NBA 2K21 is a basketball simulation video game that was developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports, based on the National Basketball Association (NBA). It is the 22nd installment in the NBA 2K franchise.
Why It Sucks
- Many glitches/bugs were reported by many players at launch.
- This game is another reskin of the previous NBA 2K games (especially NBA 2K20), however, they had the guts for this installment to remove some features.
- The microtransactions are worse and more expensive compared to the previous NBA 2K games.
- The game costs $70 for the next-generation versions.
- The soundtrack is very much focused on heavily censored rap music, something inexcusable for a game rated E by the ESRB. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 was rated T because of the lyrics in the soundtrack's songs, so why didn't the same happen with NBA?
- Not helping was the fact that the game has over 150 songs on next-gen.
- No cutscenes like the Pre-game interviews or Pre-game shows in MyCareer Mode.
- The rosters at the launch were mostly a copy-paste of NBA 2K20's final roster update, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic suspending the NBA season, which prevented off-season moves from happening before the game's release.
- The shooting mechanic is broken.
- The notorious Mamba Forever Edition's cover art. Kobe Bryant, a deceased former L.A Lakers player, is used as the cover art mascot to gain extra money. And while they could add him in the cover art as some sort of tribute to him in general, they did it in a Deluxe Edition that's more expensive than the Standard Edition. In other words, it shows that 2K Games doesn't have a problem with using a deceased person for-profits, which morally speaking, completely. Disrespects. THE DEAD. (Just think about that for a second!)
- For the third time, there are unskippable ads in the loading screens, despite the fact that this is a game that is sold for full price. It happened twice with 2K19 and 2K20, showing the developers (and publishers) still haven't learned anything.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- The game on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 is a significant upgrade from the eighth generation version, with new features such as The City and WNBA franchise mode, the franchise mode itself being more advanced, very short load times, and noticeably improved graphics.
NBA 2K21 received mixed reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
Michael Higham from GameSpot gave the game a score of 6 out of 10. He states "NBA 2K21 shows that the lone basketball sim we have now has largely stagnated. It's a full package, for sure, but one that demonstrates a little-to-no motivation to meaningfully improve upon itself. That doesn't take away from the strong foundation that makes NBA 2K a fun and rewarding time. However, when you go through the same grind and the same process with only superficial changes, you just get burnt out faster than years prior."
NBA 2K21 received a negative user score on Metacritic, with the PlayStation 4 version having a user score of 0.9, the Xbox One version having a user score of 2.2, the PC version having a user score of 1.5, and the Nintendo Switch version having a 1.6 user score after players found out that it's essentially a reskinned version of NBA 2K20 but with some changes for the worse.