WWE 2K24 Review

Ladies and gentlemen – welcome to Wrestlema…I mean… WWE 2K24! The annual sports entertainment is back with a more refined, polished, and packed to the gills presentation in a bid to finish it’s comeback story (until next year, of course). 2K have been on a roll since rebooting the series in 2022, and it’s clear that 2K24 is the biggest and best entry yet.

The last WWE game I properly checked out was the abysmal 2K20 (you can read my review here for my…thoughts…) though I’ve dabbled in the more recent entries. So coming into WWE 2K24 I’m not really sure I was prepared for what greeted me; literally dozens of match types, a plethora of Superstars, more modes than I’ll ever find time to play fully, and a creation suite that teenage Jamie would have killed to have access to, and adult Jamie slowly mourns the lack of time to fully craft our D-Generation Westphal (don’t ask) stable.

The headline mode is the WWE Showcase. Whereas this would usually follow one Superstar’s career (prior entries have chronicled Cena, Mysterio and Austin to name a few) this time out we’re celebrating 40 years of Wrestlemania. While there’s a full recounting of all ‘Mania’s, WWE 2K24 highlights stand out matches from across the years, with some true classics being included – though it’s best to discover most of them for yourself.

In action, the hits and impacts are well represented, with enough oomph to really make us wince at times

Each match begins with a short video package, host Corey Graves filling us in on the backstory between the Superstars while real-life footage plays. This then transitions pretty seamlessly into the start of a match where we must not only win, but complete a set of objectives in order to recreate the key moments. It’s possible to finish the match early, but in order to fully unlock everything it’s best to do the tasks at hand. These themselves then lead into a nice video package with more Graves commentary before segueing back into the gameplay. It’s all nicely handled, though there are a few contrived ways to get a Superstar into a position: it may ask us to do a front atomic drop only to show us a cutscene of them Irish whipping them, for example. It’s a small nit-pick though as the nostalgia for old WWE fans will quickly wash over this aspect. It’s been great to go back over some matches I remember watching with my grandad back in the early 90’s and beyond as I’ve grown up, and was a nice touch to forgo a Superstar specific mode this year.

There’s so much more than this already beefy mode though. Anyone who has even a remote interest in the graps will find something here to enjoy. In no particular order we have; WWE Universe mode, where we can control a superstar through their journey, feuds, titles shots and more on Raw, Smackdown, NXT and the roster of stars we have; MyGM, where up to four players control a brand each, vying for the top spot through clever booking, roster updates, PLE schedules and more; MyRise, itself offering two sets of storylines to follow with a created star that encourage repeat plays; MyFaction, MyLeastFavourite of the bunch as it’s basically WWE Top Trumps but with way more to it thanks to the digital nature and the fact we can actively wrestle matches as well as collect cards; and finally the all-purpose single game mode which in itself hosts dozens of match types and set-ups perfect for a quick fix or those long hours before a 1am Wrestlemania kick-off time for us in the UK.

To go into depth fully on these would take far too much of the page here, but rest assured that from what I’ve sampled of each they are (MyFaction aside) all well put together modes that are far more fleshed out than we could reasonably expect. Not to give 2K ideas, but I could easily see all of these as the stand out, stand-alone product at some point. Hell, MyRise even has full voice acting from the superstars which is something we could only dream of back in the ‘90’s…

All of these (and a ridiculously robust creation suite) would be for naught were the gameplay not there, but thankfully that’s not the case. The action may feel mostly similar to last year’s outing, but it’s still incredibly fun to play. Each Superstar has elements to make them unique enough, and that there is such a broad roster is commendable enough let alone to care that has seemingly gone into most of them. Sure, some of the lower card talent don’t quite have the level of attention as the likes of Undertaker, Stone Cold, Roman Reigns etc., but there’s no denying even the worst looking models are light years ahead of where we used to be.

In ring action is a broad mix of arcade and sim, using some floaty physics for the ropes and falls while reying on semi-canned animations for the moves. It will never get old watching as we suplex someone only for their legs to get caught on the ropes and them flail about wildly, even if it can take us out of the moment at times. Being able to prop up weapons and make better use of the environment is awesome, but even just simply getting some hard hitting moves in is plain fun.

While I personally would have liked to see more, Bray Wyatt is well represented in 2K24 with multiple versions across several characters

Comboing punches, kicks, all manner of over the top moves, and trips to the outside is very well done. It’s not quite 100%, but it does feel as though we can live out our wildest dreams, many of which would likely end up at least ending careers in the real world, in WWE 2K24. Returning this year are Ambulance, Special Guest Referee, Casket and Gauntlet match types, and many others have been improved in feel and flow. I can’t wait for our next in person get together as these are always way more fun with friends in the room, and I’ll be damned if I’m not putting Tavern MPV Gray in a casket, dammit.

There are times where it can feel a bit too random and hectic mind you. In an 8 person Ladder match with 7 AI controlled Superstars, it was all but impossible to actually get to the briefcase due to them all instantly snapping to me as soon as I started climbing. It only ended when I managed to fluke my way up while they got a bit stuck on each other. Elsewhere, the refs need a stern talking to; the amount of times they slowly got down, held their hand up, and barely even got a one count after a finisher bordered on the ridiculous. It’s all because they need to get into position but the animation isn’t anywhere near fluid enough to account for that. Hopefully this is something that’ll be looked at for future iterations. This was especially frustrating on the Showcase mode where a loss would mean starting the (potentially long) match over because they failed to count my pin in time and the AI got the chance to fight back and hit me with a powerful move.

Conclusion

But the reality is that if you’ve read this far you’ve a good idea of what to expect going in to WWE 2K24. While there are improvements that could be made, there’s no doubt this is an excellent way for fans of the graps to get even more enjoyment out of the sports entertainment lifestyle. There’s so much to do across so many modes, such a hefty creation suite that is all but limitless, and underneath all that a fun if sometimes frustrating gameplay system that will serve perfectly well until the next time out.

This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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Good
  • Utterly mad amount of modes
  • Great representations of characters
  • Gameplay feel is solid for the most part
Bad
  • Refs need some work
  • Can get overly hectic at times
9
Excellent
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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