I’m super excited as WWE 2K23 is almost available to play. I like the cover of the game even though we can’t truly see who’s on it. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. OF COURSE, it’s John Cena. This got me thinking about previous cover athletes for the game and I decided to do a tier list. Keep in mind that I’ll only be ranking the covers on the 2K games, so Smackdown vs Raw games won’t be present. Also, I will only be looking at the Standard Edition of each game.

Here are the WWE 2k covers in order:

  • WWE 2K14 – The Rock
  • WWE 2K15 – John Cena
  • WWE 2K16 – Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • WWE 2K17 – Brock Lesnar
  • WWE 2K18 – Seth Rollins
  • WWE 2K19 – AJ Styles
  • WWE 2K20 – Becky Lynch & Roman Reigns
  • WWE 2K Battlegrounds – Stone Cold Steve Austin, Yokozuna, Andre The Giant, Charlotte Flair, The Rock, Kofi Kingston, Auska, The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Undertaker, Ronda Rousey, John Cena, and Roman Reigns
  • WWE 2K22 – Rey Mysterio
  • WWE 2K23 – John Cena

Let’s get into my tier list for Cover Athletes on WWE 2K games from worst to first:

10. WWE 2K20 – Becky Lynch & Roman Reigns

I love WWE and their 2K games, but this game was a trainwreck. Easily the worst video game that I’ve played within the WWE games. No disrespect to Becky Lynch or Roman Reigns, but I was not a fan of both of them being on the cover. Plus the cover as a whole was just so bland and I have no idea why they took that route.

9. WWE 2k18 – Seth Rollins

Ehhh, I’m not a big fan of this cover that much. I think the photo of Rollins is decent. Not great, but okay. I have no clue what they were thinking with that background. I get art has different meanings, but the background of this cover is strange and I don’t understand its meaning. I wish that there was a “Burn It Down” themed background as that was starting to grow with Seth Rollins’s character.

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8. WWE 2K15 – John Cena

The first John Cena Cover belongs in the number 8 spot. When looking at this cover, I got to say that I’m 50/50 on it. First off the background is very colorful and it stands out with the red and white. What I definitely don’t like is the photo of John Cena they decided to use. Gosh, what were they thinking? That photo does NOT make Cena stand out. Then again, we can’t truly see John Cena anyways, so…

7. WWE 2K19- AJ Styles

I would not call this phenomenal, but I’m 50/50 on this one. First off, AJ Styles on this cover is brilliant and I like the photo they used. What does not fit is the background, as I just don’t think it fits well with Styles. It’s pretty basic as well, but I still would give this cover a thumbs up overall.

6. WWE 2K22 – Rey Mysterio

Luckily, WWE 2K22 was a lot better. But having Rey Mysterio as the cover athlete is a bit of a head-scratcher. Especially considering that when it was polled by WWE on Fox, people wanted to see either Drew McIntyre or Sasha Banks on the cover. It was so bizarre when I heard they decided to go a completely different route.

I don’t mind Mysterio but would’ve preferred more current stars from the game. That cover is still awesome, though. I don’t even think Mysterio was even a current champion at that point. I will say the saving grace is how beautiful the cover looks, especially with that background. That’s why this cover is in the mid-range compared to the rest.

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5. WWE 2k14 – The Rock

I like this cover a lot. The Rock photo is fantastic and you can certainly smell what the rock is cooking when doing that pose. The way the black and red are done on the background is great and I like how the red is more behind Rock and the farther away it turns to a darker color.

4. WWE 2k17

I love this cover a lot as Brock Lesnar is one of the greatest pro wrestler brawlers I’ve ever seen. Hell, he was one of my favorite MMA/UFC fighters to watch growing up. I love the photo of Brock that they use as it perfectly fits Brock at this time. I love the background of the cover as well, as it makes Brock pop out. I kind of wish that the background featured Suplex City as it’s symbolic with Brock.

3. WWE 2k23 – John Cena

wwe 2k23 john cena cover

Do you see WWE and 2K? This is how you properly make John Cena on the cover of the game. I love this cover so much! I just wish there was a way we could actually see John Cena on this cover. Ok, Ok, I will stop now. The photo they chose is brilliant and it really makes him stand out. I like how they used the blue and red every time John does his “you can’t see me” gesture. Well done WWE and the 2k crew.

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2. WWE 2k Battlegrounds

I understand why many don’t like this game compared to the main 2K games, but I do. I’ve got to say there are a lot of details on the cover of this game, which is cool. Austin and Rock fighting; the big rivalry in the Attitude Era. Yokozuna and Andre The Giant are the heavyweights fighting each other. John Cena vs Roman Reigns as a notable feud, The Fiend Bray Wyatt and Undertaker with the battle of awesome characters. Well… before WWE ruined The Fiend Bray Wyatt with the terrible booking. Charlotte Flair vs Ronda Rousey with Auska in the background is brilliant. Kofi Kingston as a highflyer making a dropkick.

Oh, I could keep going, but then this would be too long.

1. WWE 2k16

No question or debate about this one. WWE 2K16 has the best cover and it is not even close in my opinion. I’m not saying this just because Stone Cold is on the cover. Just looking at the cover, they clearly made the right photo choice and I love the glass shattering as it is symbolic of Steve Austin along with how 3D it looks. The red and black combination in the back is just fantastic.

WWE 2K23 will be released on March 17th, 2022 for PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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