NBA 2K11 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
NBA 2K11 box art
System: X360, PS3, PC, PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Visual Concepts / Kush Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: 2K Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 5, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-10 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everybody 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Regulars to the NBA 2K franchise will notice that the AI has been ramped up significantly. You have to play intelligently to score, utilizing plays efficiently against the intelligent computer. One gripe, however, is that long passes are nearly always supernaturally picked off in the default settings. As always, however, NBA 2K has sliders that allow you to adjust computer tendencies, so this can be rectified easily.

NBA 2K11 screenshot

For league players, “The Association” mode returns and is more intelligent than before. Trades are more realistic, with the computer making smarter trades than previous years. This means you can’t swindle the computer into crazy trades anymore, which may disappoint cheap gamers but should put a smile on the face of players who appreciate realism.

My Player is also available for a sort of basketball role-playing game. However, it has a very different pacing than the core game. My Player is slow-paced and requires quite a bit of grinding before your player is up to NBA standards, so it is a mode only for the truly dedicated who are determined to see their name (real or orchestrated) in a virtual NBA game.

Of course, one of the big draws is always online play, but NBA 2K11 does falter a bit in this category. There is the ever-present, game-breaking lag when playing with more than one player online. It isn’t as bad when playing with only one player, but most players online like to bring buddies. Perhaps a future patch can help rectify this issue.

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Ultimately, NBA 2K11 brings a lot of freshness to the formula. The inclusion of Air Jordan, the improved dribbling and shot stick use, the ramped-up AI, and the TNT presentation means that there isn’t much to dislike about NBA 2K11. 2K Games has probably angered a lot of sports game developers by ignoring the “update roster and add a new feature” formula that most developers utilize. NBA 2K11 has definitely set the bar high for future iterations, both of basketball games and sports games in general. If this trend continues, in a few years time, we may actually have to go outside to a basketball court to get more realistic. NBA 2K11 is the best basketball game ever made, and if you are a fan of the sport, and especially if you were raised in the Air Jordan Era, you won’t find a better b-ball game anywhere.

By D’Marcus Beatty
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.6
Graphics
Great visuals and animation make the game look like the real thing.
4.8
Control
The player has nearly absolute control over every aspect of the game, from shooting to dribbling.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Great soundtrack, commentary, and voiceovers make the game auditory heaven.
4.6
Play Value
Play the Jordan Challenge, MJ: Creating a Legend, Exhibition, Online, or The Association modes over and over again.
4.7
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Jordan Challenge – Relive ten different legendary games from Michael Jordan’s career and replicate in NBA 2K11 what MJ did on the court. Successfully reenact all ten game scenarios to unlock the MJ: Creating a Legend mode.
  • Historic Chicago Bulls Teams – Ever wondered how the Lakers of today might fare against the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls? Get the chance to play as some of the greatest teams in NBA history as the 1985-86, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1997-98 Chicago Bulls squads are put at your fingertips in Quick Game mode.
  • My Jordans – While playing through NBA 2K11, users will be awarded pairs of Air Jordans for hitting game milestones and accomplishments. Collect the entire line of Air Jordan shoes that MJ wore throughout his career and gain specific attribute bonuses when you have them equipped.
  • MJ: Creating a Legend – Complete the Jordan Challenge to unlock this special mode where you get to take control of a newly drafted rookie Michael Jordan and craft your own version of Michael’s career in the NBA.
  • All-New IsoMotion Dribbling Controls - Delivering the most realistic feeling and reacting dribbling system to date with seamless transitions between ankle-breaking moves. Coupled with an all-new gesturing system allowing users to intuitively translate thought to motion and dominate like Michael Jordan from the perimeter to the paint.
  • All-New Dynamic Shot Control – Take your offensive game to the next level with an unprecedented amount of control via the enhanced Shot Stick. Dozens of new shot types, from layups to jumpshots to dunks and everything in between, are completely under the user’s control with the flick of a stick. The new Shot Branching system also allows you to adjust your shots on the fly in mid-air just like MJ and ensures that you’re never stuck in long drawn out animations.
  • Best NBA 2K Soundtrack Ever – The greatest soundtrack to date featuring an eclectic mix of upcoming breakout bands and highly acclaimed hip-hop artists such as Big Boi, Drake, and even an original, exclusive track from twelve-time Grammy nominee, Snoop Dogg.


  • Screenshots / Images
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