Parents' Guide to

NBA 2K17

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Amazing basketball sim scores with more depth, strong story.

NBA 2K17 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (5 ):

The sheer number of improvements, coupled with the depth of this year's installment, means that if you're a basketball fan, this is a one-handed tomahawk slam-dunk. The franchise always had strong controls, but this installment feels more realistic and tighter than before. For example, you can't simply drive the lane like you could before; someone will shoot out an elbow or put a body in your way to prevent the constant fast breaks. The number of wild, off-the-mark passes has been significantly reduced, and transition play just feels more believable on both sides of the ball. It's also fantastic to see how much attention was paid to the presentation of the game; expanding the play-by-play roster significantly cuts back on the amount of repetitive dialogue, which was sorely needed. But one issue that many longtime players will have to get used to is the adjustment to the shooting mechanic, which relies much more on your jump and followthrough of your shot than matching your release to a specific section on a meter. It feels more accurate to the sport and cuts down on running up the score, but it definitely will take getting used to.

One of the bigger and better adjustments to NBA 2K17 comes in the MyCareer mode. Forget last year's Spike Lee-helmed story (which was controversial with some players), because this year is all about proving yourself as both a player and a teammate. That's highlighted by the "Orange Juice" team mechanic, which provides a significant boost to your scoring chances and your stats. Arguably, it can be a bit overpowered, especially because Justice Young (your counterpart in the duo, played by Michael B. Jordan of "Creed" fame) makes almost every shot he takes, but the mechanic does call to mind the Jordan/Pippen, Malone/Stockton, or Curry/Thompson pairings that shot out the lights when they got on the court. It's not all good; while there's vastly more to do, and the training sequences actually matter more in this game than ever before, it can be a bit of a grind to enhance your stats as you shoot the ball for hours on end only to get a very small stat boost or a random improvement during a drill. Why would intangibles go up if you lost a Boston drill, for instance? But even with the few questionable elements of play, NBA 2K17 is simply the best simulation that's ever stepped onto a digital court.

Game Details

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