WWE 2K22 is building anticipation for a release this fall, and one of the biggest points of contention between the fans every year is ratings.
Whether it's because they felt someone's rating is too high or too low, there's always an opinion, but we've taken a look at some ways WWE 2K22 ratings can change things for the better this year.
WWE 2K22 ratings must be important, but not absolute
This is something we've actually seen the 2K games do relatively well in the past, and hopefully it will continue with WWE 2K22 ratings and how they affect gameplay.
Even a match with a large ratings gap should feel winnable for both sides, and that comes down to how much the gameplay itself is influenced by the ratings.
Even the greats can get caught unaware by someone with the right skills using a lower rated superstar, but it also means that having a perfectly built 99 OVR monster shouldn't guarantee victory for the user.
There is still room to increase ratings in general, with last year having the two highest rated options at just 93 OVR, but they'll need to make sure not to tip the balance in the process.
Women's ratings need to stay comparable
When it comes to women's representation in WWE and in the WWE 2K series, things were on the right track as WWE 2K20 was released.
Despite the core game's flaws, a lot of things were done right, including the choice to put Becky Lynch on the cover and pack 65 female superstars onto the roster in the same year there were 154 male superstars on the roster.
An exact balance won't be possible with the current roster makeup of WWE, and in the past, but having 30% of the game's roster be women was a step in the right direction.
On top of that, ratings finally started feeling closer to reality with Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey topping the female list at 90 OVR each.
WWE 2K20 had an average rating for male superstars of 81.57, while female superstars had an average rating of 79.36.
The difference could be a hair better, but it's actually much closer than it's been in past years, and that needs to remain the same in WWE 2K22.
NXT, 205 Live, and NXT UK ratings will reflect how WWE sees each brand
This is less of a must and more of a sign from WWE, because the amount of discrepency we see for average NXT ratings compared to their counterparts on WWE Raw and SmackDown could quietly show how WWE sees those brands.
While NXT hasn't been considered a definitive developmental for some time, it still is often treated that way, and NXT stars having drastically lower ratings in WWE 2K22 would further that.
The same goes for NXT UK and 205 Live, which are easily the most neglected brands in WWE when you consider how little they're advertised.
They're lucky to get a passing mention on either WWE Raw or SmackDown, with fans trying to watch them left to either figure things out themselves or comb through social media.
If ratings roll in for WWE 2K22 and show a massive gap, it'll be clear that WWE still sees each of those brands at a mere developmental level.
Ratings should be adjustable, even for active wrestlers
Being able to adjust the roster in various ways isn't an uncommon feature, in fact it's a staple of many sports games, and it used to be much more available in WWE titles several years ago.
As far back as WWF No Mercy, games allowed customization of most details of in-game characters, which in various games could include ratings, moveset, entrance, or even physical appearance.
There are two major ways Visual Concepts and 2K Sports can spice up ratings, and that's either with regular updates or making ratings adjustable by users.
Adjustability would be ideal, allowing players to fix the balance in a way they deem appropriate or based on how things have changed since the initial launch of the title.
If they don't wish to make things movable, they could instead start a regular roster update, much the way that MLB The Show 21 does, or how we'll expect NBA 2K22 and Madden 22 to update things after they launch.
Even if they don't take the full step of making it a roster update with added superstars, they can provide slight adjustments to ratings based on how often the superstar is winning, and this kind of direct importance on results could help both WWE 2K22 and WWE in general.
Who will be the highest rated superstar in WWE 2K22?
Of course, the biggest question when things start to trickle out for ratings is always the same: who's the highest rated superstar in WWE 2K22?
When WWE 2K20 was released in October of 2019, there were two familiar faces at the very top as Brock Lesnar and The Rock both clocked in with a 93 OVR rating to be the best in the entire game.
Shawn Michaels '97, Seth Rollins, Steve Austin, Roman Reigns, and Hollywood Hulk Hogan were all close behind at 92 OVR, and the women's side was led by Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch with 90 OVR.
Looking at everything that's happened in the two years since then, we can expect some changes and some definite similarities.
The biggest question mark when considering the WWE 2K20 ratings is Brock Lesnar, who has been absent from WWE for some time and hasn't yet made his return.
While he's expected back eventually, Lesnar's contract status isn't known, but he'll likely be near the top of the list if he's still included in WWE 2K22.
Roman Reigns is all but guaranteed to be near the top, potentially even higher than Lesnar this time, and we can also expect Sasha Banks and Asuka near the top of ratings for the women.
Ronda Rousey may still have an agreement with WWE, but her rating shouldn't be bristling at the top like it was before, and Becky Lynch will hopefully still be high on the list but likely won't be at the top.