Visual Concepts and 2K Sports set up NBA 2K24 with the perfect alley-oop pass with NBA 2K23, but sadly, they couldn’t throw it down for the spectacular finish.
Like the Madden NFL video game franchise, Visual Concepts’s NBA 2K video games are in a very unique position, being the only officially licensed basketball video game on the market.
The last time the NBA 2K franchise had to worry about some competition was in 2018, when EA dropped NBA Live 2018, the last time we would see an NBA Live video game on consoles.
The NBA 2K franchise has been a model of consistency and as dominant as the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, Kobe and Shaq Lakers, and the Golden State Warriors, but as of recently, fans have grown weary of the games.
The biggest complaints as of late are that the games don’t bring any significant improvements and are nothing but rehashes of the games from the previous year with a fresh coat of paint.
It’s the same complaints Madden NFL fans have expressed about those games.
While Madden has taken a knee with its latest games on next-gen consoles, the NBA 2K franchise gave us hope with their first three entries on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. We hoped that would continue with NBA 2K24, and on paper, it seemed we were getting an improvement from 2K23, but sadly that is not the case.
This is a letdown, especially for a game that features the late Kobe Bryant on the cover.
The Mamba Moments Mode Is Fun But Feels Empty At The Same Time
There are still many other memorable moments you get to relive in the game, BUT it’s glaring that you can’t relive Kobe’s 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors.Share
It made perfect sense to put Kobe Bryant on the cover of NBA 2K24, mainly because 24 was Bryant’s jersey number when he hung up his Nike Kobe Protro kicks.
Like 2K23’s Jordan Challenge, NBA 2K24 came with the Mamba Moments, one of the game’s most significant bright spots, allowing you to relive seven of Bryant’s career-defining moments.
In an odd decision, the mode bypasses Bryant’s early career and jumps five years later to 2001 during the NBA Playoffs. There are still many other memorable moments you get to relive in the game, BUT it’s glaring that you can’t relive Kobe’s 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors.
The only person probably happy about that is Jalen Rose, who, as of late, made light of Bryant’s near record-breaking performance against him.
Despite that one moment missing, it’s still fun controlling Bryant at his playing peak and torching the competition.
MyNBA ERAs Are Back
MyNBA ERAs remain one of the game’s few bright spots…Share
First introduced in NBA 2K23, ERAs are a unique twist to the franchise mode, allowing players to dominate when certain players were dominant in the league.
If you want to play in today’s NBA and use today’s rules, you can head to The Modern Era. If you want to dominate the league as LeBron James at the height of his career or keep him from acquiring rings, you can play in the new LeBron Era.
Other eras include, of course, The Kobe Era, or The Jordan and Magic vs Bird era where the rules were a bit more lax, and the play on the court was intensely physical.
Presentation remains a top feature in 2K24, so you can play those games with a 90s-80s filter on the screen, and if that annoys you, the game does give you the option to turn it off to restore that glorious 4K look.
MyNBA ERAs remain one of the game’s few bright spots.
ProPlay Technology Adds A New Look & Feel
ProPlay literally allows for a more accurate translation of NBA superstar’s signature moves on the court into the video game, allowing for more realistic layups, dunks, and jump shots.Share
The most significant addition to the game is ProPlay Technology, which makes NBA 2K24 the most realistic feeling iteration of the game ever.
ProPlay literally allows for a more accurate translation of NBA superstar’s signature moves on the court into the video game, allowing for more realistic layups, dunks, and jump shots.
So all those sick dribble moves and fadeaway three-pointers you watch Steph Curry do on a nightly basis are perfectly encapsulated in the game and look fantastic. He’s not the only NBA star who benefits from the technology.
Presentation and feel is never an area where we have to worry about Visual Concepts coming up short in an NBA 2K video game, and that continues to be the case here.
Where NBA 2K24 Is Throwing Up Bricks
Unfortunately, new advancements like ProPlay Technology and the Mamba Moments mode are not enough to make this game great. MyTEAM is okay, but it still feels like you will need to swipe my credit card to get better enjoyment out of it.
MyCAREER is back and takes your MyPLAYER back to The City, which is as big as ever but is still a grind trying to make your created player an NBA champion and one of the league’s best players.
The City is also full of ridiculous quests like talking to Jake from State Farm (yes, this is still a thing) or finding Ronnie 2K chilling on the beach, the latest edition to The City.
The City is beautiful and still a fantastic idea, but unless you are big into playing online, we don’t see how many people will enjoy their time running around it.
The W is also back, and we are happy to see the WNBA continue to get love in NBA 2K24, especially during a time when the W is getting its most buzz since its inception.
While its inclusion is welcomed, it still feels like an afterthought, but with time, it will have a much more significant presence in future NBA 2K video games.
Not even the great Kobe Bryant, Mamba Moments, or ProPlay Technology are enough to bring NBA 2K24 to the prominence it once held.
While the last game was promising, NBA 2K24 is stepping back in the wrong direction and only boasts some incremental improvements.
NBA 2K24 is far from great, but it’s still okay. But that should not be the case for what is the definitive basketball video game out, mainly because it’s the only one out.
With a $70 price tag on top of the money you. We will be spending on VC to level up your character and other items in the game; we understand if people feel like 2K is swiping their cash like De’Aaron Fox steals the basketball easily from his opponents on the court.
We can only hope the folks at Visual Concepts and 2K Sports are taking notes from the community and making 2K25 the fantastic game it should be.
Photo: 2K Sports / Visual Concepts
*NBA 2K24 key provided for PS5 provided for use by Visual Concepts and 2K Sports*