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Pro Wrestling Video Games Offer Nostalgia: WWE 2K, Showdown: Legends of Wrestling, and WWE Legends of Wrestlemania

At the end of October 2015, 2K Sports will release the third installment in their WWE game series, WWE 2K16. The pro wrestling video game will include over 120 playable characters, the most offered in the history of pro wrestling video games. A highlight in the roster is the amount of “WWE Legends,” and former WWE talent featured as playable characters. WWE 2K16 will include over 42 wrestlers from the 1980s, the 1990s, and early 2000s. Once the game is released, periodically there will be many more retro professional wrestlers available for download. The only other pro wrestling video games that rival WWE 2K16's roster of classic wrestlers is Acclaim Entertainment's 2004 release of Showdown: Legends of Wrestling, which includes 73 playable characters and THQ's 2009 release of WWE Legends of Wrestlemania which features 39 classic wrestlers and four World Wrestling Federation managers.

Update: WWE 2K17 offers 60 "WWE Legends" when including downloadable content. WWE 2K18 includes 74 "WWE Legends" and Hall of Fame Superstars for a total of 86 different classic/retro wrestler incarnations. WWE 2K19 offers 191 playable characters with 54 "WWE Legends" included.

The below list shows the video games that feature the most classic/retro professional wrestlers.

Showdown: Legends of Wrestling
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox

Hulk Hogan, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Road Warrior Hawk, Road Warrior Animal, Bret "Hitman" Hart, The Iron Sheik, Mr. Fuji, Terry Funk, Don Muraco, Jerry "The King" Lawler, George "The Animal" Steele, "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Nikolai Volkoff, Ted DiBiase, Tito Santana, King Kong Bundy, Koko B. Ware, One Man Gang, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Harley Race, Dynamite Kid, Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, "Flyin'" Brian Pillman, Superstar Billy Graham, "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, Rick Martel, Ivan Koloff, Ivan Putski, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, The Sheik, Kerry Von Erich, Fritz Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich, Dory Funk, Jr., Sabu "Captain" Lou Albano, "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart, Abdullah the Butcher, André the Giant, Andy Kaufman, Bam Bam Bigelow, Baron von Raschke, Big John Studd, Bob Backlund, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, Bruno Sammartino, Brian Knobs, Jerry Sags, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Killer Kowalski, Mil Mascaras, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, Owen Hart, "Soulman" Rocky Johnson, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Sid Vicious, Eddie Guerrero, The Grand Wizard, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, Diamond Dallas Page, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Nikita Koloff, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Sting, and Ultimate Warrior.

WWE Legends of Wrestlemania
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS

Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Ultimate Warrior, Andre The Giant, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Bret "Hitman" Hart, Animal, Arn Anderson, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Bossman, Big John Studd, British Bulldog, Brutus Beefcake, Dusty Rhodes, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Hawk, Honky Tonk Man, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Iron Sheik, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Junkyard Dog, Kamala, King Kong Bundy, Koko B. Ware, Michael P.S. Hayes, Mr. Perfect, Nikolai Volkoff, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Sgt. Slaughter, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, The Rock, Undertaker, Yokozuna, and non-playable managers Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji, and Paul Bearer.

WWE 2K16
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Ultimate Warrior, Lex Lugar, Kevin Nash, Bret "Hit Man" Hart, The British Bulldog, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Triple H, Sting, Bam Bam Bigelow, Diamond Dallas Page, Andre the Giant, Batista, Chris Jericho, JBL, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, General Adnan, The Rock, The Undertaker, Billy Gunn, Cactus Jack, D-Lo Brown, Dude Love, Farooq, Haku, The Honky Tonk Man, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Kama, Ken Shamrock, Mankind, Vince McMahon, The Giant, Rikishi, Shane McMahon, Vader, and X-Pac.

WWE 2K17
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Ultimate Warrior, Bret "Hit Man" Hart, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Andre the Giant, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big Boss Man, Billy Gunn, Booker T,  Brian Pillman, The British Bulldog, Butch, Cactus Jack, Christian, Daniel Bryan, Diamond Dallas Page, Diesel, Dude Love, Dusty Rhodes, Earthquake, Edge, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, JBL, Jim Neidhart, Larry Zbyszko,  Luke, Mankind, Mr. Perfect, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Razor Ramon, Rick Rude, Ricky Steamboat, Rikishi, Road Dogg Jesse James, Shawn Michaels, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Tatsumi Fujinami, Typhoon, Vader, Albert, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, Buddy Roberts, Eddie Guerrero, The Godfather, Goldberg, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Jimmy Garvin, Kerry Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich, Michael Hayes, Papa Shango, Sycho Sid, Tatanka, Alundra Blayze, Lita, Trish Stratus, Ivory, and Jacqueline.

WWE 2K18
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Bret "Hit Man" Hart (1997), Bret Hart (1998), Kurt Angle (2001), Kurt Angle (2006), Goldberg, Ultimate Warrior,  Ric Flair (1988), Ric Flair (1991), "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Dusty Rhodes, Big Show (2000), Shawn Michaels (1997), Shawn Michaels (1998), “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (1997), Andre the Giant, Eddie Guerrero, Sting (1988), Sting (1991), Sting (1998), Sting (1999), Ricky Steamboat (1991), Ricky Steamboat (1994), Triple H (1998), Triple H (2001), The Undertaker (1991), Undertaker (2000), Kevin Nash, Diesel, Sycho Sid, Mick Foley, Cactus Jack (1992), Cactus Jack (1998), Mankind, Rob Van Dam (2006), Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Mr. Perfect, Stunning Steve Austin, Razor Ramon, Vader, British Bulldog, Bam Bam Bigelow, Lex Luger, Brutus Beefcake, Earthquake, Typhoon, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Rick Martel, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Tatanka, Big Boss Man (1991), Big Boss Man (1999), The Rock (2001), John Cena (2010), Batista (2010), John Cena (2006), Daniel Bryan, Edge, Christian, Chris Jericho (2000), Kane (1998), Diamond Dallas Page (1992), DDP (1998), Booker T, Tatsumi Fujinami, Kerry Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich, Larry Zbyszko, Rikishi, The Godfather, Papa Shango, Tyson Kidd, Mr. McMahon, Bushwhacker Butch, Bushwhacker Luke, Goldust, JBL, Buddy Roberts, Michael Hayes, Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Alundra Blayze, Trish Stratus, Lita, Ivory, Miss Jacqueline, and Beth Phoenix.

WWE 2K19*
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows


Ric Flair, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, The Undertaker (2002), Bret "Hitman" Hart, Alundra Blayze, Andre The Giant, Bam Bam Bigelow, Batista, Beth Phoenix, Big Boss Man, Booker T, British Bulldog, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, Christian, Diamond, Dallas Page, Diesel, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Goldberg, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Ivory, Jacqueline, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Lex Luger, Lita, Mr. McMahon, Mr. Perfect, Papa Shango, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Razor Ramon, Rey Mysterio , "The Model" Rick Martel, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Ricky Morton, Rikishi, Robert Gibson, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Stephanie McMahon, Sting, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Sycho Sid, Tatanka, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, The Godfather, The Rock, Trish Stratus, Ultimate Warrior, and Vader.