Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 54
  2. Negative: 4 out of 54
Buy On
  1. Sep 25, 2017
    95
    NBA 2K18 is the king of the sports genre. This entry happens to be an inflection point within the franchise, being the biggest jump when it comes to new mechanics and quality during this generation. The Hood is the biggest of the last years in a game of this characteristics, something that points 2K Sports and Visual Concepts as the vanguard of innovation in this aspect.
  2. Sep 20, 2017
    95
    One of the best entries in the NBA 2K saga for quite some time. Noticeable major upgrades and innovations improves the overall gameplay over the last iteration.
  3. Sep 20, 2017
    95
    2K Sports takes a step forward thanks to the Neighbourhood, a social space that should immediately become a reference for every sports videogame. But the game also adds several improvements in other modes, as in some game mechanics that needed some changes, for example the defense. It's just one of the best iterations in this franchise.
  4. Sep 18, 2017
    95
    NBA 2K18 is the definitive basket simulation, a game that will make basketball fans play for months. This year's defects are difficult to find and the new elements of its gameplay are really engaging.
  5. Sep 18, 2017
    94
    Simply one of the best sport games that we've ever seen. Excellent work from 2K Sports and Visual Concepts.
  6. Sep 22, 2017
    92
    A new defensive approach, a new mode and a bunch of fixes are just a few of the spearheads of NBA 2K18, a game that's very easy to learn, but very very difficult to master indeed. The best title of the series without any doubt, and one of the best sports titles published thus far.
  7. Sep 21, 2017
    92
    2K Sports delivers an amazing game, with great new features and an even better simulation. It's, without a doubt, the best title of the series so far.
  8. Sep 19, 2017
    92
    NBA 2K18 is unstoppable on the court. The new AI, graphics and improved gameplay are unmatched. My Team is better than ever with the salary cap, My GM feels fresh with his cinematic approach and we will be on the neighborhood for months. All of that, of course, if we have enough VC (money) to expend, cause it to feel like a pay-to-win too many times.
  9. Sep 18, 2017
    91
    Just when it appears as though NBA Live has closed the gap, the sheer immenseness and refined quality of the 2K experience shows us that there are levels to this game. The development team and visionaries in charge of the creative direction of the franchise have created a new layer where they alone rest in the sports video game universe. Just like LeBron James, NBA 2K18 isn't perfect, but with its ambitious new additions, refined gameplay, and a truckload of options, there's no question, it's still the best in the world.
  10. Oct 13, 2017
    90
    NBA 2K18 is an amazing game with many new fun aspects to it, the new MyCAREER is fresh and fun and while having flaws the MyCAREER’s of the future are bound to be better but I just hope they continue with the neighborhood. Whether you a fan of the NBA or are just starting to get into it and want to play a video game of it, this game is perfect for you. And for die hard NBA fans, this is a must buy.
  11. Sep 27, 2017
    90
    The changes that have occurred in NBA 2K18 are great, and everything feels more polished and confident. The dribbling and shooting are arguably the most noteworthy changes, as they feel and look more realistic than ever. The MyCareer mode is a lot better than it has been in the past few years, mostly due to the balance of archetypes. You can now safely play the way you want and not suffer any long-term setbacks. Overall, NBA 2K18 is the pinnacle of basketball simulation games, and it offers more than enough reasons to upgrade now rather than waiting for next year's offering.
  12. Sep 25, 2017
    90
    If you're looking for not only the greatest basketball game but the greatest sports game in existence, this is definitely it. A huge improvement on last year, let down only by its weak attempt at a story mode.
  13. Sep 22, 2017
    90
    Probably the best sports game of the year and a great achievement for 2K and Visual Concepts. Brilliant.
  14. Sep 21, 2017
    90
    NBA 2K18 is once again king of the court, proving why the series has managed to remain so superior in recent years. While not each of the updates to the signature modes prove to be as beneficial as intended, the ones that do work, particularly in MyCareer, are further boosted by rock-solid gameplay and a presentation unrivaled within the genre.
  15. Sep 20, 2017
    90
    Not all the shots NBA 2K18 takes are swishes, but its shooting percentage is high enough to once again recommend you step on the hardcourt. The deep MyGM, MyCareer, and MyTeam modes offer hundreds of hours of compelling play, and the on-court action is once again stellar. Once the servers stabilize and Visual Concepts patches in some easily correctible fixes, NBA 2K18 should once again be in pole position for sports game of the year.
  16. Sep 20, 2017
    90
    We found the game more fluid and engaging, with even more focus on physicality and the defensive phase.
  17. Sep 20, 2017
    90
    NBA 2K18 makes strides in both visuals and gameplay, while introducing an endearing social experience blended within MyCareer. The two story modes don’t impress, but their surrounding parts are so strong that they become an afterthought.
  18. Sep 19, 2017
    90
    NBA 2K18 is a solid title that will carry you long into the winter with its upgraded features, massive amount of content, wide range of game modes, and overall better presentation. Its minor setbacks pale in comparison to the positives infused within this title.
  19. Sep 19, 2017
    90
    If you're looking for a simple game with easy controls it's better if you look away. But if you're a real fan of basket and you want to learn how to move on the court and do the right actions at the right moment, then NBA 2K18 is the game you have to buy.
  20. Sep 18, 2017
    90
    Despite the fact that Run the Neighborhood is far from perfect, on the court NBA 2K18 is an amazing and deep experience.
  21. Oct 24, 2017
    86
    Visual Concepts have again made good on their name, developing a visually stunning game. The changes to some of the modes are beneficial, but the overhaul to an open-world MyPlayer feels pointless. The dependency on Virtual Currency and the ease of spending them compared to the challenge of earning them makes for a longer singleplayer experience, but greatly hampers the multiplayer. Hopefully 2K Sports reins it in, because if this continues, they will find resistance.
  22. Sep 28, 2017
    85
    NBA 2K18 remains the best basketball game out there right now. Great gameplay, lots of modes and the online component is pretty solid. The only downside is the aggressive monetization system in the single player MyCareer mode.
  23. Sep 28, 2017
    85
    NBA 2K18 keeps dominating the basketball game genre with perfect gameplay and better graphics each year. The career mode on the other hand is less than convincing with its pointless RPG style. The best basketball game on the market nevertheless.
  24. Sep 24, 2017
    85
    NBA 2K18 could’ve just done nothing at all, and simply upgrade some textures and update the new team rosters. But it did try and elevate the series to another level. Some things are a lot better, like the neighborhood for example, but the mediocre MyGM mode and the heavy reliance on microtransactions hold it back a bit. It is still a great game by any means and is still the king of basketball games.
  25. Sep 20, 2017
    84
    Another step forward on the court, improving on the series’ already great gameplay. You’re rewarded for smart, controlled basketball when dribbling, driving, and playing defense in ways that make sense for the players you’re controlling. In the side modes, results are mixed.
  26. Jan 28, 2018
    83
    Basketball fans, NBA 2K18 is your new best friend… until the next fall.
  27. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Nov 20, 2017
    80
    A beautiful, exciting representation of the sport. You'd be hard pushed to find a better, more accurate simulation of basketball on a modern console. [December 2017, p.82]
  28. Oct 12, 2017
    80
    NBA 2K18 is an excellent basketball simulator. Still, player's progress is heavily relied on microtransactions, but that's the only real downside.
  29. Oct 11, 2017
    80
    NBA2K18 is an amazing basketball game. Though the number of microtransactions are annoying, this game is filled with content for any type of player.
  30. Oct 8, 2017
    80
    As a video game, NBA 2K18 is great. Smooth gameplay, beautiful visuals, expert sound design and tons of new and exciting features is all that a sports fan wants. But the fact that 2K is trying to force the players to spend money in the game is so annoying that could seriously put the future of this great title in danger.
  31. Oct 5, 2017
    80
    NBA 2K18 proves again that they're one of the best sports games of the year. But several of its features are starting to feel the same year after year. They need a radical change to keep innovating in the future. The MyCareer mode has more changes than the other modes, with a social experiment that not all fans are keen of. It has an excessive use of microtransactions that might demoralize the fans that try their best to be on the top.
  32. Oct 2, 2017
    80
    NBA 2K18 offers many improvements, but it is not better than the last NBA 2K. Especially the many micro transactions, long loading times and the boring story make this very entertaining game a lot less good than we've expected.
  33. Sep 29, 2017
    80
    At the end of the day whether you jump in for the grind or not, NBA 2K18 is an amazing game of basketball. I know the microtransactions are going to drive some nuts, but for me personally, I found a ton of enjoyment without ever once thinking about spending money. I believe that the foundation that 2K has laid with the neighborhood could revolutionize not only this franchise but others out there. It’s a compelling way to extend the life of a sports game far past the initial season. If 2K is able to soften the grind without having to pay to win, NBA 2K should have no problem remaining the king of sports games.
  34. Sep 28, 2017
    80
    This year's entry is incredible in so many ways, from graphics, to soundtrack, to the different modes and ways to play hoops. It becomes clear early on that the fastest and easiest way to progress is by spending real money, slightly marring an otherwise tremendous experience.
  35. Sep 25, 2017
    80
    NBA 2K18 yet again crowns itself king of basketball games. However, its focus on pay-to-win might leave a sour taste in your mouth.
  36. Sep 20, 2017
    80
    Its generation-long strengths hold true, and just about prevail over an increasingly cynical microtransaction creep. My Career’s jump to an open-world setting throws a new gauntlet down to the rest of sports gaming.
  37. Sep 19, 2017
    80
    NBA 2K18 has a few holes in its game -- the series needs to improve its writing, the ballyhooed MyCareer Neighborhood hub falls flat, and the tech powering the series is nearing retirement age. That said, boil the game down to its essentials and you have a rock-solid, well-balanced sports sim that provides an immensely entertaining shoulder-to-shoulder same-couch multiplayer experience.
  38. Sep 19, 2017
    80
    The best series of sports video games comes back this year in nice wrapping paper full of promises. This episode is an instant pleasure as well as a guaranteed immersion. With a solid length and a tough challenge, it will speak to both basketball aficionados who will be thrilled to welcome back the series, but also to newcomers who might want to join in. This strong basis might give us a perfect hypothetical follow-up which might correct the few Career Mode imperfections.
  39. NBA 2K18, is the best basketball game i have ever played. It has a lot of improvements to the gameplay. The Neighbourhood is a game changer, but it is overshadowed because of microtransactions.
  40. Sep 26, 2017
    78
    NBA 2K18 is a solid title but does little to improve overall, featuring relatively the same experience as years past.
  41. Sep 28, 2017
    75
    A true sports simulator of the highest quality, offering the complete package for every basketball fan. Amazing gameplay and visuals, shiny presentation, a parade of big names and – you guessed it - microtransactions. Lots of them. For a game that supposedly represents the urban hoods and the streets, it often feels like a consumer stroll through a digital Walmart…
  42. Sep 26, 2017
    75
    Is NBA 2K18 an all-around slam dunk? Not quite thanks to unscrupulous microtransactions, the undercooked Neighbourhood, and mediocre/annoying storytelling. However, despite these fumbles, NBA 2K18 still delivers wildly when it comes to the ability to just play basketball better than any other title without having to leave the couch.
  43. Sep 24, 2017
    75
    NBA 2K18 is a game that really understands a ton of the community around basketball and what makes it special. Unfortunately, it requires a bit of microtransactions patience and an internet connection to enjoy a lot of it.
  44. Sep 21, 2017
    75
    NBA 2K18 is the biggest departure that the series has had in recent years, which is both good and bad. Elements such as MyPlayer feel like they have the potential to be fantastic, but are still too mired by microtransactions and bugs in its current form to truly be the experience that I was hoping for.
  45. 75
    Rarely have I had as many conflicting feelings about a game as much as I do with NBA 2K18. So much about the basketball sim is top-notch, but there are also so many elements that make me want to put it down and never touch it again.
  46. Oct 6, 2017
    74
    A good entry in the series for those who skipped a year. Virtual currency is pushed everywhere. The Neighborhood is OK. Basketball action is fun and exciting.
  47. Oct 12, 2017
    70
    Although it is still very much fun to play NBA 2k18, most of the content is blocked by a wall of micro transactions. Some improvements in gameplay are welcome, but the game still has problems with the amount of bugs that can happen during the match. But without stronger competition, 2k18 will remain the best option for the average NBA fan.
  48. Sep 26, 2017
    70
    NBA 2K18 has one of the biggest and boldest changes for an annual sports title but inadvertently introduced some serious flaws that are difficult to overlook. Nonetheless, the developers have created a great foundation for the series.
  49. Sep 25, 2017
    70
    It’s too bad, then, that The Neighborhood is covered in ads and persistent microtransaction begging. The growing push to spend real dollars on VC impacts those looking to build even the most basic of player avatars. It’s too much in NBA 2K18, holding back nearly every mode and customization option. VC is an unavoidable truth. But on the court — especially in the excellent franchise mode, free from the grasp of microtransactions — NBA 2K18 lives up to its predecessors and at times even bests them.
  50. Nov 26, 2017
    60
    In no way is NBA 2K18 a bad game, but it's certainly not worth its current price-tag, as the few improvements it offers are simply not enough, and, secondly, its sub-par single-player portion relies too much on micro-transactions.
  51. Oct 13, 2017
    40
    NBA 2K18 is an example of everything that is wrong with the modern game industry, and can only be recommended for people who love to give game companies all of their money. The game itself is good, but ruined by micro transactions.
  52. 40
    NBA 2K18 is a king on the court, but its antics off it, particularly its use of microtransactions, leave it in a world of trouble.
  53. Sep 22, 2017
    33
    Where other sports games have stepped up their games to provide a comprehensive experience, NBA 2K18 has taken a huge step back, and seems more focused on getting more money out of players than doing anything else. If you just want a game where you can play as Lebron James or Kevin Durant in exhibition games, it’s fine for that, but if you want to do anything else, stay far, far away.
  54. Sep 22, 2017
    30
    With NBA 2K18 we’ve reached an inevitable crossroad, though the signs should have been seen a while back. The on court action is still the best available, but there is now room for another franchise to come and steal an audience that will be sick of the costs of simply being able to compete in the 2K series. The grind isn’t fun and paying gives advantages over those who won’t or can’t afford to. You absolutely cannot ignore how NBA 2K18 is a full price game that also integrates the business model of a free to play/pay to win title and the way that the enjoyment you get from it suffers because of it.
User Score
1.7

Overwhelming dislike- based on 674 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 674
  1. Sep 15, 2017
    0
    The currency system in this game is a joke. 2k has cut down the amount of VC (in game currency) you can earn considerably, and has startedThe currency system in this game is a joke. 2k has cut down the amount of VC (in game currency) you can earn considerably, and has started charging for ridiculous things like haircuts. They've implemented a free-to-play model in a $60 video game. It's unbelievably greedy and dishonest. Full Review »
  2. Sep 15, 2017
    4
    Beware of fake reviews. The two 10 rated reviews seem like paid advertisement. This game is far from a 10/10 especially if you are a mycareerBeware of fake reviews. The two 10 rated reviews seem like paid advertisement. This game is far from a 10/10 especially if you are a mycareer player. The greed this year by 2k is the most I've seen by a company in a while.

    - Players May Not Preview A Haircut, And Must Repurchase Previously Purchased Haircuts

    - NBA 2k18 Removes The Bonus VC For Higher Difficulty Modifier

    - NBA 2k18 App Gives Less VC Than It Used To

    - Can no longer preview attribute boosts before purchasing upgrades in MyCareer.

    This is only what's been discovered within the first 14 hours. They've turned this into a **** mobile game with microtransactions at every time, except you paid $60 for the privilege.

    Campaign story is awful and all cutscenes are unskippable. Look up lil tasty your new sidekick if you want to preview the cringe.

    Still facing shot clock cheese, unstoppable animations, as well as broken ones like the failed dunk. Game needs major work, especially in terms of microtransactions.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2017
    2
    One of the biggest cash grabs in video game history. Have to pay for haircuts that you cant preview, can no longer preview attribute upgradesOne of the biggest cash grabs in video game history. Have to pay for haircuts that you cant preview, can no longer preview attribute upgrades leading to broken builds, and everything cots more VC then ever before. VC earning has been neutered across the board. Making 1/2 per game and even less through the app than last year. They are forcing consumers into micro transactions at every turn. Game play feels very familiar and the same cheese will be back. Full Review »