NBA 2K15 Review: A New Standard

4 of 4

Online Play

"NBA 2K15, like all of the rest of the NBA 2K games, has a bit of a server problem."

Not every game can be perfect and NBA 2K15 is no exception. As has been made known on the internet, NBA 2K15, like all of the rest of the NBA 2K games, has a bit of a server problem. One so glaring at one point, I could not load my MyCareer just to play through the campaign by myself. This is tied to the ever growing monstrosity that is VC in NBA 2K. If there is anything that will single handedly ruin this series, it is their commitment to hamstring single player modes with online currency stuff.

I do not care about people paying for VC if it means they can get new outfits, jewelry, custom shoes, or whatever, but you can literally pay your way to a superstar player or a superstar GM or a superstar MyTeam. The way it is implemented is fine in some aspects, but I don’t want to have two files in case my online MyCareer is inaccessible or MyGM in inaccessible. With the last 4 years of servers having issues, it is pretty annoying these things are still tied to these single player modes. A storefront for outfit modifiers and unlock online interactions for MyPark are all that is necessary. Don’t break offline modes by putting in too many online features. They hardly ever add anything to the modes regardless, but VC significantly detracts from the mode when it isn’t working.

Online Leagues

"It is unacceptable something so half-heartedly done made it into this game."

                Online leagues barely exist in a playable capacity. You have to make them with friends. You can’t join one at random. There is no searching for a league to join. You cannot make an open online league for others to join. You have to set the league up with other players before you can even begin tweaking settings. When you do finally get online, you cannot kick people from the mode. You cannot do much of any of the customization you see in MyLeague. This offering is even more bare bones than offerings from even NBA 2K12 a whole 3 iterations ago. It is unacceptable something so half-heartedly done made it into this game.

Online Matches

Online matches work as they always have with matchmaking. I am not sure if you get much in the way of support for them as they no longer ask about the experience after the game is over. However, in game they do provide information that points out some of the scouting done by 2K’s servers of a player’s style of offense and defense. Scouting reports are not much help below 5 games as a person needs at least that many to have any sufficient data to provide in the game.

If you want to invite friends, you must go into the Play With Friends area and choose among those online and invite them to your locker room. However, you cannot leave the Play With Friends area or the invite is canceled. This isn’t really a problem, but it does mean less time playing the game and more time waiting for a response to an invite. I am not technically savvy enough to say you should be able to do other things in 2K15 while these invites are going on in the locker room and it sends you a notification when people join, but that seems to be the ideal one would search for here.

Lastly, there is an All Star team up mode that consists of 5v5 online where every player is controlled by one online player. At least 4 players must sign up for this mode to work. I haven’t had much time with this mode as I could rarely get on to play it with many other players. I wish I could provide more here, but between server problems and an inability to get enough players to join I have not been able to try this mode.


A smaller mode within NBA 2K15’s greater MyCareer mode, MyPark allows for you to convene with a ton of other NBA 2K15 player’s and watch, call next, or play in games up of 3 on 3 basketball as you battle for respect on 3 different courts. Each court infuses you with different abilities to match the style represented. As you rank up, you gain more abilities like flashy passes, dunks, and more.

Before going into each park, the game highlights the highest ranked player on the courts as well as the longest current win streak. It is a good jab at social community in NBA 2K15. However, you can’t speak to other players not on your team. So commentary on games being played does not happen and you cannot talk to anyone but those on your 3 man squad.

This squanders a bit of an opportunity, but it is also understandable as the mode is about getting a good squad and running the park. You can’t allow for too many voices to communicate on these mics, it is different than playing a real game with crowd noise in the background and is fairly distracting.

The mode is pretty entertaining though. You can watch other players play their games. You get to join up with new teammates in a game and hear all of the vibrant 2K personalities in game. It’s a lot of trash talk and if you messing up, you will hear about it, but that is basketball and life on the park courts. Join up with friends and take your 3-man squad to the park to try to be kind of the court. Game to 15. Win by 2. These are normal park rules, although that 15 number is a bit high and usually reserved for low activity days with less people. If you just want to play around with friends in the Jordan Rec Center, you can also do that as well. There are games of 5 on 5 there that you can participate in.


                You begin with 3 5-card packs. You fill out a team, a venue, a coach, and a name. You play those lineups together and try to win games and gain more cards. Rinse and repeat. This is not a mode for me, but if you’re into it, there are rewards for victories in the form of card packs that allow you to fill your team out with better players and create the ultimate team. Of course, you can also purchase those packs to get better similar to other card collecting modes in other sports games. If that is your thing then have fun with the various modes they offer to you of online competition or challenges, including Domination pictured  to the left.

Final Verdict

"In the end, NBA 2K15 offers so much to the basketball game fan that I can without a doubt call it the most intriguing single player sports venture since 2K12’s legendary combination of old and new."

NBA 2K15 excels in visuals, gameplay, individual and group offerings offline with a continuing fault line showing up around issues with their online infrastructure. In a nutshell, I can say with certainty NBA 2K15 is a complete step forward in sports games offering far more expansive GM, Franchise, Season, and Career offerings unseen outside of the NBA 2K series. However, this is counterbalanced by an online infrastructure lagging behind other sports series like FIFA or Madden that offer robust online connected franchise mode, Ultimate Team, and better connectivity.

In the end, NBA 2K15 offers so much to the basketball game fan that I can without a doubt call it the most intriguing single player sports venture since 2K12’s legendary combination of old and new. If the NBA 2K series ever gets the online infrastructure to where other game series are then there will not be any competition in sports offerings.

Author’s note: This review was done with a PS4 copy of NBA 2K15 over the course of a week and a half. The game experienced server issues during this period of time and those issues have been reflected in the review. I do not own a PS Camera so I did not get a chance to play around with the Face Scan technology in the game, so I did not feel it was my place to report on it. However, the Owen Good video on his attempts to face scan is rather hilarious.

(A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review.)

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