NBA 2K18 is the 2018 installment of the popular basketball simulators by 2K Sports. The reasons to download NBA 2K18 are new modes, updated rosters, and some minor upgrades in physics that provide better feel.
The game is based on the same engine with the previous installment, and it preserves compatibility with Xbox 360 and PS3. So there’s no breakthrough, and the changes are rather evolutionary. But the players move more naturally now and resemble their protein prototypes even more.
There are also some slight changes in interface elements that have been dispositioned when compared to NBA 2K17. If you spent a lot playing the previous installment, it will get you confused, but not for long. And, as usual, there are various commenters and a great soundtrack featuring hours of rock and hip hop hits.
While the engine remains the same, there are lots of minor changes that cause major effect. Now players mirror their prototypes even more, and that affects the gameplay. You need to be really into the real NBA to know who’s who and what to expect from your virtual players. The camera follows your player, so you won’t get lost on the court.
As for game modes, there is still MyCareer Mode with your own customized player you lead from courtyards to NBA top. There are also MyGM and MyLeague modes letting you concentrate on management in real or fantasy world, but paying attention to court gameplay as well. MyTeam mode brings in some trading card collection element. And, finally (or rather the opposite – for the start) Neighborhood mode offers you 3vs3 streetball experience.
Not only these minor improvements make the game different from its predecessor, but also make it more balanced and closer to real basketball mechanics. So don’t be surprised when suddenly you find your NBA 2K17 forgotten.
While the game almost completely inherits the control system from the previous installment, there are some minor changes too. The left stick controls your character’s movements, and the right is reserved for ball actions. Nintendo Switch users are a bit handicapped here: due to JoyCon specifics, PvP mode offers simplified controls, with one JoyCon for each player. As for PS or Xbox, it remains virtually the same, with no need to completely relearn.
Replay Value: 4
By the time this NBA 2K18 review is written, we already have NBA 2K19, but it’s only available for PS4 and Xbox One, leaving Xbox 360 and PS3 overboard. So its replayability depends on your hardware; if you’re still on previous generation console and have no plans of upgrading, then this is the final NBA 2K game for your console, so it’s worth exploring inside out. And happy PS4, Switch, or Xbox One owners would sooner switch to NBA 2K19 than exhaust this one’s riches.
The Bottom Line
NBA 2K18 is considered one of the best sports simulators available now. And if PS4 or Xbox One users have an option of 2K19 version, those still on previous generation consoles won’t find anything better. The changes are minor, but they improve virtually any aspect of the gameplay, quantity to quality.
- Graphics 5
- Gameplay 5
- Controls 4.5
- Replay Value 4
New gameplay modes (including Neighborhood);
Even more detailed visuals and moves;
Gameplay changes after NBA 2K17 are rather minor;
Playing on PC is still poor without a gamepad.