Review – NBA 2K24

We’re back with yet another yearly iteration of NBA 2K, the poster child of the statement “if you don’t have to compete, you don’t have to try”. What was once a true juggernaut of a sports franchise, back when (the admittedly better) EA’s NBA Live still existed, is now the sole choice for those looking for a basketball simulator. Given the franchise’s monopoly, 2K was able to go nuts with pricing methods, microtransactions, and the like. Every now and then, a new mode or extra feature may be added to make a brand new iteration more interesting, such as NBA 2K23‘s Michael Jordan-focused mode last year. Now that NBA 2K24 is finally out, does it change things up? Is it better than its predecessors? Well, you probably know the answer to this borderline rhetorical question.

NBA 2K24 gameplay

I think I say this every single year, but if you just want a good, pick-up-and-play basketball experience, this is overpriced, but gets things done.

NBA 2K24 goes through the motions to a degree that makes writing about it equally as unexciting. This is just like NBA 2K23, which was just like 2K22, which was just like 2K21, and so on. Does this make it a technically bad game? Not at all. If what you want is some pure, high-quality basketball simulation, and don’t mind a slightly steep difficulty curve at first, this is still really freaking good.

It looks great, it runs incredibly well, and there are tons of dribbling, strategy and shooting options. In short, the basketball aspect of NBA 2K24 is, as expected, great. It’s everything else that surrounds it that makes me sigh in frustration at 2K and Visual Concepts just simply not wanting to make a better product in terms of being consumer friendly and ergonomic. This can already be seen even before you start a match, for the menus and user interface have been severely hampered by slightly unresponsive controls, long loading times, and a ton of ad placements for unnecessary crap that just helps to pollute your screen.

NBA 2K24 Kobe

The Kobe tribute isn’t as deep as last year’s Michael Jordan’s tribute, but it’s still a neat touch, and NBA 2K24’s highlight.

When it comes to modes, not a lot has changed. Sure, we now have a mode similar to last year’s tribute to Michael Jordan, now dedicated to the late, great Kobe Bryant. But I honestly don’t think they have given the same degree of fidelity, depth and care as last year’s mode. Still, it is a good time, especially if you grew up in the 2000s, watching that insane Lakers team featuring him and Shaq tearing s*** up (I’m a Mavericks guy, but hey, you gotta be insane not to respect said team). The main career mode is still a disastrous microtransaction freakshow, to a point I don’t even feel like having to waste many lines writing about it. Silly product placements, long loading times, grinding, premium currency, the whole shebang.

NBA 2K24 sponsors

Sadly, this review wasn’t sponsored by State Farm. Or Ruffles. Or New Era. Or Tissot. Or Kia.

Once again, it might be overpriced, but stick to playing the more arcadey or General Manager modes and you’ll have a good time with the game. There is nothing inherently bad with actually playing the damn thing. It still sounds decent enough whilst your inside a court as well, with good commentary and narration. Outside of it, well, let’s just say that the setlist and soundtrack keeps getting less exciting and inspired with each new iteration. There was a time I could expect for a NBA 2K soundtrack to have, like, Kendrick Lamar and Def Leppard all at once. Nowadays, I can’t even tell each artist apart, with the soundtrack being just a Roland-808 bonanza. Though I will admit that I liked the inclusion of my teenage guilty pleasure “Hustlin'”, by Rick Ross.

NBA 2K24 filters

Add a 90s filter to make everything cooler, but much harder to see.

You know the drill at this point: NBA 2K24 is just like its predecessors, in both the good and bad ways. It still looks impressive and has great controls, but it is also plastered with convoluted menus and a ridiculous amount of ads and microtransactions. What can I even add at this point which hasn’t been said in my previous five reviews of NBA 2K iterations? It’s good as an arcade experience, it’s frustrating elsewhere, and you know for a fact nothing will change because there is no need to innovate when you don’t have to deal with competitors.


Graphics: 8.5

Runs well, looks amazing. Nothing has changed from previous iterations of the game, but to be honest, there was no need to fix what isn’t broken. That being said, menu interfaces and the overall amount of ads plastered onscreen pollute the player’s field of vision.

Gameplay: 8.0

Whilst the newcomer-unfriendly controls are still really responsive once you get a hold of them, NBA 2K24‘s UI and menu controls are a lot more cumbersome than ever before.

Sound: 6.5

Good voice acting stemming from the narrators and commentators, but an even less inspired setlist when compared to previous years.

Fun Factor: 6.0

The new mode paying homage to Kobe Bryant is neat, but nowhere near as cool as the one made for Michael Jordan last year. As for the rest of the game, you know what to expect: excellent arcade-like and manager modes, an obnoxious career mode, cringeworthy product placements, and Take-Two just going insane with microtransactions.

Final Verdict: 7.0

NBA 2K24 is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of NBA 2K24 was provided by the publisher.