WWE 2K24 review: Showcase of the Immortals

While WWE 2K24 feels more iterative than last year's edition, the game's roster and celebration of all things WrestleMania hold enormous appeal for fans.


2K’s decision to dovetail the release of WWE 2K titles with WrestleMania season must be one of the smartest decisions in video game publishing. Fans are hyped for all things wrestling as the sport’s Super Bowl draws near, and a new wrestling game scratches the itch while we wait. WWE 2K24 leans into that excitement by paying respect to some of the most exciting matches in the history of WrestleMania.

While some components of the annual franchise feel a little stale, WWE 2K24 is still a solid entry that wrestling fans will enjoy.

Randy Orton RKO's Solo Sikoa on top of an ambulance.
WWE 2K24 boasts new match types including the Ambulance Match.

Finishing Their Stories

One of my favorite features in WWE 2K is the Showcase mode that lets you play the roles of WWE Superstars across the career of legends like John Cena and Rey Mysterio. WWE 2K24 tweaks that direction by assigning you the role of various pro wrestlers through a series of iconic WrestleMania matches spanning the first 39 events.

Developers Yuke’s and Visual Concepts present matches spanning the 40-year history of WrestleMania. You’ll compete in triple threats, challenge for or retain championships in singles matches, and live out some of the most creative gimmick spectacles ever seen, most of which I can’t and wouldn’t want to spoil here. Every match casts you as the wrestler destined to win, but the objectives you complete along the way unlock arenas and characters, and the transition between gameplay models and actual footage gave me ample opportunity to sit back and enjoy matches from before my time.

The writers and Showcase host Corey Graves deserve a shout-out for their work in this mode. While most of the stories stick to “kayfabe” (wrestling-ease for storyline) details, the insight into the history of rivalries and character work put on by legends such as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Andre the Giant was exciting to explore. I found my heart racing as I relived some of my favorite matches and experienced others I’d heard about but had never watched. Playing through them made me want to go back and watch them in their entirety; you can’t give a higher endorsement than that for any video game that draws from history.

WWE 2K24’s developers were selective in the matches they presented, and mostly, they chose well. No one could expect them to hit every iconic match in WrestleMania history, considering most of the shows had more than one, but there are some omissions, bouts that immediately spring to the minds of most fans when they think “WrestleMania,” that left me scratching my head. The characters needed are in the game, but the matches are missing for whatever reason. Despite that, the mode offers an exciting look at some of the cream that rose to the top, as Randy Savage might have said.

Tiffy Time

WWE 2K24’s Showcase mode revolves around stories that have always been written. You have plenty of options if you want to create your own. MyGM, MyFACTION, MyRISE, and Universe mode give you an assortment of ways to become the author of WrestleMania destiny. Universe remains my favorite of the bunch. As a wrestling nerd, there’s nothing I enjoy more in these games than tapping into the deep, simulation-heavy systems Yuke’s and Visual Concepts have spent years refining and partaking in dream matches.

And you’ll be able to put on more of those dream matches than ever courtesy of what has to be the largest roster in WWE 2K history. Over 200 legends, Raw, SmackDown, and NXT Superstars are joined by managers to set the stage for many legendary contests—and that’s without factoring in upcoming DLC characters such as CM Punk, who returned to WWE last November.

There are plenty of knobs and meters to adjust to increase or lighten up on the game’s sim elements. Most return from previous games; some options, such as the odds of run-ins interrupting matches, are straight forward, while others, namely all the sliders that dictate what the AI can and can’t do, and how often, could still use more straightforward explanations, a criticism mentioned in our review of WWE 2K23.

Presentation has long been a strong suit of the SmackDown, SmackDown VS. Raw, and WWE 2K games. WWE 2K24 is no exception and boasts small yet meaningful additions that add to immersion. My favorite are the camera flashes that pop around the arena when a character goes for a big move. It’s a little thing, but if you grew up watching wrestling in the age when attendees brought flashbulbs instead of smartphones to shows, you know how much all those flashes added to the “big fight feel” announcers love to hype.

Roman Reigns observes the carnage he caused against a custom WWE Superstar in WWE 2K24's MyRISE story mode.
MyRISE story gives you two stories to choose from, each with plenty of branching paths.

Casket and Ambulance matches offer more ways to use WWE 2K’s submission systems. To win a casket match, for instance, you have to batter your opponent, toss them into the casket, and then use the submission system until they either fight free or succumb. They’re fun spins on traditional match types, and the added objects and systems in backstage brawls are great for when you want to invite over a bunch of friends, disable the simulation mechanics, and enjoy arcade-style mayhem. In that vein, playing as a guest referee will sow dissension among groups of players. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you’re a nihilist and just want to hit RKOs on everything that moves.

WWE 2K24’s quick loading times get you into the action faster than ever, where you can check out all the details in this year’s character models. Most have been improved, but others appear either unchanged from last year’s game or those changes are so infinitesimal that it’s hard to notice. They don’t look bad by any stretch, but every game has characters whose faces you have to struggle to associate with their real-life counterpart, and hair, as always, needs work.

If you prefer to build yourself as the pro wrestler of your dreams and take the WWE by storm, MyRISE is the mode for you. You can choose from a pre-selected Superstar or build one of your own (c’mon, you know you wanna main event PLEs) and embark on one of two stories, each with plenty of plot twists and decisions to make. So many, in fact, that you’ll want to take advantage of all the save slots you’re given so you can go back and turn left where you turned right before, so to speak. The voice acting of custom wrestlers is iffy, but the work from WWE talent such as Mick Foley, The Miz, and Roman Reigns is excellent and will draw you deeper into these bespoke stories.

Improvements to MyGM make their way over from last year’s game, with the ability to choose from iconic managers such as Paul Heyman or build your own. MyFACTION pits your stable of cards against others and is largely the same as WWE 2K23’s, but still fun, especially if you’re into collecting.

Ring the Bell

WWE 2K24 is packed with features. Some you know, while others are new or have been given fresh coats of paint. Showcase mode is worth the price of admission alone, but the diverse roster and deep systems kept me playing for hours. No matter what your story is, you’ll have fun finishing it and starting others.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

Review for
WWE 2K24
  • Largest roster yet
  • WrestleMania Showcase lets you relive iconic matches with great insight into characters and stories
  • Small presentation details add to immersion
  • Voice acting from WWE Superstars stands out in story modes
  • Many character models and gameplay systems feel iterative from WWE 2K23
  • Spotty voice acting for custom Superstars in story modes
  • WrestleMania Showcase missing some defining matches
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