NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 Game Poster Image
All-ages arcade slam dunk for basketball fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game features strong themes of teamwork and sportsmanship in a competitive setting.

Positive Role Models & Representations

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 features a hefty roster of real-life NBA stars, from current rising stars to all-time legends. Many of these players are positive influences both on and off the court.

Ease of Play

The game is an arcade-style 2v2 basketball with controls and gameplay that’s relatively simple and easy to pick up and play. When playing against the computer, the AI presents a good challenge with a gradual difficulty curve without ever becoming frustrating.

Violence & Scariness
Language

While there’s no profanity or offensive language in the game, online play with others could expose younger players to potentially offensive conversations.

Consumerism

The game has a heavy emphasis on building a player’s NBA roster by earning virtual card packs. These card packs can be earned through gameplay or bought using virtual currency purchased in-game with real world money.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is an arcade-style basketball game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. The game is a sequel to 2017’s NBA Playgrounds, and focuses on less realistic gameplay in favor of a fun and over-the-top presentation. The roster has been substantially expanded, with a much larger roster of NBA stars available to recruit and play. NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has a heavy focus on teamwork and communication between players. While there's no violence and no offensive language used in the game, parents should be aware that online play options could expose younger players to potentially offensive conversations over in-game party chats. Otherwise, there's no offensive content in the game.

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What's it about?

Leap-frogging, somersaulting, over-the-top basketball fun makes its return to the court in NBA 2K PLAYGROUNDS 2. The game’s expanded NBA roster gives players the opportunity to recruit and collect over four hundred NBA players, from current all-stars like Karl-Anthony Towns and Ben Simmons to legendary Hall of Fame greats like Michael Jordan and Dr. J. Choose your team and take the action to the streets in 2v2 arcade style gameplay for 1-4 players in local or online matches. Whether you’re itching for a quick pick-up game, ready to test your shooting prowess in three-point matchups, or feel like proving your team is the best by going for the championship in season play, NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has got you covered with its full court press of features.

Is it any good?

By leaving the focus on stats, playbooks, and managing a team behind in favor of fun, this arcade game manages to capture lots of enjoyable basketball action. NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 leaves the detailed sim gameplay behind and instead hits the street to focus on pure b-ball fun. It immediately brings to mind the feeling of hitting a local street court and jumping into a pick-up game with friends … if those friends were NBA legends who can defy both gravity and the laws of physics. The presentation is bright, colorful, and injected with a sort of cartoonish flair that’s as much fun to watch as it is to play.

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 features a host of great improvements over the original NBA Playgrounds. Thanks to the becoming part of the 2K Games family, the roster has been bulked up in both quantity and quality. With more than 400 players available to collect and even more available through downloadable roster updates, fans are likely to find more than a few of their favorite superstars. Unfortunately, fans might not be able to play those favorites right away. Players still recruit NBA stars from virtual card packs earned through gameplay or by in-game purchases. This limits available teams and players early on. Playing through a season can usually earn a decent handful of packs, but it’s still a bit of a grind to find the players you want and level them up to their full potential. On the bright side, that grind isn’t too frustrating simply because NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is just so much fun to play. Its arcade gameplay, over-the-top style, and entertaining personality all come together to make it a slam dunk for basketball fans of all ages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about positive life skills like teamwork and communication. What are some of the traits that make up a good team? How can good communication between teammates help lead to victory?

  • What are some ways keep competitive games friendly? What are some ways for kids to be good sports, regardless of winning or losing?

Game details

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