nba 2k24

NBA 2K24 Review – Grinding Mentality

Nothin' but net (revenue)

Another basketball offseason is upon which which means it’s time for our annual NBA 2K release! To set the scene nice and early, this year’s iteration of the premier basketball video game franchise is business as usual, offering up pretty much exactly what you’d expect.

The NBA 2K series is always about content and consistency. To that end 2K24 is stacked with things to do, with nine seasons of live service scheduling lined up until the inevitable 2K25, so you can continue to unlock more items for your personal MyCareer player or MyTeam unit. Despite each game mode being segmented away from each other the studio has done a decent job of offering up rewards that incentivise you to give things a go, although this shines a stronger light on how hard it can be to earn progress without paying extra.

nba 2k24

The key single player experience continues to be MyCareer, where you can create a player from scratch and move your way up (slowly) through the NBA. The weird part comes off the court, as your player wanders a hub world with other players taking part in events and activities to progress. In a game drenched in cosmetics it makes all the sense in the world to have a quasi-Playstation Home for you to hang out in, even if the City is even more clunky to progress through than it has been in previous years – the ability to travel directly to an activity rather than wander across to it would have been ideal.

Thankfully the process of setting up and tweaking your player has continued to improve, with the UI this year being cleaner and more responsive than previous releases. The City unfortunately serves as a constant reminder that 2K make an insane amount of money from microtransactions, so keep this in mind you that rubs you the wrong way.

nba 2k24

The gimmick this year is reliving seven of Kobe’s most iconic moments, if you’ve played previous signature modes you know what to expect. It won’t take long to polish off each of the 3 objectives in each match but it’s an effective taste of the main MyNBA mode which gives you a ridiculous amount of options and customisation across the last 50 years of NBA play. The biggest takeaway is how quick and easy it is to throw together a series and just get playing. It’s also the mode least impacted by microtransactions so if you just want to jump in and play some classic basketball you’ll be well-looked after in this section of the game.

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Being the mode that I would recommend without caveat it’s concerning that MyNBA is exclusive to next gen consoles, with older consoles and the PC instead left with the old MyLEAGUE mode. Fingers crossed next year MyNBA ends up making the move to all platforms as it’s a shame to miss out on the improvements in such a fantastic mode.

nba 2k24

As an annual title the gameplay on offer in NBA 2K24 gets the standard tweaks, some extra pro moves and better motion capture here and there. Animation and visuals are fantastic as usual, the team has really nailed all of the little things like retro filters and camera options. The core gameplay is still spot on after all these years and the AI can be as strong or weak as you want, allowing you to turn up the pressure as you get into a groove. Despite a lot of the window dressing pushing you towards opening your wallet, there really is no better place to play basketball.

This year also saw the implementation of improved animation on next gen consoles by drawing directly from real NBA footage rather than motion capture, termed ProPLAY. Adding higher quality data leads to less wonky moments on the court but isn’t immediately noticeable since you are mainly focused on the inputs during gameplay, still all the tweaks add up over time to make for a satisfying, engaging experience while playing for the W.

nba 2k24
Conclusion
NBA 2K24 is the most NBA 2K game you could imagine, rocking moderate improvements to gameplay without really providing offering anything exciting enough to entice lapsed fans back onto the court.
Positives
On-court gameplay is still best in class
Looks and feels great to play during the action
Insane amount of content to play through with plenty of retro options
Negatives
Drenched in microtransactions off the court
The City is even more painful than before
Progress through MyCareer feels slow and grindy at times
7