AEW: Fight Forever Review – Wrestling With its Existence

AEW: Fight Forever

When it comes to wrestling video games, the options are far and few in between. In fact, if you were to look for a wrestling game today, there are less than a dozen developers making wrestling games. Over the last twenty years, seventy wrestling games have been released, but most of them were from the same developer or for the same company.

Over the last twenty years, WWE and NJPW have been the primary focus of the top wrestling games. During the late 2000s, one other US wrestling promotion attempted to take on the wrestling monarchy of WWE, TNA Impact. Now, AEW looks to fight against WWE in more than the TV ratings with AEW Fight Forever (AEW: FF).

AEW Fight Forever
Developer: Yuke’s
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S (Reviewed)
Release Date: June 29th, 2023
Players: 1 to 4
Price: $59.99 USD


When AEW Fight Forever was first released, we were not quite sure what to think of it. Rather than rushing to review it, we decided to take our time with it and let it breathe; this was mainly due to a chaotic schedule and limited availability to use an Xbox, but the time between the launch of the game and this review was valuable. Now, there is no way that we can say that this game is flawless, in fact, there are a lot of flaws, but the most important question is, do the flaws and bugs stop players from having a fun time with the game?

Depending on what you are expecting, the answer can be either yes or no. If you are looking for a realistic wrestling sim game, then you will probably dislike AEW Fight Forever and put the game down after playing it a few times. If you are looking for more of an arcade-style brawler like the wrestling/fighting games from the 90s and 2000s, then you will probably enjoy the game.

So why will some love it while others won’t? The three obvious answers are the gameplay mechanics, controls, and graphics/art style. These three factors are divisive due to players’ expectations. So what about them causes this conflict or negative thoughts?

Negative Gameplay Elements


With AEW Fight Forever, the game is caught between a serious and goofy gameplay style. The character’s movements and interactions with one another are comedic if you have low expectations. Meanwhile, those who are looking for a realistic sim style will find the gameplay low effort and unrealistic.

Fighting with the game feels more like a high schooler or college student made it, with hits not registering, weird interactions, and even buggy gameplay; during our playthrough, we saw a wide variety of bugs. Wrestlers even got stuck in objects that they shouldn’t be in.

A wrestler fell through the floor and disappeared. Characters phased through one another. If these bugs happened to you or your teammate, it would be infuriating, but when it happens to the AI, it’s comical. Some characters will also just stand around for no reason. The game has stipulations, but those stipulations aren’t followed.


Looking at the controls, AEW Fight Forever has some of the most frustrating controls out of any other wrestling game. This is saying something since WWE 2K and the TNA Impact game had weird controls.

When playing the game, the thought “what were the developers thinking?” came to mind because of how many buttons are used. Every button on the controller does something and it takes a while to get used to it. Once you get used to it, it is still a challenge since some of the buttons won’t respond properly.

The game’s run control feels like it is straight out of the 90s with its low-effort design and difficulty to control. Kicking out of a pin or breaking a submission hold feels like a mini-game designed to break your controller.

Entering and exiting the ring is also another chore where on multiple occasions you will find yourself grabbing/kicking at nothing. Finally, grabbing weapons from under the ring or out in the open can also be a frustrating task. Don’t get me wrong, the weapon options in the game are amazing, but grabbing those weapons are more of a chore.

Art Style

Earlier we talked about how there are a good bit of bugs in the game. That is just one small aspect of the game’s graphical issues. Throughout the Road to the Elite story mode, characters within cutscenes would still be rendering as the scene played out. Despite visiting other locations in story mode, the restaurants would always be the same.

Character models in the game are 50/50 with some AEW looking like they were created with a cheap software or someone who doesn’t know how to create a design. Yes, this does sound harsh, but again this comes down to what players are expecting from the game.

If some characters look goofy, make them all look similar. If some are highly detailed and accurate, have all the others be the same way. This is the same criticism we have with 2K and WWE with their games.

AEW Fight Forever lobby menu

Positive Gameplay Aspects

When it comes to AEW Fight Forever, there are still a good bit of positive aspects. Despite the weird controls, bugs, and graphical issues, the game still looks to provide the player with a fun gameplay experience.

Unlike the WWE games, AEW: FF gives players a wide variety of weapons to use when in fights. The roster might not offer every AEW talent but it does include a good bit of the more popular ones.

We do find it incredibly stupid that FTR and Matt Hardy are DLC characters. The game features a ton of game modes for the player to wrestle in or watch the bots go at it. If you do not feel like wrestling, you can always play a wide variety of mini-games.

One of the more comical aspects of Fight Forever is the ability for men to wrestle women and vice versa. This is even referenced in the Road to Elite career mode. Additionally, all wins and losses within the game carry over between exhibition and career mode.

Currency, Unlockables, and Match Types

With AEW: FF, players must earn different game modes and mini-games. Winning matches or completing the Road to Elite can earn the player money that they can use to buy characters, cosmetics, music, and videos.

Not every purchasable item is available right away and must be unlocked by completing challenges. This came as a surprise at first but was actually a pleasant surprise. Speaking of music, the game features a ton of music from wrestlers within the game and those not in it; the game also features 8-bit versions of some of the songs.

In a way, AEW Fight Forever is a game for those who enjoy pop culture more than simulated wrestling. Players can buy taunts that reference not only WWE but also popular anime and video games. Probably one of our favorite Taunts is the fusion dance that is available to be purchased.

AEW offers a variety of game modes but oddly Blood and Guts and other popular match types that are frequent on AEW are missing. AEW has announced that Stadium Stampede will be coming to Fight Forever but that still leaves a lot missing. The game does feature 10+ match types and 15 mini-games.

Career mode

AEW Fight Forever‘s career mode is a mixed bag of snacks, you never know if you are going to get a chocolate chip or a rasin. The career mode features a variety of paths for the player to experience between the four main AEW PPVs.

As events transpire, scenes from AEWs history will play showing what actually happened in that situation. Throughout their career, the player will need to manage their week before each episode of Dynamite.

Each week, there will be four action points to use; those points can be used to work out, sightsee, do interviews, play a mini-game, eat some food, or have a match on Dark or Rampage. Sometimes, there will be a special interaction based on the choice the player makes resulting in a snapshot or additional bonuses.

Players will need to manage their wrestler’s stamina and happiness. If low on stamina, the wrestler is more prone to injury. Luckily the player can buy items to help their wrestler. For those looking for an interesting but goofy story, Fight Forever‘s career mode will provide some laughs and occasionally some frustrations.


AEW Fight Forever might not be a game for everyone, but it is still a game that can provide a fun game experience for some. Is it a perfect experience? No, the game has multiple flaws but if you go in with low expectations, then you will be pleasantly surprised.

If AEW and Yuke’s continue to work on the game, it could be the wrestling game that AEW needs. The game features a wide variety of game modes between wrestling matches and mini-games. The roster and the soundtrack in the game are impressive in size, but the lack of certain wrestlers does tarnish the experience.

Going into Fight Forever, you will have to decide what you are looking for with the game. If you want a game that celebrates and commemorates AEW, then you will enjoy the game. If you are looking for a realistic wrestling sim, then you would be better off looking elsewhere.

The game has potential, but there are quite a few things that need to be fixed before we can recommend it. If AEW plans to release a game each year or every few years, they might want to consider a new developer or a co-developer because the overall graphics are a bit lacking. At the price point, we can’t recommend you rush out to buy it; picking it up when it is on sale might be the best route to go.

AEW Fight Forever was reviewed on an Xbox Series X using a copy provided by THQ Nordic. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. AEW Fight Forever was released on June 29th, 2023 on Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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The Verdict: 6.5

The Good

  • A diverse roster of wrestlers
  • A wide variety of weapons and music
  • An assortment of difficulties to play on.
  • Unlocks in the game feel meaningful
  • goofy interactions and recaps of important AEW moments.

The Bad

  • The game's controls feel awkward to use even if you remap them
  • AEW Superstars got shelfed for Prior WWE talent
  • Game does not abide by match stipulations
  • Certain commands within the game are unresponsive or difficult to use
  • A variety of bugs that could make your head explode


Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

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