WWE 2K23: Expert Reviews and Impressions From Around the Web

Erik BeastonMarch 19, 2023

What are top reviewers saying about the latest WWE/2K Sports offering?
What are top reviewers saying about the latest WWE/2K Sports offering?Credit: WWE.com

WWE 2K23 released Friday, and according to reviews by top gaming publications, it is a return to form for the franchise and one of the best released by 2KSports in years.

#WWE2K23 @WWEgames

🚨🚨🚨<br>Happy <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWE2K23?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWE2K23</a> Launch Day!! 🥳<br>Shoutout to our entire <a href="https://twitter.com/2K?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@2K</a> community for being <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EvenStronger?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EvenStronger</a>! Tag a friend who wants the smoke in the ring today! ⤵️ <a href="https://t.co/ddGvfF1Ohh">pic.twitter.com/ddGvfF1Ohh</a>

One even went as far as to compare it to an all-timer, placing it in the pantheon of greatest wrestling games ever.

Alistair McGeorge of Metro called the game (scored 8/10) the best since SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain, released nearly two decades ago this year. Among the elements he touted in his review are the kick-out mini-game and increased wrestling styles.

"Whether it's the dramatic new kick-out mini-game or the new Fire Pro Wrestling style selection of sliders, making every wrestler behave like their real-life counterparts, the developers deserves [sic] full credit for the work done here."

He is not wrong, either. The kick-out mini-game has made every pinfall attempt count more. One slip of a button and you lose a match faster than expected. It demands your attention or risks you dropping a fall just seconds into the contest.

Also giving the game an '"8" rating is Jarrett Green of IGN, who praised the production for building on the foundation laid by last year's presentation.

"Even Stronger" is the perfect tagline for WWE 2K23. Last year's reinvention laid a solid foundation, and every aspect of it has been refined for the better this year," he wrote.


WWE 2k23's combat is flexible without becoming burdensome, the MyRise campaign focuses on telling more focused stories without compromising its gameplay, and Showcase mode takes on an inventive new twist but can be a bit jarring.<br><br>Our review: <a href="https://t.co/Cx8Qtuu1jV">https://t.co/Cx8Qtuu1jV</a> <a href="https://t.co/qLM8wXI7Qu">pic.twitter.com/qLM8wXI7Qu</a>

Green continued, "...WWE's flagship game has never been more deserving of its spot at the head of the wrestling game table."

It is obvious that game developers looked not to expand the modes and features offered this year but, rather, enhance the ones the game already had. MyGM, MyFranchise and MyRise are all better in 2K23 than they were last year. Even the creation suite is vastly upgraded.

Marcus Stewart of Game Informer reiterated Green's observations but warned, "like watching a returning legend perform their greatest hits night after night, the novelty has faded, but I'm still pleased to have them back–for now," in yet another 8/10 review.

There is good reason for hesitation on his part. If the game's developers stretch out their commitment to bettering the modes that already exist for a third year, they risk running into the same issues that face EA Sports and the Madden NFL franchise, which has bogged down into sameness for so long that it faces a "make or break" release in 2023.

It will be imperative for WWE and 2KSports to take the modes that they have spent two years developing and tweaking and evolve them further—not only grow and reshape them as necessary but also include new and exciting ones to keep fans coming back.

#WWE2K23 @WWEgames

🗣️YOUR TIME IS NOW!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWE2K23?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWE2K23</a> early access is available NOW for Deluxe and Icon Edition users! Get yours now and be <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EvenStronger?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EvenStronger</a> 💪 <a href="https://t.co/yYQOciHILq">pic.twitter.com/yYQOciHILq</a>

Becoming complacent and hoping the audience has forgotten the disasterpiece that was WWE 2K20 would be a major mistake on a franchise that has begun winning back fans thanks to quality productions like WWE 2K23.

For now, the companies should relish in the positive reviews while keeping an eye on what will need to change and be included for next year to keep upward momentum on their side.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below.