NBA 2K20, the review

Who I am
Aina Martin
Author and references

Getting ready to write the NBA 2K20 review it also means having the awareness of finding oneself in front of what in recent years has been considered by many to be the best sports simulation in circulation, not only in the restricted panorama dedicated to basket but also in what embraces all disciplines. And how to blame him, considering that, net of some small stumbling blocks, the work done by the team Visual concepts has improved from year to year, offering a quality and playability on the court capable of exalting all the fans of the NBA basketball championship. The most heated criticisms over time have been those related to microtransactions, of which not even NBA 2K20 as we are about to see does by hand. The business model of 2K Sports however, it must not overshadow the good things achieved by the developers, also this year able to do a job that impresses with its peaks of quality. If you're curious about what NBA 2K20 has in store for you, just keep reading.

The news: a high-level career

In terms of NBA 2K20 mode it remains practically identical to its predecessor, entrusting the only real novelty to the presence of the league WNBA, or the women's one with its twelve teams. Although EA Sports had actually already thought about it at the time with NBA Live following the route traced with FIFA, for the NBA 2K series this is in fact the first time that the WNBA is included. With NBA Live 20 at least for now disappeared, it is still pleased that the reference basketball simulation has decided to take this step, even if confined to some very specific modes and therefore not available in all those present in the game. The second novelty concerns My career, the kind of mode in which the NBA 2K series has always been strong, in some cases also making use of special collaborations like that of Spike Lee for NBA 2K16. This is definitely the case again this year, given that the story of the career mode was developed with the involvement of the production company SpringHill Entertainment, founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. The other excellent names concern the cast, among which those of the actors Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson stand out, lending their faces to some characters in the story.

After the Chinese parenthesis, the story returns to American soil to tell us the story of its protagonist nicknamed Che: a nickname rather in line with his nature as a leader attentive to the needs of his comrades. Right from the start, our Che will be divided between what is right to do in the face of other people's choices of dubious morality, up to the point of questioning his rise to the NBA championship. Between falls and rises, the story mode of NBA 2K20 does not betray the expectations, putting on the plate a mature and compelling story. Above all, initially you don't play much, it's true, just as it is true that the choices are only limited, but since there are ways to simply play basketball in the game, it is undoubtedly worth letting yourself be carried away by the narrative aspect of the game. As for the editor, the character is totally configurable both in physical appearance and in skills, selecting basic parameters such as weight and height, and then moving on to athletic skills and potential in the fundamentals that he can then express along the way.

The methods

What has been described so far undoubtedly represents the heart of what Visual Concepts has achieved for NBA 2K20 in terms of content, but My Career and the WNBA are obviously not the only modes present in the game. The most loyal fans of the series will in fact be able without any problem to extricate themselves through the menus that lead to single matches or entire seasons, up to My League and My GM. This last mode allows you to take care of a team by taking care above all of the managerial aspects, renewed through the addition of some action points that define the activities that can be carried out between one game and another, plus a skill tree that gives a role-playing cut to the our work as GM. Always present, of course, also My Team, online mode for years now classified as the Ultimate Team of basketball. My Team was the main one accused by the controversy related to microtransactions, found virtually everywhere in NBA 2K20. If elsewhere the use of real money is proposed as a possibility that is even a little hidden, inside My Team at times it seems to be actually inside a kind of casino, complete with slot machines, roulette and sparkling lights. Unfortunately, the risk is that of having to deal in online modes with people who have built their team to the sound of euros, putting real skill in the background. As mentioned, the situation is fortunately different elsewhere: the My Career mode in fact allows you to pull out real money to give a "boost" to the skills of the protagonist, but the speed of progression of our character is enough not to make you feel the need to spend money. Unless you want to be the new Michael Jordan in three seconds.

PlayStation 4 Trophies

NBA 2K20 brings fifty-one Trophies. Together with the usual platinum obtainable by completing all the other objectives, we find two of the gold type, ten silver and thirty-eight bronze. To get them you have to work through the different modes in the game, with particular attention to the My Career mode where you have to perform some feats on the field.

The gameplay

In the absence of serious reasons to bring about revolution, at the end of the current generation the game dynamics of NBA 2K20 are proposed in a conservative guise. Already being able to count on a simulation apparatus of the highest level, the choice of Visual Concepts was to file the defects present in last year's edition, intervening above all on the dynamics of movement of the players. Those who know the series can therefore feel at ease after a few minutes, possibly resorting to the training system to refresh or learn about the less clear aspects of the game. Once you get to the parquet, you realize that the attention of the developers of NBA 2K20 has been directed above all to the physics of athletes. At a slightly slower pace of play than a year ago, a renewed fluidity in movements is coupled, also thanks to the addition of new animations that act as a link between one move and another. From this point of view, the defensive phase may still be a little behind, due to an excessive staticity of the players in marking, especially when there is a fair amount of movement by the forwards. Playing with WNBA teams there is the difference that one would expect compared to the use of men: lower strength and explosiveness must necessarily be compensated with the circle of the ball, thus trying to get to the basket through the choral play. Physically, the female models might have required a little more work.

Graphics and sound: like on TV

The technical sector of NBA 2K20 offers a glance that in some shots is truly remarkable. The graphic quality of this series is not a novelty, however, but it is still nice to see how even at the end of the generation the guys from Visual Concepts have set to work to improve the performance of the field. As for the athletes, stars like LeBron James are obviously the most polished and close to their real appearance, but even on secondary players we can say that a good job has been done. The presence of connections from the sidelines and intermission shows makes the overall experience very close to the livable one seeing the games on television, with the exception of a few shots that capture the somewhat dazed subject. The soundtrack accompanies us through the menus with the usual series of songs capable of transmitting the right "vibrations", while once on the pitch the commentary follows the action fairly punctually. It should be noted the presence of some loading screens a little longer than the average, even after the publication of the patch with which this type of problem was faced.


Tested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop Price 69,99 €


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Your vote

Team that wins does not change, especially when the videogame generation is now coming to an end. Waiting to see what Visual Concepts will be able to churn out on the new hardware coming in some time, NBA 2K20 consecrates the 2K Game basketball series in the Olympus of its genre and sports simulations in general. Once on the pitch, the game dynamics are challenging but never frustrating or unfair, thus pushing the player to improve through the quality of his plays and the means made available by the developers. In the overall evaluation, however, it is not possible to ignore what is present in terms of microtransactions in the My Team mode, whose online games risk becoming a considerable source of stress.


  • Mature career mode with an engaging storyline
  • On the pitch, he's the best NBA 2K ever
  • New steps forward for already excellent graphics
  • In some cases, My Team looks more like a casino
  • Offensive phase rewarded more than the defensive one
  • Some loading a bit long
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