WWE 2K23 (PlayStation 5) Review

By Luke Hemming 18.03.2023

Review for WWE 2K23 on PlayStation 5

Another year, another outing WWE roll out. For many years, each iteration has been a case of 'here comes the money (grab)'. Last year, however, WWE 2K22 changed that fact by making taking the formula back to square (circle) one. With a new control system, noticeable overhauls, and tweaks, as well as a title that seemed finished, rather than botched, WWE was finally worth investing in again. Does WWE 2K23 now take the title of best wrestling game out there or is this a five knuckle shuffle in the wrong direction? Warning: don't read this review at home, school or anywhere - doing so will likely result in continuous wrestling puns.

As was the case with so many before, 2K23 sticks with the age-old adage of it ain't broke, don't fix it. Fine in most respects, but if a regular player, don't expect much difference from last year. The good side of this, though, is that last year, it was fun, mostly due to the refined control system. Combos and flow are the staples here and, to date, nothing has felt more like a scripted match than here. Add to that the dynamic camera angles and what now feels like very natural commentary that generally seems to match what is happening, the basic package of a one-on-one pasting is an attractive one indeed. As previously mentioned, improvements have been made, even in the basic match types such as the kickout meter now being a 'stop the arrow in the green' minigame, which is a lot more fun and a lot more exciting. If that is all that is needed from a wrestling title, then kick out here and go pick it up. For the rest, stay for the after-show and get to grapple with the rest WWE 2K23 has to offer.

Screenshot for WWE 2K23 on PlayStation 5

Firstly, the list of playable characters is staggering. What literally feels like hundreds of wrestlers are on offer to mess about with, and for a fan, is a dream come true. It's a real bonus that the time has been taken to include so many, especially when WWE programming right now is essentially garbage. Digging into the backlog of character and including some real fan favourites makes up for the non-descript McMahon conveyor belt of unknowns. Do expect to have at least ten John Cena options to balance it out, mind you, along with the now infamous Action Figure Skin doing the rounds online. Choice is king, even if the only sensible option out there is to play as Edge in any scenario.

Gameplay modes remain the same, albeit with some new and improved polish to move them on from last year's hesitant first steps into a brave new world. MyGM was fresh out of the box last time, and has been greatly improved to provide the most enticing of all the features available. Basically, MyGM allows and player to become a budding promoter, booking matches, creating feuds and make whoever they see fit as the head of the table (meaning Ziggler finally gets the respect and credit he deserves for continually being the best in-show).

Screenshot for WWE 2K23 on PlayStation 5

What feels like a bizarre change is MyShowcase. Last year this told the rise of Hall of Famer, Rey Mysterio, from his early career-defining matches facing Eddie Guerreo to his most recent outings with loser son, Dominik. This year seems to basically 'showcase' John Cena getting a battering from everyone and anyone. Not that this isn't fantastic fun (who could pass up an opportunity like that) but does feel slightly jarring considering playing as the smug face would have also meant some classic matches through the ages.

MyRise is still ridiculously cheesy, with no real improvement coming from the option to take on two different personas - up and coming star or relation to a superstar? Both of which lead to the same corny dialogue and awkard reasons to interact with the top talent. Creation mode does give the option to at least create the wrestler of your dreams with its fantastic wealth of options. Throw in an online mode that performs as expected and it's not a bad set of features to while away the hours.

Screenshot for WWE 2K23 on PlayStation 5

Much like Mr Make-A-Wish himself, 'you can't see' any mention of MyFaction so far. It's again the biggest pee-break match on the card. Speaking of cards, MyFaction functions as a collectable card fest! Create a team of eight men and women, fight to gain points, and then buy more characters and skins! It's, well, rubbish. Call it old age, call it tightness, but these kinds of modes will always feel like a shameless attempt to squeeze more out of the wallet. At least this is restricted to one mode in a wealth of options and all items can be gained without any additional cash.

In the current climate, the shift towards pay-to-play phone nonsense will forever be the heel that flaunts itself in front of loyal fans of gaming. The more this is pandered to, the more it will keep rearing its ugly head. Ignore it and hope that in future WWE and the rest of the gaming industry will forego these modes.

Screenshot for WWE 2K23 on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

WWE 2K23 is yet again a positive move in the right direction after last year's entry. Gameplay at its most basic is incredibly enjoyable and with a massive roster to choose from, hours can be lost just through pick up and play. Add to this a fantastic manager mode and enormous creation suite and this is easily the best package to date. Hopefully next year will focus on making its story mode something worth bothering with and remove its monetisation altogether to make this the Ultimate Warrior in sports entertainment.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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