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NBA 2K18 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. It is the 19th installment in the NBA 2K franchise and the successor to NBA 2K17. It was released in September 2017 for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Kyrie Irving serves as cover athlete for the regular edition of the game, Shaquille O'Neal is the cover athlete for the special editions, and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors is the cover athlete for the game in Canada. While a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers when selected for the cover, Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics prior to the game's release. As a result, a new cover depicting Irving in a Celtics uniform was revealed alongside the original cover.

NBA 2K18
NBA 2K18 cover art.jpg
Revised cover art featuring Kyrie Irving
Developer(s) Visual Concepts
Publisher(s) 2K Sports
Series NBA 2K
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 3
Xbox One
Xbox 360
  • WW: September 19, 2017
  • Early Tip-Off: September 15, 2017[1]
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

NBA 2K18, like the previous games in the series, is based on the sport of basketball; more specifically, it simulates the experience of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Several game modes are present, including the team-managing MyGM and MyLeague modes, which were a considerable emphasis during development, and MyCareer, in which the player creates and plays through the career of their own player. The game features a licensed soundtrack consisting of 49 songs.



NBA 2K18 is a basketball simulation game which, like the previous games in the series, strives to realistically depict the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as present improvements over the previous installments. The player mainly plays NBA games with real-life or customized players and teams; games follow the rules and objectives of NBA games. Several game modes are present and many settings can be customized. In terms of commentary, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett appear as guest commentators.[2]

Along with the current season's teams and players, previous games in the series have featured NBA teams from past eras, such as the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls and the 1985–86 Boston Celtics. NBA 2K18 adds seventeen more such teams, including the 2007–08 Denver Nuggets and the 1998–99 New York Knicks, as well as 'All-Time Teams', teams for each franchise consisting of the greatest players in the respective franchise's history.[3][4]

A staple of the series, MyCareer, returns as one of the available game modes. MyCareer is a career mode in which the player creates their own customizable basketball player and plays through their basketball career. The mode features a storyline which plays out as the player competes in games as well as off-court activities. The creation tools have been overhauled – new hairstyles and body archetypes are available for the player to make use of, among other things.[5]

The game's returning MyGM and MyLeague game modes, which task the player with managing all basketball operations for a specific team, were a point of emphasis during development. MyGM is more focused on realism, whereas MyLeague offers more customization options. MyGM mode attempts to introduce more cutscene-style interactions than previous games in an attempt to give the mode a storyline, which is dubbed 'The Next Chapter', similar to the series' MyCareer mode. Additionally, several additions have been made to the mode which cater to the NBA's latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the NBA G League, the NBA's official minor league basketball organization, is present.[6][7][8]

NBA 2K18 again, for the sixth time in the series, features MyTeam mode, a mode based around the idea of building the ultimate basketball team, and maintaining a virtual trading card collection. Players assemble and play with their team in basketball tournament-style competitions against other players' teams in several different formats. Assets for a team are acquired through various means, including randomized card packs and the auction house. Virtual Currency (VC) is used extensively in the mode.[9]

The game introduces a new feature to the series, Neighborhoods, which tie into the game's MyCareer, MyPark, and ProAm game modes. In addition to allowing access to the aforementioned modes, Neighborhoods feature an open world design which players can explore while interacting with other players. Several activities can be completed to raise attributes and the player can purchase items.[10]

Development and releaseEdit

NBA 2K18 was officially confirmed in January 2017 and was released worldwide on September 19, 2017; players who pre-ordered the game received it on September 15, 2017. It is the first game in the series to be released for the Nintendo Switch;[11][12][13] it was also released for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics is the cover athlete.[14][15] When the game's cover was revealed, Irving was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was later traded to the Celtics before the game's release.[16] As a result, developer Visual Concepts announced that a revised cover featuring Irving in a Celtics uniform would be released due to the trade.[17][18] The special edition versions of the game, which include various physical and digital extras, feature Shaquille O'Neal as the cover athlete.[19][20][21] O'Neal was previously the cover athlete of NBA 2K6 and NBA 2K7.[22][23] In Canada, DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors is the cover athlete.[24][25] Like NBA 2K17, a free title for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, called The Prelude, was made available prior to the release of the main game; in it, the player creates their MyPlayer for use in the main game's MyCareer mode.[5]

A companion app, titled MyNBA2K18, for iOS and Android is available alongside the game; it features Kristaps Porziņģis as its cover athlete.[26] Like previous games in the series, NBA 2K18 features a licensed soundtrack; it consists of 49 songs.[27] The first screenshots of the game were released in July 2017.[28] The first gameplay trailer was released on August 8, 2017. The trailer highlights the developers' attempts to improve the game's presentation; player body archetypes and faces have been overhauled and more uniforms and accessories have been scanned into the game.[5] An extended gameplay trailer was released on August 16, 2017.[29] A trailer for the game's MyCareer mode was released on August 31, 2017.[10]


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 85/100 (XONE)[30]
80/100 (PS4)[31]
74/100 (NS)[32]
Review scores
Publication Score
EGM 6.5/10[33]
Game Informer 9/10[34]
GamesRadar      [35]
IGN 8.4/10[36]
Polygon 7/10[37]

NBA 2K18 received generally favorable reviews, according to Metacritic. In their 8.4/10 review, IGN wrote: "NBA 2K18 impresses by making players behave more like their real-life counterparts than ever before."[36] GameInformer gave it a 9/10, writing, "NBA 2K18 has a few holes in its game -- the series needs to improve its writing, the ballyhooed MyCareer Neighborhood hub falls flat, and the tech powering the series is nearing retirement age. That said, boil the game down to its essentials and you have a rock-solid, well-balanced sports sim that provides an immensely entertaining shoulder-to-shoulder same-couch multiplayer experience."[34]

Polygon gave the game 7/10, praising the visuals but criticizing the reliance on microtransactions, saying: "Of course, it’s no surprise that NBA 2K18 looks good; the series has looked the part since its advent on the Dreamcast, staying relevant visually and staking out its own part of basketball culture. NBA 2K18 continues the trend, capturing the feel of basketball’s urban centers in The Neighborhood. It’s too bad, then, that The Neighborhood is covered in ads and persistent microtransaction begging. The growing push to spend real dollars on VC impacts those looking to build even the most basic of player avatars."[37] Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a 6.5/10, writing: "Maybe NBA 2K18 has been the king of the court for too long and now it’s getting bored. Instead of improving gameplay, it’s figuring out more ways to make money through MyCareer and MyTeam. It’s new Neighborhood functions as a metaphor for the entire game itself, in that it seems like a big addition to the game but you quickly realize it’s pretty much just an empty shopping mall and a distraction from the actual game."[33]

The biggest issue talked by Kotaku about was the amount of advertising and time wasted playing the MyCareer. In older games, the MyCareer was spent in your apartment, shooting around and buying shoes from the comfort of your bed. But in NBA 2K18, to perform a simple act such as cutting your hair or changing your shirt, you need to walk a long distance down the street. In a hub where you can meet other players but not interact with them, NBA 2K18's MyCareer mode falls flat compared to previous years. "2K18's chances of telling a good story aren’t helped by the two wrong feet it sets off on. Rather than earn your spot in the NBA by playing through a college career, you’re told that you’re playing as someone who quit basketball to pursue a career as a DJ, and who is able to return to the game—and the NBA itself—by playing a few street games in an amateur tournament." [38]

NBA 2K18 topped the sales charts in Australia and New Zealand.[39] It reached number 2 on the US downloads chart.[40] The game also reached number 3 in the UK sales charts.[41] In Japan, it reached number 4.[42] It made it to number 10 in the European download chart.[43] The game became the best-selling sport title of 2017[44] 2K's parent company Take-Two announced the game have sold 6 million copies just a month after release.[45]

Alleged score interference from publisherEdit

The Sixth Axis, an online game journalist website, originally gave the game a 3 out of 10 score on September 21,[46] with the statement of "If you’re a series fan you may enjoy what you see, and the score below doesn’t indicate the quality of the core basketball game, but rather protests how utterly invasive the microtransactions have now become". Immediately the same day, the website claimed that they were contacted by the publisher 2K Games and characterized their score to be a "protest vote". As a result, the Sixth Axis temporarily removed the score. The next day the website reinstated the original score, reworded their review and released a statement regarding the issue after failing to receive further response from 2K Games.[47][48]


  1. ^ Players who pre-ordered the game received it on September 15, 2017.
  2. ^ Newhouse, Alex (August 29, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Has Kevin Garnett And Kobe Bryant As Guest Commentators; Check Out New Trailer". GameSpot. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Chavez, Chris (August 11, 2017). "NBA 2K18 To Feature All-Time Teams For All 30 Franchises". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Mazique, Brian (August 16, 2017). "'NBA 2K18' Classic Teams: Complete List Of The New Squads Coming To The Game". Forbes. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Newhouse, Alex (August 9, 2017). "NBA 2K18's New Trailer Shows First Gameplay, Extremely Detailed Faces". GameSpot. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Pereira, Chris (July 28, 2017). "NBA 2K18's Revamped MyGM Mode Includes Lots Of New Rules To Excite NBA Nerds". GameSpot. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Kalland, Robby (July 27, 2017). "‘NBA 2K18’ Announced Huge Changes To Free Agency And The Draft In MyLEAGUE Mode". Uproxx. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  8. ^ Sarkar, Samit (July 29, 2017). "NBA 2K18 introduces story-driven franchise mode". Polygon. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Pereira, Chris (August 18, 2017). "NBA 2K18's Ultimate Team-Like MyTeam Mode Detailed, Adds New Ways To Play". GameSpot. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Newhouse, Alex (August 31, 2017). "NBA 2K18's New Feature Is A Social Space, Complete With Tattoo Parlors And Barbershops". GameSpot. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (January 13, 2017). "NBA 2K18 announced for Nintendo Switch, releases in September". VG247. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  12. ^ Dornbush, Jonathon (January 12, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Confirmed For Nintendo Switch". IGN. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  13. ^ Sarkar, Samit (January 13, 2017). "How will the Nintendo Switch fare with sports games?". Polygon. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  14. ^ Makuch, Eddie (June 1, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Cover Star Revealed, And It's A Great, Timely Choice". GameSpot. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  15. ^ S. Good, Owen (June 1, 2017). "NBA 2K18 taps Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving for cover fame". Polygon. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  16. ^ Plunkett, Luke (August 23, 2017). "Throw NBA 2K18's Cover In The Trash". Kotaku. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Makuch, Eddie (August 23, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Will Release New Cover After The Big Kyrie Irving Trade". GameSpot. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  18. ^ Chipps, Isaac (September 8, 2017). ""NBA 2K18" updates cover with Kyrie Irving donning Celtics jersey". ESPN. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  19. ^ Porter, Matt (May 8, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Release Date Announced, Shaq On Special Edition Cover". IGN. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  20. ^ S. Good, Owen (May 8, 2017). "NBA 2K18 announces launch date, celebrates Shaq on special cover". Polygon. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  21. ^ Alex, Newhouse (May 8, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Special Edition Is All About Shaq". GameSpot. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  22. ^ "Shaq On NBA 2K6 Cover". GameZone. August 15, 2005. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  23. ^ Surette, Tim (August 15, 2006). "O'Neal Shaqs up NBA 2K7". GameSpot. Retrieved August 19, 2015. 
  24. ^ Duffy, Thomas (July 6, 2017). "DeMar DeRozan Featured on Canadian-Edition Cover of 'NBA 2K18'". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  25. ^ Newhouse, Alex (July 6, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Has A Different Cover Athlete In Canada For The First Time Ever". GameSpot. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  26. ^ Mazique, Brian (September 6, 2017). "'MyNBA 2K18' Is Available For iOS And Android, But It Doesn't Officially Release Until September 7". Forbes. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  27. ^ Pereira, Chris (July 21, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Soundtrack Revealed". GameSpot. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  28. ^ Mazique, Brian (July 24, 2017). "'NBA 2K18' News: First Screenshots Feature Isaiah Thomas, Paul George and DeMar DeRozan". Forbes. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  29. ^ Pereira, Chris (August 16, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Gameplay Trailer Shows Off More Of Its Ridiculously Detailed Players". GameSpot. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  30. ^ "NBA 2K18-Xbox One". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 
  31. ^ "NBA 2K18-PS4". Metacritic. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  32. ^ "NBA 2K18-Switch". Metacritic. Retrieved September 27, 2017. 
  33. ^ a b "NBA 2K18 review". Game Informer. September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  34. ^ a b "NBA 2K18 review". Game Informer. September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017. 
  35. ^ "NBA 2K18 Review". GamesRadar. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  36. ^ a b "NBA 2K18 Review". IGN. September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017. 
  37. ^ a b "Review: NBA 2K18". Polygon. September 24, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017. 
  38. ^ Plunkett, Luke (September 25, 2017). "NBA 2K18 MyCareer: The Kotaku Review". Kotaku. Archived from the original on September 25, 2017. Retrieved October 24, 2017. 
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
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  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^ Aran Suddi (September 21, 2017). "NBA 2K18 Review". Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  47. ^ Stefan L (September 22, 2017). "With Regard To Our NBA 2K18 Review". The Sixth Axis. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  48. ^ Paul Tassi (September 26, 2017). "Will 'NBA 2K18' Or 'Shadow Of War' Be A Breaking Point For Microtransactions?". Forbes. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 

External linksEdit