Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 91
    The game shines particularly bright in the Total Team Control mode, which allows you to hook up online with nine other players for 5-on-5 basketball. This mode simulates the experience of playing an actual game of basketball more closely than any videogame I've played.
  2. A wonderfully done basketball game by 2K Sports that is worth all the money and time you will invest in it.
  3. 2K seems very comfortable with their winning formula - they've got a game that plays and looks great that improves a little each year. They've succeeded in adding wrinkles that do what should be the #1 goal of anyone who makes sports games: They stay out of the way.
  4. NBA 2K9 is the closest thing yet we’ve seen to a total hoops package. Other than a few minor quibbles – the visuals get choppy during the cutscenes between play and the Blacktop mode is a throwaway collection of uninteresting minigames – we’re utterly delighted with 2K’s latest ode to the hardwood.
  5. 90
    This game delivers where it needs to, offering the most realistic NBA experience to date. Heck, even free-throw shooting means memorizing the shooting styles of different NBA players (a feature we really like, by the way).
  6. Everything about NBA 2K9 blows NBA Live 09 out of the water. If you're a basketball fan, NBA 2K9 is the game to get this season.
  7. NBA 2K9 achieves another success offering a title that justifies its new purchase. Essential for basket fans, it's again the finest virtual representation of that sport.
  8. NBA 2K9 is an amazing title that is just a little spit and polish away from perfection.
  9. 85
    Refined gameplay that captures the speed of the NBA game without reverting to being an arcade title. A few annoyances here and there are all that hold this one back from a guaranteed spot in the Hall.
  10. The star feature of NBA 2K9 is the Association, the best franchise mode across every sports title.
  11. Realistic animations anchor that gameplay. When LeBron drives the lane and fades away for a jumper in the paint, or when Tony Parker stumbles around a pick, every elbow, jersey, and sweatband organically articulates their momentum.
  12. Yes, NBA 2K9 is great. While Living Rosters and Five-on-Five online are noteworthy additions to the franchise, the game doesn’t feature much new stuff besides those two options. Instead, Visual Concepts tweaked, improved and continued to build upon several aspects the franchise has been accustomed to deliver year after year. It’s definitely good to see the improvement especially after the less-stellar 2K8. NBA 2K9 is the closest you will get to the NBA world and it’s definitely worth every penny.
  13. 2K Sports carefully crafted the best basketball game in recent times. It was difficult to improve last year's entry, but they worked hard and launched an even better game. Gameplay-wise, it's quite similar to 2K8, but now it's more fluid, more complex and with the new DNA feature, that lets you customize your players. Let the new season begin!
  14. 85
    Simple flaws aside, NBA 2K9's solid gameplay shine above the rest, assuring that the series lifts the championship banner into the rafters for at least another year.
  15. If you are a hardcore basketball simulation player who enjoys not only managing your favorite team through several seasons but playing against like-minded people as well, you probably already have NBA 2K9. If not, go and grab it now. Until NBA 2K10 hits, this will be the best basketball sim you'll ever play.
  16. NBA 2K9 is hands down the best basketball title this year. Aside from its few technical flaws, you can’t get go wrong with adding NBA 2K9 to your collection.
  17. 84
    The Association mode is making a case for the best franchise mode in the entire genre, and the on court gameplay is mostly very solid. With some tweaks to the post play, and an overhauled menu system, next years' version has the potential to be a truly outstanding title.
  18. NBA 2K is still the standard for basketball gameplay, and if you're wondering which title to go with this year, NBA 2K9 is your choice.
  19. Impressive basketball sim that manages to be instantly accessible. [Christmas 2008, p.76]
  20. Whereas Live 09 offers similar new features, 2K has the ability to back up their new features with smooth on-court gameplay. This is simply a more fun basketball experience.
  21. A great basketball game though and highly recommended.
  22. There’s still some work to do in the presentation and gameplay mechanics departments, but NBA 2K9 should be considered yet another slam dunk for the Xbox’s hoop stalwarts, but one perhaps thrown down with less authority than in recent years.
  23. Factor in the terrible menu navigation, and 2K9 has more problems than the Charlotte Bobcats. However, its five-on-five online play, updated Association mode and enjoyable hoops action still makes it a slam dunk.
  24. NBA 2K9's game is strong, but most of its new features won't be appreciated by the average Joe.
  25. The game is an excellent new addition to the series despite the fact that it knows little innovation. The gameplay goes deep and demands from the gamer some form of commitment. If you're willing to give these extra miles than you will experience a great basketballgame with superb plays.
  26. Too close to call between NBA Live, do you prefer gameplay or visuals? Stats or modes? Ah, the age-old question for sports fans. It really depends on what you prefer and how you play.
  27. This is b-ball for the hardcore. You know it!
  28. NBA 2K9 comes as another solid outing for 2K Sports, its not a huge leap forward like some of us would expect.
  29. Still the best NBA game you can play, without question. However, the lack of new features may prevent it from being a slam dunk worthy of your $60.
  30. Both games have lots of upside and are well worth the investment if you are interested in a basketball game. Unfortunately for 2K Sports, I would have to give EA the advantage for this year though. It’s not by much, but I just found myself enjoying Live a little more than 2K9.
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Jun 2, 2012
    10
    I just had to write this review,seeing I'm years late but I'm a true basketball believer.First off 2K's game just gets better and better everyI just had to write this review,seeing I'm years late but I'm a true basketball believer.First off 2K's game just gets better and better every year.Ever since the very first Nba 2k on the Dreamcast.There really has never been a year where there was a problem or something was suspect.Nba 2k12 is out right now and the game is flawless in every way and every detail.There is one thing that stumps me though.Put your NBA 2k12 and then put your NBA 2k9 and look,NBA 2k9 looks amazing in all the word!As an overall picture on a HD TV running at least 1080i,the game looks better then any year and I went year by year,game by game because I thought maybe something was wrong with me but it is true.Yes the player models are way better,animations,sound,ect...,ect..Do what I did and just look at the game.I actually was playing the game and two friends came into my home and could of swore that the game was on TV.I look back now and also realize that 2K was in a league of there own and NBA live never even compared because they were not even on the same playing ground as 2K,and later look what happened to EA,they dropped out of the race since 2K11.So once you see what I see than just kick back with your NBA 2K12 and just love the fact that your NBA 2K9 was perfect in 2008, and play it here and there it is well worth the cheap asking price that you can get it for now.If the game had updated rosters and the my player mode it actually would be perfect but that would also mean that 2K sports wouldn't make anymore money on basketball games. 9.9 Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2012
    7
    Playing this game is fun and will keep you busy throughout the NBA season and beyond. Lack of player emotion is puzzling like the gameplayPlaying this game is fun and will keep you busy throughout the NBA season and beyond. Lack of player emotion is puzzling like the gameplay sometimes. It seems as though 2K is losing its lead over NBA Live and needs to come up with fixed online servers and deliver their promise of up-to-the-minute roster updates. Once again the menus are frustrating but players will eventually get used to them. A decent pick-up if you love the NBA and want to play through a season as it's happening. You won Full Review »
  3. JobA
    Jul 15, 2009
    9
    wow,Its really amazing how far the 2K franchize has came over the years from nba 2k on the Dreamcast.This is definetly the best basketball wow,Its really amazing how far the 2K franchize has came over the years from nba 2k on the Dreamcast.This is definetly the best basketball game ever made and I cant wait to see how it evolves over the next 10 years.I give it a 9.6 Full Review »