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WCW vs. the World
Developer(s)The Man Breeze
SeriesVirtual Pro Wrestling
  • JP: September 13, 1996
  • NA: March 28, 1997[1]
  • EU: December 1997
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

WCW vs. the World is a professional wrestling video game for the PlayStation video game console. It was the first game developed by The Man Breeze to be released outside Japan, and is an American localization of their Japanese game Virtual Pro Wrestling (バーチャル・プロレスリング, Bācharu Puro Resuringu), the first game in the Virtual Pro Wrestling series. WCW vs. the World marks the first World Championship Wrestling video game released during its rise amidst the Monday Night Wars.


WCW vs. the World features various modes including League Challenge, Best of Seven, Exhibition, Elimination, Tournament, League, and Double Title. Such modes are predominantly characteristic of Japanese pro wrestling as opposed to American customs.

The game includes many other establishing features that would carry on and improve in future AKI wrestling games. A "spirit meter" replaces the traditional but more linear energy bar to better suit the momentum of a wrestling match. However, it also features modes surrounding the winning, defense, and even creation of championship belts which would be entirely absent from the game's immediate successor, WCW vs. nWo: World Tour. The latter, however, would achieve far greater popularity thanks to its introduction of the intuitive "grappling system" not yet developed in WCW vs. the World.


The game features 60 wrestlers. In addition to its WCW/nWo roster, in keeping with the game's title, WCW vs. the World also has several "fictional" foreign wrestlers. These performers are actually renamed counterparts of real-life Japanese wrestlers that could not be properly represented in the game's American version due to licensing restrictions.[2] This practice of altering Japanese performers for American games would carry on through two more AKI games for the Nintendo 64.

World Championship Wrestling

"Fictional" wrestlers


The game garnered above-average reviews.[3] In Japan, however, Famitsu gave it a score of 25 out of 40.[6]

The majority of praise was aimed at its broad selection of gaming modes[8][9][11][12] and wrestlers.[5][8][9][11][12] Most critics commented on the cleanness of the polygon graphics,[5][8][9][12] though some remarked that the textures are bland and minimal.[9][11] Kraig Kujawa and Dean Hager of Electronic Gaming Monthly said WCW Vs. the World was "probably" the best 32-bit wrestling game to date, but further qualified that statement by noting that there weren't many such games out.[5] Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot noted, "There are some problems with the play, and the sound is a bit lackluster, but the sheer number of characters and options make up for the deficiencies."[8] A Next Generation reviewer instead contended that they "[don't] really amount compared to the game's numerous shortcomings." He found particular fault with the way the game treated wrestling as a serious sport, as compared to how WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game tapped into the drama and fantasy appeal of wrestling.[11] Johnny Ballgame of GamePro instead judged the use of real wrestling holds and the authentic recreation of the looks and personalities of real wrestlers to be the best points of the game, and gave it a strong recommendation.[12][a] IGN said, "The control is a little off [...] but the sheer amount of options should keep most wrestling fans happy."[9]

In a 2008 retrospective on the history of wrestling video games, IGN's Rus McLaughlin lamented, "WCW vs. the World took a strong step towards 3D gaming on the PlayStation without putting a solid game behind it."[13]

See also


  1. ^ GamePro gave the game two 4/5 scores for graphics and sound, 5/5 for control, and 4.5/5 for overall fun factor.


  1. ^ "EB Industry News - WCW Wrestling". 1997-07-14. Archived from the original on 1997-07-14. Retrieved 2023-10-04.
  2. ^ Johnny Ballgame (November 1997). "Sneak Previews: WCW vs. NWO: World Tour". GamePro. No. 110. IDG. p. 88. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "WCW vs The World for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 1, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  4. ^ Kanarick, Mark. "WCW vs. The World - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Kujawa, Kraig; Hager, Dean (April 1997). "WCW Vs. the World". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 93. Ziff Davis. p. 114.
  6. ^ a b "バーチャル・プロレスリング [PS]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Storm, Jon; Reiner, Andrew; Anderson, Paul (May 1997). "WCW Vs. The World". Game Informer. No. 49. FuncoLand. Archived from the original on October 21, 1997. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e Gerstmann, Jeff (February 25, 1997). "WCW vs. The World Review [date mislabeled as "May 2, 2000"]". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 15, 2005. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e f IGN staff (October 7, 1997). "WCW vs. The World". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  10. ^ Chris (February 1998). "WCW VS The World [sic]". Joypad (in French). No. 72. p. 123. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e "WCW vs. the World". Next Generation. No. 30. Imagine Media. June 1997. p. 120. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d Johnny Ballgame (May 1997). "WCW vs. The World". GamePro. No. 104. IDG. p. 82. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  13. ^ McLaughlin, Rus (November 12, 2008). "IGN Presents the History of Wrestling Games". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved July 23, 2021.