Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. A superb blend of traditional and wrestling-specific fight mechanics, and there's so much variety here that it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say you could play this one from now until the next SmackDown without getting bored or running out of things to do.
  2. The vast number of improvements to gameplay and the addition of legendary characters, new modes like Elimination Chamber and Bra and Panties matches and a better season mode makes this game the king of the world.
  3. Overall, this is the most complete Smackdown game yet, with changes and improvements everywhere you care to mention and a fighting system that's such fun, knowledge of the WWE isn't even necessary to enjoy it.
  4. 94
    As far was wrestling games go, it gets no better than this. With the new additions to the roster and the modified gameplay, fans of the series will not be disappointed, so don’t believe HCTP is the just the same old song and dance, because simply put, this is where it’s at.
  5. Bar none, the best WWE wrestling game of the series and one that will leave fans more than satisfied.
  6. 91
    One of the best wrestling games we've ever played...With its ultra-improved gameplay mechanics, enhanced visual engine, smarter career mode, and established create-a-character feature, Yukes and THQ are definitely the track to success.
  7. What the game lacks in innovation, however, is more than made up for in sheer playability.
  8. A severe, albeit pleasant, shock to system. The game has grabbed me in a way that only “No Mercy” has ever topped.
  9. Easily the best Smackdown game of them all. And it right up there with best wrestling games for any of the three big game systems.
  10. 89
    Here Comes the Pain will give you hundreds of hours of gameplay in Career mode, and plenty more in Exhibition mode and with your friends.
  11. Probably the best wrestling game to come out since "No Mercy" on the N64. Yukes seems to have finally combined what was great in the AKI games on N64 and what was great in the Smackdown games.
  12. 100
    The best wrestling game on the market for any platform.
  13. An absolutely awesome wrestling experience...Thanks to features like improved graphics, more match types, and an overhauled grappling system, it's definitely the most realistic and rewarding WWE game on the market. [Dec 2003, p.56]
  14. If they fix the play balance and are able to add that last bit of audio polish (and adjust that Steph model...she was hot in the preview build), the next iteration could be perfection. [Dec 2003, p.101]
User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 94
  2. Negative: 6 out of 94
  1. Aug 28, 2010
    10
    Wow,lets get right to it and I have to tell you that it's August 2010 and I have yet to find a wrestling game or fighting game as good as thisWow,lets get right to it and I have to tell you that it's August 2010 and I have yet to find a wrestling game or fighting game as good as this game.I have wwe smackdown vs. raw 2010 and that game is amazing but this game's game play is mind blowing.Especially for how old this game is.The lack of commentary is the only reason I'm knocking off a 1/2 of a point,even though the commentary in all the wrestling games is terrible and the games weakest point,but to this day I play it and love it the best of all my wresling games,I give it a 9.5 Full Review »
  2. Apr 22, 2015
    10
    All hail Season Mode, the ONE thing that made wrestling games GOOD and amplified an endless amount of replay value.
    Furthermore, if you're a
    All hail Season Mode, the ONE thing that made wrestling games GOOD and amplified an endless amount of replay value.
    Furthermore, if you're a huge fan of the Ruthless Aggression like I am, especially in its early start of 2002-03 - then this is by far the most enjoyable wrestling game you will ever come by. Not counting out its predecessor Shut Your Mouth, but Here Comes the Pain improved massively on its gameplay.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 4, 2014
    9
    Probably the best wrestling game ever.Hell, it aged so damn well. Great roster, exciting gameplay. Really an epic and also a revolutionaryProbably the best wrestling game ever.Hell, it aged so damn well. Great roster, exciting gameplay. Really an epic and also a revolutionary game at that time. There hasn't been any wrestling game since "Here Comes The Pain" that was better and more fun than that. A difficult wrestling game to top. Full Review »