Holiday Gift Guide 2022: “NBA 2K23” is a Must-Have for Basketball Gamers

I’m admittedly not the most familiar with the NBA2K series – only having played a few of them before. Every year I see it I always marvel at the graphics (and the usual accompanying commercials) and think, maybe I’ll try it this year! When I got the word I was getting a review copy of it, I was excited – though a bit apprehensive. The ones I had tried before always left me feeling the same way: impressed by the visual fidelity but ultimately underwhelmed by the controls and utterly lost in the mechanics. This time around however, I have to say I’m very impressed by NBA 2K23 overall, for a number of reasons.

I’ll start with this: NBA 2K23 is a must-have for any basketball fan. It looks incredible and plays intuitively, with a host of online and competitive modes that will keep both casual and hardcore fans engaged. I played the MyCareer mode exclusively, and dabbled online a bit. From a guy who has played EA Sports’ annual NHL series every year since 1993, it blows my mind how much more advanced and developed 2K’s career mode is. While NHL gives you cookie-cutter scenarios and little in the way of story, NBA 2K23 completely immerses you in the story, city and career of your created player. Scenes are voiced and generally funny to watch. Your choices matter and dictate how certain characters respond to you. The characters are well written and I found myself looking forward to cut scenes featuring my favourites.

Get interviewed after your games and answer the questions your own way – choosing the path your character takes.

The announcers in this game are great as well. Some of the detail they get into really shows the depths that this studio went to in order to create immersion. I played with the Raptors, and they talked about how much they had to deal with during the pandemic, switching home base to Tampa, etc. It’s these little details that really make this game stand out.

The little details are what make this game stand out. This TV in the coach’s office, for instance, displays your stats.

The presentation is really good as well, with halftime commentary, dance performances by cheerleaders and even the Jabbawockeez, which was neat to see. There are also an endless amount of statistics and comparisons that really keep you tied into the game and pushing for those extra few points.

A dance performance from the Jabbawockeez.

One of the only gripes I have is the game performance in the city mode. Stepping into the city gives you freedom to go anywhere, tattoo shops, clothing stores and other areas of interest. The issue is that more often than not, the game nearly grinds to a halt when you enter the city. It’s choppy and depending on the number of other players near you, is nearly unplayable. I’m playing on a PS5, arguably the best console experience you can get, and it still – regardless of the system’s power – struggles to get through the city mode – whether I’m skateboarding (a strange choice for a basketball game by the way), running or just sightseeing. Hopefully this is something that the developer can fix with a patch in the near future.

Getting around in the city can be a pain due to low frame rates and choppy performance.

One thing is for sure though, whether the gamer on your holiday shopping list is a casual basketball fan or an annual NBA2K player, NBA 2K23 is a great game – and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any fan of the franchise. It has some great features, awesome game play and looks incredible overall. Have you played it? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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