There was once a time where I thought WWF Attitude for the PS1 was the greatest thing ever. In fact, it got me into wrestling as a whole. I played it a few years and I realized what a shit game it actually was. The 'Stable match' was still awesome though.
I can remember for some reason being disappointed with WWF Attitude. I think it must have been because I had one of the WCW games on the 64. Definitely enjoyed that more.
The original WWF Smackdown is one of my favourite games ever. Can remember reading all the Computer Games magazines prior to release, looking for new screenshots and roster updates and couldn't wait until it was released. Managed to get an import copy before release and was blown away by it, from the awesome intro, to the great roster, to a huge selection of matches, and backstage brawls.
Never understood why Ken Shamrock was so good in the game, though, he was always ranked #3 or 4 in my career mode, and it bothered me that he was above Undertaker and Kane (these things matter when you're 13!).
Was a similar story with WWF Smackdown 2, and i'm sure it had a new stipulation match I was really excited about and enjoyed (think it was TLC and an upgraded HIAC match?)
From that point on, the appeal of the Smackdown series started to decline for me (despite enjoying the next few releases), but the first two blew me away, having spent years playing crap like WWF Wrestlemania, WWF Warzone, WWF Attitude and ECW Hardcore Revolution.
Regret not playing No Mercy or the WCW games on the N64, I was hooked on the PS1 during that time and none of my friends had an N64, so missed out on playing them.
Same with me. I can remember the adverts in magazines for it, and I can remember that I think was Smackdown 2 had a SPECIAL REFEREE mode. A special Referee mode? I was amazed haha.
I know it's not anywhere near realistic but I had some of the most fun super powerbombing people over the top rope threw a table or off the top of a cell. I miss that type of thing. I mean Literal running powerbomb or over the top belly to belly-ing someone over the edge of the cell or through a table and not a little cut scene with one or 2 moves.
Was the first Smackdown out before or after ECW Hardcore Revolution? I wonder, because ECW HR was just the first two WWF games with ECW wrestlers, which in turn was so far behind Smackdown.
Definitely check out an emulator and play No Mercy now. There are people online who have modified the game and updated it. The one I play is Forever Indy which has Punk, Bryan, Daniels, AJ, Homicide etc, the arenas you would expect them to have performed on in the indies are there too, and the moves have been updated too. It's amazing, and the gameplay is still there, the longevity in the multiplayer of that game is staggering.
I can remember playing Warzone and they used to give you a table on the bottom right of the screen every few matches, and you could suplex people through them. That was INSANE then.
Somebody mentioning Attitude getting them into wrestling, WCW/NWO Revenge got me into WCW. When I first played the game I knew of a few; Hogan, Macho Man, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper. I had suspicions Nash and Hall were Diesel and Razor Ramon, had no idea who any of the luchadors were nor, I would say, 80%+ of the entire roster of that game. Imagine what my mind was opened up to. I didn't know Nash and Hall were a tag team, hadn't heard of the NWO nor Wolfpak. I had heard of Sting but didn't know who the guy who looked like The Crow was. Thought it was Chris Benoit, said like Ben-Oy-t with a T on the end for years. I never used to watch WCW, we didn't have Sky so I would catch Raw once every few weeks in my sisters/neighbors and buy video tapes of about a year before. I started getting magazines about that time, but not until after that game came out. To show how little I knew of WCW at the time, I thought Scott Norton was one of the bigger stars there because at first he was hard to beat.
Haha, great memories. Great, great, great memories.