Console: PS3 Reviewer: Patrick
* Gameplay is exceptionally fluid and realistic
* Enhanced My Career mode features immersive RPG element
* Executive Producer Jay-Z adds a ton of presentation changes including pregame music videos
* Lacks a real tutorial on all of the new control features
* In game menu presentation remains primarily unchanged
* Initial roster is outdated and as of yet 2k has not released any official roster updates
In yet another year absent of any competition, 2K13 raises the bar on what has already been deemed by many, the greatest basketball franchise ever developed. Below I will attempt to highlight some of the various details of the game and I will start off by saying I think this is the greatest basketball video game EVER made, and could be argued to be the greatest sports video game of all time in my opinion. And that is high praise for me, considering I have literally either owned or played at some point nearly every major sports game title since 2000.
Presentation : A+
NBA 2K13 has by far the best visual animations you will find in a basketball video game, and possibly any sports game to date. The first time I played 2K13 I couldn’t get over how well the game looked. From the pregame videos that show highlights of the two teams that are facing off with hip-hop music blasting in the background to get you hyped up for the game, down to the players emotional expressions, reactions and techniques as the game is played out. This game looks and feels amazing. The best way for me to describe it would be to imagine watching a live game on TV and you being able to tell every player exactly what to do. That is how realistic this game looks and feels. Also, the soundtrack which was put together completely by Executive Producer Jay-Z is phenomenal and includes artists from varying genres such as Nas, Coldplay, Daft Punk and even Jay-Z himself among many others.
Single Player : A+
The single player modes in 2K13 can last as long as you desire and be as difficult as you can handle. There are multiple game modes including the newly revamped My Career mode which lets you control yourself as a created player and go through the ranks of being drafted and playing through your career, all the way up until you decide to retire. This mode also incorporates an RPG element that allows you to earn XP to use however you see fit towards everything from your players clothing, jewelry, attributes and more. This mode even allows you to interact with the media, the coaches, GM’s and even the team owners to make demands or voice your approval for the way things are going. These added RPG elements help to provide more depth and realism and make you feel as close to being in the NBA as possible.
One of the other amazing game modes is my personal favorite and that is the traditional Association mode. This mode allows you to control the everyday happenings and transactions of your favorite NBA team including player rotation, practice schedules, conditioning drills, etc. These are just two modes of many which 2K has bestowed upon us this year. One of the other great new additions this year is the All Star mode which features the rising stars challenge, dunk contest, 3 point contest and all-star game, however unless you preordered then this content is only available via DLC. Also I almost forgot to mention the classic teams and Olympic teams. This year there are more classic teams as well as the 92 Dream Team and the 2012 Gold Medal Winning Team USA which can provide for even more hours of enjoyment. Both the My Career and Association modes allow a user to dive into the world of the NBA and be in complete control of their destiny. In the first week alone I would say I spent a minimum of 16-18 hours playing just the Association mode and never once got tired of playing.
Multiplayer : B+
The multiplayer for 2K13 is exactly what you would expect for an online sports game. You can do the traditional quick game versus mode and play against a random online competitor or you can also join up with a crew and tackle other crews in a game to see who has the better players on their side. Of course to fully enjoy the Multiplayer mode I would recommend a minimum 10MB connection speed as there are a lot of fast breaks and the slightest bit of lag can cause frustration.
Replay Value : B+
For this years NBA 2k I give the replay value the highest grade I think I could ever give a sports game which is a solid B+. With most sports games the game gets out dated as soon as next years model is released. However with 2K13 I believe there is some real lasting appeal. Not only because it could be potentially the last basketball produced solely for this generation of consoles but even more so because of all the details that were put into this game. It looks amazing, has great presentation and feels like the real deal. Another thing that will help keep this game in my collection is of course the 2k Share feature which allows users to upload their own roster updates, custom draft classes and more.
Overall : A+
In closing I will say this: I listed three cons of the game at the top of this review, but in all honesty there are so many Pros to this years game that what few Cons actually exist are a moot point when detailing this title. Any basketball fan can find something in this game that they thoroughly enjoy. Whether it’s the My Career mode, Association Mode, Online play, Classic Teams, All Star Mode or simply playing against your friends, this game has everything a true sports fan could possibly ask for. I also have to give HUGE props to 2K for bringing Jay-Z on board as Executive Producer and for revamping SO many things in this game when there was literally no competition at all to dethrone them from the top of the sports video game world.