Annual release schedules can be a double-edged sword for franchises like WWE 2K. A prime example of this is WWE 2K20, which received significant backlash for its rough state, prompting a two-year hiatus for the series. However, this break allowed for a revamp, leading to the improved state of WWE 2K24, which feels like the culmination of this renewed vision. While certain issues persist, such as the shortcomings of the Showcase mode, which struggles to authentically recreate pivotal moments in wrestling history while attempting to rewrite them, the game shows improvement in various aspects compared to its predecessors.

Visually, WWE 2K24 continues to set the bar high for wrestling games. The character models are more up-to-date, with fewer outdated gimmicks, and most top stars resemble their real-life counterparts convincingly, down to intricate details like hairstyles, attire, and tattoos. Even announcers add personalized touches for specific wrestlers, enhancing the immersion. Referees now bear closer resemblance to their televised counterparts, adding to the authenticity of matches.

Delving into gameplay mechanics, WWE 2K24 introduces subtle changes that refine the experience. The inclusion of the Super Finisher, allowing players to execute more impactful finishers at the cost of three finisher stocks, adds depth to strategic gameplay. However, some additions like the trading blows minigame feel intrusive and lack significant impact on matches. Nonetheless, these alterations contribute to a more polished wrestling experience.

The variety of match types in WWE 2K24 is commendable, with returning favorites like the special guest referee match offering multiplayer chaos by allowing one player to control the referee’s actions. Ambulance and casket matches provide unique challenges, although the former stands out for its interactive elements involving the ambulance itself. Additionally, gauntlet matches offer diverse gameplay experiences, testing players’ skills in various scenarios.

The MyRise story mode makes a strong return, featuring two engaging narratives filled with humor, drama, and memorable moments. While the stories provide ample content, they occasionally veer into filler territory with smaller feuds and matches.

In conclusion, WWE 2K24 represents a culmination of the series’ progress over the years. While it may not deviate significantly from its predecessors, the numerous refinements and additions make it a worthwhile entry. Despite lingering issues like the Showcase mode’s execution and visual inconsistencies among the roster, WWE 2K24 marks a satisfying conclusion to the series’ recent trilogy of wrestling titles.

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