NBA 2K21 Demo: First Impressions - Review, Gameplay, Graphics & more

The NBA 2K21 demo, is finally here, giving players a chance to experience the game before committing fully!

Here are our first impressions, and everything you need to know about NBA 2K21.

Latest News - Our NBA 2K21 review is in!

Playing the demo is one way to try before you buy, but if you're interested in reading an in-depth review, you can jump straight to it right here!

You'll find out how new features in MyCAREER, MyTEAM and more expand the series and make it another hit for 2K!

Interested in seeing what the demo has in store for you? Keep reading to find out.

MyPLAYER Builder

The first game mode available on the NBA 2K21 demo is the MyPLAYER Builder.

NBA 2K21 demo MyPLAYER creation 1
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SCULPT: You have plenty of options to change up your MyPLAYER

The builder gives us a glimpse into NBA 2K21's badge progress.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons to Buy NBA 2K21: New MyTEAM, Gameplay Features, Badges & more

There's no confirmation just yet that these will be final values, but some troubling badges remain that we hope won't by the time launch day arrives (including Intimidator, Pogo Stick, and more).

NBA 2K21 demo MyPLAYER Badges Pogo Stick Intimidator 1
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DANGER: Some very negative badges for the meta are still around in the NBA 2K21 demo like Pogo Stick and Intimidator

Once you create your MyPLAYER and choose his skills, it's time to take to the court.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Cover Athletes: All Covers Revealed - Mamba Forever Edition, Next-Gen, Current-Gen & more

You'll only get one MyPLAYER Builder test with your character, with the Los Angeles Clippers taking on the Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA 2K21 Demo MyPLAYER Takeovers
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CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON: Your Takeover ability can dictate the entire game

The court has a MyPLAYER Builder logo at center court, and some game-mode specific commentary which makes for a nice environment.

Quick Game

The Quick Game mode opens the door to NBA 2K21 in the most direct way.

You'll be able to fire up a regular exhibition game between two teams. Your choices will be between the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles All-Time Lakers, and Boston All-Time Celtics.

NBA 2K21 Demo Quick Game Kobe Bryant Lakers Celtics 1
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MAMBA FOREVER: You can play Kobe Bryant alongside the All-Time Lakers to take on the All-Time Celtics in the NBA 2K21 demo

These different lineups add a ton of variety players can enjoy, at times feeling more like a MyTEAM game.

You are limited to only 5 Quick Games in the NBA 2K21 demo.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Buyer's Guide: Is next-gen worth it?

The good news is this is more than enough to get acclimated to the new gameplay changes. Of course you won't get everything down perfect just yet.


2KU is how many players will spend their time finishing up the NBA 2K21 demo download process. It's unlocked after downloading the demo, but you'll have some time before the full game is ready to play.

NBA 2K21 Demo 2KU 1 1
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HIT THE BOOKS: 2KU helps teach players new gameplay tricks

2KU offers players a guide on gameplay features new and old and Kawhi Leonard to practice them with.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Editions: Mamba Forever Edition, Next-Gen, Current-Gen, Bonuses, Features & more

This is a great way to introduce players old and new to where the NBA 2K series is now.


NBA 2K21 gameplay introduces some new challenges with shooting changes, the Pro Stick, some new moves on both sides of the ball, and new badge setups.

NBA 2K21 Demo Graphics 1
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GRAPHICS: The demo for NBA 2K21 showcases where graphics are now, but we can expect them to get better with next-gen consoles

From our time with the NBA 2K21 demo so far, we'd say the new gameplay features are a great success.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 PS4: Release Date, Features, Price, Specs & more

The Pro Stick introduces a challenging new way to try and improve your shooting, and the new shooting systems looks and feels good.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Ratings Predictions: Houston Rockets - James Harden, Russell Westbrook & more

With this said, the NBA 2K21 demo has us more excited than ever for launch day!


The NBA 2K21 demo is a great way to get started with the game, and get used to the gameplay changes that are coming this year.

There are some things that worry us like some bad badges still remaining despite 2K analyzing badge data from last year.

But overall, gameplay remains tight, and the new features add a good challenge.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Trailers: Current-Gen Gameplay, Official Reveal, Mamba Forever & more

For more articles like this, take a look at our NBA 2K and Opinion page.