American-style professional wrestling is among the most popular entertainment on the planet. Combining villainous characters, beloved faces and plenty of smackdown, it’s a formula that’s kept audiences enthralled for years.One company has dominated this form of theatre for years: World Wrestling Entertainment. It’s this brand that’s been most successfully adapted to the video-game world, too, but there are other entries in the wrestling genre that feature other companies.MicroLeague Wrestling was the first game to carry the license of the World Wrestling Federation (as it was known back then). Launched in 1987, it featured Hulk Hogan on the front cover, and graced four platforms, including the Atari ST and Amiga. Unlike many of today’s wrestling games, this one featured turn-based combat, with players choosing their preferred moves ahead of time.Over time, demand for the WWE product became insatiable, and dozens of licensed games followed. By the time the 2000s rolled around, the games had gotten incredibly complex, with character customisation options and detailed storyline modes thrown in. Players had enormous fun building their own wacky characters to pit alongside The Rock, The Undertaker and Triple H.At the heart of these games, naturally, was the gameplay itself. Wrestlers do battle in a specially built ring complete with elasticated ropes and turnbuckles at the corners. Success can be achieved in one of several ways. You might pin an opponent’s shoulders to the canvas for a count of three; you might trap them in a submission hold until they tap out; you might even throw them through a wooden table! Along the way, there are plenty of thrill and spills to be had, making these games among the craziest and funniest entries to the fighting genre. If you’d like to play WWE games in HTML5, you’ll find a varied selection of them here.