The Top Seven Best Videogame Suplexes

The ultimate pro gamer maneuver

There’s a magic to wrestling moves in videogames. In real life, a pro wrestling match is a performance. If someone gets hurt, that means a mistake was made or something went wrong. The damage done by a finishing move is simply part of the story being told. But when physical fiction comes to a fictional place, that damage is real. But none of that means there aren’t wrestling moves with counterparts in legitimate combat. One of my favorite moves is the suplex, because those lines are so blurry. There’s a level of human spectacle with a suplex that’s similar to special moves you know in your mind’s eye have no practical combat applications. But you can straight up kill someone just doing a suplex the way it looks. It’s usually bad to kill people though, which is where videogames come in. Killing people is awesome in videogames, but gaming law also dictates it’s possible to hit someone with a suplex without killing them, but also without the two opponents protecting each other. Or both depending on the situation.

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That’s why you see suplexes pop up in videogames all the dang time. It’s easy to not even think about it being a pro wrestling staple because this move is so ubiquitous. But that only speaks to its power. We don’t all speak the same language, but nothing could be easier to understand than grabbing someone from behind, bending over backwards and planting their spinal cord like a tree. Done well, a good suplex is simple, graceful and hype as all hell. Here are some of my favorite.

Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song

This one’s a late addition to the list and a reason I’m glad it took me weeks after I pitched this list to sit down and actually write it. SaGa games often have graps moves among so many others, but they aren’t exactly animated well or accurately. But the suplex in Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song is pretty great. But it’s not just the regular suplex move that brought this here. You can also Glimmer a stronger version, called Jackhammer. That’s a vertical suplex mixed with a powerslam, and despite the silly little character models in this game the animators Went for It and I respect the hell out of that.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Raphael is often characterized as the bruiser in the group in TMNT games. Sometimes that even comes with wrestling or grappling maneuvers. But usually the games don’t get too playful with it, the most over the top being a standing powerbomb (aka the worst kind of powerbomb) from the Out of the Shadows game nobody played. But Raph finally reaches his true potential in Shredder’s Revenge, with a good ol’ fashioned suplex.

Final Fight

It’s a simple one, but this is one of the most important suplexes in videogame history. That’s because Mike Haggar broke the rules. Up to that point “beat ‘em up” or brawler games were pretty straightforward, with punches, kicks, and simple throws. But with Final Fight came grappling. Haggar could grab someone and then keep moving, with the backwards throw being a whole suplex. The piledriver, which you could do after jumping (while still in the grapple state!!), was perhaps more impressive, but this article isn’t about piledrivers now is it?

No More Heroes

I mean, what other game outside of actual wrestling simulators are you going to see this many variations of suplexing? The sheer volume here is incredible, and that’s next to all the wacky Everything Else happening in the No More Heroes series.

Streets of Rage 4

Just look at how crisp and clean that suplex is. The bridge, the leverage, the impact, it’s all there. This is one of the most beautifully animated, textbook German suplexes you’ll ever see in a videogame. Lizardcube understands the gravity of treating the suplex with respect, especially considering nearly every character has their own version of it.

Skyrim

There’s nothing really interesting or impressive about the Skyrim suplex. But it’s a relatively obscure, very out of place technique in one of the jankiest RPGs ever made, which means not only does it look like shit, some of its applications can be hilarious. Such as using magic to get NPCs to suplex each other.

LEGO Batman

There’s just something about watching a LEGO character obliterate another LEGO character with a vertical suplex that makes the world a slightly better place. Robin gets this move for some reason in the second game, although Killer Croc has a nasty German in the first game. Weirdly enough, no suplexes for Bane. I don’t have a picture for this one because I’ve seen zero footage or shots of it after searching for a while, and I’d have to go download LEGO Batman 2 and play it long enough to randomly trigger a throw. No thanks.

There are so many great videogame suplex moments out there I’m sure I’ve missed a real all-timer. So shout out your favorites somewhere I can see them. We don’t do comments here. Only suplexes.


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Author
Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].