NBA 2K23 Review (Switch) | Nintendo Life

Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

The time of the year has come again when the next entry in NBA 2K the franchise is throwing itself at our consoles. Yes, it’s sometimes hard to generate a lot of excitement for these annual releases, and it’s easy to brush them off as just another spin-off update that looks and plays much the same as the previous season’s effort. However, NBA 2K23 It’s worth getting carried away a little more than usual as it combines the excellent new Michael Jordan Challenge mode with what we think is the best on-court action we’ve ever seen from the series, even if this Switch port has had some where to cut.

Let’s start with this new Michael Jordan Trial mode, which looks like a fully fleshed out and generously rewarding part of the game. Here you’ll take part in 15 specific challenges based on events from MJ’s career, each presented in great detail, including era-specific stadiums, kits, commentary and on-screen filters that give it all a delightfully aged look. Watch. It’s not a one-shot mode, it’s a complete history lesson that really brings back to life MJ’s early career and the NBA’s most important moments.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

Unfortunately, on Switch, as well as on PS4 and Xbox One, the new MyNBA Eras mode didn’t outperform the deluxe versions of the next-gen game, so we’re missing out on a whole bunch of fun retro action games. from the Magic, Jordan and Kobe eras. It’s unfortunate that this title had to be cut, but it seems like it’s too far for older consoles. We believe there must be a point where a new generation of hardware will give up, and it certainly looks like that point in regards to NBA 2K.

In more pleasant news, MyTeam – our transition mode – sees a lot of improvements in 2K23, including the removal of the pesky player contract system and the introduction of the great Clutch Time as one of the main ways to earn those VC. points and level up your squad. Getting rid of contracts has been a much-requested change over the last few years, and honestly, it’s nice to not have to dig through the menu every few games to make sure your players are ready.

The MyPlayer part of the game has also seen big changes this year, but unfortunately, this is another area of ​​NBA 2K23 where the Switch is losing. Where new consoles are getting a vastly improved “City” for skateboarding, we’re having to put up with a diluted GOAT Boat area instead. The story here, which sees you come face to face with another newcomer named Shep Owens, is going through a downsizing, but it’s another sign that the latest generation of consoles are struggling to keep up as the best parts of this year’s MyPlayer experience were dropped here. .

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

As for the court itself, NBA 2K23 has seen improvements in every department. The shot counter is easier to read – it can be tinkered with if you’re not 100% using its default settings – and matches have a slower pace, giving the action a more open and purposeful flow. You have more room to maneuver, pass the ball and time to build up strength and shoot on goal. There are also new dunk controls that allow more flexibility in how you show off big hits, improved animations and physics, and improved AI that makes opponents sharper in single player modes.

A lot of work has also been done with “shot rating”: stronger hitters feel noticeably more capable and able to put a little magic on the court in difficult situations, while weaker shooters will have a much harder time. You can no longer just rely on taking any old player into open play and then racking up a few points regardless of stats; this time you will have to plan your attacks and use your team’s biggest talents to see the best results.

We also found that moving posts is easier – or maybe we should say more intuitive – crank in NBA 2K23. We’ve now incorporated them into our overall game, and the tasks at MyTeam do a great job of teaching you the ins and outs of some of the basics that will help you improve the way you do things on the court. In fact, from the moment you download it, accessibility seems to be something 2K has really focused on this year. You’ll get a walkthrough of each mode and how it works, the basics are explained in detail for beginners, and the general flow of MyPlayer and MyTeam encourages you to take on challenges and learn the basics more than ever before. If you’re willing to put in the time, NBA 2K23 has a lot to teach you about the sports it models.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

Of course, not everything is perfect in the world of baseball, and as expected, NBA 2K23 is a game heavily laden with microtransactions. If you’ve been playing the franchise for a while, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but newbies should know that, especially in the MyPlayer mode, people who splash out their real money will get a big edge here – especially in the early days and weeks – before those of us who work hard will get a chance to catch up.

In terms of Switch port specs, it’s still impressive to see a sports game of this size run on a Nintendo handheld console. For the most part, you’re looking at a solid 30fps across the board while you’re on the court. However, loading times can be excruciating, especially in the Michael Jordan Trial mode. The graphics have also, understandably, taken a pretty big hit compared to other versions of the game, and at times in action things feel more boring, slow, and inaccurate due to the frame rate being halved. Another thing to note is that 2K has blocked screenshots in the game again on Switch – we used a capture card to capture some of them for this review – and to be honest, we’re not sure why it’s doing that. Yes, the visuals have gotten worse, but that’s not the case. what bad guys.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

At the end of the day, all this technical stuff is understandable and expected at this point of course, and what you get here is still a handheld version of NBA 2K23 that works quite well and gives you almost the full experience – bar NBA Eras and the City, which you will find on other consoles.

All in all, this is another good year for NBA 2K. This time around, the action on the court is noticeably improved from previous releases, and the new Michael Jordan Challenge mode is a really nice addition to the process. If you’ve enjoyed the series on Switch so far and can put up with the necessary content cuts and graphical downgrades, you’ll find another eminently playable port here, although it actually feels like it could be one of the last in the series. that manages to stretch out onto our favorite handheld console.


NBA 2K23 makes the inevitable downgrades and cuts we see every year with this franchise on the Nintendo console, and like other versions of the latest generation of the game, it also lacks both The City and the all-new eras of MyNBA. Load times can be frustrating, and 30fps basketball feels noticeably heavier than 60fps in other versions. However, if you can put up with those necessary downgrades and minor technical shortcomings, it’s still a solid port of an excellent basketball sim filled with just enough content to keep fans alive for another season.

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