Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
Buy On
  1. Sep 25, 2015
    73
    When actually playing basketball in game, or even managing how your player spends his time, NBA 2K16 is a realistic and fun experience. Unfortunately, it's broken up far too often with online issues and Spike Lee cliches.
  2. Oct 26, 2015
    70
    2K Games delivers a new way of playing career mode. With a story directed by Spike Lee, NBA 2K16 makes you want to hate it and love it at the same time. The cliché story might be a little over the top, but the gameplay itself is still very strong, making it probably the best basketball game out there to date.
  3. Sep 27, 2015
    70
    Yes, basketball fans will likely have a great time playing NBA 2K16 for hours on end, but there are too many small steps back here that can’t be ignored. The good news for fans of sports games is that the first misstep in this great franchise is still a very good game, which speaks to how truly fun its gameplay is.
  4. Games Master UK
    Dec 1, 2015
    68
    An overly restrictive and often embarrassing career mode undermines the excellent gameplay. [Dec 2015, p.72]
User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 409 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 92 out of 409
  1. Sep 25, 2015
    6
    Long time, year in year out, 2K player. All of the updates to the gameplay and AI are stellar as usual. The attention to detail andLong time, year in year out, 2K player. All of the updates to the gameplay and AI are stellar as usual. The attention to detail and progression of the game mechanics is stellar. I have always played MyPlayer and MyGM.

    MyPlayer this year forces you to be a player named Frequency Vibrations from the projects in Brooklyn, and have an African American family with a twin sister. And it's called "Livin' Da Dream". Not joking. I'm trying to figure out how to reconcile these things as I hear the story and look at the Spaniard I have created to resemble myself. I can't decide if it's a reverse blindside or if my character is just having Rachel Dolezal type delusions. Spike Lee has made myplayer mode feel like it's choosing to exclude me, and make me feel that by participating I am appropriating a culture that is not mine. These are not things that are currently enhancing my experience.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2015
    5
    I play a few hundred hours of 2K every year, so I am always very excited by a new release. The gameplay is improved from last year. The UI isI play a few hundred hours of 2K every year, so I am always very excited by a new release. The gameplay is improved from last year. The UI is great and it's easier than ever to get right into the action.

    However, I primarily play MyPlayer, and this year's version is very troubling. I was very excited going in about Spike Lee's presence. I thought it would bring more depth to my yearly wish fulfilment of getting to play basketball in the NBA. You see, I played into High School and had to stop because my knees just weren't made for the sport. That's why MyPlayer has always been so immersive to me, I get to role play that my basketball career didn't end in high school. Before this year, the game was very good about letting you fill in the blanks of your own character's story, showing you some behind the scenes BS that was amusing but not very worthwhile. Yet the crux of my characters "story" was always supplied by me, and that was perfect. I always rolled what the game supplied in the cut scenes into the continuity of my own story. That is not possible this year.

    Spike Lee has made the game less inclusive. It feels as if he's sending the message to anyone that isn't an African American from the projects, that basketball is not for them. Playing through the career has been strange to say the least. The game lets you mold and put yourself in the game. But then it chooses the nickname "Frequency Vibrations" for you, and there's a signature on court dance you cannot stop your character from doing, despite both those things going against the type player I want to be.

    You have an African American family and twin sister that the game continually reminds you of, and the in game commentators constantly bring up you coming from the projects in Brooklyn. This constantly breaks immersion if you have a character with differently pigmented skin. And none of this even mentions the casual demonization of all the white men working in the sports business or the simplistic and stereotypical representations of young African Americans that is uncomfortable.

    The high school and college games leading into the draft are brilliant, and the new gameplay is great as usual. I'm just severely disappointed that 2K and Spike Lee have made MyPlayer mode into something that doesn’t make me feel welcome. However, if you don't play MyPlayer mode, or you don't put yourself in the game every year as I do. You may have no problem with this.

    I will still play the game and I'm sure I will enjoy my time in MyGM mode, even though it isn't the mode I'd prefer to be playing. Collapse
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2015
    5
    2015 will be remembered as the year that the NBA2K franchise turned into a soap opera
    Rest in pepperoni, NBA 2K
    Even Live isn't this
    2015 will be remembered as the year that the NBA2K franchise turned into a soap opera
    Rest in pepperoni, NBA 2K
    Even Live isn't this dramatic. That's saying something
    Full Review »