This review was originally completed June 29 and has been updated following the release of Stadium Stampede and first DLC pack.
Watch our update AEW Fight Forever review on YouTube or scroll down to read:
With the addition of Stadium Stampede and the Limitless Bunny Bundle DLC, should wrestling fans be All In or All Out on AEW Fight Forever?
This review is courtesy of a publisher providing a game code for Xbox Series X. AEW Fight Forever is also available on Series S, PS4/PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. So all major platforms — varying in gamer feedback.
Here’s the good news: If you’re looking for a fun alternative to WWE 2K, you’ve got it here. An arcade-like style game that harkens back to wrestling games of old – real old – with lots of wackiness thrown in there like an Exploding Barbed Wire Match!
It’s a nice breath of fresh air to see a wrestling game not take itself too seriously. Unfortunately, the developers at Yuke’s also decided not to take the content offerings too seriously.
Yuke’s has worked on some of the most iconic WWE titles in the past and while in recent years have received justifiable criticism, it could never be argued their games didn’t include a decent amount of content. It’s hard to make the same argument with AEW Fight Forever.
AEW Fight Forever does boast a solid wrestler roster, but oddly enough, the likes of FTR, Santana and Ortiz, Private Party, Toni Storm, and Jake Hager are missing from a game that let’s you play as the long-gone Cody Rhodes and even referee Aubrey Edwards. It’s also bizarre to hear Max Caster and Sonny Kiss on the official soundtrack, but have them no where to be found in the game (for now).
Up until this point, there haven’t been too many updates regarding new characters being made available, with some fans who bought from day one feeling a bit slighted. Fight Forever is still a young game, but the industry moves at a lightning pace and a player base can only be so patient.
However, the game does include the aforementioned Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks, Hangman Adam Page, Adam Cole, MJF, Britt Baker, Chris Jericho, and Sting whose wrestling video game resume continues well into his 60s. Don’t expect elaborate entrances though as the walks to the ring are short and sweet before the real action begins.
In terms of the gameplay, it’s pretty fun once you get the hang of it. Not as smooth as you’d like it to be at times, but at its core, the game is fun. Combos, double teams, unique offense involving Orange Cassidy’s pockets, Darby Allin’s skateboard, and all kinds of weapons. Pure chaos — usually in a good way.
Frankly, that’s what makes this game’s content offerings so frustrating.
When the novelty of the Exploding Barbed Wire Match wears off, you realize this is a pro wrestling game with no steel cage match. Sure you can have wacky intergender action, but if you want to use a customized character or arena, you’re extremely limited in comparison to WWE 2K’s creation suite.
I get that AEW Fight Forever is meant to be an alternative to mainstream wrestling games, but Fire Pro Wrestling World and even the fun but low budget Action Arcade Wrestling have some type of Community Creations section.
In other words, those games along with WWE 2K allow you to download user created wrestlers, belts, arenas, etc., keeping your game up to date and or as fun and wacky as you choose to make it.
Fight Forever’s career mode Road to Elite has some intentionally and unintentionally funny dialogue, campy city tours, and even selfies, but again, it feels limited where you compare it to WWE 2K’s 2K Showcase, Universe Mode, GM Mode, and even the polarizing MyRise (MyCareer).
Fight Forever’s online mode is entertaining with no real issues we can speak on directly and with addition of Stadium Stampede, things get even crazier. This battle royal style mode is a great new post-launch addition, but this feels more like a cool AEW branded free-to-play game, as opposed to a new mode that justifies spending $60 or more on Fight Forever.
One can only hope that AEW with THQ Nordic will provide more post-launch updates with greater transparency not just for people who bought the game, but especially Elite Edition buyers.
TSC Gaming gives AEW Fight Forever on Xbox Series X: 6/10.
I certainly can’t say this is a bad game. The graphics are solid for an arcade style game. There’s no incessantly repetitive commentary like WWE 2K has suffered from in the past. The modes are wacky and enjoyable minus the borderline useless mini games. And the addition of Stadium Stampede for online play is definitely a step in the right direction. There’s so much potential here, but that’s also the problem.
If this was a few years ago after the disastrous launch of the critically panned WWE 2K20, AEW Fight Forever would stand out in the pack, but it isn’t 2019 anymore. WWE 2K22 and 2K23 have leveled up the wrestling genre and fairly or unfairly, those are the titles AEW Fight Forever is going to be compared to.
Never mind the fact that you can literally create your own AEW roster directly from WWE 2K Community Creations, complete with belts, arenas, and shows.
You can have an arcade, N64 style approach as a love letter to old school WWF games. You can have a career mode that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But when you have a limited roster, lack of game modes, and a creation suite that pales in comparison to even some of the lowest budget titles currently on the wrestling game market, you send the message that developers didn’t take the overall game too seriously either.
Here’s hoping for a Full Gear post launch comeback similar to No Man’s Sky and Cyberpunk 2077 because in this crowded gaming market, you might only get one chance to make a first impression.
Fans are clearly ready to be All In on AEW Fight Forever. It’s just too bad the content offerings didn’t go All Out.
AEW Fight Forever Roster as of Sept. 1:
Hangman Adam Page
Andrade El Idolo
The Bunny (Elite Edition DLC)
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
Chuck Taylor of The Best Friends
Cody Rhodes (Available via the AEW Fight Forever Shop)
Jeff Hardy of the Hardys
John Silver of The Dark Order
Jungle Boy Jack Perry
Limitless Keith Lee (Elite Edition DLC)
Malakai Black of House of Black
Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks/The Elite
Matt Hardy (DLC) of the Hardy Boyz
Broken Matt Hardy (DLC)
MJF – Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks/The Elite
PAC of Death Triangle
Penta El Zero M of Lucha Bros
Powerhouse Hobbs (Will Hobbs)
Rey Fenix of Lucha Bros
Ruby Soho of The Outcasts
Sammy Guevara of the Inner Circle/Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS)
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