Hidden Gem: WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2006

Hidden Gem: WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2006

Xander Weilert

When you think of classic PS2 sports games the common list would be games such as Madden, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, NBA 2k, but what if I told you that the single greatest PS2 sports game of all time was the most forgotten. SmackDown vs Raw 2006 is not only an amazing game but out-performs most modern-day video games.


When I first started SmackDown vs Raw I heard loud abrasive rock playing. The instant I heard the sound of loud guitar and even louder drums I began to get pumped up. The music is absolutely amazing and terrible at the same time. You notice after a while some of the music just sticks in your mind. The music sets the tone of the game and lets you know what you’re getting into. 


SmackDown vs Raw has four modes: Exhibition, GM mode, Lockerroom, and the create tab. 

One of the key highlights of SmackDown vs Raw is its amazing ratings and roster. It has an absolutely fun-filled roster filled with nostalgic superstar wrestlers such as John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H. Not only is the roster fun, but it is also very accurate with ratings.


Gameplay in Exhibition Mode is fun and feels fresh. Every wrestler has custom animations, their character model looks great (for 2005), and they have amazing entrances. Not only can you do regular singles matches, but there is an option to do a variety of different types. My personal favorites were the TLC and tag team mode. 


Moving on next to the GM mode. This is my personal favorite mode. Fellow comet online writer, Jayden Gensweider and I played a lot of this mode, and let me tell you it was a blast. The experience of drafting a roster of wrestlers, scheduling matches, and trying to be the better promotion was amazing. To start off the mode you and a friend take control of SmackDown or Raw and draft superstars to your promotion, then after that process, you start scheduling matches trying to create rivalries between your superstars in order to gain fan approval. At the end of each event, both shows are judged and the promotion with the better star rating steals fans from the other. Eventually, after a while promotions have the ability to steal superstars from the other. I can guarantee you that feature has ruined a lot of friendships. The whole grindy process and investment you put into your promotion make the highs feel rewarding and the lows absolutely soul-crushing. This mode is a great experience if you are looking for a competitive experience to play with your friends.  


I honestly don’t really consider the locker room a gameplay experience, but the idea and concept behind it is too cool to not include. It’s a cool experience to look around the locker room and spot hidden easter eggs from the developers. This is also where your trophies you earn from playing certain types of exhibition matches go to.


The last mode is the create tab. The limitless amount of combinations and people you can make is a thrill. It is always fun to try and make the most horrendous wrestler known to man. The accessibility and ease of creative choices make it enjoyable and easy to create your very own personalized abomination. 


In conclusion SmackDown vs Raw is an absolute beauty of a game that shines the brightest from its GM mode. If I were to time travel I would probably time travel back to 2005 and be able to authentically experience how amazing this game is. I suggest at least trying to play this game once in your life.