WWF SmackDown! (Exciting Pro Wrestling in Japan) is a professional wrestling video game released on the PlayStation console by THQ and developed by YUKE's Future Media Creators. It is part of the WWF SmackDown! (now WWE SmackDown vs. Raw) series based on the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) professional wrestling promotion. This game was succeeded by WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role.
SmackDown! was the first WWF game on the PlayStation to be published by THQ, taking over for the previous publisher Acclaim.
The most significant change most people found with this game over its predecessor from Acclaim, WWF Attitude, was its much faster, arcade-style gameplay. Unlike Attitude which depended on Tekken-like button press sequences to produce even the simplest of moves, SmackDown! had a clear cut system for moves such as combining an arrow key with the circle button for grappling moves and combining an arrow key with the X button for striking moves. Another feature that was well received was the addition of various backstage rooms for the wrestlers to fight in, which reflected the product at the time with Hardcore matches going backstage. This was only the second wrestling game to have this feature (the previously released WCW Mayhem being the first). The game also featured the first extensive Season Mode in a WWF game, in which the player was allowed to participate in WWF storylines. For game entrances, rather than showing the wrestler make their entrance down the ramp and into the ring like Attitude and WrestleMania 2000, the wrestlers make their entrance in front of their particular TitanTron video. In later versions, however, with the added power of the PlayStation 2, the entrances were changed to mirror other games' approach. The game also included a 'PPV mode' which you create dream matches in the games. It is possible, in exhibition mode, to pick the canvas type, from "Raw is War, Smackdown!, Heat, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble, King of the Ring, and WrestleMania".
Throughout the entire series, THQ experiemented with the idea of abilities being assigned to specific characters. In this game, certain characters had additional abilities that other characters did not have. For example, The Rock had 'Mankind+', which means that if The Rock is losing a match, Mankind will likely interrupt and help in the match. However, some abilities only affect computer controlled characters.