NBA 2K21 Reviews

NBA 2K21 is ranked in the 37th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.
IGN
Top Critic
6 / 10.0
Sep 10, 2020

NBA 2K21 doesn't break the series' signature basketball gameplay, but its minor improvements and persistent addiction to obnoxious microtransactions mean more of the same isn't good enough anymore.

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4 / 10
Sep 10, 2020

It would be one thing if this was just NBA 2K20 with some minor changes but this rips the heart out of last year's game solely to appeal to competitive online players, with many much-loved features stripped back or not included at all.

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7 / 10.0
Sep 17, 2020

NBA 2K21 still delivers the thrill of being on the court and producing spectacular plays, but it lacks innovation and fresh ideas

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6 / 10
Sep 24, 2020

NBA 2K21 still manages to capture the art of basketball, but it's largely the same dance as years past.

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Polygon
Top Critic
Unscored
Sep 10, 2020

That means some kind of personal journey or transformation for the star, and supporting characters with some depth and likability. Given every chance to be a preening overdog, newcomer Vince Washington turns the character Hendrixx Cobb into a warm, believable friend instead. Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire) is just shady enough as a streetwise mentor to make an endgame choice - one the game even forced me to reconsider! - both reasonable and personally regrettable.

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Luke Plunkett
Top Critic
Unscored
Sep 10, 2020

The problem with 2K, though, and it’s bigger this year than ever, is that you can rarely be so clear in your perspective. In 2K21, just like we’ve seen for the last few years, every moment of fun on the court is undermined by the racket being run off it.

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81 / 100
Sep 8, 2020

Coronavirus has extended the previous season of the NBA and next-gen is very close, so the timing is not the best for this entry in the franchise, which is very continuist. However, it is still a great basketball game.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Forbes
Top Critic
7.3 / 10.0
Sep 6, 2020

As it is, there are some strong components, but it doesn’t feel like a completely new game in as many aspects as usual.

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6 / 10
Sep 12, 2020

NBA 2K21 suffers from the same issues that have held the series down for years. A poor MyCareer story, reused assets, shoddy servers, and an over-importance of VC/microtransactions. The one redeeming quality that NBA 2K21 can boast is its high-level gameplay. Luckily, that’s what you want most from a basketball sim.

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7 / 10.0
Sep 14, 2020

NBA 2K21 is a solid update of NBA 2K20... but with a strange and unpredictable twist. The new shooting meter is made for online competition and, in the end, follows the metagame rather the basketball flow. Maybe it's good for the pro gamers, but it feels unbalanced and frustrating for the bastketball lovers.

Review in Italian | Read full review

8 / 10.0
Sep 14, 2020

In a generation where NBA 2K had border on excellence as the norm, a last-minute change in gameplay due to a new shooting mechanic makes its farewell bittersweet. Hopefully in the face of a new generation they'll return to what worked in the past.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

8 / 10.0
Sep 15, 2020

NBA 2K21 is a fantastic basketball simulation, but it is a shame that most of the game feels more like an update than an entirely new entry.

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Sep 8, 2020

2K21 is another solid entry in the series that builds upon the great gameplay strides of the last few years. Visual Concepts has some fires to put out and hopefully that happens sooner rather than later so fans can get on to enjoying the grind.

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Sep 9, 2020

Excellent gameplay and an impressive amount of pomp and spectacle continues to be let down by off the court problems

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Ken McKown
Top Critic
8 / 10.0
Nov 24, 2020

Moving into a new generation of consoles is always exciting. With sports games it is a mixed bag. The games always take the leap in terms of graphics, but seem to trim back the amount of features contained within. NBA 2K21 is a combination of both. While the graphics are next-level, there are also a host of improvements over the previous generation’s offering. Where it falls short though is failing to address the problems from the last gen version of the game. What we end up with is an impressive first outing that feels more like the target the team set out for early on.

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ZTGD
Ryan
Top Critic
7 / 10.0
Sep 24, 2020

NBA 2K21 is a tough game to review. On the court, the game is mostly very good. The passing and dribbling feels excellent and the My Career mode is certainly well-acted. It could easily be a high 8 or 9 if the whole progression system didn’t feel so broken.

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8 / 10.0
Sep 12, 2020

Gameplay wise, NBA 2K21 is once again an excellent product, and the best basket videogame on the market (also due to lack of competition). While very similar to its predecessor, it is also evolved and revised. However, being a 2K title, microtransactions are inescapable.

Review in Italian | Read full review

7 / 10
Sep 10, 2020

In pursuing pro players, NBA 2K21 may be a little too intimidating for more casual players. Nevertheless, this is an obscenely detailed simulation that captures the ebb-and-flow of real-world basketball with unrivalled authenticity. It's also enormous, and while some aspects have been left untouched, the likeable story and revamped MyTeam modes mean that it's worth the upgrade. The in-game economy, which is heavily influenced by lucrative microtransactions, continues to be a sour spot – and it remains to be seen how much life this release will have with a next-gen successor right around the corner. Still, even with all of these drawbacks, it's comfortably one of the best sports games available on the PS4.

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8 / 10.0
Sep 9, 2020

NBA 2K21 executes the fundamentals of basketball to perfection. Add to that a wonderful narrative in Long Shadow, and the package becomes even more appealing - even if MyCareer is linked to an online mode. These modes have a lot of potential, especially My Neighborhood, but some of the ideas still need a year or two of percolation before they're at their true potential.

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3 / 10
Sep 8, 2020

A recycled mess that features the same bugs, financial exploits, and cheats that PC players have had to suffer through for years. MyTeam has seen some great innovations but they are completely overshadowed by NBA 2K21's shortcomings.

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