NBA 2K18 Review: Drowning In Microtransactions

I have been playing the NBA basketball games since NBA Live 05 and have seen the genre as a whole advance leaps and bounds since then. While I’m still a fan of the NBA 2K series, since I still play their games, NBA 2K18 has left a completely bad taste in my mouth. This game, in my opinion, has pushed the limits when it comes to microtransactions and the glitches that have plagued this game.


The biggest part of NBA 2K18 is their MyCareer story mode. The basis of the story is that you are an DJ who finds his way playing in a streetball tournament. After playing through the tournament, you are recruited by a scout for any NBA team of your choice and given a chance to try out for that team. After playing against the bench and the starters of said team, you are offered a permanent roster spot. Unfortunately, the story of this years game is just as corny and cringeworthy as ever as you go through the NBA season with you best friend “B Fresh” and the teammate who took you under his wing,

The other game mode that coincides with MyCareer is called the playgrounds. The primary goal of the Playgrounds this year is to reach 99 overall. To reach a 99 overall, you can play through MyCareer games, Park Games, and Pro-AM games. The biggest problem with reaching a 99 overall in this game though is the amount of VC that has to be spent. For my personal player to go from a 60 overall to an 85 overall cost approximately 189,000 VC, and since you can only purchase VC at set amounts, it would cost you $50 to make that type of upgrade to your player, which is basically the price you pay for the entire game. While you can grind the game and earn VC from MyCareer games or Park Games, it would take way too long to earn that amount of VC plus this game does not seem to reward you the proper amount of VC after games. Also, because your player would most likely be facing against higher overall players, you won’t have much of an opportunity to win MyCareer or Park games if you are a lower overall.

The other big issue with NBA 2K18 in general are the bugs and issues that plague this game. From day one, Xbox One players experienced an issue that would render you MyPlayer file corrupted. While 2K released a patch that seems to have fixed the issue for most people, some people still claim that their player is being deleted. The only way for now to fix this issue is to contact 2K support to restore your player. While 2K seems to be compensating people  Also on the PS4, I have personally experienced framerate issues that affect the way I play the game, primarily online modes like the Park portion of the Playgrounds. The only remedy I have seen for this issue is to either buy/own a PS4 Pro or to lower your console resolution to 720p if you are on an original PS4.


MyTeam this year has been completely overhauled again. There are two main online modes in this years MyTeam, Super Max and Pack & Playoffs. Supermax is replacing MyTeam Online in that you are ranked based on the amount of games you win. Your team is also limited by a set amount of points based on the popularity of the player.

Source: NBA 2K on Facebook

2K also added a Pack & Playoffs mode which is similar to EA’s Draft Champions. In this game mode, you draft a team of five NBA players and take that team through a seven round playoff series. At the end of each playoff round, you can either keep the same team, for a VC fee, or draft an entire new team. My only gripes with this game mode is the fact that you can’t draft a team and play with friends and also the MT rewards seem very low.


MyGM is a game mode that I believe is geared towards the Hardcore NBA fan audience who is into the “behind-the-scene” aspect of the league. This year’s MyGM has added an unnecessary story element that takes away from the choice making aspect of past 2K games. While you feel like you should have a say in every action your team makes, 2K restricts you this years by giving you little to any choice at all. Your choices in the game mode are limited to what the team owner’s son wants to do with the team instead of what YOU want to do with the team. You also have very little choice in the trades you want to make, the team’s signings, and also the team’s relocation. While this completely ruins your first season of MyGM, the game reverts everything back after the first season and goes back to the old MyGM. MyLeague on the other hand is still the same type of game mode it was last year. You are given full control of an NBA franchise and given the same customizations you were given in last years 2K game

Source: NBA 2K on Facebook

The Good

  • Gameplay feels smooth
  • Graphics look realistic/amazing
  • This game has many great concepts such as Pack & Playoffs and The Playgrounds

The Bad

  • The amount of VC that has to be spent in order to keep up in this game
  • The unnecessary and corny story elements of MyCareer and MyGM

The Ugly

  • People on the Xbox One losing their MyPlayers due to a glitch

Final Thoughts

NBA 2K18 seems to take the route that Take Two Interactive’s other major game, Grand Theft Auto V, has taken by drowning the game with microtransactions. In order to advance far in the two major game modes in NBA 2K18, MyCareer/Playgrounds & MyTeam, you are basically left with no choice but to buy VC. While you can still somewhat grind in this game, 2K has made it very tedious and rewards you very little if you attempt to do so. In this game, if you don’t buy VC, you will fall behind and find that you will struggle in almost every aspect of the game.

Final Score: 5/10