We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

WWE 2K24 review – a showcase of the immortals

WWE 2K24 is the most feature-rich modern wrestling game and is a phenomenal tribute to the promotion’s past, but it’s far from perfect.

WWE 2K24 review: Rhea Ripley in full goth Mami makeup, walking out as the Titantron shows wings behind her.

Our Verdict

WWE 2K24 is a fitting tribute to the legacy of the wrestlers that came before, the talented Superstars that now thrill millions worldwide, and the future of sports entertainment in videogames, even if there is still room for improvement in the presentation and some of its game modes.

While many fondly remember WWE’s glory days, professional wrestling is currently experiencing a new renaissance period. With more eyes on the company than ever, WWE 2K24 aims to celebrate the past while creating a blueprint for future wrestling games. It does so by updating its roster of match types, adding new features to the Universe, MyFaction, and MyGM modes, telling stories with its two MyRise campaigns, and taking a nostalgic look at the highlights of 40 years of Wrestlemania. There’s so much to unpack here in WWE 2K24, with something for every professional wrestling fan – but everything good comes at some cost.

As a base for the rest of the game’s modes, WWE 2K24’s exhibition matches give you nearly complete control over the stipulations and arenas. There’s a sizable roster (although some are locked behind WWE 2K24 locker codes) that includes the vast majority of currently signed talent from Raw, Smackdown, and NXT, as well as several iconic WWE Legends to flesh out both men’s and women’s divisions, you’re sure to find a favorite or two.

In addition to all the match types from WWE 2K23, there are a few new ones here, such as Casket and Ambulance matches, where the objective is to bundle your opponent inside the vessel of choice and close the door to win. There’s still no real option for full intergender matches here, something AEW: Fight Forever offers, but the Mixed Tag Team match stipulation at least offers some kind of middle ground. One significant new feature is the ability to become a Special Guest Referee, which gives you your own meter, showing if you’re being fair or heavily biased. It’s a welcome addition to the sports game, potentially providing some hilarious shenanigans during a game night as your friends accuse you of unfair rulings, only to be met with Stone Cold Stunners.

YouTube Thumbnail

As a fighting game, WWE 2K24 is generally straightforward, though I recommend brushing up in the Performance Center mode to get to grips with the buttons if you’ve not played a WWE game in a while. There are a lot of button combinations to do simple things like hoisting an opponent onto the corner turnbuckle, but once you know how to do it, it becomes second nature. Spliced into the action are minigames for maneuvers such as pinning attempts, forcing an opponent to submit, or even that spot in many matches where two tired wrestlers exchange punches in the middle of the ring.

While these minigames heighten the tension, other decisions with the core gameplay are far more questionable, mainly any action requiring specific positioning. I prefer how AEW’s game provides button prompts for setting up a ladder under the title cummerbunds or the precise location for where to go rooting around under the ring for a steel chair. It’s been an issue since the THQ WWE games, and I’m surprised that concessions still haven’t been made here.

The wrestling gameplay is as fun as ever, and I had an absolute blast, but things fall apart a little with WWE 2K24’s character graphics. Overall, the talented wrestlers’ likeness is remarkable; thankfully, there are rarely any weird distortions in facial features. This is particularly apparent in the entrances, where the movements and expressions are as close as they are to how they look on TV. However, any wrestler with longer hair, particularly my created characters, will frequently have it glitching all over the place.

WWE 2K24 review: Bret Hart has Stone Cold Steve Austin set up for a Superplex.

It’s not just an issue of hair, though. I’ve had multiple instances where the announcer will repeatedly herald my created character’s entrance during each segment of their ring entrance. I’ve had one match where Shawn Michaels couldn’t get back into the ring because he’d glitched on a fence. There was even a time when, despite doing what I was told, I failed a MyRise goal because The Miz was standing in the middle of the entranceway rather than at the ringside. These issues are rare, except for the over-enthusiastic ring announcer, so I expect a day one patch to resolve them relatively quickly.

While the Play mode encompasses the bulk of WWE 2K24, several other modes are available from the start. The Showcase feature celebrates 40 years of Wrestlemania, though there’s only room for the highest caliber matches. It’s worth playing just for that, but there are also a handful of WWE 2K24 unlockables you can get for completing objectives here.

With narration from WWE commentator Cory Graves and the occasional interview with Legends such as Kurt Angle and Stone Cold Steve Austin, matches usually consist of you replicating key spots to complete objectives. The clever bit is that we see dramatic moments that could be tricky to render in-engine as actual Wrestlemania footage instead. That figure-four leglock Bret Hart gave Stone Cold during their Wrestlemania 13 classic? It’s there, along with that iconic, bloody shot of Austin. The matches here are all classics, either by being an intense match or having heightened drama. While I hope there’s scope for additional classic matches in the future (Bret and Owen Hart’s brother vs brother encounter or Shawn Michaels retiring Rik Flair seem like shoe-ins here) what we have encompasses some of the best WWE matches of all time.

WWE 2K24 review: one custom wrestler is Irish Whipping the other custom wrestler into the ropes of a TBD ring.

MyRise features two campaigns: Unleashed for the women and Undisputed for the men’s roster. Unleashed has the player join the Raw roster after an impressive display as the “local enhancement talent” in which they get the win over the rival Raw Superstar. Undisputed is more of a what-if scenario, as Roman Reigns inexplicably relinquishes the Undisputed Title, and your created character becomes the dark horse in a tournament to crown the new champion. Both campaigns took me roughly eight hours to finish, complete with optional objectives. They were generally a fun time, even if I did experience the bulk of the performance issues during my time with these modes.

The most exciting part of the WWE 2K games for me is the MyGM mode, where you and other bookers compete against each other to book your talent, buy logistics, and put on a great show week after week. It’s steadily been getting more new features and tweaks since its introduction. Still, there is an increase in the number of options available to book that now include tag-team callouts and a general revamp of the arena upgrade system that uses accrued assets in addition to cash to keep things balanced.

WWE2K24 review: LA Knight is about to use his BFT finisher against Seth "Freakin'" Rollins.

WWE 2K24 is the best and most authentic-looking professional wrestling game I’ve played in years. It captures the spirit of the WWE, with a vast roster, a wide variety of match stipulations, and clever upgrades to its existing game modes. I had minor issues with visual and audio glitches, as well as grievances with a lack of features in some modes, but on the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed what I played. The standout mode, though, is the Showcase mode: a wonderful tribute to 40 years of blood, sweat, and tears from the talented men and women who put their bodies on the line for our entertainment. While it’s not perfect, if you’re a fan of WWE or professional wrestling, this is the best new wrestling game on the market, and it’ll be hard for 2K games to top next time.

Reviewed on PlayStation 5.