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Nba 2k22 review feature

NBA 2K22 Review: The Best in Franchise History

NBA 2K is a franchise that we are all too familiar with, logging hundreds maybe even thousands of hours playing NBA 2K games over the years. This year, we’re bringing you the best and most accurate review of 2K22 on the internet, personally logging over 50-hours on NBA 2K22 next-gen. Spending most of our time playing against the best players in Australia and New Zealand in ProAm, but also experiencing two full MyCareer seasons and playing on multiple different player builds.

Experiencing the growth of the franchise since we first got our hands on 2K11 has been exciting. Today, after logging well over 50-hours on the game, we can comfortably say that NBA 2K22 is the best game in franchise history. Let’s explain why.

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Game Modes

Let’s start with a breakdown of the game modes.

MyPlayer

As many NBA 2K fans do, we started with the MyPlayer experience. This game mode is the best indicator for gameplay and allows gamers to customise a player of their choice, catering to their preferred style of play.

Nba 2k22 best build

Image: Our build screenshot, great for playing behind a screen

Player Builder

Every year we eagerly await release night to jump into the player builder and craft the perfect build. The system changes each year and keeps the game fresh, interesting and challenging. While it’s hard to make a ‘bad’ build the ‘perfect build’ does exist and can be tailored to the way you play the game. There’s also a lot of fun to be had in creating ‘weird’ and different builds that you might not see very often.

We love this year’s player builder. It’s by far the most comprehensive, but most of all it doesn’t restrict you into making a ‘demi-god’. The player builder is always the first step in creating a great NBA 2K game, last year’s game forced competitive players into making 6 foot 7 point forwards and induced a system of ‘rim-running’ with broken contact-dunks with hard to defend dribble moves. It was a fairly boring experience, and it forced many creators and competitive players to revisit current gen which offered a more balanced experience.

For this year’s game, we created two main builds which you’re free to copy above – an off-guard/ defender, a shooting PG and explored a third big-man build for post-scoring but that’s still a work in progress. We then hopped straight into MyCareer and story mode.

Nba 2k22 the city

Image: You’ll be doing a lot of skating around this large city map

MyCareer

  • A completely redesigned story is an immersive sports RPG style experience,
  • We highly recommend starting off your career in College for four extra badge points.
  • Winning the G-League Championship unlocks a permanent 5% boost towards MyPoints.
  • Plenty of grinding opportunities for endorsements, virtual currency, and off-court appeal.

MyCareer and the story mode attached is vastly improved for 2K22 next-gen. The City experience returns, however, with a wide array of upgrades that make 2K21 feel like an open beta. You’ll still find an almost invasive amount of branding and commercials littered everywhere your camera points, but the overall experience is so good it’s hard to complain.

We highly recommend starting off your career in College. Depending on what school you choose, you’ll receive an additional 4 badge points to whatever category the school specifies. We chose Villanova and received 4 extra shooting badges after winning the national title. College is not easy for beginner players, or those who are returning to 2K for the first item in a while. We recommend playing the practices, as well as getting your players overall up by grinding for VC or a few badge points in the park. If you’re on track to lose a game, make sure you close the app so you don’t miss out on those extra badge points.

While we personally didn’t opt for the G-League experience, you’re promised an extra 5% towards your MyPoints (overall points) if you win the G-League championship.

After declaring for the NBA Draft, you’re selected in the lottery and the MyCareer storyline really begins. By far the most comprehensive story in NBA 2K history it’s more of a sports RPG than ever before with plenty of quests, decisions and grinding opportunities to really help your MyPlayer excel.

We’ve been lucky enough to play through two full MyCareer seasons, and we love the celebrity interaction with real-life rappers, the opportunity to have your own clothing line, and even the ability to jump into the studio and lay down a track (no matter how corny it is).

The casual player who might never venture into the park and play against others will love the immersion. You can really tailor the experience to your own personality by answering questions in certain ways that increase your off-court appeal – whether that’s corporate, fashion, solo player, or other. These help your earn virtual currency through unlocking endorsements, incentives and other animations.

Nba 2k22 gameplay notes

Image: Official Screenshot

Park and ProAm

  • Tailored for experienced players.
  • Two new indicator bars, a seasonal level bar based on games played and another for quality.
  • Ranked mode for ProAm could do with a few more rewards.
  • No reward for reaching high tiers in ProAm 3v3.
  • Creating custom jersey’s for Team ProAm is still broken, laggy, and generally unusable.

After grinding the MyCareer storyline for a few hours we couldn’t wait to jump into the PvP online game modes. While we are very experienced in these modes, it’s worth noting that the casual player who lacks a high overall, badges, or a squad to play with will struggle to keep a win % above 20-40% so don’t expect to win many games here casually.

There are two new online progression bars. A seasonal meter that resets after 40-days and unlocks exclusive items like roller skates and even a go-kart at level 40. There are also gameplay ranking features that increase a bar depending on how well you shared the ball and scored during a game. It’s a great feature and indicates how good another player is to play with, or against. While someone might be level 40 after playing 500 games of the park, if they have a bronze ranking they’re probably a ball hog and not worth playing with.

ProAm is revised with a new ranked mode that switches on at 5 PM AEST. We spent most of our time in ProAm this year playing 3v3 with our team. Not only is this an awesome way to make a tonne of VC – especially after you hit tier 2 (100-wins) – but it’s a great way to get quick games and level up your online level. We recently made it into the top 50 globally for 3v3, and that’s where our only problem lies with this mode. You see, there’s very little in the way of unlocks in this game mode. There’s a level of accomplishment for reaching tier-2 and the top-50 globally but you don’t receive any exclusive items.

Dirk 2k22

Image: Official Screenshot

Play Now

The Play-Now experience is the first game mode the average NBA 2K22 fan will jump into. While you can play online ranked games, this mode is best reserved for local gameplay with your mates and speaks more to the casual gamer.

A welcome addition is the inclusion of team-based commentary with each home teams announcer calling the games. The repetitive commentary is still around though but most experienced in the Mycareer game mode where you play multiple games for one team over the course of a season.

Ultimately the game mode experiences are about as close to their real-life counterparts as we’ve ever experienced in an NBA 2K game mode. You could really learn the game of basketball by immersing yourself in these modes.

Nba 2k22 dunking feature

Image: Getting your head above the rim is pretty easy with a 99 driving dunk rating

Gameplay

The more experienced player will really enjoy this year’s gameplay, and while the casual player might find the gameplay challenging at first – with a steep learning curve – the results are very rewarding. When it comes to online gameplay there’s definitely a formula to winning games that revolves around small shooting PG’s playing around screens, but you can definitely win a heap of games with good team play. We’ve broken down the gameplay into dribbling, shooting, dunking and defence below.

Dribbling

  • Pick a badge set that suits your play style.
  • Quick first step and quick chain are the top dribbling badges.
  • Stop and pop is very effective, as is Hyperdrive for bigger players with a lower rating.
  • There are still more moves to unlock over later seasons.
  • Curry slide is unavailable currently.

We love the dribbling mechanic this year. Our first build only had an 80 ball control and combined with the likes of tight handles, quick first step, and hyperdrive you could still effectively dribble. However, our second build – a 6ft1 playmaking shot creator – is a far better dribbler with a 94 ball control. We highly recommend tailoring your attributes and badge set to your play style when it comes to dribbling. If you plan on playing behind screens or isolating you’ll want 34-36 badge points on playmaking.

Defense has received a significant buff, as such, you’ll want to protect the dribble more this year. Not only is this more realistic, but the gameplay is better for it. There’s far less isolation ball, and most point guards will play behind screens looking for a shot. This encourages good dribbling, rather than over dribbling and forces the defender to play smarter, not harder. Overall, far more realistic with less exploitation through technical moves.

Shooting

  • The new shot meter is dynamic, however, we always recommend turning it off for a boost.
  • Badges such as Mismatch Expert allow smaller guards to exploit bigs.
  • Players will struggle to shoot from very deep this year after dribbling. No dedicated badge.
  • Overall the shooting is nice and balanced.

You’re rewarded for high-quality shot selection this year. Most small guards will play with a dedicated big behind screens and this is very effective for winning games. The new badge set allows players to excel as set shooters along the perimeter, as well as play with the ball and shoot off the dribble with a badge like Stop and Pop. Overall, shooting has become far more balanced and is far far easier than previous generations of 2K, you can easily shoot a decent clip with a mid to high 70 3pt rating.

  • The new dunk timing bar adds a good amount of difficulty.
  • Contact dunks are far less common than in the previous game.
  • Being able to throw bounce pass alley-oops is a fun addition.
  • The new dunk creator menu, while on paper sounds cool, doesn’t really add much.

We have always opted to be a drive first player in NBA 2K games, and the same can be said for 2K22. We created our first player with a 99 driving dunk to unlock HOF Posterizer. And was it worth it? Definitely not. While you are able to force contact dunks with the new dunk meter they’re far too inconsistent as a scoring method – even with HOF badges. Take that to ProAm or a competitive game and it’s basically useless.

Regardless, the casual player will greatly enjoy the ability to dunk on AI players while playing game modes such as MyCareer. Shooting is far better for scoring than simply driving, especially with the increase in blocks, more on that in a second.

Defence

  • Blocks have received a huge buff this year.
  • Steal and reading the play are greatly rewarded.
  • If a quality defender guards a quality dribbler, the defender will always win.
  • Screen defence could do with a slight revision, too easy to get the defender stuck for an open 3.

We love defence this year, especially on next-gen. Previous 2K’s have always struggled to balance good defence with good offence, and the rewards associated with good defence – steals, bump, and blocks – were never promised for good defenders.

This year the script has flipped and defenders are being rewarded for good AND bad defence. We feel it might have gone a little too far in playing into the hands of the defender (especially when they run steal boosts). We’ve had numerous games with 7-10 steals in online play. Reading lanes is very easy and steals from behind the offensive player are far too common. Overall, we love the changes made to defence and our only knocks are those contests, blocks and steal that happen when being guarded from behind which is just plain bad defence.

Nba 2k22 appearance menu

Image: We made a pretty cool Joker looking player, shout out to 2KFACEPLUG on YouTube

Conclusion

Casual players, hardcore gamers and friends can share the fun in the most realistic NBA 2K game in franchise history. Whether you’re playing the story mode, in the park, or competitively in ProAm leagues, we love the overall balance of the game. It truly feels like the game has taken the best aspects of every game in the past, added a strong role-playing element, and created an almost perfect sports game. With a few tweaks to defence and a few patches to fix inconsistent and small connection issues, we’d struggle to knock the game in any aspect.

Buy it here

You’ll also like:
NBA 2K22 Gameplay Details: Shooting, Defense, Dunking, and More
NBA 2K22 Player Ratings Revealed: How Do the Aussie’s Stack Up?
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT Review: High-Fidelity Meets All Day Comfort

About the author

About the author
STAFF WRITER

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the sneaker, automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Staff Writers role at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employs a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.