NBA Playgrounds Image
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66

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 29 Ratings

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  • Summary: Play with up to three other players locally on your Xbox One or hop online and defeat your opponents with your awesome, acrobatic displays of skill.

Trailer

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NBA Playgrounds - Official Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. May 12, 2017
    80
    NBA Playgrounds follows in the footsteps of games like NFL Blitz, FIFA Street, and (of course) NBA Jam. It takes a simple premise — over-the-top arcade sports — and nearly perfects it. It misses an easy layup by excluding invitation options online, but hopefully the promised patch arrives to bring this game closer to an all-time great.
  2. May 9, 2017
    75
    Playgrounds certainly has its faults. Some of its mechanics are strangely hidden in mystery as I continue to miss layups that no professional should ever miss. But, in terms of off-the-wall two-on-two basketball, it can be a blast.
  3. Jun 6, 2017
    70
    This product is not the best sports game and neither the most complete, but it's fantastic if you're looking to have a good time.
  4. May 10, 2017
    69
    Fun in short bursts but plagued with little flaws that makes the game less fun than it should have been.
  5. May 10, 2017
    68
    NBA Playgrounds aims to bring the best elements of NBA Jam into the modern era of basketball, but falls short in some areas. The core of the high-octane gameplay is there, but it’s not enough to push past all of the game’s shortcomings.
  6. May 25, 2017
    60
    NBA Playgrounds has many small issues and problems that create a game that is equal parts fun and also frustrating. It calls back to classic arcade style games and in some ways succeeds in doing so, but it also fails in a handful of ways. The online mode is a no zone if you want to have fun at this point. However, the substantial roster size of NBA stars and gameplay that is entertaining to watch, and at times also fun to play, will make it appealing to those who want a different basketball experience than the usual sim.
  7. May 15, 2017
    45
    NBA Playgrounds is very nice to look at and its roster has a strong depth that any basketball fan will appreciate. But rather than build a game with hilarious, rollicking action and balance out how that is scored and defended, NBA Playgrounds imposes condition after condition on the users and cripples any chance at consistent fun.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 4 out of 7
  1. May 11, 2017
    10
    Al principio es dificil agarrarle la mano. Y falta una mejor explicacion ddel tutorial. Pero una vez que le agarras la mano, es muy divertidoAl principio es dificil agarrarle la mano. Y falta una mejor explicacion ddel tutorial. Pero una vez que le agarras la mano, es muy divertido y adictivo. Muy buenos los graficos. Lo probe en switch. Expand
  2. Jun 17, 2017
    8
    I really love this game, it's easy to pick up and play, has a solid reward system in the form of pack openings and most of all what you see isI really love this game, it's easy to pick up and play, has a solid reward system in the form of pack openings and most of all what you see is what you get as it has no micro-transactions or in app purchases. A must have for any casual NBA fan! Expand
  3. Jul 12, 2017
    6
    This game has a lot of potential. I picked it up because I feel every console needs family friendly sports games like the old consoles had.This game has a lot of potential. I picked it up because I feel every console needs family friendly sports games like the old consoles had.

    Pros: Easy to play and pick up, and fun for a quick laugh with friends and family in co-op or friendly PVP. The online experience should be fun if your into that, but I don't know as that is not my thing.

    Cons: There just isn't enough here to keep you playing. The card packs are a nice touch, but you only have exhibition, and tournament modes. Without a season, there just doesn't really seem to be any reason to keep playing. The controls and rules seem wonky. You will often find you hit a perfect shot, in the green on the meter. Only to see your guy miss for no apparent reason. Then you will hit a perfect shot, and get 9 points for being totally out of the shot meter. Then ranking of players seem messed up. You will get a legend like Shaq and wonder how he is a legend, when all the things he is supposed to be good at, never work. Especially since everyone steals the ball from him the second you pass it to him.

    So until they add a season or something with more staying power, I would buy this game when it's on a big sale. It's fun, but without a season and championship, it feels pointless, and you will have no real reason to play.
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  4. Dec 3, 2018
    4
    NBA Playgrounds is a bit of an odd one. On the one hand what it sets out to do; be a zany, off the wall arcade basketball game akin to NBANBA Playgrounds is a bit of an odd one. On the one hand what it sets out to do; be a zany, off the wall arcade basketball game akin to NBA Jam, it does pretty decently but there are some issues and oversights that drag the whole product down to the point where it is pretty mediocre.

    Firstly, your mileage may vary to mine because every single player in the game is behind lootboxes. When you level up you get a pack of 5 random cards and when you win a tournament you get a pack of 5 random "gold cards" that have a higher chance of landing you good players. I was lucky and within 30 minutes I had packed Legend Jerry West which essentially broke the game. You just had to inbound it to Mr Clutch, sprint to the three point line and hoist one up. The odds were good it'd go in and you even get rewarded with an extra point for a perfect release which happens fairly often as him. It didn't really matter who I paired with Jerry, we'd annihilate the opposition. Now this is my experience getting a good player early, somebody else who just kept landing modern day squad players would maybe say otherwise. But the truth is, there isn't a vast amount of difference between the players because of the rating scale of 1-10 in 8 categories there can only be so many outcomes.

    As such you get a weird world where John Stockton is pretty comparable to Jerry West and better than Magic Johnson or Stephen Curry. The weirdness doesn't stop there really. Kevin Durant is a decidedly middling player who can't dunk that well and isn't an upper echelon shooter. There are 2 versions of Shaq that I found (I am sure there are more) but the difference between prime Lakers Shaq and Boston Celtics end-of-his-career Shaq is... Boston Shaq shoots 2pters better. You can see what I mean. Not only do the stats not make sense from the perspective of somebody who knows NBA basketball but it also takes the shine off of the only carrot you have to chase in the game; unlocking players.

    Every time you see a loading screen you can see Steph Currys card. Now as one of the most popular players in the world most players would probably want to lootbox this player the most. However after a bit it dawns on you that not only is your Jerry West card better than him, so is your Stockton card and honestly there are a bunch of other cards not that much worse than him that are far more common to acquire. The card collecting portion, which is basically the bulk of the game outside of the on the court action, rapidly becomes absolutely pointless. You play and grind to get a pack of cards and the odds are good most of them are going to be players of Nene or Luol Deng caliber. In 9/10 instances of cards you win, you may as well never get them because you'll never player with them. It's a 2 on 2 game with no restrictions as to how often you can play as one player or another. So you pick your best 2 and then all of these other players, which must number in the 150-200 range are absolutely superfluous.

    The on court action is decent. It's a pick up and play arcade game so the ease of access is to be applauded and they throw some interesting wrinkles on the convention game with stuff like the first basket is worth an extra point, a perfect release is worth an extra point and some interesting power bar time boosts that can shorten the opponents clock or give you double points for dunks. But the gameplay grows stale fast. Firstly the AI is pretty awful. In fact if you leave them to their own devices and actively NOT defend they will kill clock, do somersaults and between the legs passes until they have to put up whatever shot is there. Actively defending actually works AGAINST you because the CPU will auto steal attempt for you which drains stamina and slows you down. It's truly bizarre to see. The CPU has no situational awareness. I've had them down 3 on the last possession and they don't rush up a 3pt shot they still do the same weird showboating until the buzzer expires before looking forlorn that they lost.

    The courts look quite decent in the games defense and there is some charm to the caricature player models even when some prominent players look nothing like their counterparts; Dirk Nowitzki being the most glaring example.
    I could only really justify under $5 for this. I actually was surprised to see I got 3 hours out of it because truthfully whilst the gameplay isn't exactly chess or even a particularly decent representation of the sport it is still fun and wacky to see Dirk Nowitzki do 3 front flips, bounce off the rim like a trampoline, corkscrew and then plummet to the ground because John Stockton just threw himself into the comet like path of his dunk.

    If you've got gamepass this is worth a go for a laugh when you're bored but really not much else. The music and commentary are awful and were switched off in the first 30 minutes and ultimately once the fun of the gameplay has subsided you realize how pointless the whole affair really is.
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  5. May 17, 2017
    1
    I know that I usually only come here to review when I do not like a game and want to complain, but in this case it is absolutely ESSENTIALI know that I usually only come here to review when I do not like a game and want to complain, but in this case it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that some people hear about this.
    This game is AWFUL!!!!!
    Like a lot of people I was drawn in by the cool looking graphics and the promising hope that we were getting an "NBA JAM" game. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The controls are atrocious. Pressing the steal or shove button on defense causes your player to lag behind and let me tell you....100% of the time the AI opponents will score.
    And you better hope that you can predict the future because when trying to block a shot or go for a rebound, from the time you push the jump button to the point when he actually jumps is about 1 to 1.5 seconds. Its a useless feature.
    And the absolute worst part of an already horrible control system is the shoot button. The level of precision required to make sure that your shots are accurate remind me of NASA computer capabilities. You have to press the button and release at the right time....but that "right timing" is different for every spot on the court and every shot variation. Its never the same and 30 out of 40 shots will be either "too early" or "too late". After approximately 35 games of Exhibition and Tournament, I've never won a game and have always been blown-out because the AI is FLAWLESS. WTF!!!!!
    Then there is the bonus system. When you build up your meter you get a bonus to help your team out. The Flawless AI gets the bonus constantly and it is something annoying like you have a reduced shot clock. Non-stop shot-clock violations. ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!
    And lastly, the AI always manages to get "perfect" shots and score 4 to 7 point for one basket. Thats right. You read this correctly. I'm struggling to stay close and one shot later the CPU scores 7 points. That is BOGUS.
    I am uninstalling the game and writing a letter to the pathetic developers demanding my $20 back.
    HOLY CRAP Saber Interactive, make a game that is fun to play instead of one that is a chore to operate. Steer clear of this game at all costs.
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  6. Jan 7, 2018
    0
    I had to make an account just to voice my frustration about this game. I'm surprised other gamers have not called out NBA Playgrounds for itsI had to make an account just to voice my frustration about this game. I'm surprised other gamers have not called out NBA Playgrounds for its horrendous progression system that is essentially tied to lootboxes (or card packs).

    I understand people hated EA for added lootboxes in Star Wars Battlefront 2. At least EA backtracked on this and hero characters like Luke Skywalker, Rey etc were still playable offline if you didn't feel like grinding for them in online multiplayer.

    NBA Playgrounds is WORSE because every player is locked behind lootboxes (card packs). You are not even guaranteed to get your favorite player even if you grind for hours on end. Worse still, EVERY mode of the game is tied to lootboxes so I cannot even play as LeBron James or Stephen Curry offline or online.

    The worst part is that grinding for hours also does not guarantee that you will get the better players you want. I played this game for hours and I still haven't unlocked the players I want such as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

    The only current good player I have in my collection is Kyrie Irving and that's it. Worse still, whenever you open lootboxes (card packs) you can still attain duplicates. I obtained lots of duplicates for players I don't even want to play as.

    This type of progression system is a total disappointment for a game that's not even free to play. If you buy a game with money, you should expect to unlock content rather than hide them in a stupid gambling system. At least EA Sports only does this stuff in online game modes and not the entire game.

    Avoid playing this game. I'm normally a calm person but this game put me over the edge. It's worse than Battlefront 2 at launch and that's saying something!
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  7. May 20, 2017
    0
    Shooting is glitched and getting piece of shots do not effect whether go in or not. Meaning there are shots in the game that will go in noShooting is glitched and getting piece of shots do not effect whether go in or not. Meaning there are shots in the game that will go in no matter what even without the power shot and there are plays you play that make every single shot they take. With tremendous disappointment I am telling you the game is broken. Expand