With professional wrestling being as popular today as it has ever been, the question isn't whether or not WWE 2K18 will be announced so much as when. Each entry typically launches in the fall and, with the summer months slowing down for new game releases, we figure now is as good a time as any for fans to dive headfirst into the latest installment, WWE 2K17. To that end, we've put together a collection of unlock lists to help you beef up your game roster right out of the gate.

In WWE 2K17, they decided to handle the unlock system a bit differently this time around. Instead of needing to achieve certain in-game goals to unlock specific characters, you can instead spend an in-game resource known as Virtual Currency on the characters you want, when you want. Sure, some of your favorite stars might require you to save up a bit of Virtual Currency to add them into your game, but coming by those in-game funds is actually pretty easy.

For starters, you gain VC simply by playing the game. Jump into an exhibition match, play through the career mode or take your matches online. No matter how you want to play the game, you'll be earning some VC in order to unlock all of those additional goodies. Some folks aren't as excited by this form of unlock system, but we definitely prefer it over having to, say, win 10 matches with a wrestler we don't even like in order to unlock one that we do. Also, the game starts you off with enough VC to buy literally any of the unlockable characters, so you won't even have to scrimp and save if there's a particular wrestler you want on day one.

Speaking of which, we've decided to put together a few lists to help players figure out where to invest their starting allowance of 200,000 VC, beginning with one that's all about getting the most new characters for the lowest cost.

Most bang for your buck

Butch (5K)

Luke (5K)

Big Boss Man (5K)

Dusty Rhodes (5K)

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (5K)

Rick Rude (5K)

Billy Gun (15K)

Road Dogg Jesse James (15K)

Stunning Steve Austin (15K)

Trish Stratus (15K)

Bam Bam Bigelow (30K)

Rikishi (30K)

Tatsumi Fujinami (45K)

This list is all about getting you a nice selection of wrestlers for the lowest cost. We've got some heavyweights mixed in with the lighter divisions, all-stars with lessor known grapplers, newbies and old-school heroes alike.

For starters, the fact that the Bushwackers can be had for just 10K combined make Butch and Luke no brainers in our book. Also, while his son went on to insane notoriety as Gold Dust, Dusty Rhodes is a classic not to be trifled with.

There's some wiggle room if you've got a particular taste for certain wrestlers but, again, we wanted to find the most affordable roster that's also a solid mix from across the board with this particular list. If you're looking to beef up your selection of WWE 2K17 wrestlers as soon as possible, this is a good place to start.

Classic icons

Undertaker 1991 (66K)

Ultimate Warrior (52,500)

Sting 1991 (40,000)

Ricky Steamboat (35K)

Dusty Rhodes (5K)

This list has a focus of injecting some wrestling greats into your copy of WWE 2K17. However, all of that greatness comes with a cost, which is why our list of classics is only a few members long. Remember, we've only got 200,000 VC to work with here.

While the Undertaker has taken on a number of personas over the years, you can't really beat that classic hat and coat look he was boasting back in 1991. No biker getup here, just the original undead nightmare ready to terrorize his victims in the ring.

We also prefer the classic look for Sting, who is available in his 1991 attire in WWE 2K17. We're fine with The Crow and everything, but we prefer our Sting when he looked like a powered down version of the Ultimate Warrior. Speaking of which...

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, you couldn't ask for much more than what the Ultimate Warrior was dishing out on a regular basis. He may have had insane monologues from time to time and been notoriously difficult to work with, but it was hard to top a dude with rock-and-roll hair, facepaint and tassels aplenty. He brought excitement in spades.

Oddballs

Cactus Jack (40K)

Dude Love (30K)

Edge (35K)

Andre the Giant (40K)

Big Boss Man (5K)

Vader (40K)

Mr. McMahon 2001 (10K)

We think this list pretty much speaks for itself, as it's comprised of some of the most out-of-left-field entries in the entire WWE 2K17 roster. With just 200,000 VC, you can purchase an insane man, a hippie, a vampire, a giant, an officer of the law, a whatever-the-hell Vader was supposed to be and a company president who decided to take a turn at stepping into the ring.

If there's one thing we've grown to love about WWE over the years, it's the eclectic cast of characters that make up the sport's long and storied history. Sure, some grapplers are just wrestling's take on a pop culture phenomenon from the time, but others have managed to stand the test of time and even evolve a bit. And then there are the oddballs, who are almost impossible to not get a kick out of. If you want to add some of the most entertaining unlockable characters to your list, then please see above.

And that'll about wrap it for our lists. Just remember that you'll be earning VC while playing the game so, even if you run out of funds before you unlock all of your favorites, it's only a matter of time before you'll be able to afford them.

There are also a collection of arenas and titles up for purchase with VC, but we feel those add significantly less to your WWE 2K17 experience than a new character. The game has a roster of nearly 200 grapplers total, so there are plenty of legends of the ring for you to choose from in making the game experience your own. It's your call.

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