NBA 2K20 Review: Rounding Up Latest Scores and Impressions from Top Experts

Theo SalaunContributor IIISeptember 6, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

NBA 2K is back and, although there aren't many reviews out, the ones that are have spoken highly of the game—despite concern over its push for microtransactions. 

In a bizarre move, NBA 2K20 did not get reviewed by the major outlets before its September 6 release date. As Liam Martin of the Daily Express reported, "NBA 2K20 review scores won't go live until 12.01am on September 6." That means no reviews from IGN, Gamespot or other mainstream gaming reviewers...yet.  

Instead, players hungry for scores and impressions of the world's most popular virtual basketball game needed to turn to sites like Real Sport, Operation Sports and, if desperate, the user reviews on Steam. 

Perhaps the most notable "review" of the game is actually from PEGI, the Pan European Game Information rating system, who had to respond to the massive backlash against 2K's microtransaction trailer and stand by their review of the game's family-friendly 3+ age rating.

The trailer featured video of the game's casino-inspired lootbox mechanics and was removed from 2K's official Youtube channel after receiving over 16,000 dislikes.

As for reviews of the game's actual gameplay and features, the bag seems to be mostly positive. Sure, Steam's pre-release user reviews were mostly negative, but Real Sport and Operation Sports had good things to say—and they actually played the game.

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Tom Young of Real Sport didn't hesitate to give the game a 9/10, and Matt Llewellyn of Operation Sports deemed his initial impressions "very positive."

While Llewellyn did criticize the game's inability to improve upon missed rebounding and layup issues, he credited 2K from a gameplay perspective, surmising that "NBA 2K20 plays a great game of basketball." 

Those issues equate to players continuing to miss more layups than in real basketball and, with boards, he noted that "the ball will still hit the ground more often than it should." 

The biggest improvements that he could feel were the breadth of player motion and the individuality of dribbling packages (which are "much more contextual" now). Those two aspects were similarly echoed by Young.

Young credited the upgraded motion engine and signature dribble styles for a new degree of realism, decreeing that their addition "just makes the game feel so much more realistic."

He was blown away by this year's SpringHill Entertainment-produced MyCareer mode, calling it "the best story mode to ever come out of a sports title."

With those changes in mind, Young went so far as to call NBA 2K20 "the best NBA 2K title to date." 

Although Llewellyn also reiterated the concern felt by those who saw the microtransaction trailer by noticing "the specter of microtransactions throughout the game," NBA 2K20 still seems to be another strong installment of everybody's favorite basketball videogame.