Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 49
  2. Negative: 1 out of 49
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  1. Sep 18, 2018
    No matter how important the microtransactions controversy, NBA 2K19 is, once again, the best sports simulator of the season. With its unbeatable basketball mechanics and more content than ever, it's absolutely essential.
  2. Sep 12, 2018
    The best basketball sim reclaims its throne once again with an awesome new entry. One of the best sports-related games of this season.
  3. Sep 11, 2018
    Whether you're a person who plays single-player, multiplayer, offline or online, this is the most complete sports game I've ever played. There is no such thing as a perfect sports game, but this is as close as it gets.
  4. Sep 16, 2018
    NBA 2K revalidates its title of King of the Ring with this new part, full of news in its control system and with an excellent realism level. The amount of content of NBA 2K19 allows its fans to spend thousands of hours in front of their screens without getting bored for a single moment. If you like basketball and you are looking for an unforgettable experience, this is your game.
  5. Sep 12, 2018
    Despite the microtransactions, the new masterpiece of Visual Concepts rules on and off the court. NBA 2K19 is full of features and details and it’s one of the best basketball sims, ever.
  6. Sep 11, 2018
    This year’s entry is another step in the right direction, enhancing pretty much every aspect of the game to become the best basketball simulator.
  7. Oct 9, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is everything that you expect from a basketball game. With the new edition 2K Games and Visual Concepts are closer to the real thing than ever.
  8. Oct 2, 2018
    Save for the ever-encroaching reach for players’ wallets with the Virtual Currency system, the sheer breadth of content alone in NBA 2K19 will be plenty to satisfy newbies and long-time fans of the franchise looking for a complete basketball sim experience.
  9. Oct 1, 2018
    NBA 2K19 has a ton of other modes, including a collectible card game, a full-fledged franchise mode, and quite a bit of online play. I could spend another five or six paragraphs going through each of these in detail but it wouldn’t have any impact on my overall feel of NBA 2K19. I come to this game for the career and franchise modes, and I can say both are stellar this year. Combined with a stellar presentation, NBA 2K19 is one of the best sports games on the market.
  10. Sep 20, 2018
    2K19 is a must buy game for all NBA fans. The MyCareer mode has been improved with all new additions and changes to the Neighborhood. The graphics have dramatically improved and the refined movement of players and the realistic aspect of the game is at an all-time high. 2K has again proved why they are the superior basketball game.
  11. Sep 18, 2018
    NBA 2K19 continues its dominance over sports games with a new entry that provides substantial improvements both in the gameplay and its multiple game modes, although the predominance of microtransactions negatively affects the overall experience.
  12. Sep 17, 2018
    NBA 2K19 continues the series’ legacy for offering the best basketball simulator on the market thanks to refined gameplay and a truly immersive presentation. The modes featured this year have their ups and downs, with the MyCareer mode featuring a story worth playing through despite a frustrating protagonist and a heavy dosage of microtransactions, and some complimentary modes that rarely go above what is expected of them for better and worse. Fortunately, the core basketball action at the center of NBA 2K19 is stronger than and just as enjoyable as it’s ever been, featuring intense matches that should please both experienced and casual players alike for another NBA season’s worth of deep, fast-paced gameplay.
  13. Sep 17, 2018
    Aside from the microtransactions and occasionally tedious load times NBA 2K19 has all the modes, polish, challenges and value you’ve come to expect from the franchise.
  14. Sep 14, 2018
    After last year’s step back, NBA 2K19 seems to be back on track. With interesting gameplay additions and refinements, impeccable presentation, a much improved MyCareer and literally tons of content and modes, it really is a candidate for one of the best sports games ever. However, there’s still a particularly shady system in microtransactions, and while it seems to have been improved, we can’t help being suspicious. But for now, NBA 2K19 will truly please even the most hardcore hoops fans.
  15. Sep 13, 2018
    Everything a basketball enthusiast can ask for from a videogame simulation.
  16. Sep 13, 2018
    NBA 2K19 keeps going higher and settling itself as the ultimate basketball game with a rejuvenated career mode, even if we still find the city a bit too big as there is no transportation means. If you're a fan of the NBA, this is clearly the game to choose.
  17. Sep 13, 2018
    If the NBA 2K series is the LeBron James of basketball games, then NBA 2K19 is another triple double from Visual Concepts. A game with improved gameplay, a great Prelude and an incomparable presentation. Still, mind that the microtransactions are still here, and they are as annoying as ever.
  18. Sep 12, 2018
    NBA 2K19 isn’t just a game; it’s a lifestyle. Whether you are a hardcore franchise mode fan, card collection aficionado, or invested in making a mark with your MyPlayer, Visual Concepts latest ode to basketball offers a wealth of satisfying content that should keep you occupied well past the point the Golden State Warriors raise yet another championship trophy.
  19. Sep 11, 2018
    NBA 2K19 continues the theme of excellence that has made the series so popular. The game follows in the steps of its predecessor, but it brings new options and tweaks its gameplay to become the best basketball simulator to date.
  20. Sep 10, 2018
    NBA2K’s latest installment proves to be an excellent basketball sim, bringing more refined, realistic gameplay, and balances to offense and defense. The MyCareer story is much improved, and the progression system feels more forgiving than previous iterations. While the rest of the package mostly mirrors what we’ve seen before, overall, these marked improvements to the series make it hard to hold it against 2K19.
  21. Oct 12, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is still the go-to basketball simulation game out there. Its polish and refinement have only improved since last year, and it's difficult to imagine any improvements for next year. The MyCareer story has definitely improved, and so have the cut scene management and character customization. MyTeam feels like a revolving mode of new updates and content, but players who don't purchase VC may be getting the short end of the stick, since 10 pack boxes are exclusive to VC only. The game is amazing in all regards, but the constant reminder and pressure to purchase VC is wearing thin.
  22. Sep 11, 2018
    NBA 2K19 has a better career system than previous entries in the franchise with improved defense mechanisms and more intelligent gameplay. Beside some deja-vu feelings about the content, it delivers a great experience.
  23. With solid gameplay mechanics and feeling, NBA 2K19 successfully met our expectations.
  24. Sep 13, 2018
    NBA by 2K is confirmed as the best basketball video game series, with a long and engaging career mode, effective AI and great visual appeal even for this installment. Unfortunately, microtransactions are still a problem and cannot be ignored.
  25. Sep 11, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is the best basketball simulator out there. The depth of its game modes will allow the players to entertain themselves for a massive amount of time. However, microtransactions still remain a strong element, even if they are not as prevalent as in last year’s entry.
  26. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Oct 28, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is fantastic at all the times when it isn’t asking you to part with real cash. Although sadly, in MyCareer, you’ll be tempted to open your wallet way too often. [Issue#155, p.95]
  27. games(TM)
    Oct 4, 2018
    Stunning, but undermined by microtransactions. [Issue#205, p.82]
  28. 80
    Another strong effort from the best basketball franchise around. This is an all-around strong basketball game -- just like its coverboy.
  29. Sep 19, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is once again the best simulation of basketball. When it comes to gameplay, presentation, and polish 2K’s latest entry is undoubtedly unmatched. However, basic cosmetic options being held hostage behind microtransactions and an obtrusive story during MyCareer are huge unforced turnovers and prevent NBA 2K19 from cementing itself as the Greatest Of All Time.
  30. Sep 18, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is a joy to play, but with progression in MyCareer often halted due to lack of VC, you have to wonder why 2K wants you to struggle to progress, especially after last year's concerns.
  31. 80
    The world class presentation, excellent execution of modes and gameplay mechanics really do make NBA 2K19 the best sports game around.
  32. Sep 17, 2018
    Once again, NBA 2K becomes inevitable. it only fix a few things in terms of mechanics and content but it's enough to offer the best gameplay in the series so far.
  33. Sep 14, 2018
    The two sides of NBA 2K are once again on display in this year's version. One side is the immensely polished and ambitious design that has propelled it to the top of the sports sim heap. The other is the tacky, brand-heavy microtransactions that dominate its showcase mode. I think the former outweighs the latter, but it's too bad that microtransactions overshadow what should otherwise be an amazing love letter to the sport of basketball. At least there's always franchise mode.
  34. Sep 13, 2018
    2K had little choice but to listen to its community following the damage done last year but they’ve rebounded with possibly their best-ever title.
  35. 80
    Between a few novel minigames in Neighborhood and some simple esports integration, 2K19 sometimes feels like a title update as opposed to a full-blown sequel. But what really matters, the basketball, is better than it’s ever been.
  36. Games Master UK
    Oct 4, 2018
    A slam dunk when you're on the court, but ever-present microtransactions drag it down. [Nov 2018, p.80]
  37. Sep 23, 2018
    It’s nice to see NBA 2K19 working to get back to being a powerhouse franchise. This year’s MyCareer mode is titled The Way Back, and it feels appropriate for this latest entry - the first step in climbing its way back to being the best.
  38. Sep 17, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is still king of the hill thanks to phenomenal animations, tremendous gameplay and a slew of game modes that will last you for a long time. That being said, there is still the issue of long load times and the blatant push towards micro transactions which really takes away from the core experience.
  39. Sep 11, 2018
    NBA 2K19 is better than ever on the court, but, like a lot of top NBA stars, the game is a bit too obsessed with making money by any means necessary. NBA 2K19 struggles to strike the right balance – the game offers some refreshing story and gameplay improvements, but they don’t quite make up for an aggressive monetization scheme that hasn’t been updated in any meaningful way.
  40. Oct 2, 2018
    If you’re new to the series or would just like to have a really good basketball game to dip in and out of over the year NBA 2K19 is a solid choice, but if 2K18 frustrated you with its microtransactions and you don’t want to grind or pay to be competitive with your own player then not much has changed from that base model.
  41. Oct 1, 2018
    Looking at the gameplay, NBA 2K19 is a very strong basketball simulator, filled with many modes and beautiful graphics. Unfortunately that is not all: there is not enough innovation and old faults are back too. A pity, cause essentially this is a good game.
  42. Sep 21, 2018
    The basketball gameplay in NBA 2K19 is brilliant, and it has been for the last decade that I’ve been reviewing this series. But the way VC is used in the game needs to be re-evaluated, as it has become ridiculous and is blatantly pay-to-win. This greedy freemium model within an already fully priced game needs to disappear.
  43. Sep 19, 2018
    What we’ve seen from NBA 2K the past two years with microtransactions is likely the new norm, and I’m going to have to accept that.
  44. Sep 19, 2018
    The game is interesting to play, but you need to pay extra for this joy.
  45. Sep 17, 2018
    If not for the blatant microtransactions and VC-driven progression system, NBA 2K19 would be the best basketball game on and off the court to date.
  46. Sep 14, 2018
    NBA 2K19’s on-court disappointments are somewhat remedied by the hugely entertaining off-the-court shenanigans, but a steep learning curve may leave less experienced players a little overwhelmed.
  47. Sep 12, 2018
    Although those willing to grind for everything will eventually get rewarded, the system of VC still comes off as exploitative. But there's a lot of fun to be had in NBA 2K19 despite its flaws, especially if you have a strong love for the sport.
  48. Sep 26, 2018
    While NBA 2K19 is competent it has also, for me at least, continued down the road of not feeling as fun or exciting as previous NBA 2K titles. This year, the feeling isn’t so much of outcry as it is fatigue at having seen the gradual changes take place over the last several years.
  49. Sep 26, 2018
    Quotation forthcoming.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Sep 17, 2018
    NBA 2K19 has one of the highest learning curves in recent memory, making it easier to determine who is good and who relies on exploits to win.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 460 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 460
  1. Sep 9, 2018
    I’ve been playing NBA 2K since 2k3 and I always loved the game but I feel like 16 was the last good game they released, Im one of the playersI’ve been playing NBA 2K since 2k3 and I always loved the game but I feel like 16 was the last good game they released, Im one of the players that loves playing PlayNow Online with classic teams and this year instead of adding the players some teams missed they removed some that were already in the game, each team has basically a rotation of 6 or 7 players. The My Career mode is trash, why do I need to start playing inn China? WHy everything I want to do ask me to buy VC? This game really feel so like a copy of the last one, don’t buy it if you care about your money. No more 2K for me. Full Review »
  2. Sep 8, 2018
    Always grinding, they say they already scale back the VC, but by how much ?? 1% ?? I play my career it very frustating to get the VC, itAlways grinding, they say they already scale back the VC, but by how much ?? 1% ?? I play my career it very frustating to get the VC, it almost impossible to play using VC in game. The design us to make purchase the VC, what do you want me to do ? Buy $65 AAA game and spend another $50 just to get 85 overall, you nutt, don't buy this game Full Review »
  3. Sep 8, 2018
    An unnecessary and supidly-long grind fest, coupled with microtransactions the publishers are actually publicly defending (o,O?), ruin any andAn unnecessary and supidly-long grind fest, coupled with microtransactions the publishers are actually publicly defending (o,O?), ruin any and all possible fun this game might've had at inception. Full Review »