Why NBA 2K20 is a Good Game… on Switch

NBA 2K20

The origin story of sports games are not complicated. A new year, new season leads to a new game. Unfortunately, with new Madden, new FIFA, and the like, quality can be compromised for timeliness. NBA 2K20 is not particularly revolutionary or amazing. However, it’s a fun game. Graphics are excellent, the basketball games are immersive but not boring. There’s a lot to eat up in NBA 2K20, and while it may not be worth $60 to some, the promise of sales makes this a hearty recommendation, especially if you don’t mind how much space it takes up.

First thing’s first: the online

Yes, the online is less than desirable. Glitches and bugs persisted when I played. But I would argue that 2K20’s strength lies in other areas. Online wasn’t very fun. I tried connecting to a match (which failed often) and it would slow down, chop up, and even disconnect me. I have good Wi-Fi, too. Not much time was put into the online it seems. The other online modes, such as the MyTeam mode, I found to be a reason to come back to 2K20. This is largely because of the unlockables, challenges, and the pick up and play nature.

The Neighborhood seemed cool, but there wasn’t much that interested me. The point of the open world is immersion- and I appreciate that. For some reason, I was not drawn to exploring the Neighborhood and getting new clothes, and the MyCourt wasn’t as fun as the other game modes. Performance in this area was alright though, when compared to the other games on Switch. (2K18 was a disaster and 2K19 was pretty good).

Arcade Game with Simulation Elements or; It’s Actually Fun

Perhaps from the viewer’s side NBA 2K looked difficult and complex. I saw varied action and circumstance in the game modes, and even thought it was the player’s choice. It intimidated me. But after playing 2K20, my fears were put to rest. NBA 2K20 is easy to pick up and play, and becomes exciting with each game becoming more intense as the time ticks to a zero. So while 2K20 looks like a heavy basketball simulation, there is plenty of arcade. I understood very quickly how to pass, shoot, and guard.

Speaking of arcade, the MyTeam mode exemplifies this with quick gameplay. I did think the buying of cards is a little not cool of 2K. I don’t like microtransactions, but it appears I can win the player cards just by playing the game- how it should be. Quick games are also fun. You can choose between classic all-star teams of players, new players, or even a mix. Or, streetball one on one is an option. It was a blast playing these modes with my basketball obsessed younger brother!

MyCareer isn’t perfect, but it’s neat.

As a RPG lover, stats in characters is something I love. I loved creating my character Jimmothy. I experienced the story of NBA 2K20, and while I can say I enjoyed it, it’s far from perfect. The story is an underdog type story, usual from a sports themed story. I felt however, it adds meaningful content to the game. Even if it wasn’t the epic RPG fantasy I usually play, I thought the writing was well done, and told a cool story. MyCareer is also a game’s “story mode” where it teaches you the basics of multiple aspects of the game. 2K did an excellent job of teaching someone who knows very little about basketball how to play the most popular basketball video game.

The inclusion of the WNBA is cool and all, but I do wish that there was a MyCareer for the WNBA side of 2K20. It would have been really cool to see a second story that was centered around people other than men.

Graphics, Performance, Bugs, oh my! and Final Thoughts

NBA 2K20 sits in at the time of writing at 45 GB. That’s a whopper on Switch. But it becomes easy to see why. Character models are probably as realistic as the Switch processor can get, there’s tons of visual effects, music, sound effects, and voice acting. It is the Switch version. I think it’s one of the best looking games on the little system, but it can still look silly especially with the PS4 and XONE versions appearing as the best graphics on any system. But that’s the thing. Switch is meant for pick up and play games, fun, and being able to play with others.

I have noticed the mandatory advertisements. Yeah, for a game it’s annoying. At the same time, it adds to the experience. It can remove from pick-up and play. If you’re like me, you’ve seen your family watch basketball and have seen advertisements. I do believe video games will go this route eventually, as Amazon and Hulu have gone this route. Ads detract, but I’m sure it’s only going to get worse.

It might not be the most innovative in the series, but the clean title is a clean start for 2K basketball. If you’re new like me. Basically, if you have played every entry since the dawn of 2K basketball, then yeah, it’s not an improvement. For newcomers it’s a solid choice. I recommend NBA 2K20.


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Reviewed by Jack Bankhead on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by 2K.

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