NBA 2K20 Review: The best career mode you’ll play this year

The latest instalment of the hit NBA 2K series is finally here, but how does it shape up?


The offseason feels like it lasts forever, and NBA fans still have to wait for the return of basketball. For many that is simply too long. If you are craving to get back on the court – look no further than 2K Sports.

The NBA 2K series is up there with the best sports games around, but it is far from perfect. Fans have been crying out for plenty of changes over the years.

With it looking unlikely that we will see an NBA Live title from rivals EA Sports this year, basketball fans hopes lie solely with 2K20, but how does the game shape up? What tweaks and new features are there to entice fans into parting with their money?

Gameplay

The gameplay in 2K20 feels better than ever. The main thing you notice when playing the game is the improvements to player movement that the new upgraded motion engine brings.

Anybody who played 2K will know the stress of having Isaiah Thomas on the breakaway only to be chased down by Dirk Nowitzki, it just wasn’t realistic and was a real gamebreaker for a lot of players.

The graphics in 2K20 are insane!

READ MORE: Which edition of NBA 2K20 should you buy?

Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore. As was noted in a gameplay blog last month, 2K told fans that they have done research into players sprint-speed and accelerations times and early signs lead us to believe that that has finally been nerfed.

Another noticeable improvement regarding gameplay is the new signature dribble styles and improvements to ball handing. This just makes the game feel so much more realistic. The new standing dribble moves take some getting used to though, as players now have to make every single movement themselves, the game no longer has pre-sets, but once you get the hang of them, boy are they effective.

The Lakers fans show AD and LeBron some love

MyTeam

MyTEAM is the one mode which never seems to capture fans in the way other modes do. It feels the same again this year.

As earlier reported, players have the choice of one of five Evo cards to begin their team: Derrick Rose, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, or Hakeem Olajuwon Evo. It looks like McGrady will be the best of these, but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

The Daily Login prizes look like the biggest improvement in the mode. It should really help to cut down the gap between those who pay to win and those who play to win, as playing will now finally be rewarding.

The changes to the Triple Threat mode are cool as well, you will reap the rewards if you can stack up wins and the change to the CPU lineup, coming up against three randomly selected players rather than pre-sets means you’re always on your toes.

Triple Threat’s court is a sight to behold.

All in all, there are some nice new additions in MyTEAM, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Daily Login prizes pay off later down the line, but it still feels like it’s a game mode which has the potential to be so much better.

READ MORE: Top 5 dunkers in NBA 2K20

MyCAREER/MyPLAYER

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. This year’s MyCareer is the best story-mode to ever come out of a sports title.

The mode is always a fan favorite, but 2K Sports have taken it to a whole new level this year. The difference that the partnership with SpringHill entertainment makes cannot be understated.

Your career begins in Bay City on 2K20

SpringHIll are known for their work in the movie industry, producing huge titles such as the upcoming Space Jam 2 and it is obvious that they have transferred their movie knowledge into the mode.

Each character has its own specific traits and quirks which stick with them throughout, there’s a whole load of serious scenes, mixed in with the odd witty joke. The team at 2KSports have produced it to absolute perfection.

But whilst you will undoubtedly get drawn into the narrative, you are still in full control of how your career progresses, with a whole load of key decisions to make as you progress from rookie to NBA superstar.

Meanwhile, the new MyPLAYER builder, which players have been able to access through the 2K20 demo, means that you can build your player to the exact specifications that you desire, meaning that for this years MyCAREER is the most personal yet.

READ MORE: Every badge available in MyPLAYER

MyGM/MyLEAGUE

There are some pretty big changes to MyGM too. The most noticeable being the introduction of My GM 2.0.

As fans will be aware, you can no longer sim til the end of the season in MyGM 2.0. Players now have daily tasks to complete each day to help their team win the Championship. 

Each decision you make uses an action point, to which you are limited to the number you can use per day. So you have to ensure that you chose wisely if you want to get the full potential out of your team.

The more you level up the more action points you can earn in order to help your team. So leveling up fast is key in this mode.

READ MORE: New legendary “All-Decade” teams

Looking at MyLEAGUE, there has been little change from 2K19.

There wasn’t much that needing adding to the mode though. It is one of 2K’s most complete modes and the addition of further customization tools means you have more control than ever before. It remains one the most enjoyable modes in this years sim.

The Neighborhood

Aptly titled ‘The Next Neighborhood’ on the trailer for this fan-favorite mode. The Neighborhood is taken to a new level on 2K20.

Disk-Golf is a RealSport favourite in the Neighborhood! 

The addition of new mini-games such as Disk Golf and F1 wasn’t something which the game was crying out for, but they are a whole load of fun to play.

The competitive element of the Neighborhood is still as fierce as it ever was, with the return Park Rep sure to separate the men from the boys when the servers start to hot up upon release.

Verdict

Without question, this is the best NBA 2K title to date. The visuals are crisp, the gameplay bugs from previous editions have been eradicated and there has been significant improvements to already top quality modes.

The players feel more real than ever before thanks to the new signature styles, whilst the hard work put into giving the WNBA the introduction is deserves has certainly paid off.  The changes to offense and defense make it easier for those who struggle with in-game plays, but are so rewarding when you get them right.

The most customizable and ambitious 2K title to date will not disappoint if you are an avid basketball gamer

RealSport Rating: 9/10

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Tom Young

20 year old student currently studying Sports Journalism at the University of South Wales.

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