Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. Oct 20, 2010
    100
    If you haven't yet understood that NBA 2K11 is THE most impressive team sport game of the moment, there's nothing more I can do for you. It's more comprehensive than ever; more refined in terms of atmosphere, animations, possibilities; to sum it up, we had never seen that before. The added bonus of Michael Jordan being included in the game is the cherry on the cake. You need this basket simulator.
  2. Jan 2, 2011
    95
    The best basketball of all time, with no strings attached. Go out and buy it.
  3. Dec 21, 2010
    95
    NBA 2K11 has managed to piece together the best parts of past basketball video games to create an experience that is immersive, rewarding, and novel. Though there are frustrations that mostly stem from the level of difficulty, these are changes for the better. Without the addition of Michael Jordan, this would have been a great basketball sim. Add MJ to the mix, and you've got a complete package that will satisfy any fan of the game.
  4. Dec 21, 2010
    95
    Whilst the level of realism on show in NBA 2K11 may make the game sound a little daunting, what you have to remember is that this is in every way a basketball simulation for fans of the sport rather than a sports title for the casual sports game player.
  5. Oct 20, 2010
    95
    The fact that 2K Sports did so much more with this game and improved it so greatly over last year's title is stunning. This isn't just the best basketball game ever; it's the best sports game of this generation.
  6. Oct 20, 2010
    94
    The inclusion of Air Jordan, the improved dribbling and shot stick use, the ramped-up AI, and the TNT presentation means that there isn't much to dislike about NBA 2K11.
  7. Oct 20, 2010
    94
    A few things keeps NBA 2K11 from being an ultimate realization but there's no way a true basketball fan can overlook this.
  8. Oct 20, 2010
    93
    NBA 2K11 is the best basketball simulation ever created, with or wothout Michael Jordan and his fantastic game mode. The game is simply amazing, and it creates the atmosphere of a true NBA game. A must have.
  9. Oct 20, 2010
    93
    The best basketball game ever.
  10. Oct 22, 2010
    92
    The Association shows great statistical depth and nice opposing management AI, and My Player provides a long and in-depth journey from proving yourself in the combines, to the draft, and eventually to press conferences, playoffs and stardom.
  11. Oct 20, 2010
    92
    This is one game that should be on every sports fan's shelf.
  12. Oct 20, 2010
    92
    NBA 2K11 is easily the most impressive version of the series since 2K7, offering just the right amount of improvements and additions to make it king of the court.
  13. Oct 25, 2010
    91
    NBA 2K11 is the best basketball game I've ever seen.
  14. Oct 25, 2010
    91
    Paying homage to His Airness alongside top teams from his days and today make this game a true gem for real basketball aficionados, as long as you are willing to bite the difficulty bullet – because it's hard, really hard.
  15. Oct 20, 2010
    91
    The minor passing difficulty, negligible graphical stumbles and tough learning curve don't detract from the sheer quality of this basketball simulator.
  16. Oct 20, 2010
    91
    With NBA 2K11 striking up such a balance between gameplay, presentation and extra features, we're wondering if EA Sports delayed NBA Elite 11 out of fear that it simply couldn't keep up with such greatness.
  17. Oct 20, 2010
    91
    NBA 2k11 is amazing. It looks great and it offers depth that actually makes the game deeper. In other words, you can't just ignore the strategy of calling offensive plays in favor of jumping over and sprinting past the defense.
  18. Oct 20, 2010
    91
    There are other modes like the new My Player which allows you to live the life of an NBA player, giving press conferences and rising thorough the ranks from D-League to NBA Superstar and the aforementioned Jordan Moments but really it's the gameplay that sells NBA 2K11. It's a huge step for basketball fans and every other game that comes out is going to be inevitably compared to it.
  19. Oct 20, 2010
    91
    Even if the chief competitor to 2K11 hadn't forfeited the showdown this year, it's hard to imagine a basketball game bringing a more complete, authentic, and fun game of pro basketball to the court than NBA 2K11 does.
  20. Jan 15, 2011
    90
    A solid game with great AI, better graphics, more animations and more precise controls. NBA 2K11 is far better than last year's entry.
  21. Dec 22, 2010
    90
    The PS3 version of the game is also easily the most responsive and it also performs faster–probably due to the console's processor.
  22. Dec 22, 2010
    90
    NBA 2K11 is undeniably the best game in the series yet, pushing forward just enough without leaving behind the fans who fell in love with this version of NBA in the first place.
  23. Oct 27, 2010
    90
    Though there are some technical flaws, NBA 2K11 remains an exceptional basketball game and an absolute must-buy for lifelong MJ fans.
  24. Oct 25, 2010
    90
    In closing, I had no doubt that 2K11 was going to deliver, but this year's edition has taken it to a whole new level, and actually had me surprised at times.
  25. Oct 24, 2010
    90
    NBA 2K11 is a top contender for best sports game of 2011. There have been major improvements over last years edition. The game is hard to master, realistic and complex.
  26. Oct 20, 2010
    90
    It's not just another yearly update with some obligatory back-of-the-box modifications; it's a loving study of the greatest player of his generation and his biggest rivals, played out with beautiful sights and sounds that remind us just how great the Air Jordan era was.
  27. 90
    Whether you love or hate Michael Jordan, 2K11 is the finest hoops title to come along in a long time for its near-perfect presentation of both Number 23 and the other greatest players of his era. The Jordan Challenge mode could almost be its own game.
  28. Oct 20, 2010
    90
    Let's face it even without MJ, NBA 2K11 is one of the best sports games I have played in years and manages to push the bar even higher not only for competing basketball titles but for sports games in general.
  29. Oct 20, 2010
    90
    The next installment of Nba 2k series it's more than an annual upgrade. Jordan's presence takes protagonism in amazing new gameplay modes, and all aspects related to playability and graphic realism has been improved. Definitely, the best basketball simulator in current generation.
  30. Oct 20, 2010
    90
    2K Sports keeps surpassing itself, and NBA 2K11 could be the best and most complete basketball simulator ever.
  31. Oct 20, 2010
    90
    Simply the best basketball game to date. 2K Sports achieved an unparalleled simulation level, giving us many play modes for a great longevity.
  32. Oct 20, 2010
    90
    The truest adaptation of the sport available.
  33. Oct 22, 2010
    89
    NBA 2K11 is the best basketball game ever made, but that is misleading. There are a lot of improvements to be made, and though the graphics are near life-like and the presentation is flawless, there are still many kinks to work out of the gameplay and making all the modes worthwhile.
  34. Oct 22, 2010
    88
    Instead of being a case of diminishing returns, NBA 2K11 sees the franchise in peak condition. The inclusion of the sport's greatest player is much more than just a stunt for the cover and resurrects a time in basketball that we remember fondly. Nostalgia aside, NBA 2K11 is much like Air Jordan himself – the all-time greatest.
  35. Oct 20, 2010
    88
    With solid presentation, a great franchise mode, and strong gameplay, NBA 2K11 is an impressive package.
  36. Jan 12, 2011
    87
    Everything that Michael Jordan touches, turns into gold. NBA 2K11 is the best game of its kind because of all the improvements that Visual Concepts has added.
  37. Dec 21, 2010
    87
    Like MJ himself, NBA 2K11 stands head and shoulders over the opposition. [Issue#232, p.92]
  38. Dec 21, 2010
    85
    This game definitely does not have the unabashed "Must keep playing" sense of 2K's last lights out title (The Bigs 2), nor does it carry the replay oomph the EA titles have to date, but there is more than enough to keep the avid sports gamer busy, and pure basketball fans and gamers likely will not see a better game this year.
  39. Oct 27, 2010
    85
    Throw all of these things together and you have an excellent game that falls just a little short of perfect.
  40. Oct 20, 2010
    85
    The Association Mode improvement of better trade AI is worth it alone. For players who normally stick to the online affairs, they can find and play in competitive leagues with ease.
  41. Oct 20, 2010
    83
    NBA 2K11 has gone out of its way not to be just another NBA 2K game, but a better NBA 2K game. That is something considering the size of its trophy case.
  42. Incredible graphics. [Jan 2011, p.82]
  43. Dec 24, 2010
    80
    With EA's NBA Elite 11 now canned, there's no reason not to pick up this effort if you're a basketball fan. [Issue#66, p.90]
  44. Dec 22, 2010
    80
    Let's face it: it's unlikely you're going to pick this up instead of FIFA 11, but as an alternative to play when football isn't on your brain, this does the job very well indeed.
  45. Dec 21, 2010
    80
    Veterans of the 2K series will need no persuading in picking this one up as it is by far the best game yet.
  46. Oct 20, 2010
    80
    NBA 2K11 improves everything from the past chapters of the series and it's actually the best and most realistic basket videogame of all time. It's a shame that it still doesn't offer a decent an online experience, but if you love Michael Jordan, this is a love letter for you.
  47. Oct 20, 2010
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  48. Oct 20, 2010
    80
    It's a shame there are still some hiccups that prevent this from truly soaring, and the online inconsistencies are downright crushing when you want to show off your skills to the world. But the core mechanics are so well realized and the presentation so lifelike that it's hard to keep away once you get sucked into the tantalizing ebb and flow of an NBA game.
  49. Oct 20, 2010
    80
    NBA 2K11 is, without a doubt, the best basketball simulator ever made. It offers more options on offense and defense than any basketball game ever made, and does it with an incredible sense of style and polish.
  50. Oct 20, 2010
    75
    If the goal of NBA 2K11 is to craft the most realistic basketball game ever, then it succeeded: this is the most realistic basketball game ever. However, the game definitely takes a hit to its fun factor for what I imagine will be a great deal of its audience.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. Jun 8, 2011
    6
    I don't know what game the reviewers played, but this game is simply not fun. Not accessible at all, you'd need to put in dozens of hours of at least to even have a chance against the AI on standard difficulty, and the canned animations frequently cause you to do things you don't want to. Further, being forced to run plays in my player mode makes the game unfun: at best you get a wide open shot that simply comes down to correctly pushing a button (or wiggling a stick). While realistic, this isn't very rewarding, especially when it happens as rarely as it does (most plays simply entail you running around and setting a pick for someone). Which is really a microcosm of the whole game; realistic but not rewarding. Full Review »
  2. May 17, 2011
    6
    Every year 2k increases the amount of player animation on both offense and defense which gives us less and less split-second control. 4 out of 5 times you won't be able to take advantage of pump-faking your defender into the air because it takes 2 seconds of animation to go where you want to go, nevermind not being able to take a jumpshot exactly where you'd like to, either. Also, the unpredictable animation will make your jumpshots inconsistent now that shot releases for some players are unfairly quick. When you are defending the animation punishes you heavily for pressing to one side a little too much. If this franchise wants to keep it's simulation reputation it better start giving back full control to the player - more animated moves does not accomplish this. Oh yes, and after they updated the game to force mandatory play-calling for the My Player mode, I stopped playing it. It totally changed and wrecked the game for me. I will not buy 2k12 if this is not changed back. Everything else, especially the presentation, is great. The amount of animation and mandatory play-calling for My Player mode ruined it for me. Full Review »
  3. Jan 22, 2011
    2
    They made a lot of stuff really nice, there is a lot of customization in creating players, building teams, everything. It lets you automate the intricacies of being a coach in game so you can focus on playing, or you can take full control yourself. All this would normally make for a great basketball game, if it weren't for one thing. The controls are horribly sluggish and inconsistent. I have had instances where i had a clear fast break, hit the shoot button 5 feet from the basket, and the player ran past and out of bounds, then tried to shoot. 5 minutes later, i had the same type of fast break, shot 6 feet away and the player stopped on a dime and did a jump shot. When trying to beat a defender, even if you have a clear lane, your player will slow down and some times turn around(!) when you are telling him to charge through. These types of problems would just be annoying, except when the computer gets in the same situations and worse (heavily defended) the player will just charge through and your players move out of the way. Basketball requires fast reactions, and when it takes a full second for players to respond to your button presses if they don't decide to out right ignore them, it makes the game simply unplayable.

    One more problem i have pales in comparison to the glaring control issue is what i will call turbo mode, this is where your players will actually move at more than a leisurely walk and will generally put more umf! into their actions. It lasts way to short for what it does. Any basketball player that couldn't go at more than a light jog for 5 seconds would quickly be out of work, but that is the standard in 2k11.

    I haven't played a basketball game with a controller since live 1995 (i tried the wii, but had issues with the remote registering the wrong commands) so maybe this is just how NBA games are now, but i sure don't like it.
    Full Review »