WWE's video game franchise has been revitalized thanks to a new partnership with 2K Sports, and although WWE 2K14 hasn't been out for long in North America, it has already received rave reviews from wrestling fans and gamers alike.
Thanks to new game modes such as 30 Years of WrestleMania and The Streak, as well as the expansion of wrestler customization, this year's game has a special feeling surrounding it. Perhaps more important than anything else, though, is WWE 2K14's roster.
The roster from last year's game was tough to top, but 2K Sports may have done it thanks to the emphasis placed on WrestleMania in this year's edition. Here is a look at WWE 2K14's expansive roster courtesy of WWE.2K.com.
|WWE 2K14 Roster|
|Alberto Del Rio|
|Andre The Giant|
|Big E Langston|
|Big John Studd|
|Big Show (Retro)|
|Brock Lesnar (Retro)|
|Chris Jericho (Retro)|
|"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan|
|Jake "The Snake" Roberts|
|John Cena (Retro)|
|Kevin Nash (nWo)|
|Kevin Nash (Outsiders)|
|King Kong Bundy|
|"Macho Man" Randy Savage|
|"Macho Man" Randy Savage (nWo)|
|Ric Flair (Retro)|
|"Ravishing" Rick Rude|
|Scott Hall (nWo)|
|Scott Hall (Outsiders)|
|Shawn Michaels (Retro)|
|"Stone Cold" Steve Austin|
|The Great Khali|
|The Rock (Retro)|
|Triple H (Retro)|
|Undertaker "American Badass"|
Included within the roster are a number of Superstars who will be available through downloadable content in the coming months, as seen here.
Keep reading for further analysis regarding some of the most intriguing DLC that WWE 2K14 has to offer.
While WWE 2K14 focuses largely on WWE history due to the 30 Years of WrestleMania mode, there is no doubt that it has a decidedly WCW flavor as well. Not only are "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash included on the main roster, but several other WCW stars will be available as part of the nWo DLC pack, which is scheduled to be released in November.
The Giant, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Syxx and Scott Steiner are all included, but Curt Hennig has to be the most intriguing addition of all.
Hennig is best known for his time in WWE as Mr. Perfect. Under that gimmick, Hennig went on to become one of the greatest Intercontinental champions of all time. Hennig had plenty of success under his real name in WCW, though, as he became a United States and Tag Team champion while with the promotion and proved that he could still wrestle with the best of them even as he got up there in age.
Hennig's inclusion is great not only due to the fact that he can be paired with his nWo comrades, but also because he can be utilized against some of the other WWE stars he battled as Mr. Perfect during the early 1990s. Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Dusty Rhodes and Jake "The Snake" Roberts are just a few of the wrestlers who could have some fantastic and realistic matches with Hennig in the game. That kind of versatility makes Hennig a must-buy DLC Superstar.
The second DLC release set for December will have a modern flavor, as it includes five current Superstars and Divas as well as more than 30 new moves and taunts. While the Bella Twins, Summer Rae and Big E Langston will appeal to various gamers, there is little doubt that everyone will want to get their hands on Fandango. It was somewhat surprising that WWE's resident master of dance wasn't included in the original roster since he debuted prior to WrestleMania, but he will be in very high demand come December.
Fandango hasn't been utilized particularly well in recent months despite his popularity, but he continues to get a favorable fan reaction when he wrestles. A big reason for that is his entertaining entrance. WWE 2K14 captures it well, as Fandango and Summer Rae dance their way down to the ring just like they do in real life. The entrance culminates with a lighted silhouette of Fandango descending from the rafters, and that alone makes the Fandango character worth the price.
Fandango is also quite good in the ring, and his taunts are hilarious, so he'll add a great deal to the game in that regard as well. Fandango may not be a main event-caliber performer, but he's a very fun character that the fans are able to connect with. His character is one that should come across well in a video game, so his DLC release will definitely be among the most highly anticipated ones this year.
One of the biggest coups for WWE over the past year has been its reconciliation with legendary wrestler Bruno Sammartino. After years away from the company, Sammartino reached a deal with WWE and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In addition to that, WWE now has the ability to include his likeness in various projects. With that in mind, Sammartino will be the crown jewel of the third DLC pack, as he, Dusty Rhodes, Jake Roberts, "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Virgil will all be part of it. Each character has his merits, but Sammartino trumps them all.
Sammartino is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, but he has never been included in a video game, so his involvement in WWE 2K14 is a huge deal. It's likely that the vast majority of gamers know very little about Sammartino as a wrestler, so his inclusion will be a learning experience. Video games are a great way for younger fans to learn about the past, and Sammartino will be the driving force behind that in WWE 2K14.
The one issue with Sammartino being in this game is that there aren't really any other wrestlers from his era to match him up with. Even so, Sammartino serves a purpose, as gamers can put him up against some of the other all-time greats such as Hulk Hogan, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock and a host of others.
Sammartino and WWE 2K14 are a case of past meets present, and there should be plenty of interest in him being part of this DLC pack.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!