After WWE 2K22 saw the return of the long-running franchise, developer Visual Concepts is making sure that WWE 2K23 takes off on the right foot by announcing the legends roster and its ratings for the latest iteration of the series just weeks before the official release.
A winning formula for most 2K games has been matching up stars from the past with current giants in the sphere. And what better way to generate interest among wrestling fans than by pinning greats of the sport like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and Hulk Hogan against current-day goliaths like Roman Reigns?
Hulk Hogan’s WWE 2K23 rating is one of the few one that isn't confusing #WWE #wwe2k23 #hulkhogan #fyp #foryou #foryoupage
WWE 2K23 enables fans to experience the ferocity and dominance Hulk Hogan displayed throughout the 80s and 90s, through his 94 overall rating.
Hulkamania is running #EvenStronger in #WWE2K23 💪 pic.twitter.com/4ABu5qSTtW
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) February 23, 2023
Hogan's rating is a bit higher than in previous versions of the game, but it's good to see the publisher try to firmly establish the title by empowering the legacy of one of wrestling's all-time greats. This comes after a few turbulent years for the WWE 2K franchise, which saw a downward trend after long-time developer Yuke left in 2018.
Visual Concepts' first release was WWE 2K20, which critics utterly shredded to pieces. Following the fiasco, WWE 2K21 was canceled to give the series the attention it sorely needed. WWE 2K22 wasn't a major hit, but the meteoric rise of AEW: Fight Forever, that’s constantly unveiling new features, is fuelling hope that a healthy competition between these two should result in plenty of creativity in the future.
In the meantime, the developer has caught some slack about other wrestlers' ratings that just don't make sense. Cody Rhodes, better known as the American Nightmare, returned to the WWE in 2022 by participating in WrestleMania 38, winning the 2023 Royal Rumble match and remaining undefeated throughout the year, only for WWE and 2K to hit him with a 91 rating. It’s not a bad number but Seth 'Freakin' Rollins being rated at 92 despite losing three times to Cody Rhodes just doesn't make sense.
9️⃣1️⃣’s all day for the American Nightmare @CodyRhodes! Too high, too low? Let us know! Catch @UpUpDwnDwn’s full #WWE2K23 Roster Ratings Show here: https://t.co/sbbi4PXS8t pic.twitter.com/zLBfwOh9UN
— #WWE2K23 (@WWEgames) February 26, 2023
Becky Lynch was also announced as the highest-rated female Superstar in WWE 2K23 with a 96 rating despite Bianca Belair having a much better twelve-month span. Belair became the RAW Women's Champion and dominated every opponent brave enough to face her in the ring, including Big Time Becks herself. Everyone understands why WWE and 2K love buffing up their cover star's rating, but how Rey Mysterio went from a 90 rating in WWE 2K22 to 82 in the very next game is also beyond us.