WWE 2K23 Review – A Slam in the Right Direction

WWE 2K23 Review
The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that while the game is good, it probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point. We suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future. Maybe ever. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: March 17, 2023
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC
  • Genre: Sports (Wrestling) simulation game
  • Similar Games: WWE 2K Series
  • Price: Starts at PHP2,990 for the Standard Edition (around $59.99)

While Visual Concept’s WWE 2K22 wasn’t completely a masterpiece, the game really redeemed the franchise from its dismal state a few years back. Thanks to numerous improvements made, it’s no surprise then, that we now have WWE 2K23.

Last year’s showcase featured the amazing Rey Mysterio, but this year we really just can’t see anybody in the spotlight. Which just means one thing: JOHN CENA! We’ll be getting the obvious stuff out of the way here, and this year features the Dr. of Thuganomics himself.

All that’s left is to see if Visual Concept is able to keep up the momentum of what they have started the year before.

Here’s our review of WWE 2K23.

The Gang’s (Not) All Here

This latest entry’s roster will likely be a mixed bag, just like last year, and your enjoyment of WWE 2K23 will really depend on the eras you’re familiar with. Noticeably, known names like Ric Flair and Road Dogg are gone, but personally, the game contained a balanced bunch of classics like Hulk Hogan, Razor Ramon, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the new blood like Bad Bunny and Xavier Woods.

WWE 2K23 SS1

Of course, if for some reason you really don’t dig anyone in the roster, then the next best thing is to make your very own superstar. Customization has really come a long way in WWE 2K23 as you can customize your character’s entrance and moves to amazing detail, even including the Titantron animation for your entrance and gimmicks like fireworks.

As far as your wrestler itself, the standard features like faces, body type, and moves might feel a little limited with the choices but at least it can get as detailed as customizing facial structures and blemishes. Adding the fact that you can import a custom face onto your wrestler and you’ve got quite the suite of options.

Looking Fly

Visually, like its predecessor, WWE 2K23 looks fantastic. The wrestlers move very close to their real-life counterparts in and out of the ring, and even down to their animations and facial expressions.

Visual Concepts seems to have listened to feedback because the audience this year looks much better. They’re still a little too stiff for comfort, but the number of people present and when they move around is an improvement, even mimicking wrestler gimmicks like Rob Van Dam’s signature pose.  

I do have some gripes though, but they’re inconsistent at most. While some visual effects look great (fire, for example), the others, like fireworks, look pretty much like a budget version.

Nonetheless, the general amount of detail in the game is pretty impressive, and other visual touches like sweat and blood really amp up the immersion.

Taking Control

One of the better improvements from WWE 2K22 is back this year. Veterans and newcomers should be able to pick up on how to bring the pain easily with the simpler control scheme that generally applies to every wrestler. It’s been a while since I played WWE 2K22, but going into WWE 2K23, all it took was a little peek and I was back in action.

I definitely enjoyed the return of the reversals and counters, and those fast prompts that appear to give you a chance to counterattack your opponent really keeps you on your toes, and it feels satisfying to escape a throw when you time it just right.

Kicking out of pins takes on a new feel for WWE 2K23, as it gives you the option to choose either to mash a button or play a timing mini-game which gets more erratic the less your health is. It’s a small change, but it does change up the experience by quite a bit.

What I downright don’t like is not having the option to customize the button mapping. Due to some region settings with the software, it could be quite possible to get some buttons interchanged, making button prompts a confusing mess. If you’re in the middle of escaping a submission and you’re prompted to press X, you better get used to doing the opposite as you’re supposed to button mash O instead.

Modes Galore

WWE 2K23 brings back the usual modes, all while adding some tweaks to existing ones. While the usual one-on-one and team matches are still here, we getting Wargames as well, which lets players fight inside a cage with two…yes TWO, rings side by side.

WWE 2K23 SS4

You fight in teams of 3 or 4 and starting with one-on-one fights, a timer will count down and randomly a wrestler from either team will enter the cage. This goes on until everyone is inside and winning is a matter of the usual pinfall/submission or a forfeit if anyone leaves the cage. It’s chaotic but equally as fun, and is definitely a highlight of WWE 2K23.

MyGM is also back where you can get into the business side of wrestling and choose a General Manager to go through multiple seasons of the promotion of your choice. You’ll have your pick of different ones like NXT or Smackdown, and can even choose from a roster of GMs or make your own. Spicing it up is the ability to battle against other GMs as well, which also means you have to up your game more than ever.

WWE 2K23 SS5

MyRise also has a neat little twist in WWE 2K23 compared to last year, where you actually get to experience two different campaigns, either as the Legacy or the Lock. It’s a small detail, but it’s definitely a welcome one compared to simply choosing a male or female character and guiding their rise in the ranks.

WWE 2K23 SS6

MyFaction is also back and still feels as grindy as ever. The usual mobile game mechanics are back like timed events and daily logins that will make you want to keep on playing. WWE 2K23 makes it quite interesting, as there are modes where you can compete against other human players, making the effort of collecting and playing through the mode more worth it than before.

We Can See Him!

There are no two ways about it – John Cena is one of WWE’s most polarizing superstars. You either love him or hate him, and it’s quite the decision for the devs to put him front and center in WWE 2K23 as the star of the showcase mode, documenting Cena’s rise to stardom by going through his most memorable… losses?

WWE 2K23 SS9

You’ll actually be playing AGAINST Cena as he narrates during the pre-match segments his experiences against superstars he didn’t exactly beat. Fans will definitely remember his infamous fight against Rob Van Dam with that very noticeable “IF CENA WINS WE RIOT” sign.

If there’s anything that’s disappointing with this year’s showcase, it’s the lack of commentary. When fighting against Cena it’s noticeably silent except for the ongoing BGM and the sound effects.

Cena’s narration is only shown through text in contrast to last year when Mysterio vocally narrates how his matches went. Why this was changed in WWE 2K23 is anyone’s guess, but it’s one of the disappointing aspects of the showcase mode for this year.

What We Liked:

  • WarGames is absolutely fun
  • Unique twist to Showcase
  • Added features in existing modes

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No button mapping customization
  • MyFaction still feels too grindy

Verdict: Buy it!


WWE 2K22 was a step in the right direction and WWE 2K23 is certainly a continuation of that. The various modes this year have been made more replayable, which should be a welcome sight for hardcore fans. Despite the frustration of having to deal with controller settings, I still had a blast playing as my favorite WWE wrestler and duking it out in the ring.

The numerous tweaks to make the other modes more fun are also appreciated, and there’s really enough here that makes it more than just a lazy yearly installment.

*WWE 2K23 was reviewed on a PS4 and PS5 with a review code provided by the publisher.

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