If WWE 2K18's focus on becoming a simulation of the promotion's in-ring action and overall product feels a little boring, don't worry: WWE video games haven't always been so strait-laced.
Before 2K took over and plunged their efforts into duplicating WWE's more child-friendly approach, the promotion's gaming output was absolutely insane. We're not talking arcade titles like In Your House or WrestleMania: The Arcade Game though.
Mimicking Mortal Kombat is tame by comparison to characters without arms, legs or even a body becoming playable (no, Rayman didn't suddenly pull on some tights), Divas acquiring magical powers that'd make The Undertaker and Kane blush, or low-level stars taking the place of headliners on the "Road To WrestleMania" in an N64 classic.
Oh, there are also gender switches, a healthy dose of zombification and a bizarre piece of gaming history that foreshadowed the WWE Network...
Here Comes The Pain is often lauded as the best WWE video game ever. The gameplay was spot on, fusing arcade action with easy-to-master controls, and the included Career Mode was immersive to say the least. Oh, 2K, if only you could return the WWE series back to these glory days and ensure Earl Hebner gets to celebrate like Stone Cold again.
Yes, it was possible for the referee to win matches in THQ's 2003 classic and scale each turnbuckle like he was Steve Austin in his prime. It's not even that hard to do; attack the ref with a Powerbomb, for example, and he'll reverse it into a sweet-looking DDT. Then, the bell will sound and another official will bizarrely raise the referee's hand as though he's the victor.
That's not all though, because the ref will then either stomp or verbally chastise the player's character and perform his own victory celebration. OK then.