Anyone who knows me as a lifelong gamer understands all too well that I am not a big fan of sports games. I have played my fair share and also reviewed FIFA, Madden, MLB, Forza, NHL, the list goes on. One of the biggest reasons that I don’t really enjoy sports titles is the publishers release a new version every year with virtually few changes to the overall product and experience. But, some diehards just have to own the latest rosters, the latest stats, the latest updates never mind that the game is basically the same year-to-year.

When WWE and 2K announced that an annual release was going to their approach to the WWE 2K series I was worried the series would fall into the same monotonous routine that had befallen the various sports franchises or AEW wrestling.

The good news is that the franchise hasn’t as it really does deliver every year by introducing new and also improved content, even if those improvements are just adding a bit more shine to the overall product. For example, this year the wrestlers appear to have different facial reactions such as when they are surprised or even angered. This may be a little tweak but it is noticeable.

Those small touches are what take a game beyond the level of good to truly great which is what WWE 2K24 is.

While we are on the subject though one of the tweaks that doesn’t work though is the developers have added more ambient voices to the crowd. You can now distinctly hear one voice shouting “You suck!”, etc. It is kind of jarring and doesn’t really blend well with the rest of the crowd noise. It detracts and doesn’t add to the experience or the environment.

There have been more improvements to the gameplay. Superstars can now get into a back and forth Trading Blows mini-game to see who can come out on top in a slugfest. You can leap onto multiple opponents on the floor and throw weapons at foes.

One big addition is the shenanigans of managers, valets or in the case of ‘Big Daddy’ Diesel, bodyguards. They are far more active than ever before. They will now jump up on the ring apron to distract you, pull off turnbuckle pads and even the referee. The reaction to the distractions is an automatic deal and you cannot halt or end it. It has to just play out. You will start jawing with the manager while making all manner of angry gestures and hand motions. You don’t hear what is being said during the altercation and that can be a bit confusing when it first happens to you. While you are distracted your opponent can easily get the upper-hand and there is not much you can do about that.

Another enhancement allows you to do a Super Finisher if you have three finishers stored up. Now, a Super Finisher can do crazy damage but is it really worth it to take up the time to store three finishers? You be the judge.

Here is a look at the new additions and the improvements in WWE 2K24:

WrestleMania Showcase

WWE 2K24 has made a great decision in capitalizing on all the hype this “WrestleMania season” with the WrestleMania Showcase. In it, you can play through many classic WrestleMania matches and relive many WrestleMania moments. While I do criticize Corey Graves’ announce work here and there, he does a solid job with the insightful commentary on the history of Mania itself and the matches.

During the matches themselves you will switch in and out of playing and cut-scenes from the actual matches. This is done pretty seamlessly and adds to the overall realism and the WrestleMania history you are experiencing. Thankfully, you can also skip those cut-scenes if you so desire.

Like most recent 2K campaigns you will have to meet certain goals, perform certain moves and actions to move forward in the bout and eventually win. Just beating your WrestleMania rival is not good enough. You must complete these objectives. I don’t have an issue with that as many of them are related to the real match itself and how it went down at the time.

What does bother me a bit is that some of those actions deliberately put you at a disadvantage or can ruin your match flow such as when you have to permit your opponent to attack you so you can block, reverse or dodge their move. You should never have to put yourself on the defensive to the point of possibly losing all of your momentum in a fighting, combat game. That just goes against the fundamentals of that genre.

I liked the orchestral music during the WrestleMania matches though. It enhanced the feeling you are reliving and playing through important wrestling history.


The storylines of this year’s MyRise campaigns are far much better than last year’s. They are far more complex and complicated. That makes for some fun playthroughs as you move your way up in your wrestling career starting from the very bottom as you are one or two steps above manning the concession stands.

In Undisputed, Roman Reigns has vacated the Universal Championship. You are a lowly talent who was never even broken through to the mid-card ranks in the WWE. Roman’s actions create an opportunity but can you capitalize on it with general managers William Regal and The Miz complicating matters through their personal feud? It is a political minefield to be sure. That represents WWE’s backstage politics very nicely as well.

In Unleashed, you are a female indie wrestler who is trying to break into the WWE. It has the same dramatic backstage politics and choices that determine where your path will take you.

Match Types

Now you too can have the pleasure of sealing a WWE superstar in a coffin or locking them in the back of an ambulance in WWE 2K.

Both matches are very intuitive as in they play out and function as you think they should. You must open the doors of the ambulance and the lid of the coffin before you can throw someone in. Then, you play a mini-game much like the submission mini-game to determine whether you lock your opponent in or do they escape. It is straightforward fun. You can also use the coffin as a weapon somewhat and battle on the roof of the ambulance.

It has been a long time since I had as much fun being an official in a Special Guest Referee match. You can call things down the middle or you can mess around and even attack the wrestlers you are supposed to be supervising. All the while a meter determines whether you are doing a good, fair job or not. You can be replaced and even ejected from ringside if you are as good a referee as the AEW zebras.

The Gauntlet matches come in three types:

  • Regular Gauntlet Match: Superstars face each other one on one until only one superstar remains.
  • Gauntlet Eliminator: Two begin and over time more enter until there is only one superstar left.
  • Gauntlet Turmoil: One superstar must defeat an entire team in One on One matches.

The Backstage Brawl: 4-players can now do battle and there is a working elevator that you can take to the scaffolding area and machines that dispense bottles of water. The ECW, hardcore persona in me also loves the spotlight you can throw opponent through sending all sorts of sparks flying. Nice that.


The mode has been expanded to include more matches, talent scouts, trading between brands, superstar contract management and the new Superstar Journey allowing superstars to earn XP, train and level up.

Another update…I still suck at MyGM. I want to do well. I really do but apparently I have the booking skill of Tony Khan when it comes to WWE 2K and no, that isn’t a good thing at all. I suspect I will never expand beyond bingo halls and concert halls at this rate. The indies will be my home then, now and forever.


The card game, video game hybrid that is still astro-physics to me, has added tokens and virtual currency and points so some in-game purchases for those who have the money to burn.

From the new gameplay options to the new matches, to the new enhancements, WWE 2K24 has something new for every wrestling fan and all those modes were juggled very well in the sense that they were all given the proper time and attention. None of them feel underdeveloped or not ready-for-prime-time like Maxxine Dupri or half of the AEW roster.

Sometimes so much can be too much and that is what the character creation suite has become. Sure, it is one of the best in the world of video games but there are so many options now that unless you take on one of the pre-made characters it can take you 40 minutes just to finalize your appearance never mind your entrance, your moves, etc. WWE 2K character creation is like a Bonsai tree now. It needs to be trimmed and pared down ever so slightly. We don’t need 65 versions of a piledriver. There needs to be a better way of sorting through all the moves, attire options and entrance types. It also doesn’t help when so many options are labelled as simply “Generic”. That is even worse than saying the breed of my dog is “dog”. With no clue as to what that means you have now choice but to preview each and every one of those generic options to reveal what they really are.

Yes, at this point I am just nit-picking over minor, minor flaws that are so small they reside in Ant Man’s The Quantum Realm because WWE 2K24 really is the best wrestling game franchise ever produced. It is so well done that the developers are now sifting through grains of sand or salt to find anything they can improve upon. While many traditional sports games crank out the same tired old yearly instalments, WWE 2K24 gives gamers value for their money whether it is the multitude of DLC packages, the various modes, the stacked roster of playable characters, the new matches or the enhancements that really do improve the gameplay and experience. The challenge to the developers is if they can continue to top themselves year after year. So far, that challenge seems to be accepted and met.

Three editions of WWE 2K24 will be available:

The Forty Years of WrestleMania Edition will be available – in digital format only – worldwide on Tuesday, March 5, 2024;

The Standard Edition and Standard Cross-Gen Digital Edition will be available worldwide on Friday, March 8, 2024.

WWE 2K24: Deluxe Edition (Physical) available on March 5, 2024 at select retailers in the US, Canada, UK, Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. See local retailer store or site for details.

WWE 2K24 was developed by Visual Concepts and is made for the PlayStation 5 (PS5), PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC via Steam.

Grappling With Gaming: WWE 2K24 Undisputed MyRise Story Part One



WWE 2K24 Summary

What little room there is for improvement is centered on the newer game modes like MyGM and MyFaction. The rest of the game is as dependable and solid as that can opener you have had in your kitchen drawer forever and a day. That being said, there is enough content included in 2K24 and coming in the various scheduled DLC packages that make this so worth owning even if you bought last year’s release.