I’ve been a fan of pro wrestling video games since I can remember. The arcades yielded classics such as Champion Wrestler, WWF Superstars, WWF Wrestlefest, Saturday Night Slam Masters, Wrestlemania The Arcade Game, and The Main Event. Who can forget the gems on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System that included Pro Wrestling, Tag Team Wrestling, Tecmo World Wrestling, WWF Royal Rumble, and WWF Raw? From the 1980s through today, wrestling games have always been an important part of my gaming collection and will continue to be.
Today, I still regularly play WWE 2K19 and the Nintendo 64 AKI wrestling game collection (WCW/nWo World Tour, WCW/nWo Revenge, WWF Wrestlemania 2000, WWF No Mercy, Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 & Virtual Pro Wrestling 2). But the wrestling game that stands heads and shoulders above any that I’ve ever played is Fire Pro Wrestling World. Created by Spike Chunsoft, Fire Pro Wrestling World set out to be the greatest and most comprehensive wrestling game ever created. I believe the company accomplished its mission.
My history with the Fire Pro Wrestling series goes back to the mid-1990s with Fire Pro Wrestling 6Men Scramble on the SEGA Saturn. I happened to see a picture of the game in an issue of GameFan magazine and wondered how Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and Ric Flair could all be in a wrestling game together when they were in different promotions. As I found out more about the game, I was introduced to the world of Japanese imports for the first time. I bought a SEGA Saturn just for 6Men Scramble, which became my very first imported game. Because I was not familiar with Japanese wrestling at the time, many of the characters were unfamiliar to me. I did know of grapplers such as Great Muta, Kensuke Sasaki, Stan Hansen, Vader, Bruiser Brody, and Antonio Inoki, but many of the wrestlers on the game’s roster were ones that I would learn over time. Fire Pro Wrestling is the reason I ended up learning about promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Pancrase, Michinoku Pro, FMW, etc. The unfamiliar faces soon became recognizable as I found Fire Pro’s depiction of them was not far off from real life.
Since 6Men Scramble, I have purchased every main Fire Pro Wrestling game not on a handheld device. This included Fire Pro Wrestling G (Playstation), Fire Pro Wrestling D (SEGA Dreamcast), Fire Pro Wrestling Z (Playstation 2), Fire Pro Wrestling Returns (PS2), and Fire Pro Wrestling World (PC). The series’ charm is in its commitment to a 2.5D presentation, its simulation of pro wrestling, the wealth of customization options, and tremendous depth. No other wrestling game or series captures the art of pro wrestling the way Fire Pro does. It’s a wrestling game for a true wrestling fan.
Fire Pro Wrestling World is the ultimate virtual sandbox for a wrestling fan. You are able to create practically any wrestler you can think of with a Parts Craft that allows you to create whatever textures you need to make your vision a reality. Even if you didn’t use Parts Craft, the game has more hundreds of real wrestler faces you can work off of to build your wrestler along with clothing styles and patterns to make most attires. From there, you can use Move Craft to create your own moves, meaning that a created wrestler can truly have whatever moveset you desire. There are ways to create championship belts, entrances, entrance attire, implement custom music, etc. You can spend hours just in the creation modes.
Want to have the feeling of running a promotion? Fire Pro Wrestling World has a Promoter Mode. Although the game doesn’t have the varied match types of the WWE 2K series, it has a good selection that can keep you busy. There are singles, tag team, 6-man, and 8-man matches. Rules can be altered to create different match types such as an 8-man match with Survivor Series style eliminations, no DQ, and falls count anywhere. Specialty matches include cage matches, barbed wire matches, fluorescent light tube matches, explosion matches, and MMA matches. You can hold a tournament or do a G1. This is a game that gives you the keys and lets you drive the car right off the lot. Add in Steam Workshop support and mod support by Carlzilla and you have countless ways to enjoy Fire Pro.
I have to give a shout out to all of the content creators for Fire Pro Wrestling World. As a result of their work, I have downloaded more than 6,000 wrestlers, hundreds of extra moves, as well as part textures and logos. Because of all of their hard work, I’ve been able to make Fire Pro Wrestling World my definitive wrestling game. Also, I want to give a special mention to Carlzilla and everyone who has contributed to the Fire Pro modding community because all of you have found ways to enhance what was already a stellar product. Thanks also to Spike Chunsoft for bringing Fire Pro to the PC and the PS4 for the very first time.
The main reason for the timing of this post is that Spike Chunsoft is holding a sale on Steam that will continue through Monday, November 16. Fire Pro Wrestling World is on sale for just $5.99 and all of the DLC has been marked down as well. This is a great time to get the full Fire Pro Wrestling World experience with all of its content for the same price you would pay for the ultimate edition of a new game. The regular price of the full version of Fire Pro Wrestling World with all of the DLC is typically almost $200. I’ve spent around $150 over two years on all of Fire Pro Wrestling World’s content myself (the most I’ve ever spent on a video game), but I have no regrets because I enjoy the series and was happy to support its debut on PC.
Fire Pro Wrestling World is a good that I will be playing for years to come. Spike Chunsoft did an outstanding job of putting the pieces in place that will allow the gamers to keep the game up to date and relevant, no matter what year it is. This is the best wrestling game that I have ever played and one of my all-time favorite video games.
P.S. – Make sure to check out the Fire Pro Wrestling Reddit and Critical Club for more information on the game, including Carlzilla’s excellent Mod Suite. These resources will add a great deal to your Fire Pro Wrestling World experience.