NBA 2K23 Xbox Series X Review

The NBA 2K series has been popular for many years, but this year may be the one you decide to get back into it.

By Rayan, Posted 23 Sep 2022

NBA 2K is a basketball simulator that is released yearly by 2K. It is the primary choice available for those interested in basketball. This year's edition includes content packed with various activities, game modes, and challenges for players of all skill levels. Since the days of Dreamcast, Visual Concepts and 2K Games have had a remarkable reputation because of the quality of the sports games they have produced. The reality is that it is a pleasant surprise following the last year's release, even though it has several areas in which it may improve. Despite these features, the game still commits the sin of being inherently exclusive when it comes to online play. While NBA 2K23 is a tribute to the sport of basketball, the NBA's rich history, and the league's previous successes, the whole thing of maximizing profit through microtransactions tends to ruin the overall experience.

NBA 2K23, Xbox Series X, Review, Story Mode, MyCareer, MyTeam, MyNBA Eras, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

Several on-court improvements were made in NBA 2K22, particularly to shooting and AI for opposing players; NBA 2K23 continues. New animations bring the game's action closer to life than ever before, and the game's overall tempo seems more genuine. The Pro-Stick shooting mechanic introduced in NBA 2K21 isn't needed, as the game still keeps it simple to sink baskets. It's much easier to judge when to take a shot now that there are so many different shooting meters to choose from, and the timing of your shots will seem more natural than ever before. Also, don't rely on any strokes of luck. Unless you contact the green target area on the shooting meter, your shot will not result in a basket. This is a reasonable compromise to accept, given that NBA 2K23's shooting mechanics are, on the whole, easier to get the hang of.

The Jordan Challenge game mode takes up most of the attention in the game. This new mode compiles 15 of Jordan's finest NBA contests for a retrospective look at his legendary career. Despite the mode's name, Jordan Challenge, we're not only in charge of Jordan; we have to lead a complete squad. Each of these 15 games presents Jordan with a unique set of difficulties based on his actual statistics or typical hypothetical situations, such as a target number of points, assists, and boards. Once we reach our goals, we'll be able to recreate Jordan's greatest moments from that year. Many of these obstacles are difficult; for example, in the 1986 playoffs, when the Bulls faced the Celtics and Jordan scored a then-record 63 points in a game, I was really playing that game. When I tried this goal, I needed to feed Jordan virtually the whole time and keep a high hit rate, which made me appreciate his excellence.

NBA 2K23, Xbox Series X, Review, AI Game, MyCareer, MyTeam, MyNBA Eras, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

Since the Michael Jordan Edition included 100,000 VC, I figured it would help a lot in leveling up our character and giving us a better chance of keeping up with others. But I had to drop the idea when I started the MyCareer mode. You have no clue how much money some gamers spend a few days after release. This inescapable sense of pay to win detracts from what is otherwise a gorgeous and enjoyable game. Like any game featuring in-game purchases, you can theoretically catch up to the players who purchased their way to fame by extensive grinding, but you can be certain that this is no simple task. In NBA 2K23 MyCareer's narrative mode, we follow the exploits of MP, a player who has been called by a cult of fans and must now prove himself worthy of their adoration. It's a great way to rack up VC, which you can also get via completing daily login incentives and completing city assignments. But forget that when you return to the city and continue losing against the best players to earn a fraction for each loss.

Nothing changes when you switch to MyTeam mode. Again, gathering your favorite players to play together and making your own squad is entertaining, and there are even more modes available to play offline. However, the incentives that are offered do not even come close to those that are available in competitive matches versus other people. When that happens, the desire to play games online is unavoidable, and giving in to that impulse will feel like being punched in the gut. After all, there is a 99% probability that the person you are playing against is someone who has put even more money into the game and already has cards that would allow them to win the game essentially on their own and with ease. Naturally, spending money to get benefits is not an issue, but NBA 2K23 has a problem in that the gap between the paid and preferred content is not large enough to be termed exclusive.

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Play Now offers a rapid matchup between two teams with a wide range of customizable game characteristics, such as the real games of the day in the season and the configuration each club will have on that day. There's also an online aspect to this game, where you may play with a team or alone. The most striking new feature is the game's equal emphasis on the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Although the league's popularity is now rising at a not-so-rapid pace, if this strategy proves successful, WNBA may eventually be able to have its own game. MyNBA Eras mode carries on the historical education by allowing you to create a season that takes place in any of four distinct periods spanning the last half-century of NBA action. Like the MJ Challenge option, this one engages you in the NBA's recent past by putting you in the era-specific details of the league via filters, jerseys, venues, scoreboards, etc.

On the gameplay side, NBA 2K23 introduces a slew of new animations that up the ante on the series' unique task of simulating a contest as realistically as possible. Perhaps most significantly, the AI's surge is less predictable in straight blocks, putting a stop to the Alley-misuse Hoop's for good. Experience is better than the previous year, saying something, but don't count on a radical improvement. Also, shooting accurately isn't as vital as it was a year ago. With the AI's improved inside defense in NBA 2K22, outside shooting has dominated the game. Slashers have been given a better opportunity to score thanks to a reworked system that includes more dribble feints, switchbacks, layups, and dunks. Of course, the AI will also apply heavy pressure to the paint as a cost. In NBA 2K23, both going for dunks and shooting threes seem equally feasible possibilities, creating a more well-rounded experience. The visuals are still excellent, but they haven't changed much in the last two years. The degree of realism in Visual Concepts' next-gen NBA 2K games seems to have stabilized, and it is not expected to improve much from one year to the next.

NBA 2K23, Xbox Series X, Review, Beautiful NPC, MyCareer, MyTeam, MyNBA Eras, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

Speaking of realism, the AI in NBA 2K23 is far more intent on passing the ball to its top players, particularly if those players are doing well during the match. Each possession demonstrates that his teammates are pleased to pass the ball and maintain going to receive it, which paves the way for new plays to be possible. On the other hand, not everything is flawless. There is still some AI jitter here and there, but that's all that's needed for a game to really simulate what it's like to play in the NBA. This looks obvious when you play against an AI that doesn't show even the slightest sense of hurry in the last few seconds of the clock, even if the game is closing towards the end. Also, when she is tricked, she does not always respond in a realistic manner, which is particularly problematic when they need to return to their defensive position.

Compared to earlier editions, the visuals and animations are, without a doubt, superior. The occasional flash of attention will be drawn to the beading sweat on the players' skin, the jerky motions of their legs, and various other things. However, it is not consistent, which is characteristic of most current sports games. When compared to star players, supporting cast members and people in the audience often do not seem very nice and frequently appear to be missing quite a bit of information. In contrast, top players frequently inhabit the complete other ends of the range. In terms of visuals, NBA 2K23 is definitely the most visually impressive one in the whole history of this series. As has become customary for the series, the visuals and audio are top-notch, making this the best-looking sports game on next-gen platforms yet.


For those who have been clamoring for improved single-player experiences, NBA 2K23 delivers. This edition improves on last year's strong entry with on-court upgrades, a richer career mode, and nostalgic content. Eras becomes a must in subsequent editions, but Jordan Challenges remains an optional extra. Whereas MyTeam has a long and consistent history, MyPlayer has a short, sometimes irritating, one. Overall, I'm happier with this year's entry than last year, but there's still more polishing to be done. This is a massive game, so the initial price tag is understandable. Though the gameplay is unparalleled, and the live service seems more predatory than ever, there is plenty of additional material for me to suggest this year's title. It's visually fantastic, with a considerable install size, a ton of historical teams, and much better WNBA integration. The NBA 2K series has been popular for many years, but this year may be the one you decide to get back into it.

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

NBA 2K23


Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): 2K Games
Developer(s): Visual Concepts
Genres: Sports
Themes: Basketball, Simulation
Release Date: 2022-09-08

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