The WWE 2K series initially began with the Yukes’ WWF Smackdown series on the original PlayStation. They weren’t aren’t to par with the Nintendo 64 wrestling games developed by AKI but they sold well and both games were under the THQ banner at the time.
It took a few years for the Smackdown series to move away from the shadow of its N64 predecessor, but it did so with the Smackdown Here Comes The Pain. This was because the games kept adding several new game modes, matches, gameplay tweaks, and much more.
However, in recent years the developers have seen fit remove series staples only to replace it with something inferior. Fans have been very vocal in the hopes that the WWE 2K series will bring back old favorites only for it to seemingly fall on deaf ears. To praise the most recent entries, fans saw the return of the match creator via custom matches and several other match types but there’s more that should be brought back if they want to keep fans on board.
10 General Manager Mode
Ever since they got rid of General Manager mode with Smackdown vs. Raw in 2009 the fans have never given up hope that the developers would find a way to include it again. Instead, the closest gamers have is the Universe mode which offers many of the same options but without the risk or reason to see it through.
It’s continually baffling why the developers persist in ignoring fans for what has to be the most requested feature. However, those looking to get their GM fix should try out Fire Pro Wrestling on the PlayStation 4 and PC.
9 Road To Wrestlemania
The Road to Wrestlemania was a story-based game mode which was a great idea but had the unfortunate timing of the being the replacement for both full-season mode and the much-requested General Manager mode.
The Showcase mode only seems to offer one scenario at a time focusing on a single storyline that might not appeal to everyone. The Road to Wrestlemania gave players a choice of five characters making it the far more diverse option in comparison.
8 Importing Music
Next to the General Manager mode, the ability to import one’s own music into the game to be used for entrances is a very close second. The option to do so satisfies players that love to either create or download customized characters and have their appropriate entrance music to go with it.
Such a feature would definitely help cushion the blow of seeing a favorite legend inexplicably left off the roster in favor of a Papa Shango or six duplicate versions of The Undertaker and The Rock. Just like GM Mode, the feature has been missing for several years and there doesn’t seem to be any valid reason for the feature being left off. Again, Fire Pro Wrestling on the PlayStation 4 has included this feature which has proved very popular with fans.
7 The Test Of Strength
The Test of strength was a feature that appeared in the classic Nintendo 64 wrestling games developed by AKI. Those games were WCW vs. nWo: World Tour, WCW/nWo Revenge, WWF Wrestlemania 2000, and WWF No Mercy.
The pace of the games was much more methodical and technical than the current games developed by Yukes and now 2K. As a result, the margin for triggering the test of strength was much wider. It was a fun little feature that can help shift the momentum of a match.
6 The AKI Submission System
The AKI developed wrestling games featured a submission system that is fairer and more accessible than the system that is in place for the WWE 2K series. Getting out of submissions required the simple method of hitting the buttons fast enough which allowed players the opportunity to crawl towards a rope and break the submission hold.
The WWE 2K series forces the player to participate in a mini-game that becomes impossible if the character has been too worn down. Which can lead to unfair situations when faced against the game’s AI.
5 Create A Finisher
A feature that has been missing since WWE 2K14 is the ability to edit and create a finisher. The developers never gave fans a definitive answer as to why it was removed especially as its successor WWE 2K15 was very bare-bones in comparison.
Create A Finisher mode was a powerful tool that allowed players to edit every aspect of their finisher to their liking. Players can adjust everything from the speed and momentum, or they can combine the animations of two or more finishers to come up with something completely new.
4 Fantasy Warfare
Despite WWE All Stars being a popular arcade-like alternative the wrestling simulation found in the WWE 2k and Smackdown Vs. Raw series there THQ never followed it up with a sequel. The game was to wrestling what the Ready 2 Rumble series was to boxing a silly but fun fighting game to play family friends in front of the sofa.
One of the best modes in the game that would make a perfect transition to the WWE 2K series is the Fantasy Warfare mode. This mode put players through a series of dream matches pitting modern-day greats against legends of the past with a story mode that would hark back to the relevant wrestlers pitted against each other.
3 Story Designer
Even though the Universe mode allows players some control over events, title changes and storylines that happen throughout the game’s year it doesn’t come close to the Story Designer features that were last seen in Smackdown vs. Raw 2011.
Players were able to customize everything to their liking and custom stories offered support for up the 15 created wrestlers. In addition, players could incorporate cutscenes, wrestler's reactions to events, and sound clips from the commentators.
2 The AKI Reversal System
The reversal system which was present in the AKI wrestling games from WCW/nWo Revenge to WWF No Mercy the counter reversal system is still leagues ahead of anything in the WWE 2K series. It was more complex than simply spamming the R2 button for everything from strikes to grapples and hoping for the best.
The player needed to be able to read their opponents as well as time their reversals. For example, the L button reverses strikes and the R button is to reverse grapples making it a far more tactical match. Furthermore, even reversals could be reversed and/or countered leading to incredible back and forth matches.
1 More Gimmick Matches
In WWE 2K20 the developers seem to be trying to appeal to the fans that just want to sit back have a bit of fun with the themed “Originals” content. However, gamers would have a much better time and more enjoyment if they simply brought back the gimmick matches that fans have been hoping they'd include for the last ten years.
Special matches like the Casket Match, Buried Alive, Last Ride Match, and the Inferno match has been missing from the last few entries. Not only do these modes add more fun elements to the gameplay but they add variety too and more reasons to come back to the game with friends.