I’ve been playing NBA 2K for many years now, and it’s actually where my love of basketball originated. So, I loved the short time I had to play NBA 2K21 on the PS5.
But before we continue, I realized it’s practically impossible to infer inflection in a written review, so let me say that one more time. I loooooooved the short time I had to play NBA2K21 on the PS5!!! The sad reality is any noticeable improvements to the latest rendition of NBA2K come from the PlayStation 5 experience. The game itself can be summed up in one word… meh.
Now to be fair, I only had a limited time with the game as I mentioned. I only experienced the MyCareer section of vast user experience, but it quickly settled into the well worn path any 2K fan will know. This year you take control of Junior and his/your journey to the NBA draft and eventually become the G.O.A.T.
This certainly wasn’t the strongest of 2K story modes, having showcased much more compelling narratives in the past. But I do award this MyCareer some bonus points for how full it was. There are a bounty of decisions to make, not just playing in the G league or going to college. For me the joy of this type of gameplay is having the ability to steer the character as if they were you, and you get to do that a lot more this time. Although I can imagine others might find the full story quite arduous, so it’s important to note there is an option just to skip straight to the draft.
It also must be mentioned that the game itself looks stunning, and practically zero loading time means you can play more basketball than ever before. Playing on the PS5 with a 4KTV really showcased how much the graphics have improved! It truly is beautiful, unless you have an aversion to sweat, because that’s in crystal clear 4K as well. But again this really seems like praise for the PS5 and not so much 2K21.
Sadly I do not currently own a PS5 which meant I didn’t get to explore the other aspects of the game. But it was my birthday recently if you would like to change that… just saying. Regardless, I didn’t need the console to continue my research. Instead I watched Youtubers like Chris Smoove and others explore farther than I could, and it quickly became apparent that microtransaction plague is alive and well.
VC rules the game and if you’ve got it you can do a lot, if not get ready to grind grind grind. There are various ways to earn the necessary VC of course, but you must be willing to put in an extensive amount of time or forfeit your credit card number quite a few times.
In the end, NBA 2K21 still provides that great basketball experience, providing what the fans know and love, as long as you’re willing to grrrrrrrind or shell out some mulla. So, if you’re looking for my recommendation, it’s purchase a PS5 as soon as possible, and maybe wait til 2K21 goes on sale.
– Josh Baty