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Games Like 'NBA 2K23' to Play Next

If you don't mind switching sports to capture that competitive spirit, there are plenty of great titles to consider if you've tired of, or just skipped, 'NBA 2K23.'

Jon Bitner
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NBA 2K23: Michael Jordan Edition

2K Games

NBA 2K23 is the latest installment in the long-running basketball franchise. And while Devin Booker might be the cover athlete (along with Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird on the WNBA Edition), this year is all about Michael Jordan.

As a tribute to the best player to have ever worn the number 23, NBA 2K23 is bringing back the Jordan Challenge. This will have you taking part in iconic games throughout Jordan's career, attempting to achieve the same incredible stats he did in real life. One challenge, for example, might require you to nab seven rebounds and score at least 38 points, as Jordan did during his "flu game." It's an interesting feature, and one that gives players something to work towards when they're not playing online with friends or chugging along through MyCareer.

One of the big changes this year is the new suite of offensive moves, letting you drive through the paint and attack the basket with surprisingly versatility. Accompanying the new moves is a laundry list of slick new animations, which better capture the speed and intensity of the on-court action. In other words, NBA 2K23 is another step forward for the franchise, adding new features, enhancing graphics, and introducing an overall layer of polish to the experience.

NBA 2K23 is arguably the most compelling basketball game on the market. Few direct competitors exist, and most alternatives are of the arcade variety. That means anyone seeking a true basketball experience doesn't have a whole lot of options. However, if you don't mind switching sports to capture that competitive spirit, there are plenty of great titles to consider.

Here are 10 games like NBA 2K23 to play next, listed by Metascore.


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NBA Street V3

EA Sports BIG

NBA Street V3 (PS2)

Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of streetball
Where to buy:


Also available on: GC

NBA Street V3 is one of the best arcade-inspired basketball games ever made. It's starting to show its age as we inch closer towards its 20-year anniversary, but the high-flying antics are just as fun today as they were in 2005. The game has you playing in 3v3 matches on streetball courts around the globe. Whether you're at Rucker Park or Venice Beach, you'll get to show off your skills in frantic matches that require fast reflexes, careful strategizing, and a whole lot of alley-ooping. You'll also have access to a robust character creator that offers thousands of ways to personalize your streetballer.

"The expansive and highly replayable Street Challenge mode can absorb gamers for months, and the level of customization is truly massive." — Game Over Online


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NBA Jam

EA

NBA Jam (Wii)

Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of retro sports games
Where to buy:


Also available on: PS3, XB360

This edition of NBA Jam is a reimagining of the original from 1993. You'll still be playing in high stakes 2v2 matches and pulling off ridiculous stunts as you attempt to "catch on fire," but instead of pixelated retro graphics, you'll be treated to a sleek new art style that looks hilarious in action. If you're not familiar with NBA Jam, it's essentially a simplified version of a standard basketball game. The controls are easy to learn (but hard to master), there are plenty of cheat codes to spice up the action, and multiple game modes (including solo, versus, and co-op) make it easy to find something that fits your needs.

"Everything that made the series great in the mid-'90s is intact, yet just enough was modernized so that it doesn't feel too dated." — GamePro


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Retro Bowl

New Star Games

Retro Bowl (Switch)

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of short game sessions
Where to buy: Nintendo eShop
Also available on: iOS

It's not basketball, but sports fans of all types will fall in love with Retro Bowl. Critics were kind to this indie interpretation of football, awarding it an impressive 84 Metascore, a better rating than the iconic Madden 23, which is also featured on this list. Retro Bowl has you playing a short and simplified version of football, where running through defenders or launching a hail mary only takes a single button press and games only last a few minutes. When you're not on the gridiron, there's a robust team management system that lets you trade players, upgrade your facilities, and make other key decisions that'll impact the future of your franchise.

"Retro Bowl is pure gaming joy, wrapped with a nostalgic little bow. It's also the best American Football game in years." — TheSixthAxis


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FIFA 22

EA

FIFA 22 (PS5)

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of soccer and impressive Career Modes
Where to buy:


Also available on: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, XB1, XBX

You might not score as much in FIFA 22 as you would in NBA 2K23, but the games share a similar pace. You'll be dribbling up and down the pitch in style, thanks to the new HyperMotion animations, dodging defenders and seeking out teammates as you try to put the ball in the back of your opponent's net. The graphics are nothing short of stunning on new-gen consoles and PC, while the available Career Modes give you a long-term sense of progression that'll keep you coming back every day for another match.

"The best FIFA game in years. HyperMotion pushes the action along, with a renewed focus on Career Mode more than welcome." — Press Start Australia


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MLB: The Show 22 

Sony Interactive Entertainment

MLB: The Show 22 (PS5)

Metascore: 77
Best for: Fans of strategic sports games
Where to buy:


Also available on: PS4, Switch, XB1, XBX

MLB: The Show 22 moves at a much slower pace than most sports games. That means you'll have plenty of time to figure out how to play each at-bat, as ball placement, personnel changes, and tactical base steals are the key to victory. Beyond a nuanced on-field experience, MLB: The Show 22 also lets you enjoy a variety of game modes such as Home Run Derby and Franchise Mode. If you don't mind the methodical gameplay and change of pace, The Show 22 has just as much to offer as NBA 2K23.

"From the gorgeous visuals that transport you directly to the field, to the stellar controls, you won't find another sports game out there that will captivate you quite like this one." — Attack of the Fanboy


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NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

EA

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 (PS4)

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of over-the-top basketball
Where to buy:


Also available on: PC, Switch, XB1

If you don't want to stray too far from the 2K branding, consider picking up NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. This beloved 2018 title removes some of the nuance found in NBA 2K23 in favor of a fast-moving streetball experience. You'll be performing backflips as you dunk the ball, knocking down opponents in midair, and taking deep three-pointers that would otherwise be impossible in real-life. Pulling it all together are adorable characters and flashy special effects. And if you ever get bored of the exhibition 2v2 matches, you can take part in three-point contests or a lengthy Championship mode.

"Fun, old-school gameplay with over the top action, beautiful dunks and awesome power-ups." — PlaySense


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NBA Live 19

EA Sports

NBA Live 19 (PS4)

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans seeking a true alternative to NBA 2K23
Where to buy:


Also available on: XB1

NBA Live 19 was the last entry in the series before EA pulled the plug on the franchise. There's still no word on whether the game will return in the coming years, so for now NBA Live 19 remains the best direct alternative to NBA 2K23. Unlike most other basketball titles on this list, this one aims for to be an authentic representation of the sport, with careful positioning, fast-reflexes, and hard-nosed defense the only way to win a game. There's also a fun game mode that lets you create your own court to play on, giving you a chance to take a break from the action and let your creativity flow.

"If you're looking for a solid alternative to 2K's offering, look no further." — PlayStation LifeStyle


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Nintendo Switch Sports

Nintendo

Nintendo Switch Sports (Switch)

Metascore: 72
Best for: Fans of party games
Where to buy:


Also available on: N/A

Nintendo Switch Sports lets you take part in a variety of motion-controlled games. You'll get to play soccer, tennis, badminton, volleyball, bowling, and chambara (swordplay) either solo or with up to three friends. As one of the most recent releases on this list, Nintendo Switch Sports looks stunning — thanks to cartoonish graphics and the usual dose of Nintendo charm. With an available online game mode, a competitive Pro League, and dozens of unlockable customization options, Nintendo Switch Sports is a great party game that offers surprisingly deep progression systems and solo game modes.

"One of the most fun experiences I have had with a co-op game. And frankly, the most fun I've had with anything sport-related ever." — Movies Games and Tech


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Madden 23

EA

Madden 23 (PS5)

Metascore: 69
Best for: Fans of the gridiron
Where to buy:


Also available on: PC, PS4, XB1, XBX

Madden NFL 23 has its flaws, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more realistic football game. Beyond the usual graphical enhancements, this year's installment brings new animations, updated scouting mechanics for Franchise mode, and some quality-of-life changes to its lineup of other game modes. The on-field gameplay is just as deep as that of NBA 2K23, and fans of the game who don't mind jumping onto the gridiron will find plenty to love about the newest Madden. Long-time players might lament the lack of new features, but there's enough finetuning to the standard formula to make this an easy recommendation.

"Madden NFL 23 has refined the matchday experience and improved much of the gameplay to make this year a strong foundation for the future." — God is a Geek


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NBA Live Mobile

EA Sports

NBA Live Mobile (iOS)

Metascore: 63
Best for: Fans of mobile games
Where to buy:


Also available on: N/A

Want to get some hooping in while on the road? NBA Live Mobile might be your best bet. It's an entirely standalone experience from NBA Live 19, but it tries to capture many of the same on- and off-court experiences — in a more bite-sized format. Beyond the standard online multiplayer and exhibition game modes, EA continues to support NBA Live Mobile with seasonal updates that are filled with new content to explore. There are also regular community events that reward you with in-game goodies, giving you a reason to check back frequently and partake in the mobile action.

"Good fun, and unquestionably the best free NBA game on mobile right now." — Gamezebo