WWE Legends of WrestleMania review

  • WrestleMania Tour mode
  • Video packages
  • Attention to detail
  • Chain grapples
  • Repetitive matches
  • Legend Killer can be a slog

And Legend Killer mode is a little different. Your objective is to take a created superstar through multiple tiers of grapplers. Each tier can be seen as a gauntlet fight – battle and defeat 10 wrestlers in a row. Lose and you have to start all over. If that sounds incredibly tedious, here’s the catch: you earn experience points depending on what types of moves you pull off in the match. Complete a match with variety and you earn more points.

Once you lose, you can build up the stats of your created wrestler and start over again all hulked up. Think of Dead Rising’s leveling system. Once you died, you were able to start over with a much stronger character. Same thing here. It’s actually a pretty cool way to force us to level up our characters and forces you to strategize. Do you go for the quick win with marginal health? Or do you extend the match longer to pull off additional moves and risk losing the whole damn thing?

Above: It feels pretty good to change history

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Legends’ excellent presentation. Everything has this 80s/90s nostalgia feel, from on-screen fonts to the recreated arenas from past WrestleManias. Probably the coolest thing is the expertly crafted video packages that set up each feud before every match in the Tour mode. And of course, they’re saved once you unlock them. Another cool touch is the ability to import all of the wrestlers from SmackDown 2009 into Legends, retaining their moves and entrances, yet customized for the arcade-y controls. Have to be honest here: picking Edge versus Bam Bam Bigelow was all kinds of strange and awesome.  

Showdown: Legends of Wrestling? Yup! Don’t be fooled by the extremely similar title, because these are separate franchises. While Activision’s terrible title included wrestlers you won’t see here like Macho Man and Andy Kaufman, WrestleMania isn’t a broken game. That older title had all sorts of terrible collision detection and is completely forgettable.

SmackDown 09? No way. In terms of sheer depth, strategy and robust feature design, SmackDown 09 is the best 3D wrestling game in years. Legends’ control scheme falters in comparison.

TNA Impact? Everything’s better than TNA Impact.

So here we are. Truth be told, we were put off by Legends’ quick-time event-heavy controls. Yet at the same time, we felt driven to replay matches and earn unlockables. Yes, we had fun but we griped a bunch too. Maybe the next Legends game can return to the right-analog stick action we’re so used to. Or maybe it’s we who are blinded by nostalgia.

Mar 24, 2009

More Info

Release date: Mar 24 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3 (US)
Mar 20 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Sports
Published by: THQ
Developed by: THQ
Franchise: WWE
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood, Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending


  • travis2310 - October 14, 2009 7 p.m.

    Have to agree with the article, I wouldnt say it is a great game however its a decent game that can be fun to play. It's fun to play the wrestlemania tour mode, one mode im not a huge fan of is the legend killer mode to me it seems repetative and takes a lot of time which can lead to boredom quickly other then that it's really cool to pick up a decent wrestling game that gives us all a chance to play some of the greats.
  • GordanMFreeman - April 12, 2009 2:33 a.m.

    i did not like this game much at all, espically running, really WTF!!!
  • Magic_OF_Mayhem - March 28, 2009 12:04 a.m.

    Acclaim made it, not Activision. Other than that, I think that review summed up what I thought of the game. Good job Shane.
  • thochaos - March 26, 2009 7:20 a.m.

    Can you also use the legends in SDvsR09?
  • understudybass - March 24, 2009 6:51 p.m.

    i'm pretty sure that's no one's tag line. very weak shane
  • Coldblooded - March 25, 2009 2:37 p.m.

    watch the hulk video at the 1:08 mark and notice how even He has to look back at them cheep fireworks,

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