PALGN writes: "With so many sports games being released on a yearly basis, it becomes less about tried-and-true gameplay that we've known in the past and more about the new features. What's new about the title is what draws in the fans on a regular basis, and with WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 being the tenth game in the longest-running WWE gaming franchise of all time, the finely tuned fighting engine is not necessarily very different; but hey, if it ain't broke... right? Core gameplay aside, we've had a chance to go hands-on with the games new features and modes, and they come together to create what should easily be the best Smackdown game yet.
In last year's WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, the career mode attempted to be a hybrid of many different elements, requiring your superstar of choice to not only go through matches on a weekly basis, but also build their popularity by using a variety of 'events' which more-often-than-not required you to choose an option and then wait as the game simulated a success rate of say, a movie shoot, and then give you some cash and notoriety to make your superstar ultimately more popular. There was also training which had to take place if you were using a created superstar, and the mode was the deepest career mode that we'd seen for a wrestling game before. Unfortunately, deep doesn't necessarily mean good, and the whole thing came off feeling much more like a chore than a fun experience generally found in a wrestling game."