Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
  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. SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is a solid entry into the genre filled with so many features it will have WWE fans playing for months. The multiplayer modes and creation tools are very good and offer a lot of variety and increased replay value.
  4. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 has the single best story mode I have ever played in a sports game, mainly because it features interactive storylines and well written dialogue and superstar match-ups with an exciting climactic ending.
  5. 90
    Everything from last year from graphics to gameplay has been polished and upgraded.
  6. A clear improvement over "SvR 2008" but a lot of it's still very familiar. [Dec 2008, p.54]
  7. As a complete package, SVR 09 never fails to impress.
  8. WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2009 is a nice addition to the franchise, with some solid new game modes. While the core game hasn’t changed, there are still enough new features to keep fans interested.
  9. Yuke’s really stepped it up for WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, with the pay off being the finest wrestling game for the HD systems to date. There are a few base gameplay anomalies that keep WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 from being a true champion, but the sheer quantity and quality of SmackDown vs. Raw 2009’s content, not to mention its WWE-perfect grandeur, makes the decision to grant the title belt to Yuke’s latest effort an easy one.
  10. 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.
  11. Its flaws are overshadowed by crisp controls and the same unbridled fun that has made this the best wrestling series for years. [Dec 2008, p.86]
  12. Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 may not be perfect, but in terms of the fighting genre it’s about as good as it gets in terms of fun, value, longevity and content.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. A well done title with many new ideas! Sadly, some good features of the last Smackdown vs. Raw games have been removed. If you are a wrestling fan, this game is definitely a good investment.
  16. Not the best wrestling game ever created, but still, with some work on the gameplay this series has a very bright future. For now though, a good effort that needs improvements.
  17. Overall, WWE Smackdown vs Raw definitely lays the smack down on its predecessors and opposition.
  18. Being a wrestling game, it certainly won't be to everyone's tastes, but for the first time we can safely say that this is a title that fans of the sport can really grapple with and, ultimately, love.
  19. 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.
  20. Along with the redefined tag team matches, Road To Wrestlemania and create-a-finisher, the multiple tweaks and touches make this the best SmackDown for a while.
  21. While WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 doesn’t reinvent the genre, it may be the best game in the series.
  22. I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to recommend this game to anyone who faithfully follows the televised wrestling bouts, as once again THQ and Yukes have delivered a punishing final blow to anyone else even considering developing a wrestling title.
  23. 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.
  24. SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 sticks to what it should do best; provide a great wrestling experience for fans to play at home.
  25. It appears when looking at the sheer number of options available in this game that THQ tried to make the end-all be-all to the wrestling genre. While they did not quite succeed in this endeavor, it was a valiant effort.
  26. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is a more jam packed and solid than last years WWE offering.
  27. 80
    The best wrestling game so far of this generation, but there are still a few bits and pieces that need some refinement. Still, for the ultimate WWE gaming experience, look no further than the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw franchise.
  28. This year may go down as the year of change, and WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 isn’t going to hurt its chances. It’s a solid entry for the series, with more notable innovations and improvements than the last couple games in the series. No molds are broken, but maybe next year it’ll come through with a solid TKO.
  29. While it’s not yet perfect, Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is easily the best wrestling game we’ve seen this generation, hands down.
  30. 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.
  31. There’s a staggering array of moves to be done here, many of which you’ll apparently discover quite by accident while waggling sticks with a dim optimism.
  32. 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.
  33. WWE is back with all the heat of its fights. The third entry in this-gen consoles is full of energy, an incredible array of game modes, good visuals and great gameplay. A great choice for WWE lovers, but not suitable for everyone.
  34. 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.
  35. 80
    Overall, SvR 2009 has plenty of good points that encouraged me to overlook its sore spots.
  36. 79
    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.
  37. SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 successfully returns to the fundamentals of realistic WWE action and impressive creation tools.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. Arguably the best wrestling game yet on this generation of consoles.
  41. Despite a plethora of flaws, SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 remains a capable, if underachieving, wrestling game.
  42. Instead of reinventing the franchise, THQ merely tacked on some additions to the formula. That's not enough to wrestle away our $59.99.
  43. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 combines just what WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008 already offered but with a Road to Wrestlemania mode, with better character-creation options and a very entertaining Tag Team mode. Simply put, WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2009 is the most complete and best wrestling game on the market and a must have for you spandex loving wrestle fans.
  44. 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.
  45. In summary, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 drastically improves the graphics and gaming engine once again, though much like the Tiger Woods franchise, if you've played one, you know what to expect.
  46. Though all the usual punches, grapples and reversals are present, the already weak SmackDown system crumbles under even the gentlest of nudges, a situation not helped after being treated to TNA Impact's impressive mechanics earlier in the year.
  47. 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 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Jan 18, 2013
    Tag team finally plays like it should and Road to Wrestle Mania gives you 5 short story modes. The Career Mode is tedious and the achievements range from tedious to really easy. Full Review »
  2. Apr 1, 2012
    An improvement over 2008 but also keeps the positive aspects from the last game. Character models look a little better while the controls still sort of suck, It's still a fun, fast paced game but it's only worth playing if you can't afford WWE 12, achievment whoring or just for the nostaligia of wrestlers that have left the company (Jeff Hardy, Tommy Dreamer). Full Review »
  3. May 26, 2011
    beautiful gameplay overall a great masterpiece VERY balanced characters and the BEST smackdown vs raw game possibly one of the BEST wrestling games out there!! Full Review »