NBA 2K24 Review
With its 25th anniversary, NBA 2K24 is back for another year of hoops with cover athletes Kobe Bryant and Sabrina Ionescu. Having played the 2K series for roughly 15 of those years, I’ve watched as the series grew and changed over the course of three console generations. While much has changed, one thing has remained constant. NBA 2K is still the king of the court when it comes to basketball video games.
Undeniably, NBA 2K24 (and the 2K series in general) has strong gameplay, cultural relevance, and high engagement with active NBA players. Elements of the gameplay continue to improve year over year. However, these enhancements are admittedly hard to notice when you play the game each year. This doesn’t mean that the game is the same each year, but it certainly can feel like it at times. This isn’t a knock on the 2K series though. Most sports games deal with the same cycle of improvements vs. live content updates. What 2K does have going for it though is that though the gameplay is similar on an annual basis, the gameplay is still good.
No matter what mode you play, you’ll find that NBA 2K24 sports a strong gameplay element. At its core, it is very easy to play the game, whether it be passing, shooting, or playing defence. Where things get a bit more nuanced is when it comes to variables that one would expect it real life. For example, it is easier to score an open shot as opposed to one being defended closely. Therefore, despite a perfect release on a shot, other variables such as player attributes, defenders, and even how hot or cold a player is play a part in whether the shot is made or missed. Unfortunately for NBA 2K24, most of its shine within the game stays on the court.
The Gang is Back
If you’ve played an NBA 2K game in the past few years, you will likely be familiar with the modes of the game. The main courses include MyCAREER, NBA 2K’s career mode, MyTEAM, NBA 2K’s ultimate team mode, and MyNBA, NBA 2K’s franchise mode. As someone who plays 2K’s career mode on a mostly yearly basis, it is hard to ignore that the mode has seen better days. Each year sees an increase in the career mode’s integration with the City feature. This allows players to take their players to a streetball mode. However, this correlates to a decrease in the career mode’s features, which is a sore spot among some fans.
Furthermore, the increased incorporation of virtual currency, or VC, into most of the game modes decreases enjoyment for offline gamers. I can respect the need for VC to make purchases in MyTEAM. However, it is a bit frustrating that VC is also needed to upgrade my player in MyCAREER because of the interaction of the City. Everyone plays the game differently. I enjoy playing MyCAREER for the game mode itself, not to build a character for the City. In doing so, I now have to spend VC in order to build up my character. This which takes away funds from making purchases for MyTEAM. This also slows building up a character unless you shell out cash for VC.
Gameplay and features aside, NBA 2K24 remains the best-looking iteration of the series to date. While descriptions of improvements might sound like a stretch, you cannot deny that the game continues to look great each year.
NBA 2K24 continues to dominate the paint when it comes to mainstream success. It also looks to dominate the wallets of fans each year. The game is undoubtedly fun to play along with its great gameplay and graphics, but the gutting of MyCAREER and increased incorporation of virtual currency does leave a bad taste at times.
** A review code was provided by the publisher **
- Unmatched gameplay
- Great visuals
- MyCAREER gets worse and worse
- Virtual currency-centric
- Minor improvements