When you come for the king, you best not miss. When you enter the ring, you best not glitch. Unfortunately, as 2K's in-house game developer, Visual Concepts, took the crown from longtime Japanese developer Yukes and reigned over WWE 2K20's development, their glitchy, buggy game seems to have missed the ball and laid waste to the ever-popular franchise.
Honestly, we should have known something was fishy when only one critic was given the game for a pre-release review. That critic was Forbes' Brian Mazique, and he struggled to call the game above-average, leaving it with a 5.25 overall score. IGN's Mitchell Saltzman did review the game after its release, and he gave it a 4.3.
The same thing happened with NBA 2K20, as no reviews were published before the game's release date. It's as if 2K knows it is rehashing the same formula each year and has decided giving reviewers a chance to criticize that stagnation isn't in its best interests.
Like with NBA 2K20, WWE 2K20 is hearing it from those fans who still bought the game despite not getting to hear experts' thoughts on it.
After releasing on September 6, NBA 2K's user score on Metacritic is sitting at 0.7, based on 695 ratings. After its release on October 22, WWE 2K's user score on Metacritic sits at 1.7, based on 53 reviews.
Before touching on our lone expert reviews, let's look at some of those user takes.
Jetking was unenthused with the game, claiming "playing it would clearly be putting more effort into it than the developers did." Others followed through with poignant, unflattering comparisons. OnlyOneHere explained, "Even a PS2 game like Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 has better facial models than this so-called PS4 game," while hhrjmoore said WWE 2K20 "is as bad as WCW Nitro on PS1." TalentUK called it "one of the worst games ever...right up there with ET on Atari."
My favorite review, though, came succinctly from Steff86: "WWE 2K Potato." Another user's experience could only be summarized as "WWE 2K Tornado."
As for the experts, Mazique echoed users' issues and wasn't thrilled enough by the game's career and DLC additions to overcome his disappointment in WWE 2K20's graphics and gameplay.
"Unfortunately, even that core foundation isn't as stable as it has been in the past," he wrote. "I'd hoped for more in the way of options and new ideas, but that isn't in this year's game."
Saltzman, too, seemed nearly impressed by the fashion in which this game travels, almost acrobatically, back in time to a world with worse graphics and computing power: "WWE 2K19 looked like it stopped the downward trend for the series, but WWE 2K20 doubles back, breaks its ankle, and tumbles down the slope."