the WWF (now WWE) titles from the same era were known for being drab and lifeless. Mayhem stood out among all of them as a visually distinct and detailed game.

WCW Mayhem Story Review

WCW Mayhem, a wrestling game launched by Electronic Arts in 1999 for the Sony PlayStation console, had an interesting story that aimed to add a unique flavor to the game. The game’s storyline had players take on the role of one of the 50 WCW wrestlers in their rise to championship glory.

The game’s plot had its merits, with players trying to get the attention of a rival wrestling promotion and secure a career-defining match against their champion wrestler. WCW Mayhem used a medium of video montages to retell a few iconic WCW rivalries and lead-ins.

Additionally, the game’s developers tried to emulate the feel of wrestling promotions, including putting together segments before and after matches, such as interviews and video clips, to immerse players in the world of WCW wrestling.

The story’s coherence, however, could have been better. Although the game’s overall plot made sense, the singular storylines surrounding individual wrestlers were a bit weak. The player’s character seemed to be the only wrestler whose path had any weight behind it.

In terms of comparison to other wrestling games of the era, WCW Mayhem fell short of the gold standard of the time, WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role, whose story and plot were more compelling and thorough. Nevertheless, WCW Mayhem scored points for its use of documentary style video montages, an excellent technique to draw in the player and immerse them into the world of WCW wrestling.

In conclusion, while the story of WCW Mayhem was interesting, it fell short concerning coherence and justification for the storylines of side-characters. Moreover, to be measured up against the competition, WCW Mayhem lacked a certain depth and thoroughness to its plot.

Sound Design

When it comes to video games, sound design is a critical element that can make or break the overall experience. In WCW Mayhem, the sound design is an integral part of the game’s success. The sound effects are authentic, immersive, and match perfectly with the gameplay mechanics. Additionally, the soundtrack perfectly fits the game’s theme and style, adding a layer of excitement to the player’s experience.

The voice acting in WCW Mayhem is also well-executed, with each wrestler having their unique voice lines. The voice actors have done an excellent job of portraying their respective characters, which adds to the game’s overall charm. The sound design in WCW Mayhem is top-notch, contributing significantly to the game’s immersion and adding to its replayability.

When compared to other wrestling games of the era, such as WWF Attitude and WCW/nWo Revenge, WCW Mayhem’s sound design outperforms its competitors. Its sound effects, soundtrack, and voice acting are superior in terms of quality and contribute significantly to the game’s success.

Overall, the sound design in WCW Mayhem is an essential aspect of the game’s success. It creates a realistic and immersive experience that enhances the gameplay mechanics and storyline. The sound design contributes to the game’s overall appeal and adds to its replay value, making it a classic retro game worth revisiting.

Replayability and Difficulty

WCW Mayhem provided players with various features that encourage multiple playthroughs. The game offers a broad selection of characters that can be unlocked by completing certain objectives in-game, adding to the replay value. The create-a-wrestler mode allows players to create their own wrestlers and even craft custom entrance music, which can provide hours of fun.

One aspect that WCW Mayhem can improve upon is its level of difficulty. The game’s default difficulty level is accessible to casual players, but advanced players may find it too easy. However, the game had an “Expert” difficulty mode, which increases the challenge and makes the game more engaging. While WCW Mayhem cannot compare to the difficulty level of other wrestling games of the era, such as No Mercy on the Nintendo 64, the Expert mode provides more experienced players with a more satisfying challenge.

Overall, WCW Mayhem’s replayability can provide players with a good amount of value for their money, as there are many different modes and unlockables to discover. The game’s difficulty may not be perfect, but the expert mode provides a welcome challenge that can increase the game’s longevity and make for a more rewarding experience.

Conclusion and Score

In conclusion, WCW Mayhem is a game that delivers on many fronts. The gameplay elements are strong and offer fun and strategic multiplayer matches. The graphics, while not as polished as some newer games, still hold up and offer a retro charm that many will appreciate. The storyline is simple but effective, and the sound design, while not groundbreaking, serves its purpose well.

Overall, WCW Mayhem earns an impressive score of 8 out of 10. The game’s strengths in gameplay, graphics, and replayability make it an excellent addition to any retro gaming collection. Fans of wrestling games will enjoy the detailed movesets and mechanics, while others can appreciate the game’s classic ’90s appeal.

If you’re interested in experiencing the fun and excitement of WCW Mayhem for yourself, we highly recommend picking up a copy and giving it a try. With its strong multiplayer options and charming retro visuals, it’s a game that is sure to entertain you for hours.

Thank you for reading our review of WCW Mayhem. Make sure to check out our other reviews and news for the latest in video game information and more.


Q: What is WCW Mayhem?

A: WCW Mayhem is a video game released in 1999 for the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 consoles. It is a wrestling game featuring the wrestlers and events of the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling (WCW) organization.

Q: How does WCW Mayhem compare to other wrestling games of the time?

A: WCW Mayhem was notable for introducing a unique “Junkyard Invitational” match type and for its extensive story mode. However, it received mixed reviews compared to other popular wrestling games of the era such as WWF No Mercy and WCW/nWo Revenge.

Q: What is the storyline of WCW Mayhem?

A: The storyline of WCW Mayhem follows a fictional tournament to determine the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion. The plot features cameo appearances from non-wrestling celebrities and wrestlers from rival organization, the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

Q: What is the replay value of WCW Mayhem?

A: While the initial story mode playthrough may be enjoyable, there is a limited amount of content in the game which can decrease replay value. However, multiplayer modes can offer additional replayability for those looking to play with friends.

Q: What is the sound design like in WCW Mayhem?

A: The sound design in WCW Mayhem features sound effects and voice acting appropriate for a wrestling game. The soundtrack includes licensed music from popular rock bands of the time. It was generally well-received among critics and fans.

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