WWE 2K24 Review – Tell me a Story

Reviewed March 5, 2024 on PS5


Xbox One, PS4, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S


March 8, 2024




Visual Concepts

It’s Wrestlemania season. And now, that means another entry in the WWE 2K franchise has come around hungrier than an American Nightmare on his quest to Finish the Story. Firmly settled into a yearly rhythm now, WWE 2K24 continues to focus on refinement rather than revolution. That’s not a bad thing; the gameplay and presentation foundations from the last couple of years are solid, and it has allowed the development team to focus on making smart design tweaks and additions, rather than having to reinvent the wheel completely after the disastrous WWE 2K20 (that nobody should ever speak about again). It’s a safe bet, but still drags with it some niggling issues that the series should consider reworking and bringing up to its high standard.

Not to sound like a broken record, but WWE fans just want to play a video game that feels as close to the real-life product as possible. WWE 2K24 nails that, with a presentation that is stronger than ever. The developers claim they have reworked over 90% of facial animations, and although some of these are subtle differences, the roster by and large looks better than ever. There’s always going to be some misses, but visually speaking this is as close to the real thing as you can possibly get. Animations are spot on, representing the way each Superstar walks, taunts and hits their signature moves. There are a bunch of arenas, and the actual collection of talent here is strong, with fewer outdated gimmicks than before. Some omissions will be filled later with DLC, and some of the NXT women have been left out in the cold (where’s my girl Kiana James!?), but the list of wrestlers past and present is gigantic and doesn’t have many gaps.

With the presentation so perfect, it’s odd however that they don’t have the (sometimes awful) AR animations during entrances. I’m not saying I love them – the Judgment Day reapers and Cody’s trademark skull are cool, Becky with the tilted sunglasses is still creepy as hell – but I’m used to seeing them on the broadcasts every week now, and it’s weird to not have them here when everything else looks so similar. Announcers fare better, particularly the iconic Samantha Irving, but some of Michael Cole’s commentary lines were clearly recorded off-site, and the dip in quality was impossible to ignore with these radio-trained ears on my head.

“Moment-to-moment gameplay remains largely untouched from last year’s WWE 2K23. That is to say, it remains excellent.”

Moment-to-moment gameplay remains largely untouched from last year’s WWE 2K23. That is to say, it remains excellent. The major updates include Super Finishers, juiced-up versions of existing finishers that require three full bars filled to execute. They’re satisfying, but not necessarily worth the pay-off considering how long they take to build up. A new “trading blows” minigame also breaks up the action, with a QTE that has a circle filling up as you punch and chop back and forth with your opponent. This definitely happens on TV, but is less fun in practice as it drastically shifts the pace of gameplay. I think we were better off without it.

Some other gameplay tweaks are far more subtle but absolutely welcome. Tag matches in particular have received an overhaul; previously, they felt like an almost impossible task to win against the AI, who were always able to break up pincounts. Now, they’re limited in the number of times they’re allowed to do that, which makes more sense thematically and prevents matches from dragging on when they really should be over. This was particularly frustrating when trying to complete MyFACTION dailies or MyRISE objectives, so I’m glad they finally fixed it. You can throw small weapons at people, which is funny more than anything, and new paybacks allow you to get back into a match with showmanship where you’d otherwise be staring up at the lights. WWE 2K24 has refined what it needed to, and no more than that.

Where WWE 2K23 introduced the awesome Wargames match type, WWE 2K24 brings the Ambulance Match, Casket Match, Special Guest Referee and Gauntlet Match types into the fray. Ambulance and Casket matches work pretty similarly, with the goal of placing your opponent inside one of them and closing the door/lid. The Ambulance feels a bit more interesting here, as it’s parked near ringside and allows you to launch your opponent off of it before jumping on them.

The Gauntlet Match has featured more heavily in programming in recent years, so it’s good to see it here as a variation where two wrestlers start one-on-one, and then another enters the mix only when somebody is eliminated. It makes for a genuine challenge when you start in the first match and know that there are several more superstars to come, and this can be modified as a one vs. team setting as well if you want to test yourself. Lastly, the much-loved Special Guest Referee provides plenty of chaos, as you’re allowed to play as the Ref in this mode and really mess with the rules. If you do it too much, you’ll be ejected and replaced, but it’s hilarious to pull fast counts, ignore obvious rule breaks and overall be a menace. I can see this being particularly funny in online play with your mates.

MyRISE, the quintessential story mode for WWE 2K24, again features two paths you can take, one for women and one for men. The women’s story, Unleashed, has you starting in an indie federation before being scouted for WWE by William Regal. It isn’t long before you find yourself in the wild world of wrestling entertainment while trying to maintain your indie sensibilities and not forget where you came from. This year it’s the men’s story, Undisputed, that is a little more enticing. Here, Roman Reigns vacates his championship after a super-long stint at the top, and you, a wildcard in a Summerslam tournament, find yourself with the title in your hands. Will you be able to step out of Roman’s shadow? It’s a fun story that closer resembles the kind of madness you’d see on TV, complete with a kick-off on WWE’s talk show The Bump, and featuring a lot of voiced talent again to make it feel legit, if not ridiculously campy and silly. But hey, it’s wrestling, after all.

It’s the much-touted 40 Years of Wrestlemania Showcase mode that lets the side down, and my complaints from previous Showcase modes of this ilk are still relevant here. 2K loves to reference their “Slingshot” technology that blends real-match footage with gameplay moments, but it still feels far too hands-off for me, and too frequent. It robs you of big moments that you’d really want to play out yourself; instead, you tick off an arbitrary-feeling objectives list so you can trigger the next cut scene. At least this year those objectives aren’t compulsory; you can ignore them and just win the match and move on, but that’s sort of against the point. Corey Graves does a good job of guiding you through what makes each match special, his enthusiasm much more palatable than the awful bland generic rock music that used to play exclusively during the real footage in previous editions.

You’d think that 40 Years of Wrestlemania would include all the big matches from over the years, but due to what I’m guessing is licensing trouble and not wanting to highlight anybody no longer on the roster or a Legends contract, there are some glaring omissions. For example, Daniel Bryan’s epic two wins in one night, and the start of Kofimania just a few years ago, are nowhere to be seen. Women get short-changed massively; only three matches are featured, and they’re simply not the best ones. Asuka vs. Bianca Belair at Wrestlemania 39? Please. Where is Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James? And you don’t have Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair, the first time in history that two black women main evented the Showcase of the Immortals in an all-time banger? I get it, Sasha is off making MonĂ© somewhere else, but it feels odd to simply not include absolute instant classics like this. I mean, Hulk Hogan is there slamming Andre in Wrestlemania 3, and he is a racist homophobe. Make it make sense!

For those who prefer to pull the strings behind the scenes, the MyGM and Universe modes are back, but any changes to them aren’t immediately identifiable. Look a bit deeper, and you’ll see that MyGM allows for more match types, more Championships, and even trades between brands after each PLE, providing a bit of a reset and change of pace. The mode is still not playable online against others, which seems like something they really need to rectify for next year; I know I’d spend a lot more time in MyGM if I was building my own wrestling brand against my pals, instead of the AI. It’s as enjoyable as ever to use your budget wisely, draft superstars, book feuds and try to keep everybody happy while aiming to be the best brand in the business.

Universe is still a beast of a mode which is basically the equivalent of a Sandbox. You can control everything, including rosters, feuds, champions, weekly shows, and even Money in the Bank cash-ins or Double Title Matches. It continues to provide everything a wrestling nerd could ever possibly want, and you could easily spend all of your time in there, pretending you’re the ultimate booker and showing Triple H and Tony Khan how it’s done.

That’s on top of the MyFACTION mode, which returns with its strange mix of collecting Superstars as cards from booster packs and then fighting with them to achieve daily objectives and Weekly Towers. With four different types of virtual currency, it’s a bit much for me, but popping in to open a booster and tick off dailies does provide the required endorphin rush many will look for. I haven’t even touched on the always robust Creation Suite, or the soundtrack that is produced by Post Malone, who is also going to be a playable character, if he’s someone you’d like to punch in the face. There’s just so much contention WWE 2K24 that it will easily last you until next year; I just wonder what other incremental changes they can make at this point to justify WWE 2K25. Iron Survivor Challenge, maybe? Visual Concepts, are you listening?




  • In-ring action remains the best in the business
  • Presentation is top-notch, just like on TV
  • Jam-packed with lots of content
  • MyRISE remains a campy, entertaining story mode


  • Wrestlemania Showcase can be hands-off, and is missing matches
  • Not exactly a massive upgrade from WWE 2K23 overall

It’s great that the WWE 2K series is in such a good place, where it doesn’t need to change much and still remains a must-have for wrestling game fans everywhere. When the bell rings, WWE 2K24 still continues to have the best in-ring action, with a broadcast-like presentation that very much looks the part. It’s filled to the brim with content that will keep you busy until Wrestlemania 41, but its Showcase mode, the key feature of its marketing campaign every single year, needs a serious rethink, as it’s holding the series back from legendary status. It might not Finish the Story, but it’s another damn good chapter.