NBA 2K19

Last updated date: May 18, 2019

DWYM Score
8.1

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We looked at the top 1 Cool Games and dug through the reviews from 24 of the most popular review sites including Push Square, Game Rant, GameSpot, Digital Trends, Dual Shockers, The Guardian, WCCF Tech, Heavy, God Is A Geek, Impulse Gamer, Dark Station, Tom's Guide, We Got This Covered, The Sixth Axis, New Game Network, Back 2 Gaming, Newsweek, Gaming Age, Comic Book, Gaming Trend, Too Much Gaming, Hoops Junction, Pennyworth Reviews and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cool Game you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 209 expert reviews, the 2K Games NBA 2K19 placed 9th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 9, 2019:
Checkout The Best Cool Game for a detailed review of all the top cool games.

Expert Summarized Score
7.9
24 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
3,420 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
In NBA 2K19, the series' signature animations are in effect, but there is a noticeably higher regard for body contact. Bigger and stronger players have an appropriate edge and the strength rating is as important as it has ever been.
- Forbes
Much like previous years, NBA 2K19 is once again the best simulation of basketball that you can find on the market. In fact, it might just be the very best and most accurate simulation of any sport.
- Push Square
September 19, 2018 | Full review
NBA 2K19‘s graphics are top-notch, with textures, lighting, shaders, and animations having been enhanced to make the stadiums and players look incredibly lifelike.
- Game Rant
At the very least, it breathes life into your player, providing a backstory that's carried on throughout your time in MyCareer.
- GameSpot
September 12, 2018 | Full review
The most meaningful changes in MyCareer pertain to the progression system. Earning Virtual Currency to level up your player isn’t as slow of a process thanks to additional activities, sponsorships, and a generally more liberal dispensing of VC.
- Digital Trends
Speaking of defense, it continues to be much more challenging to play than in past years, especially when you’re an on-ball defender. This is a change that was made last year that I really appreciated because it used to be far too easy to lockdown nearly any player in a one-on-one situation.
- Dual Shockers
Thanks to controls that have been continually perfected year-on-year for decades now, setting screens and pulling off pick-and-rolls is easily done, and a staggering range of context-specific moves and finishes are squeezed on to the controller.
- The Guardian
NBA 2K19’s gameplay may have taken a slightly arcadey turn, but the game is still slavishly dedicated to detail when it comes to presentation.
- WCCF Tech
September 11, 2018 | Full review
When it comes time to engage in the actual game of basketball, NBA 2K19 thankfully delivers. Complete player control has always been a mainstay of the series, which is an annual tradition that’s still honored here.
- Heavy
The gameplay is much improved and The Way Back seems to have taken inspiration from Madden NFL 18’s wonderfully written Longshot, but VC and microtransactions still loom over everything, and load times are as much of a hindrance as they’ve ever been.
- God Is A Geek
September 18, 2018 | Full review
The gameplay, although quite similar to last year, has had some major changes. The biggest is the defence.
- Impulse Gamer
My favorite part of past NBA 2K games has been the career modes and this year it might be my favorite in a long time.
- Dark Station
September 28, 2018 | Full review
NBA 2K19 is an excellent basketball game with gorgeous visuals and outstanding gameplay. On the court, the game feels more balanced than ever, and improved AI adds to an already realistic presentation.
- Tom's Guide
September 11, 2018 | Full review
If you look at NBA 2K19 purely from a gameplay perspective, it’s arguably the strongest sports franchise on the market. The on-court action has been strong for years, and Visual Concepts continues to tinker with it successfully.
- We Got This Covered
Sure, haircuts are freem but tattoos and clothing aren’t.
- The Sixth Axis
August 17, 2019 | Full review
The game also looks great. Whether it’s the cutscenes in MyCareer mode or the interviews during the games or the play on the court, NBA2K is really delivering an impressive visual experience.
- New Game Network
September 21, 2018 | Full review
I also like the ability to edit rosters so that I can give a draft class at least one superstar.
- Back 2 Gaming
With all of that in mind NBA 2K19’s MyTeam mode is porobably the best of all modes when it comes to encouraging players to come back for more.
- Newsweek
September 19, 2018 | Full review
And speaking of enjoyable: it probably goes without saying, but the basketball itself is, as you’d expect, excellent.
- Gaming Age
September 12, 2018 | Full review
Other than that, the sound effects are excellent; the crowd noises really get you excited as you keep playing in each match; and little background interludes make you feel like you’re sitting in the arena.
- Comic Book
September 13, 2018 | Full review
In terms of gameplay, this is definitely the best NBA 2K has ever been.
- Gaming Trend
October 9, 2018 | Full review
NBA2K19’s presentation is solid. The moment you fire up an exhibition game and are greeted to its signature TV-style presentation with commentary from Kevin Harlan and Bill Simmons, you know you’re about to experience a good simulation of NBA basketball.
- Too Much Gaming
Graphically the game has taken a step back. NBA 2K19 looks very cartoony.
- Hoops Junction
Solid gameplay mechanics, good graphics, MyCareer story way better than last year, lots of modes, still unfathomably good commentary.
- Pennyworth Reviews
October 2, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Pack and Play was a mess in NBA 2K18, but I wish 2K hadn't scrapped the entire draft concept in MyTEAM.
- Forbes
To the dismay of some, the MyGM mode is again bringing a story alongside it.
- Push Square
September 19, 2018 | Full review
Emphasis on virtual currency (VC) is borderline exploitative
- GameSpot
September 12, 2018 | Full review
MyTeam feels like a cash grab
- Digital Trends
Unfortunately, my overwhelming issue with The Neighborhood being nothing more than a series of areas that prompt you to spend VC still lingers.
- Dual Shockers
The problem, for both 2K and for the player, is that all this has been true for several years now. Fans tend to take it for granted at this point that the fundamentals of the sport will be just about peerless.
- The Guardian
The game’s constant money grubbing is a drag
- WCCF Tech
September 11, 2018 | Full review
Unfortunately, microtransactions still harbour progression, and trying to get a game online is as painful as it ever has been.
- God Is A Geek
September 18, 2018 | Full review
Unfortunately, the MyGM mode didn't get the same treatment as myCareer. The mode that lets you manage a team to victory is let down by an awful story and endless dialogue. I found myself rapidly clicking buttons trying to get through the cutscenes.
- Tom's Guide
September 11, 2018 | Full review
Still, the frustrating and overwhelming presence of microtransactions continues to bog the series down.
- We Got This Covered
As always, shot meters have come under scrutiny and while you can swap them in the settings, the default doesn’t feel useful. Even after hours of playing the game,
- The Sixth Axis
August 17, 2019 | Full review
The story in MyCareer is definitely a marked improvement, but MyGM’s story is just awful. Luckily, you can just skip and play the regular GM mode.
- New Game Network
September 21, 2018 | Full review
It wasn’t a MyPlayer-level storyline, but it was still a narrative, and I’ll give 2K credit for making that effort.
- Gaming Age
September 12, 2018 | Full review
The microtransactions have wrecked the progression system to the point where grinding levels just isn’t fun.
- Gaming Trend
October 9, 2018 | Full review
Ironically fans of NBA 2K19 complained about the shot meter and 2K developers added a shot meter back under the player’s feet. These drastic changes in the game have alienated many fans to the build.
- Hoops Junction
MyCareer character and mode ruined by grinding or micro-transactions, steep learning curve for newcomers, overbearing ad placement and sponsors.
- Pennyworth Reviews
October 2, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

NBA 2K celebrates 20 years of redefining what sports gaming can be, from best in class graphics & gameplay to groundbreaking game modes and an immersive open-world “Neighborhood.” NBA 2K19 continues to push limits as it brings gaming one step closer to real-life basketball excitement and culture. TAKE CONTROL WITH TAKEOVER Harness your MyPLAYER’s full basketball potential with the new Takeover feature. Unlock special moves and abilities never before seen on the court, or activate Team Takeover and unleash the power of your full squad. RUN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Make a name for yourself on the court, at the Under Armour Cages, and during live events on the block. Ball until dawn with new day to night transitions, walk on at the Jordan Rec Center, or get the old Crew back together for exciting 3 on 3 action. MyTEAM Create your very first MyPLAYER card, and ball with LeBron, Kobe, and the rest of your collection in a variety of competitive modes. Introducing the new Unlimited mode, allowing you to pick any five cards from your deck and battle against other players online. MyCAREER The original career story mode returns with an all-new, immersive narrative charting your journey from China to the G League and eventually the NBA. Featuring an all-star cast, endorsements tied to your popularity, and new team chemistry elements that allow you to dominate the hardwood.

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9. NBA 2K19
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 24

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