Previously published by THQ, the yearly WWE wrestling simulator has only made its way to PC since 2K purchased the license. This means that - despite over a decade of games - there are currently only two installments available on Windows PC.
This means that - if you are looking for a game to help you relive your favorite WrestleMania moments - there is no better place to start than this year’s WWE 2K16.
But suggesting you buy a game just because it’s the most recent version isn’t much of an endorsement is it? Well, don't worry, even though the game is the same base game as WWE 2K15 (with many of the same mechanical problems) there are some standout reasons to pick it up.
First up, this year’s installment boasts the biggest roster of muscle bound Superstars yet. While it is true that this is a rather predictable bullet point, it has the advantage of allowing you to set up all kinds of fantasy bookings between Legends and the most current roster. The perfect way to pit Mankind against Dean Ambrose.
Another huge bonus for WWE fans is that the single player 2K Showcase focuses on a more iconic story than last year. While WWE 2K15's looks in to the fall of Degeneration X and the Cena vs CM Puck rivalry was interesting, these pale in comparison to the chance to relive "Stone Cold" Steve Austin’s run through WCW and the WWE Attitude Era.
This include matches like the incredible WrestleMania 13 Submission Match between The Texas Rattlesnake and Bret the Hitman Hart. Here the goal is to setup those historic moments from the fight that are still shown in video packages to this day. Executing on this can be frustrating, but it is incredibly satisfying to watch the scenes play out if you manage it.
The 2K Showcase is joined by a Career Mode which lets you build your own Superstar. Starting in the NXT developmental league you must form rivalries and alliances along your journey – helping you to build your skills and develop a reputation. Again, this can be tricky, particularly as your new fighter starts off incredibly low leveled, but taking them through the progression is rewarding.
Unfortunately, developer Yuke's’ game engine feels stiff and dated. Not a huge surprise, it is! The team has not had a year off to rebuild since 2000. Despite having had a next gen visual overhaul a few years ago, characters remain wooden and often glide and jerk around the ring before entering canned animations rather than moving naturally.
King of the Ring
WWE 2K16 is not an amazing wrestling game but, for WWE fans, it is the only wrestling game. While it would be great to see what 2K and Yuke's could do if they took a full two years to rebuild the franchise from the ground up - it looks like these yearly updates are all we are going to get. Not perfect, but still solid fun and filled with options and modes to keep you going until next WrestleMania.