Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. 100
    WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is the best wrestling game to come out in years and easily the best wrestling game available on console at the moment.
  2. 91
    To all the SmackDown haters out there: If you're going to jump back in the ring, this is the year to do it. Both of these exciting new additions, along with the aforementioned improvements -- and the upcoming downloadable content -- make SVR09 this year's grapple-game champ.
  3. Whether it was the desire to stay one step ahead of TNA Impact or just the realization that things were getting stale, THQ and Yuke's really stepped up this year and delivered a terrific wrestling game in WWE: Smackdown vs. Raw '09. The new Road to Wrestlemania mode finally builds a viable vehicle to tell the types of stories that one only finds in professional wrestling, with a smart eye toward rivalries and character dispositions rather than the slapped-together garbage that seems to plague every other game dealing with similar subject matter.
  4. WWE '09 provides enough content and depth to last the armchair wrestler for years and is one of the most accessible yet deepest sports games I've ever played. [Holiday 2008, p.64]
  5. A clear improvement over "SvR 2008" but a lot of it's still very familiar. [Dec 2008, p.54]
  6. As a complete package, SVR 09 never fails to impress.
  7. SvR’s great right stick grapple system hasn’t changed much in the last few years, so it’s hard to say the series has evolved much on the mat. I’d still love to see a tutorial system to help newcomers ease into play.
  8. At the end of the day, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is still the definitive wrestling game available with THQ and developers Yukes making this franchise a fine art.
  9. A perfect title for wrestling fans. It has tons of different match types, plenty of customization options, and provides some new and interesting ways to interact with other fans. This is definitely the most complete-feeling WWE title to come down in a long time, and it is great that the series has wrestled itself back into the spotlight.
  10. I was really hoping that this would be a significant improvement over last year. Unfortunately, outside of the loading time and the Road to Wrestlemania, there's not much to recommend this game.
  11. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is a major improvement over last year's terribly flawed game.
  12. If you have beer and if you have friends, this game is good fun for the weekend. For those who are flying solo, wrestling might get boring pretty fast. The computer isn't that tough for an opponent and the controls are a bit sloppy. [Mar 2009]
  13. As a standalone product, the core gameplay offers a very satisfying simulation of WWE action. If you’ve been a follower of the series for some time, you’ll be pleased with the product but somewhat disappointed with the new features.
  14. SDvR09 is better than last year's effort, no question, and it's a better game than TNA Impact! on account of it being yet another iteration of a tried and trusted game engine and packed full to bursting with features old and new. So yes, on the whole it has met the challenge.
  15. It's a huge return to form. [Dec 2008, p.114]
  16. More than 60 fighters, six non-linear careers and nearly 50 match types. No other wrestling game has offered so much variety yet. Now I would like to see slightly refurbished graphics and no more clipping errors, then I would be in wrestling heaven.
  17. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is a more jam packed and solid than last years WWE offering.
  18. While it’s not yet perfect, Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is easily the best wrestling game we’ve seen this generation, hands down.
  19. This year's edition is a worthy addition, although not considerably different from previous iterations but still manages to offer a polished experience that fans won't miss.
  20. Smackdown VS Raw 2009 is a step ahead for the series with new games modes with a perfect recreation of the WWE television experience.THQ needs to fix the poor collision detection and improve the combat system because is a litle simple and repetitive. It´s the best wrestling game but has a small problems to solve in next games.
  21. WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw! 2009 is as good as it gets for grapple fans.
  22. 80
    A game that is equal parts extreme sports action and surreal soap opera, an improvement that should keep it at the top of the wrestling game into the next decade.
  23. 78
    In the end, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is a good game but one that falls short of its potential. The Roster Editor is a welcome addition, Create-A-Finisher could be deeper but is a great first effort, the Inferno Match is over-the-top but fun, and Road to WrestleMania is one of the best story modes I've seen in a wrestling game in years. However, I can't shake the feeling that I'm playing last year's game when we get down to the nitty gritty match mechanics.
  24. SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 successfully returns to the fundamentals of realistic WWE action and impressive creation tools.
  25. A game with decent entertainment value. The AI seems pretty tight and the game looks pretty good. Unfortunately online could not be tested. The single-player campaign is decent with a challenge that ramps up slightly as you move along. Still this game should have appeal to those who are fans of the sport.
  26. The fighting mechanics have been enhanced and edited to the point that any room for improvement is nearly all in the extras (and if TNA iMPACT! has anything to say, in the animations and the clipping). WWE Smackdown! vs. RAW 2009 is the strongest next-gen title in the franchise, no questions asked.
  27. I definitely enjoyed this year's version of the Smackdown vs. Raw series, but I still think that it's time for a serious change of pace.
  28. Despite a plethora of flaws, SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 remains a capable, if underachieving, wrestling game.
  29. 74
    With the introduction of TNA Impact! the climate has suddenly changed; hopefully, though, this will translate to a less-frustrating (but similarly full) release from Yuke’s next year.
  30. Any wrestling fan would love to play SvR 09 though, just don't expect anything too exciting in the single player aspects of the game. Worth a rent, or a cheap purchase.
  31. SvR as a series is the MVP of videogames. It’s upper-midcard rather than Main Event status, but is destined for greatness if only it can be nurtured and refined in a few areas.
  32. Instead of reinventing the franchise, THQ merely tacked on some additions to the formula. That's not enough to wrestle away our $59.99.
  33. A genuine improvement over previous titles. [Christmas 2008, p.85]
  34. In the end, WWE is a more complete game compared to last year`s edition. Road to Wrestlemania is a mode that makes you live the spirit of North American wrestling and on the other side the gameplay is refined, allowing exploration of the moves, that are now more diverse. Fantastic animated sequences in a superb visual, with full licenses in wrestling, something hard to find in a rival game. A good option for fans of the genre.
  35. Same old grap, different day. Still fun, but this franchise is ageing. [Christmas 2008, p.82]
  36. SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is a solid release for wrestling fans to enjoy, but for the casual gamer thinking about purchasing a new copy, it would probably be better advised to wait to find a used copy or to save the extra dough and get a cheap copy of 2008.
  37. The entire game feels lifeless and old. The presentation fails to capture the excitement of the real thing. The gameplay doesn't match the product it's attempting to emulate. And the layers upon layers of plain-looking menus feel like they were ripped out of a PlayStation 2 launch game.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Jan 6, 2013
    the game is really fun though it lacks game modes and some major game modes were taken out aka gm mode and 24.7 mode/ season mode

    but the
    gamne is still great becuz of the super duper fun road to wrestlemania mode ( very short though 1.5- 2 hrs per wrestler) 5 or 6 to pick from

    much betetr graphics than 08 and u can put coustom music and the online is good

    get it even if u hav 08 becuse its exhibiton is better alongside graphics tag team and rwt is a blast
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