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WWE 2K23 impressed with its improvements over WWE 2K22, but will this year’s iteration continue that trend, or come up short?

WWE 2K23 took what was a very solid soft reboot of the WWE gaming franchise in WWE 2K22, and built upon it with nicer graphics, bigger game modes and an updated roster.

This year 2K have made some bold claims, with promises of improvements across the board; more match types, a roster of over 200 Superstars, better graphics, immersive storylines and a showcase that aims to cover all 40 years of WrestleMania.

Have they succeeded? Let’s find out!

All the Sights and Sounds

2K23 took a big step when it came to graphics. Be it down to the capabilities of the current generation of systems, or developers finally clicking with the new architecture, last year’s game looked fantastic.

2K24 looks… fine. It certainly doesn’t look any worse this year, but it’s also hard to see where it looks any better either. Some of the character models are improved, but some still look way off and completely unchanged. Logan Paul and Jimmy Uso are prime examples of this, and it’s surprising more care hasn’t been taken to make them look better, given their prominence on TV over the past year.

Menus have had a revamp, especially in GM Mode, and they look a lot nicer, but all in all everything looks great and graphics weren’t really an area that needed improvement.

When it comes to sound, it’s the same thing again. Everything sounds perfectly fine so there was no urgency to reinvent the wheel. There have been some nice, subtle improvements though.

Fans at ECW shows will periodically break out into ‘ECW, ECW’ chants, for example, which makes the ‘brand’ you choose in MyGM mode more important, as rather than it just being set dressing, there is a noticeable shift in atmosphere too.

The soundtrack for this year’s game (curated by none other than Post Malone) is an eclectic, if not odd mix that will appeal to those who appreciate a little country in their lives.

The commentary teams are messed up, but that’s more down to WWE constantly shuffling them around every 5 minutes. Still, it’s a shame Wade Barrett missed the cut.

Getting to Grips with Grappling

Controls are near-identical to last years game, which again is no bad thing.

2K23 controlled superbly, reintroducing a pinfall mini game, and the ability to taunt when holding weapons; both still very much a thing in this year’s game.

There is a smattering of new content though…

Certain Superstars can lower the straps on their singlet when they are closing in on a victory, a feature some fans inexplicably demand each year.

More practical advancements include new ‘Super’ finishers, which require a stock of 3 finishers to hit, but look devastating and will almost always guarantee victory. For example Kevin Owens can hit a devastating Powerbomb on the ring apron; a finish he made famous during his time in NXT.

When tagging with a CPU partner, players can now instruct them to carry out various tasks, such as removing the turnbuckle cover, setting up a table or grabbing a weapon. This seems like a small upgrade, but tag partners have historically been a bit useless, so having a little more control over them makes a massive difference.

There are a handful of new ‘Payback’ abilities too, including a fireball that you can shoot at an opponent (be careful not to get caught by the ref!) and one that immediately snaps you out of a stunned state so you can avoid being hit with a devastating finisher.

It’s all small quality of life improvements to an already very solid control scheme.

It's STILL all about The Game...

Once again WWE 2K24 has 6 gameplay modes; Exhibition, Universe, Showcase, MyGM, MyFaction and MyRise modes all make a return.


New game modes are abundant in Exhibition, which is a nice change from last year where War Games was the only addition.

Ambulance matches, Casket matches, Special Referee bouts and Gauntlet matches are all re-introduced, and although the first two are essentially the same thing, they do play differently enough to warrant separate inclusions.

Special referee bouts are great fun, and can be played with or without a ‘referee meter’.

Without gives the referee free reign to do whatever they choose, while the inclusion of the meter means they have to stay relatively impartial, lest they be removed as an official and replaced by someone else.

It sounds restrictive, but it is implemented in a very clever way. Once the meter fills, you are given a grace period before another referee comes out to replace you, meaning you still have time to enact the perfect screwjob… if you are quick enough.

Universe Mode

It doesn’t seem like there has been a whole lot done in Universe mode, at least to the casual player.

More rivalry interactions have been added, players can now pick these freely to carve out their own storyline in more intricate detail, and of course the new matches can now be used too.

But the same bizarre glitches and errors are still present from years past.

Random managers will sometimes be added to bouts, and even if they aren’t random, they will be showing behind the wrong Superstar.

Letting the AI book matches (which is mandatory if you choose to go the ‘single Superstar’ option rather than the full sandbox experience) often leads to completely random matches and card placements. This even happens in the early stages, when things should essentially mirror real life until new rivalries and partnerships start to organically form.

Overall it’s just a bit of a mess, although a useful tool for those wanting complete governance over a virtual wrestling world.

Showcase Mode

40 Years of WrestleMania takes centre stage in Showcase Mode this year, and there is a huge range of classic matches for players to dive into, all with unlockables that link to the people or places that they feature.

It’s exactly what fans have become accustomed to in this mode, and is a beautifully well produced interactive trip down memory lane for long term WWE fans. What’s even more impressive is, just like previous years, most matches have an ‘alternative’ ending if players come up short, such as Shaun Michaels breaking The Undertaker’s Streak at WrestleMania 25.

Unfortunately, also like in previous years, this mode is marred by blurring. Logos, signs, fans, faces… they all get the blurring treatment when the action flips to video. While sometimes it’s obvious why, in some instances hard to understand the decision, especially as some of those blurred out have even questioned the reason on social media.

MyRise Mode

It’s more of the same with MyRise this year too!

Both male and female Superstar campaigns are available, this time following ‘The Dark Horse’ and ‘The Captain’ respectively.

‘Undisputed’ sees The Tribal Chief Roman Reigns hang up his boots, and your Superstar ‘The Dark Horse’ step up to the plate to lead the company, despite being second guessed by The Miz, who has somehow become the GM of Smackdown.

‘Unleashed’ sees your Superstar ‘The Captain’ leave the indy promotion she co-founded and try to make it in the WWE. It’s not the most captivating storyline, but there are some good integrated angles that make it playable. It does struggle in comparison to the mens campaign though, due to the smaller number of female wrestlers in the game in general.

Each MyRise has alternative branching storylines too, although the start and finish seem to be the same no matter what route you ultimately take.


MyFaction has had a real overhaul this year, and although I didn’t think it needed it as much as some of the other areas of the game **Cough** MyUniverse **Cough** it’s a marked improvement on the sometimes-monotonous tower climbs.

Those are still there, but now the main focus is an almost Rogue-Like journey along branching paths littered with matches, upgrades and so forth. The players team lose energy after each match, and this can be remedied by either choosing to boost their remaining health, or completely swap them out for one of the other cards in their deck.

At the end of each branching path is a themed faction (Giants, Cruisers, former Champions etc) and beating them grants the player currency AND the ability to draft one of them to their team for the remainder of the run.

It can still be a money-pit if players want to buy packs, but it’s a lot more fun to play without the need to pump real-world cash into it.


MyGM continues to be my preferred way to get replayability out of WWE2K games, and this year there have been some BIG changes… relatively speaking. Some of them make a huge positive difference, while others cause a bit of an issue, at least until you get used to them.

The most immediately noticeable change comes when players go to top up their roster post-draft. Rather than seeing a random pool of talent with a seemingly random contract length, now players have to spend talent scout points (and some of their hard earned funds) to locate new Superstars.

Four ‘local talents’ will be available to sign without a search, but then players must decide how many scout points and how much cash they want to stump up in order to scout for better talent.

Choosing the Gender, Type and whether they are heel or face will all cost Talent Scout points, while increasing the ‘quality’ of the Superstar costs cash.

This is the next big change. Not only do Superstars have the usual stats from previous years; Popularity, Stamina etc, but also ‘Star Power’. This can be increased by sending them to training using the Promo slots on each show, and the higher it is the more likely they will draw a crowd regardless of match quality, rivalries and all the things that usually bring in the fans.

Finally, the other large change comes after each PPV, where players can opt to trade members of their roster with other shows. This is great in concept; however the AI tends to be quite unyielding unless the deal HEAVILY favours them, and they make some quite frankly ridiculous offers back.

Things have definitely improved, and although the talent scouting is much more restrictive, it does make more sense thematically. But there are still glaring omissions that could easily be remedied. Players STILL can't create/name/modify teams or factions. Title belts are STILL locked to the brand players choose, and some of the newly introduced brands like ECW don’t even have womens Championships available, leaving players little reason to even set up a Womens Division if they choose that brand.

The Bottom Line…

WWE 2K24 is another solid step forward for the franchise, and although it doesn’t seem like a whole lot has changed if you just play the exhibition mode, diving into the other things the game has to offer presents some really good changes and improvements.

DLC is already on the way and patches will undoubtedly fix the odd glitch that presents itself here and there.

If you’re a fan of MyRise, MyGM, MyFaction or Showcase mode this year’s game is definitely worth picking up! If you’re more about MyUniverse and you aren’t THAT bothered about an updated roster, it might be worth waiting until WWE 2K24 ends up in the Summer Sale.