NBA 2K9 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
NBA 2K9 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. 7, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-7 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Similar to NBA Live 09, 2K9 has implemented downloadable stats and updates with its Living Rosters feature. It’s not as detailed as EA’s Dynamic DNA with daily updates, but it still offers updates every week that will change your game to mimic what is actually happening in the NBA.

NBA 2K9 screenshot

Player statistics and trades will all change throughout the season, and just as time will tell how well EA’s DNA feature works, we will have to see how well 2K’s Living Rosters feature adds to the value of this game throughout the season. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Living Rosters, and what separates it from EA’s concept, is that it also goes so far as to offer new animations to make your game more interesting and full of variety. Packages will be available online offering newly created animations to mimic memorable plays and performances made by athletes throughout the year as 2K improves on their already fantastic animation system.

In addition to its new five-on-five multiplayer, NBA 2K9 offers lots to do. The Association mode makes a return, dubbed The Association 2.0. It’s been given a bit of an upgrade to include three-team contracts as well as “Larry Bird” contracts. NBA Blacktop makes a return this year, which has only been changed slightly to make the Dunk Contest easier. Online five-on-five Total Team Control allows gamers to take control of each player on the court though it’s not without its typical slowdown issues. Players can also play one-on-one, share rosters, and create their own highlight reels using the game’s cool Reelmaker video editor and share them online.

The threesome commentating team of Cheryl Miller, Clark Kellogg, and Kevin Harlan add some variety with play-by-play reflective of what’s happening onscreen. There is some repetitiveness in their play-calling, however, and the monotonous tone of the threesome really contrasts the excitement of the game. Stadium ambience is captured nicely in the cheering of the fans and background music, and arenas look incredibly realistic. The soundtrack is also among the game’s highlights with plenty of energetic hip-hop, reggae, and rock tracks to get you in the spirit with a wide range of artists including the Beastie Boys, N.E.R.D., and more.


NBA 2K9 is a solid basketball experience through and through. While the competition is still in a rebuilding process of sorts, 2K has taken advantage by improving on what they’ve accomplished in their NBA series throughout recent years. Anyone who has enjoyed the last couple of installments won’t be disappointed with the changes made this year. The Living Rosters feature is certainly enticing enough for 2K fans to pick this title up. Whereas Live 09 offers similar new features, 2K has the ability to back up their new features with smooth on-court gameplay. This is simply a more fun basketball experience.

By Pete Richards
CCC Freelance Writer

Stadiums look amazing, crowds are life-like, and in-game animation is fluid. Visually stunning!
Controls are extremely in-depth, if not a tad complex, offering a realistic and exciting take on basketball.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Commentating is standard, stadium ambience is captured extremely well, and an energetic soundtrack rounds out this game nicely.
Play Value
With the amount of functions on and offline and how smoothly the game runs while playing a typical five-on-five, 2K9 is one of the best basketball titles in recent history.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Shot Stick Advanced: The revolutionary Shot Stick control system takes it one step further, allowing you to change your shots in mid-air.
  • Adaptive A.I.: Adaptive A.I. will read, react, and adjust in real time to your strategies. Your teammates will initiate cuts, picks, and post-ups based on how you handle the ball, while your opponent modifies strategy to fit the pace of the game.
  • The Association 2.0: With, you'll have access to all the latest rumors, trades, scores, news stories, and more, plus new features like Player Personalities, Ambitions, and Player Roles, a plethora of customizable options, and new mini-game drills.
  • Better Replays & Cut Scenes: End each quarter with enhanced, multiple angle replay highlights, and be rewarded like never before with all-new, true-to-life celebration sequences after you capture the NBA championship.
  • NBA 2K Online Features: 2K Sports' industry leading online service gets all-new features like 5-on-5 multiplayer mode with Total Team Control and a new ranking system that shows you how to match up against your opponents.

  • Screenshots / Images
    NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge NBA 2K9 screenshot - click to enlarge

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