HomeSportsGAME REVIEW | "Fight Forever" Goal In The Cards for All Elite Wrestling

GAME REVIEW | "Fight Forever" Goal In The Cards for All Elite Wrestling

GAME REVIEW | "Fight Forever" Goal In The Cards for All Elite Wrestling

Growing up, I loved pro wrestling. The likes of Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Ted DiBiase, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin seemed larger than life when I witnessed their matches. I’ve been on-again and off-again when it comes to watching pro wrestling, with my time seemingly ending in 2002 after watching Shawn Michaels defeat Triple H at Summerslam. But in 2019, a new dog entered the junkyard, in the form of All Elite Wrestling. Once again, I was hooked thanks to the athletic prowess of Darby Allin, Orange Cassidy, and — yes — Danhausen.

Which leads me to AEW: Fight Forever, the wrestling organization’s first official foray into the video games market. Developed by Yuke’s, the game was to be a spiritual successor to — in my opinion — the best sports game on the Nintendo 64: WWF No Mercy. As I booted it up and began to play it, I felt like I was 15 again, opening up cans of whoop-ass and collecting wins like I was a true champion. However, even with my nostalgia goggles tightly on, I couldn’t help but recognize the wrinkles that AEW: Fight Forever needs to iron out.

Like the Nintendo 64 era of THQ wrestling titles, the game features a good dose of content. On top of featuring over fifty wrestlers to choose from, AEW: Fight Forever features a plethora of modes to sink your teeth into. From your run-of-the-mills singles and tag team matches to the likes of Casino Battle Royales, there are many ways to experience what All Elite Wrestling is all about. There’s even a couple of their trademark styles, such as Unsanctioned Lights Out and the Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatches, the latter of which has more pyro than your average Rammstein concert. (You can even initiate the lame sparkler pyro that occurred when Kenny Omega faced Jon Moxley, which shows the sense of humor AEW has.)

Controlling a fight is a lot easier than I imagined; in fact, there were times my Xbox Series X controller almost felt as smooth as using the Nintendo 64 one. Grappling, climbing turnbuckles, and initiating submissions felt natural in my hands, thanks in part to an excellent tutorial featured in the game. With that being said, getting a hold of a weapon is a lot trickier, and not because referee Aubrey Edwards was keeping an eye on me. Nay, standing near the ring to grab a weapon sometimes makes my wrestler go back into the ring, rather than get hold of a kendo stick or a bag of tacks.

As for the AI in the AEW: Fight Forever, your opponents can offer a good challenge even on the simplest of settings. If you are good at the game, the average match can last about four minutes; deal with a super-hard opponent, and you might be nearing the match time limit. However, when in tag team mode, there were times where my partner was dumber than a QTV segment, sometimes outright staring at me as I’m pinned down and given a deadly three-count. (Thanks a lot, “Hangman” Adam Page!)

AEW: Fight Forever allows players to even dive into the realm of customization with plenty to choose from. When creating my character, I wound up spending well over an hour tinkering my wrestling persona. Not only can you choose the look and outfit of your wrestler, you can also customize your moves set and entrance. At first, you’re only given a limited amount of specials and finishers, but with enough experience points you can unleash new attacks on your opponent to seal your victory.

How you earn those points comes in the form of the AEW: Fight Forever’s story mode: Road to Elite. Beginning with the very first Double or Nothing, your wrestler must keep on earning wins in order to one day become a champion. Depending on how you fare, you’ll experience various what-if scenarios that’ll aid in making you a main event draw or — worse — be stuck in the world of dark matches. Surprisingly, even on the easiest of settings, this mode does not hold your hand long before the difficulty spikes!

A great example of this happened when I found myself feuding with Death Triangle. At Full Gear, Pac faces off with me in a Lights Out match, meaning no disqualifications. Within a minute of the match, the Lucha Bros. were in the ring completely rag-dolling me from start-to-finish. Gaining a victory in this match wasn’t just difficult; it felt impossible! As such, the match made me feel frustrated once I lost.

On top of wrestling, Road to Elite will also have you embarking on training, visiting various food staples of North America, and doing some sightseeing and PR work to get the AEW name out there. For training, one needs to look at the odds of injury before deciding which to do; otherwise, you’ll need to add a hospital trip to your itinerary before you enter the ring. Besides the main match on either Dynamite or the pay-per-views, players can also opt into matches on Rampage and (the sadly defunct) Dark & Dark Elevation, which helps to earn plenty of points to better your skills.

There’s a good dose of humor when you eat, sightsee, and work PR. On occasion, you’ll run into some of the other wrestlers. MJF takes the time to insult you, whereas a chat with Riho over avocado toast has the Japanese wrestler reveal she’s done the “anime thing” of running with bread in her mouth. If your character reacts well with them, you may get yourself a nice photo op or — in some cases — a tag partner or incoming opponent. While the story can be goofy, it does fit with some of the more comedic elements of professional wrestling.

Players can also create their own venue setup. Although more limited than the wrestler customization, there’s a very good amount of choices when it comes to how you want your show to look. From the walkway and the screens to the ring aprons and ropes, there’s a decent dose of options that’ll help with creating a new look for All Elite Wrestling. (A shame that there wasn’t enough time to add the new AEW Collision setup, which has become my personal favorites from a visual standpoint.)

Having played AEW: Fight Forever for long periods of time, it has sadly allowed me to see the flaws that it has. Odds are I’m the millionth person to say this, but the graphics are not on-par with what we’ve come to expect from current-gen console games. Even though it’s not terrible, character models look a lot like Joel and Ellie in the 2013 PS3 version of The Last of Us. Some characters like Adam Cole and Scorpio Sky come off like their real-life counterparts, whereas Chris Jericho and Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. appear to be melted sentient action figures of their true selves.

Despite the easy controls, there are also some issues with the combat. There are times while wrestling when a character’s punch/kick won’t connect, even when they’re standing right in front of me. Sometimes a tag team partner will get stuck in a never-ending roll as they try to get back to the other side of the ropes, a glitch that’s cost me a couple of matches. And speaking of matches, why do the likes of Jim Ross and Excalibur sound less-than-enthusiastic at the announcer's table?! Where's the usual fire in their voices?!

But even with the flaws withstanding, I’ve had a lot of fun playing AEW: Fight Forever, to the point where I’ve lost track of the time when diving deep into the game. Whether it’s solo or online, the matches I’ve had have always been exciting to play, with some down-to-the-wire victories or losses delivering a good dose of adrenaline every time. With new wrestlers and modes planned for some time (including a Stadium Stampede mode that looks completely bonkers!), this game is gearing to have a solid shelf life for at least a couple of years.


  • Lots of fun modes to play in
  • Easy controls
  • Smart opponent AI…


  • …but dumb ally AI
  • Graphics seem last-gen
  • Some game-losing glitches


For their first game, All Elite Wrestling does a great job with capturing a nostalgic style of gameplay. AEW: Fight Forever may have some visual issues and bugs, but it makes up for it via fun matches, an entertaining story mode, and a solid control scheme. It may not be better than you, but AEW: Fight Forever just needs maybe a couple more gym reps before it can be considered a top dog in the pro wrestling gaming realm. Maybe then, it’ll be as loved as The Acclaimed.


Promotional consideration provided by Evolve Terminal PR. Reviewed on the Xbox Series X.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at For press/band inquiries, write to us at (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)