The latest installment of “NBA 2K” once again came with high expectations, and that’s aside from the fact all-time legend Kobe Bryant was featured on the cover this go-around.

Basketball’s most hyped video game release returned, begging the one and only important question surrounding it: Did “NBA 2K24” live up to the hype?

Well… not really.

Now, it’s not a complete dud.

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The application of real in-game animations from certain players adds a majestic element that most sports video games can’t compete with.


Every year, the folks over at 2K have the opportunity to be innovative and shame “NBA Live” as its little brother. And while that’ll always be the case, 2K’s latest installment didn’t provide anything new. Aside from roster updates and other minor polishes, there’s not a whole lot to applaud for. There isn’t much of a difference from last year’s release, which on the bright side, leaves plenty of room for improvement going forward.

Emphasis on plenty.

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Now, there’s plenty of low-hanging fruit to attack 2K for this year — as is the case every year. For example, there’s no difference in terms of graphics whatsoever to distinguish the difference between 2023 and 2022’s release.

But that’s too easy.

Here are three completely fair criticisms of “NBA 2K24”:

3. Unrealistic animations on both sides of the floor
Ever witness an NBA player try and guard a five-plus-long-minute dribble combo at the top of the key? No? Well, that’s because it’s ridiculously unrealistic.

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In what world does an NBA guard even have the energy to run out the shot clock like that? Apparently, 2K has quite the imagination.

Now this wouldn’t be as much of a standout issue if defenders could keep up — which they can’t. So while those with possession and above-average handles can go full-out Harlem Globetrotters with the ball, defenders are left gassed out and incapable of keeping up.

That’s insanity.

This issue comes especially in play during “MyPark,” where users are expected to play fellow online gamers around the world and somehow make up for the nonsensical offense-defense gap.

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2. Laughable ghost defensive contests
If there’s anything consistent within this game, it’s the unrealistic gameplay.

On the defensive side of the ball, steals and turnovers are constantly harming users, including those with high passer ratings. Simultaneously, it’s also rewarding bad defense.

Whether it’s CPU or online users, defenders are capable of miraculously getting unintended steals, tips and blocks, which alone, isn’t an issue. That’s fairly realistic at any level of basketball, but it doesn’t end there.

In “NBA 2K24,” late reads are constantly being rewarded time and time again.

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Top-of-the-line passer ratings won’t bail anyone out of teammates failing to catch the most basic of passes or prevent some inexcusable hand-offs to opposing defenders at any given moment.

1. Wanna reach a respectable rating in “My Player”? Buy VC!
The true “NBA 2K” OG’s remember the days of earning your “My Player” rating with hours upon hours of hard work — which could honestly be done within a day, but those days are gone.

Instead, those with the luxury of spending money on virtual currency have the advantage of instantly being ahead of the race.

This defeats the entire purpose of a “MyPlayer” story mode which follows a users created player throughout the entirety of their NBA journey. Very few players ever transition smoothly into the league, but to make the leap and already be in MVP, Hall of Fame and all-time great conversations?

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Let’s be real.

The remaining users with an ounce of integrity are being punished, requiring days of playing just to reach a mid 80s overall. That’s just egregious for a fully-priced game with an already uninspiring story mode.

A once-beloved sports game continues to become a pawn for dollars.

Final verdict: 6.6/10

Featured image via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images