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WWE 2K24 Review: The absolute best wrestling game out there

By 5 March 2024Reviews

By Dom Smith

I go way back with the 2K Games. I’ve played them every year since they started coming out, and I played the series way before 2K took over the franchise. For me, like the actual WWE product, these games represent real escapism. Here, I can be Bray Wyatt (one of my favourite wrestlers of all-time), I can re-do the Mankind and Triple H retirement feud from 2000 just because I want to, and in this year’s game specifically, I can actually relive iconic WrestleMania events in Showcase (Of The Immortals) Mode.

I can escape from the stresses of life, play online with friends and generally enjoy assuming the role of cool on-screen characters for a bit. So yeah, these games do actually mean something to me, and I’ll admit to enjoying them, even when others haven’t.


2K23 gave fans a lot more of what they wanted (Wargames, updated models and a surprisingly good John Cena showcase mode, complete with invisible Cena), and so I had high hopes when 2K generously sent me the code to review this year’s instalment.

I have not been disappointed this time around, and alongside the Showcase Mode, I got to enjoy recreating the feuds of my aforementioned favourites in new, and interesting modes (like the Ambulance Match). In addition, I loved the new Gauntlet-style matches – anything that tests me in a game I have been playing for years, I welcome. Also, bringing back Special Referee is an excellent touch, and I can’t wait to screw The Judgement Day out of wins with my dude, R-Truth in Universe Mode! The drama that this opportunity presents is real!


The gameplay is largely the same overall, but seems a lot cleaner, and smarter – the lighting is better than ever before, for example. The evidence of this is in the Ambulance Match and the Backstage Brawl interaction, and the overall care and quality that’s gone into those match types – there’s now a working elevator, and interactive, smashable glass panels! Ooooh, you can throw weapons at your opponent now, as well. Cue stop sign hurling!

In terms of the mechanics, reversals are more apparent (and look great) here. A lot of the glitches that have been evident in previous years, seem fixed. Mini-games (like trading blows) make the pace of matches more fun, and Super Finishers add to the intensity of any decent, hard bouts that you can craft. Not only that, but pinning is more dynamic, reversals are way tighter, even the way characters like Rey Mysterio and Hulk Hogan move are more character-specific, and it all goes into making a great game overall.

Everything feels like it matters more in 2k24, this game is more vibrant, to me, anyway.  Moves and character models (across the board) look even better still this year – shinier even, and closer to the action than I’ve ever seen (or been) in the history of these games. Have a look at Orton and Seth in the 2015 match, and you’ll see what I mean about the models, and the general quality vibe. It’s in the aforementioned advanced camera angles, the new freeze and rage taunts that help you build to finishers, and the sheer amount of stuff to do. It’s all good, and fun. But, you’re gonna have to manage your time, as there is a lot to do between the new match types and various modes.

Showcase of The Immortals

The Showcase Mode seems to support players more this year – no more tearing your hair out, trying to figure out how to do a pesky irish whip into the corner! There are actual button instructions this time! Bag gawd, they fixed it…ish! Though, each match can be run a little long, and the instructions can be tedious if you miss something, it is a slight improvement. This time, I was able to fully appreciate the stories that these athletes were trying to tell at their respective Manias, both in gameplay, and the awesome interspliced cinematics. For me, because of that small change, this really could be the best Showcase Mode they’ve ever done.

Clearly 2K Developers have worked very hard improving various aspects of this game since the calamity of 2K20, and it shows. I still think that instruction system is overly complex though, and could do with being simplified down, as some of the aforementioned mechanics can be annoying to repeat match after match. After hours of frustrating play, I realised that you don’t actually have to complete all the objectives to win the matches, but you’ll miss some cool unlockables, and epic cutscenes.

The best match for me personally was that iconic Michaels and Razor ladder match (WrestleMania X). Also, on a sidenote. it’s wonderful to see the likes of Paul Bearer, Miss Elizabeth and Bobby Heenan featured in the mode too as managers at varying points. The atmosphere across all matches is fantastic, and the background music really adds to the tension (see Lesnar vs Reigns) and gravitas of the WrestleMania moment each bout represents. There are some incredible stories told here – from Seth’s cash-in, to The Firefly Funhouse Match and the first ever Women’s WrestleMania Main Event (featuring Rousey, Lynch and Flair), this is all wonderful stuff to go back to. Also, there’s a Royal surprise for you at the end of this Mode, which is an awesome way to finish things off. The stuff of dreams, one might say!


I’ve had a quick run through on MyGM, and as ever this mode is intuitive, and responds to the players’ choice. I enjoyed pitting Eric Bischoff (ECW), Paul Heyman (WCW) and William Regal (Raw) against my own Mick Foley’s SmackDown. The mode itself really encourages the player to think about match choices, even down to weight classes, and production, and how that will affect fan engagement. It’s another example of how the developers have built a game with modes that will engage and continue to build throughout the year.

With this mode in particular, It feels like 2k have built something that has directly responded to fan issues from previous years, and created a near-perfect wrestling game, for fans of behind-the-scenes, and the action itself. You can build your shows, play your matches and grow your brand in exciting ways. Really, really well done.


Post Malone has done a cracking job mixing alternative rock, metal, pop and hip-hop. It’s great to see bands like Pigs x 7 (who are avid wrestling fans themselves), alongside hardcore heroes, Turnstile and Militarie Gun. I always find new bangers to listen to as well, this time including Grimes’ luscious ‘Genesis’!

Thanks Postie! I look forward to playing as you later on in the DLC run!


MyRISE this year is punctuated by innovative stories as part of Undisputed where you (and your adopted character/persona) will get a chance to have epic feuds with the likes of Kevin Owens, Gunther and Cody in a range of match types including a Casket Match, Wargames and Elimination Chamber. Of course, there are many more shenanigans between Raw GM (Regal) and SmackDown GM (The Miz), including The Draft, and some meta references to the game itself (via Xavier Woods and UpUpDownDown). You will frequently get to perform as other characters in the game too, so it won’t get stale.

The 2K team have thought of a range of ways to keep players invested, and returning to the game over time. Much like Showcase Mode, there are cutscenes and instructions to keep players’ interest, and I believe it’s the best one yet, without giving too much away.

Meanwhile, as part of Unleashed we begin in and exciting upstart indie promotion, with our female character, and move toward her journey to a WWE contract, tryouts and getting signed, interacting with legends like Mick Foley (voicing Cactus, Mankind and Dude Love), and Dark (yeah things get a bit weird…) Alexa Bliss as you go. Plus, some beef with Shotzi, Liv Morgan, Chyna and even upper management creative (somewhat ironic given what happens later in the story…), through some unlikely alliances with “Dirty” Dom and “Mami” Rhea, DEMON Finn Balor among many others, across a range of match types including Special Ref. Similarly in Unleashed, you will play as Psycho Sally, and various standout NXT talent (like Nikkita Lyons) at alternate points to keep things interesting, and have matches in different parts of the world. Oh, you’ll also become a big Hollywood star with John Cena…and then Trish Stratus! So, yeah. That leads to some fun scenes, and matches.

Anyway, this really does feel like the most complete WWE game yet in terms of story (with superstar interactions that harken back to the classic Here Comes The Pain game), and I am here for it. The writing is great, the voiceover performers (particularly Roman Reigns and Regal) really shine here, and there are plenty of call backs to the previous games and great continuity in the storytelling, as well as some new story surprises (including a marriage), with everything culminating on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania!


Universe Mode is more fun to play this year too, there seems to be more at stake, and more attention to detail. By this, I mean more intuitive rivalries, whether I am being taunted by Scrypts on NXT as Joe Gacy leading to a Last Man Standing Match, or on SmackDown rekindling LA Knight’s feud with Bray Wyatt, and the consequences that come with competing in said rivalries (being attacked during an entrance, for example). Once a rivalry is complete you can challenge for a championship, or form a team, which adds to the game’s overall replayability. It’s way less repetitive if you take control of one superstar (in my opinion), rather than the sandbox mode, but I will say regardless, that the other matches on any given card can still get pretty weird and random at times.


While it’s true that there are no major surprises, and lots of similarities to the previous games, this is easily the highest quality wrestling game on the market, and to be fair, it’s not a close race right now. It looks like I will be able to continue to enjoy this series, find that escape, and revel in it.

Small and subtle improvements have been made in WWE 2K24, to character builds, camera angles, commentary and the environments. Do we as franchise fans need MAJOR surprises or big changes to satisfy? I don’t think so. I think fans will play this regardless, and find something to enjoy, returning to it regularly, just like I plan to.

Who’s game is it? 2K’s. Yeah!

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