Review

NBA 2K15 Review

  • First Released Oct 7, 2014
    released
  • PS4
  • XONE

In it to win it.

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NBA 2K15 has a slick sense of movement. Actions like faking right, shifting your momentum toward the low post, and floating the ball over a nearby defender look sharp, but going through these motions feels even better. Where players stuck unrealistically close to one another in past games, 2K15 adds much more natural spacing between bodies both on and off the rock. Smart ball handling leads to more distance to take a shot, and that puts a greater onus on the defensive player to read and predict the direction of his matchup’s drive. 2K Sports took significant technical strides with last year’s NBA release, but it’s the reinvented movement system and improved physics that make 2K15 such a success.

The NBA 2K series has done well to make you feel the weight of the player and friction of the court in recent years, but handling the ball has never felt this intuitive. Players can more easily change direction during cuts, and the finesse moves delegated to the right analog stick that were often difficult to pull off without losing the ball over are now more reliable. This improved dexterity--especially when controlling more agile players--allows for craftier, deliberate offensive execution. Your ability to create space opens up mid-range jump shots, and most players are now equipped to post up and fade away.

Mmm. Aren't you thirsty for some refreshing Gatorade right now?
Mmm. Aren't you thirsty for some refreshing Gatorade right now?

Offense isn’t easier; it’s smarter. You have to fake, cut, and step back to earn this newfound space, but if you’re just looking to charge down the middle and get a quick dunk, you’ll likely come up empty. NBA 2K15 rewards players who can evaluate the situation, read the defense, and move the ball efficiently. Really, these are nothing more than basketball fundamentals, but thousands of new animations make the simplest of movements more effective than they’ve ever been.

Your position on the court, your player’s shooting prowess, and how open you are all factor into the new shot meter that sits beneath the player’s feet. The better your situation, the wider the window for you to let loose a high-percentage shot. You can still knock down a contested jumper from 25 feet, but this indicator gives you a better sense of why certain shots hit while others kick off the rim. The meter also eliminates the frustration that used to come along with mastering each player’s specific stroke. Kobe Bryant and Nicolas Batum have vastly different releases, and previous NBA 2K entries forced you to know each athlete’s timing in order to hit consistently. This time around, you can much more easily determine your release point from the simple on-screen indicator.

No Caption Provided

The offense, when controlled by a patient practitioner, is much improved, giving defenders a greater workload. Instead of just pressing against your man, defense in NBA 2K15 asks you to read the offense and pay close attention to your position on the floor. Playing tightly on a player will often allow him to blow by you for a quick layup, while keeping too much distance results in easy jump shots. Over time, you find the correct space to work within, giving you the option to quickly close distance when a shooter pulls up or puts pressure on a driving body.

Locking on to a single man won’t help your team, though. The AI is craftier, so if you spend too much time studying your man, you generally miss screens being set on either side. Even at the Pro difficulty level, I found teams intelligently using picks and finding open men, and that was refreshing. Sports games often boast authenticity, but the tactics in NBA 2K15 frequently mirror what you’d witness on a real court.

NBA 2K15 is more intricate than previous games in the series, and because of that, the learning curve is steeper. Offensive players are often too slippery, easily chewing through your defense if you make a simple mistake. Losing your man as he goes for a layup is common, and this can be downright frustrating when matching up against players like LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Defense requires your undivided attention, and I appreciate that. But when individual matchups aren’t in your favor, you can feel helpless.

Smart ball handling leads to more distance to take a shot, and that puts a greater onus on the defensive player to read and predict the direction of his matchup’s drive.

This defensive shabbiness is most apparent during the early portions of the MyCareer mode. Here, you customize a character--using either the new facial mapping or provided sliders--and enter the NBA as nothing more than an unproven prospect. Instead of having you join the draft, this year’s career mode throws you into the shoes of an undrafted player on a 10-day contract. Impressing the team could lead to a secure roster spot, endorsement deals, interactions with NBA legends, and maybe even a championship ring.

2K15 is fundamentally similar to last year’s offering, but the presentation has been notably cleaned up. Press conferences and discussions with your agent are far less cringe-worthy than before, and half-time reports from your coach give you helpful strategies for closing out a game strong. Occasional bugs, like sideline reporter Doris Burke interviewing an invisible player, still exist, but these issues appear less frequently than they did in the past. The upgrade system has been streamlined, too. Instead of spending experience points on dozens of different statistics, players plug points into a much shallower attribute pool with overarching categories such as rebounding, jump shooting, and defense. This gives a clearer indication of how you’re building your future star, and makes you feel more accomplished after taking a single step on your upgrade path.

Mmm. Aren't you thirsty for some refreshing Sprite right now?
Mmm. Aren't you thirsty for some refreshing Sprite right now?

MyPark has seen its fair share of improvements, including a reputation system that unlocks upgrades as you expand your reach and shorter games. One of the most frustrating parts of MyPark used to be waiting around in a queue as other players hogged all eight courts. Thankfully, pick-up games have been reduced to just 15 points, meaning you’ll spend more time actually playing basketball than twiddling your thumbs on the sidelines. It’s fully featured, but if you’d prefer to control more than your single created player and avoid getting stuck with ball hogs, the traditional online play option is still there.

New to the series is MyLeague, which is similar to the old Association Mode. MyLeague lets you design your own personal basketball world that may last for a single season, or up to 80 years. The roster, salary cap, draft preferences, season length, and dozens of other settings are left up to you, so really, this is your own personal sandbox. It’s yet another feature that offers something different from your standard game of hoops, but it’s only available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The AI is craftier, so if you spend too much time studying your man, you generally miss screens being set on either side.

MyTeam and MyGM haven’t seen significant changes, but both modes remain fun and rich in content. The card-based MyTeam feature now includes a real-time auction house, which allows you to sell your players online in order to earn additional spending cash. The Challenges option is also new, providing additional revenue for playing through special fantasy scenarios--such as Kevin Durant being drafted first overall and playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. Similar to Madden’s Ultimate Team, MyTeam allows you to use real money to buy additional booster packs. However, the provided challenges are generous enough with their rewards that you don’t need to pay to create a dream team.

Never mind. This freak of nature made using the PlayStation Camera has killed any desire for beverages.
Never mind. This freak of nature made using the PlayStation Camera has killed any desire for beverages.

MyGM remains one of the most imaginative offerings, allowing players to oversee any of the 30 teams as the general manager. You still monitor trades and watch for available free agents, but new this year is a conversation system that expands your day-to-day responsibilities. Along with the financial side of the business, you need to supervise player morale, your media presence, and what your owner is hoping to get out of his team. You can still play the games marked on the calendar, but I found myself more interested with off-court drama throughout my tenure.

NBA 2K15 isn’t as drastic a visual update as last year’s next-generation debut. Your friend sitting on the couch might not drool over the visual updates or expanded feature set, but the overhauled control scheme and helpful shot meter are the types of improvements basketball fans have been waiting for. Battling for space and effectively using a screen to set up a wide-open jumper is superbly satisfying, and while it can be a struggle to keep up on defense, the interaction between all 10 men on the court at any time has never looked or felt this real.

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Now Playing: NBA 2K15 - Video Review

Back To Top
The Good
Greater spacing allows for better looks
New shot meter rewards smarter shots
MyCareer mode looks and feels more refined
MyLeague provides unparalleled level of customization
Added animations make for more realistic presentation
The Bad
Defending elite players can feel hopeless
9
Superb
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Josiah Renaudin is a basketball fanatic who loves watching the NBA, but always manages to hurt himself during pick-up games. He played hundreds of hours of NBA 2K14, dozens of hours of 2K15’s many game modes, and won a championship with his custom small forward in MyCareer.
292 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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young_nasa87

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first??

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tbstage1968

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Why is KVO doing all of the reviews for overrated games. Kevin has been one of the only reviewers on this site that I feel that I can trust. Make the reviewers do the review. Stop trying to make Kevin the scapegoat when stupid reviews go wrong like "Gone Home". he may have stood up for the opinion of an over zealous reviewer, he has always provided clean opinions when they are his. This new let KVO read it business is undermining his good work.

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BlessTha_God

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This game is more addictive than crack and heroin

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mari2kde

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Solid Snake !


Diu diu diuuuu diudiudiduidu ...

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WEST_EVIL

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better then NBA live 15 hundreds times

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Aussiegamer86

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I am playing the career mode as it offers a more dynamic experience, but sitting through the post game interview every game is tedious. I also feel the 'bad call for pass' is a bit harsh, as I often get it when I'm completely open or my team is running the ball up the court

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AZWildcats585

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Edited By AZWildcats585

I can't wait to buy this game it's a toss up between this game and fifa 15 omg I leaning towards nba 2k15

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Darren_Marshall

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Edited By Darren_Marshall

The game is nice an the physics are on point. I have been playing 2K games since they have been making games and this is the best one by far. People are complaining because they can't drive to the hole and do a 30ft 1080 degree dunk over all 5 players and rack up 80 points with 1 player. I used to be the guy scoring 50-60 a game with one player, yeah it was fun, but this game is REAL. Takes an entire team, good strategy, momentum and smart shots to win. Take it for what it's worth, real players and gamers know how to adapt and LEARN how to play the game. No more 90% crap from the 3 line on 50 shots. THAT is why these whiners are whining, it's back to reality. I haven't gotten into the MYpark and stuff like that, I just play straight seasons and online games. I will update my comment when i try these modes, but for what I use it for, it has been 100%, no disconnects. 10/10

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Jchapman1122

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This game is terrible in Charles Barkley voice all they do is work on the graphics to look more real the passes are still horrible as well as the stiff game play to the 2 on 1 fast break please stop pumping this game up because it average at best !!!!!!

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netter99

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Edited By netter99

@jchapman1122 you probably just suck

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drac1959

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ok this game looks better i,ll give it that. playing the hyped up pc version this is not last years game. you had more options to create the type of player u wanted to be, just started this but i see no option to be rookie of the year as you were not drafted. the flow and tempo of the game is much slower and if your going to go the more sim road open people need to shoot. the story is a nice addition is nice so far and there are some added features that really make this nice but it comes down to gameplay. one your in the nba so you should be able to dunk etc from the beginning and have some sort of jumpshot. range and speed and other skills should be the progression here. its nice they used real voices are a nice touch . but for 60 dollars you want a game that makes you want to keep commong back. not that its a bad game just in a lot of gameplay areas this should have been much better and smoother. last years was better in that area. making you read the defense and making adjustments on offense is great if the guys around you are going to shoot the ball. not to mention that no matter where you go team wise it,s always a losing season. the spurs did draft someone people. i do understand the climb and progression through the league take the lumps to become great. but once again the gameplay is everything and as others here have stated 5-10 points a gain is a step backwards. i guess we won,t fully know until a full season is played but doing the math it,ll be a while before your a real contender. it is still the best game (basketball) out there and wish they would jump back into the football as well but so far this game should only be a 7 at best, when i finish a full season i,ll see if that should change. having a game in 1080p is nice but the game needs to flow a bit better.

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SillySkeleton

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Hang on a minute, what about the server issues that EVERYONE has been affected by since its release? I don't know what kind of magical copy of the game Gamespot received, but it's certainly not representative of the version anyone else has been playing.

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kozzy1234

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@SillySkeleton There was server issues the first two days, since then it has been perfect.

The only issue I can name is first few days there was server issues, other than that this is a near perfect sports game.

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downloadthefile

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I need to explain to people who actually enjoy the realism of a basketball sim that this is not the game for them. There are multiple improvements, such as the opposing AI not making quite as insane shots as they did in the past, but that doesn't excuse the regressions this game has made as well. I like the new shot meter, I like the new animations and I like that the game feels a bit weightier. But there are still many problems.


Starting with MyCareer. MyCareer's big problem is that you are 1 out of 5 on court at any given time. The other 4 you play with play as though they are kids on a JV team in high school. The opposing teams in MyCareer play much, much better. Your teammates will miss shots, not box out, not cut to the basket, cut and stop so the pass gets intercepted, not pass you the ball when they need to, refuse to take open shots in favor of a contested layup, and generally act inept. There is a "tell CPU to shoot" button which never works, and it used to work in earlier versions of the game.


MyGM has problems too. Again, trade logic; I traded Andrea Bargnani for David West and a 2nd round draft pick. Why is this possible? That could never, ever happen in real life. It wasn't a contract issue, either, and expiring contracts are not given the value they should be given by the CPU. At least it's not a VC gouging fest, 2k even tells you not to buy VC for this mode because it's too easy to earn XP (which is great of them).


The on-court product is, when playing like a regular NBA game, actually good. The servers, however, are consistently offline and therefore you can get screwed out of VC. Overall this game is probably a 7, not a 9, and I wouldn't have bought it really because of the MyCareer issues. I wish they'd fix the mode, it is worse this year than ever before with the teammate AI issue. I should not need to average 45 to win games because my team shoots less than 40% FG with open shots.

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downloadthefile

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Also, the ball-handler (if it's an AI in MyCareer) will sometimes stand around for about 15 seconds. I absolutely cannot stress how much I've disliked this game so far in MyCareer. It's an abysmal mode unless you enjoy scoring 60 points per game, which isn't why I play. They should split this into "Hero Mode" where the player is the greatest ever and the AI is horrible, and "Simulation Mode" where you can still potentially be the greatest, etc. but you also have competent teammates and can expect them to play like they should.

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deactivated-57d0fe42747d9

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Despite the improved physics it's still very easy to see where more improvement is needed. Collision detection is almost non-existent in many places... with players just sliding off and around each other like plastic.

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Iloveconnie

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I'm a hockey guy but i played this to check it out and wow this is one of the most atmospheric sports games ive ever played. I cant speak for the gameplay since i havent played a basketball game since like NBA live 99 but wow the presentation.

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TsoBadGuy

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I think the hopelessness is a lot broader than just defending elite players. My 6'11 Small Forward will jump for a layup, put the ball RIGHT over the basket, and then somewhere between dropping the ball straight down into the hoop, and the ball actually going into the hoop, all physics just take a break, and the ball misses.


The box out system is basically an uncontrollable seizure in a button. The Pass IQ system is a thinly veiled excuse to make your Mycareer character needlessly retarded. If 2 NBA players pass to each other, and they have an option between passing around someone right in front of them, OR PASSING DIRECTLY INTO THEM, they are in the NBA, so they always choose the very obvious, accessible concept to amateurs. With Pass IQ you have to pass a dice roll to have a working brain, and a lot of times that means watching a very obvious pass play go to ruin because the pass didn't account for something obvious to a child, let alone an actual NBA player.


Career mode got some nice changes, but more bad than good. More unskippable cutscenes, stats are lumped together, the badge system offers FAR less user customization than the signature skill system. (I screen for teammate grade padding, yet for every 1 time I screen I go for a slasher style layup like 5 times, yet I have badges that say I like Pick and Rolling?) It's like the game has no sense for how you yourself want to play. I realize 6'11 Small Forwards aren't the best at layups, but it's gonna be roughly 100 games before dude can actually dunk on people rather than layup because I have to level 10 other stats along with "Dunk" Maybe in the hundreds of layups I've tried I get a badge? Nope.


Considering NBA 2k15 is losing people's Mycareer characters, and they never fixed the myriad game breaking bugs in 2k14 I will definitely pass on buying this.

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Gameundertaker

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Edited By Gameundertaker

I'm really happy for seeing that 2K makes great sport games because we were a little bit frustrated from EA !!!
And I hope that WWE 2K15 be better than it's predecessors...


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jagdedge124

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This game was WAY overhyped. IGN (and we know how THEY are) just gave it a 7.9. That's consistant with the User Rating here of 7.6. Next Gen just hasn't delivered on most anything they put out to justify its price tag on consoles thus far. Servers are shot. That's been a flop.

As others have mentioned this is a bargain binner. 20 bucks for a roster update for me on 360 on a Black Friday sale or months away.

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DarkWolfx12

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You guys should be fighting for the NFL rights and bring out an NFL 2K15 instead.

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DarkWolfx12

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@shermenz @iloveyourface lol

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nunoaba

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Back then with NBA2K10, I used to score 50 points per game. It was fun dunking against everyone. With 2K14 and now with 2K15, I'm lucky to get 10 points.

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kozzy1234

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@nunoaba I use to average 110 points in nba2k14 lol, it was to easy. 2k15 though has fixed alot of the issues imo though, much more realistic, can't score 80-100 points every game with you're my player.

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blackace

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Edited By blackace

@nunoaba I didn't have many issues scoring with NBA 2K14 and I'm playing it on both the PS3 and XBox One. It's a bit easier on the XBox One, mainly because it's easier to get more VC points to upgrade your guy. On the PS3 it takes longer to get VC pts. So after 15 games on the PS3, I'm only at 64 rating. On the XB1, I'm at 69 rating. The main problem with both games is your team plays lackluster defense. They double team when it's not need and leave their man open for alley-oop dunks and walk in layups. If you're playing a guard, there's almost nothing you can do. My own player will set screen for the other team and block me from defending. No one will rotate over and guard my man after that happens. I hoping this crap has been fixed with NBA 2K15. After all the issues with NBA 2K13, I swore never to pay another $60 for an NBA 2K game and I haven't. Paid $20 for NBA 2K14 for XB1 and got the game on PS+ for free. So I'll wait to get NBA 2K15 for XB1 later in the year for under $30. I'm sure Amazon will have some Black Friday deals.

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akuya32

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Is it me or does it seem with every new version of a game the longer the loading time has become? Its pretty ridiculous. I do not like how My Career mode starts. I actually liked it the past few years were you get to play against the best young players and then get drafted or even go un-drafted based on how you played and answered questions with gms. Other than that its ok so far.

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Terrencec06

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bad choice for the Bad. That's how it is in real life.

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CBreen28

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@Terrencec06 True but with video games you're only as good as the person playing, not the player in the game. Point being if someone is pretty good at this game they should be able to defend a Kobe or Lebron that's being operated by a noob.

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ElectricHobo99

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Probably rent this from the almighty Gamefly, but I don't reckon it's a keeper. Even though I dig my PS4, I'm getting awful sick of these TV commercials where they make it appear that this multiplatform, cross-generational release is only available on PS4. Most gamers understand this, but it can fool the uninformed into believing a falsehood, which, in my opinion is unethical. MS and Sony are both guilty of this...remember the Destiny and Diablo 3 Ultimate tv ads which lend credibility to my claims? Or the MS Madden and FIFA ads doing the same thing for XB? False advertising was conceived by scum.

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blackace

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@electrichobo99 Not sure what false Advertising you're talking about.

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LSZ22

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Is the online play still horribly laggy? That's even if you manage to find a game given how awful the lobby system and presentation has been since I started playing the series (2K10). I was looking to get back into this series after a few years off but I've read nothing encouraging about this.


Shouldn't functional online play be a given these days?

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mikesyr

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Edited By mikesyr

"Defending elite players can feel hopeless"...lol guess what gamespot, that's just like the real NBA, ask people who defend King James, Melo or Durant.

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blackace

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@mikesyr Yeah, it shouldn't be easy that's for sure. It the only games like NBA 2K11 or NBA 2K12, those great players would sometimes have bad days. I've played games where Labron shot a dismal 35% and only scored about 16pts. Same thing with Wade, Durant and Kobe. The CPU will cheat with these players anyway, even if you're guarding them pretty well. They'll let them get around you or even through you for easy dunks or reverse layups. At least with these new next-gen games they do.

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fitriulina11

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Edited By fitriulina11

@blackace @mikesyr You guys should be fighting for the NFL rights and bring out an NFL 2K15 nba 2k15 cd key here

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k41m

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And Alien Isolation gets a damn 6... Jesus Christ..

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residude

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@k41m That's because it deserves a 6 :) Completed it yesterday, trading it in today, incredibly dull game. If you want to play a horror like that, stick with outlast, far superior. The second you get the flame thrower, there's no more challenge, just run and everytime the xeno shows up, give it a quick squirt of fire.

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mattress805

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Yes. Outlast was fantastic. Outlast in the dark, with some electrical tape over the LED light, and a pair of Astro a40s on is about as terrifying as a game gets.

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Jimmy_Russell

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No way I would pay $70 for this game. You people must have rocks in your heads. I'll pay $20 at most for a sports rehash.

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blackace

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@jimmy_russell Got that right. My days of play $60 for sports games are over.

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joel_c17

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is gamespot broke? why no video reviews?

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steveszymanski

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I don't see any point in buying this game if the gameplay is largely the same frustrating mess it was last year. For a basketball sim, it fails on that massively. I see no point in dropping another $60 on an NBA 2k game just because of a slight graphical upgrade, and proper game modes that were stripped from the next-gen version last year.

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blackace

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@steveszymanski The damn game modes still need to access 2K Sports servers for you to play them. What's up with this DRM BS? With 2K14, I couldn't even continue MyCareer, because the 2K Sports server was down. What happens if that server is terminated? How do I continue to play my game in MyCareer or MyTeam modes?

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nyran125tk

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Edited By nyran125tk

@steveszymanski frustrating mess? i loved it. I had no problems with it. The only basketball game worth playing thats for sure.

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blackace

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@nyran125tk It's the only basketball game on the market really. NBA Live 14 was a complete joke. No one paid for then $10 to try that game.

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steveszymanski

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@nyran125tk There is no basketball game worth playing. I'm not a fan of centers being able to run down PGs on fast breaks. I don't like how the AI defense is stonewalling you most of the time. I don't like how the AI seems to shoot 75% from the floor. This is supposed to be a basketball simulation, and it fails massively at it. It's just the best basketball game on the market, so people will make excuses.

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deathblow3

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@steveszymanski i hear its really good this time around

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Smithankyou

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The only reason I'm still playing this is simply because it's NBA but it is very frustrating. I don't see MyPark, MyTeam packs cannot be open or purchase, MyPreOrder code cannot be cash in, MyPlayer has no edit function. No tattoos, nothing. It's like playing a better graphic version of NBALive09. I like how the players move around and the whole in game (as in basketball game) experience but the game modes experience which is supposed to make the game better is not helping. And I do not understand the long initial download on the launch day itself.


All excited about the game, got it, reached home, put it in and "Please wait..." for twenty minutes.


Why am I buying an incomplete game? We nv had such problems in the olden days didn't we? Are we really improving with technology? #FirstWorldProblem

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deathblow3

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Edited By deathblow3

@smithankyou lol you do realize that all next gen games have to install to the hard drive right. maybe not you but this is what the gaming world wanted with next gen. more power and prettier games well bigger better games require more disk space and bluray reads and spins to slow to be effectively used as digital media so it has to install the game on your hard drive in order to be playable, it was the same on bluray ps3 games. until they can quadruple the bluray disc read speed you going to be stuck with horrible install times. maybe the will fix it next gen to late to change now.


also note most pc games have been this way for years the first farcry was a 4 disc install because the game was so big.

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NBA 2K15 More Info

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  • First Released Oct 7, 2014
    released
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • PC
    • + 4 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    NBA 2K15 is a NBA simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts, a 2K studio.
    7.5
    Average Rating185 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate NBA 2K15
    Developed by:
    2K Games, 2K Sports, Visual Concepts
    Published by:
    2K Sports, 2K Games
    Genre(s):
    Team-Based, Basketball, Simulation, Sports
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    Mild Lyrics