WWE 2K15 had arguably the worst career mode of any game ever. Not only were there a limited number of storylines, they didn't even pretend to have anything interesting for you to do. You got the same message week in week out about how there was nothing lined up for you this week and you just had to choose one of two random matches. This was even the case when you were champion, and even if you did somehow get a championship match and won it—which you would, because your superstar was 100 rated by the time you got to SmackDown—you were only allowed to defend it 10 times before they took it off you. The whole mess concluded in the worst way possible with you winning the WWE Championship and then getting a message saying it's time to retire. Therefore, there wasn't much WWE 2K16 had to do to improve on this, but they have actually made quite a good career mode.
You can defend the title as many times as you want, but you don't just get a random title shot, you have to choose which title you want to fight for, then work your way up the rankings to get the title shot. You can also choose who your rivals are and who your tag team partner is, which is much better than ignoring the tag titles like last year. This gives a real sense of developing a career like many WWE Legends have with great singles and tag team accomplishments. They have also solved the ending to the career mode as now you can become WWE World Heavyweight Champion as many times as you like, and to end the career, you have to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. To do this, you have to complete either one main goal or three sub-goals. However, just because you have been inducted it doesn't mean you have to retire. You can go on to complete all of the goals and then retire, within a limit of 15 years. Overall, this year's career mode has potential to be the best WWE video game career mode ever, and with 3 save slots, there is a lot of potential for 3 very different career modes.
WWE 2K15 also had very few match types, with things like singles ladder, tornado tag and handicap matches all missing the cut. But this year, all of those—as well as many more—are back, and it means that you can really put on some great matches and not feel limited in your options. There is still a maximum of 6 people at any time, which means Royal Rumble matches will still feel a little odd, but there are now 10-man and 20-man rumble matches. I'm not sure I'll ever use those, but at least the option's there. The inclusion of all these different match types can only ever be a good thing, and hopefully, next year's game will see the inclusion of even more. Take not, 2K. More is better, even if no one is asking for more.
WWE 2K15 had 67 playable characters at release, while WWE 2K16 has 120. To go back to what I just said, more is always better. This year's game has seen many more of the current main roster along with NXT stars included, which helps make things like Career Mode and Universe Mode much more authentic. However, there are still some key names missing or only available through DLC. Examples of this include The Dudley Boyz, Los Matadores, Samoa Joe and perhaps most importantly, the Four Horsewomen of NXT. 2K said that the reason for this was that they weren't big until the game was late into development, but if that was the case, when was Eva Marie big? There is also the problem of the inclusion of many, many, many legends—some of who really aren't needed. The reason for this is the Showcase Mode, but with some important people being left out, they could have easily downplayed the legends a little.
2K Showcase this year was based around Austin's career, starting with him winning King of the Ring and the "Austin 3:16" quote and ending at WrestleMania 19. It gives a good overview of his career and doesn't take a ridiculous amount of time to complete, but also takes long enough that it's worth putting some effort into. It allows you to unlock many characters and arenas and is definitely a good way to get into the game.
Universe Mode in 2K15 was one of the few areas where not much improvement was needed, and not much has been changed for this year's game. Small improvements have been made, such as allowing stars to wrestle on more than one show and improvements in how storylines develop, and the increased roster obviously makes for a more realistic experience.
So what have you made of this year's game? If you haven't got it yet, do you think you will after reading this? What do they need to do to convince you to buy 2K17?
Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out the review on Fanboys Anonymous as well!