NBA 2K17 – You’re always LeBron my Mind – Video Review

2K know how to make a sports game and this is unquestionably the FIFA of the basketball world. 2k17 is the 18th edition in this successful series and arguably, the pies-de-resistance.

The presentation is seamless, the quality is undeniable, the learning curve is challenging, but manageable and enjoyable. You always feel like you’re making progress and improving, learning something new. The AI even seems to have upped its game.

Dribble moves can be chained together, which lets you by-pass defence more effectively than ever before. You’ll actually need to understand the mechanics of the game and take the time to learn to get the most from it, but that feels incredibly satisfying.

Franchise Mode is improved, allowing you to play online dynasty and experience with friends. You can choose starting points for the league, pick things before draft and even free agency. There’s league expansion, classic teams from yesteryear, stadiums. You can even develop your own team which is entered into the draft.

NBA 2k17 doesn’t have groundbreaking new modes or features, but the MyCareer mode is a much more engaging single player experience.

The writing in career mode is better, penned and directed by Aaron Covington and starring Michael B Jordan. The VA is on point. Your Created dude actually feels like he’s part of something bigger with college banter, praise from major stars, competition for places, and there’s even love in unexpected places.

Another big change is that your calender can now have clashes. For instance, team practice might conflict with a sponsorship engagement and so you now have to choose which is most important to you and the negative impact of skipping one for the other.  The mobile phone mechanic adds to this as well with scrolling text messages and important events. You can even send a poop emoji to your mom, so, that’s something…

Load times are still a bit of a slog and there seems to be a real disconnect between your MyPlayer and the eSports community which 2K is building, but the game is still absolutely beautiful to look at with a real focus on the small details like facial hair, forehead furrowing, sweat, and tattoos. This is as authentic a sports game as you’ll see on the market today. The contact between players is so authentic and realistic and it combines with the animations and gestures which really give the game a unique, realistic flavour.

NBA 2k17 is a tour-de-force and an absolute delight whether you’re a newcomer or a series vet.

About the author

Ray Willmott

Ray is the founder and editor of Expansive. He is also a former Community Manager for Steel Media, and has written for a variety of gaming websites over the years. His work can be seen on Pocket Gamer, PG.biz, Gfinity, and the Red Bull Gaming Column. He has also written for VG247, Videogamer, GamesTM, PLAY, and MyM Magazine,