NBA 2K16 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual
Concepts and published by 2K Sports. It is the 17th installment in the
NBA 2K franchise and the successor to NBA 2K15. It was released on
September 29, 2015 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox 360,
PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3. A mobile version for Android and iOS
was also released on October 14, 2015. There are three different
covers for the main game, one featuring Anthony Davis of the New
Orleans Pelicans, another featuring
Stephen Curry of the Golden State
Warriors, and the last featuring
James Harden of the Houston
Rockets. A special edition version of the game was also released;
Michael Jordan on the cover. Additionally, the
French version of
NBA 2K16 features
Tony Parker of the San Antonio
Spurs as the cover athlete, the German version,
Dennis Schröder of
the Atlanta Hawks, and the Spanish version, Marc and
Pau Gasol of the
Memphis Grizzlies and
Chicago Bulls respectively.
NBA 2K16 simulates the experience of the National Basketball
Association. Players play NBA games with real or created players and
teams in various game modes, such as MyCareer, MyTeam, and standard
games. Players may play regular season NBA games, playoff games,
Summer League games, and others. Apart from the NBA,
are also featured, thus simulating the EuroLeague. Players may create
their own player and take them through a basketball career with the
central goal of being the greatest basketball player of all time. The
game offers many customization options for the player; the player may
customize the physical appearance, attributes, and skill set of any
player. Players may also create, build, and customize their own teams.
The soundtrack was curated by DJ Premier, DJ Mustard, and DJ Khaled.
It consists of 50 different songs.
Spike Lee was heavily involved in the development of the
game's MyCareer mode. Lee's goal was to create a more story focused
MyCareer mode than previous installments. Lee worked with real world
basketball players, following them and documenting their experience in
high school and college competition, in an effort to more accurately
depict the lifestyle of real professional basketball players. Several
improvements and new additions were made to NBA 2K16, such as full
body scanning, and overall aesthetic improvements. Several versions of
the game were released, such as a special edition, which includes
several physical and digital extras. If players pre-ordered the game,
they received it on September 25, 2015. Players may also purchase a
companion app called MyNBA2K16 which allows the player to earn in-game
currency among other things.
NBA 2K16 was met with a positive reception upon release. Many critics
praised the overall presentation and gameplay, as well as the large
amount of content, the new features, and the developers' ability to
still introduce positive changes after many previous installments.
However, some critics still experienced online technical issues, while
others heavily criticized the MyCareer mode for being far too
restrictive. Some critics also felt that changing the controls was
unnecessary and criticized the lack of tutorials and the presence of
NBA 2K16 shipped over 4 million copies in its first
week, making it the fastest selling game in the series.
NBA 2K16 is
the predecessor to NBA 2K17.
6 External links
NBA 2K16 is a basketball simulation video game based on the National
Basketball Association. Like past games in the series, NBA 2K16
simulates the experience of the NBA. Players play NBA games with any
real life or custom team, and can customize many aspects, such as
camera angles, the presentation of players, the sound levels, and the
level of realism. Like other
NBA 2K games,
NBA 2K16 is marketed as
being as realistic as the actual NBA, with all the things featured in
NBA games, such as commentary, pre-game shows, halftime shows,
post-game shows, replays, interviews, crowds, and real player
movement, among many other things. The pre-game, halftime, and
post-game shows are hosted by Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and
Kenny Smith. Meanwhile, the mid-game play-by-play commentary
is performed by Kevin Harlan, Clark Kellogg, and Greg Anthony, while
Doris Burke is the sideline reporter. The game features
several online and offline game modes where players can play alone
against the CPU, or against other players online.
NBA 2K16, like last past games in the series, is marketed as being
'better' than the predecessor, as many features are added and
improved. One such improvement, is the tattoos; when creating a
player, there are over 1500 different designs available, whereas past
games only had a few dozen individual tattoos. Other things
that are touted as being improved are the visuals, the player
customization (haircuts, accessories, etc.), several of the game modes
(particularly MyCareer, which is marketed as a central feature), and
the overall gameplay. Many aesthetical improvements are made as well,
such as new animations, and redesigned menus. New animations
include mouth guards, and photobombs.
Along with the current real world teams, such as the Oklahoma City
Thunder and the Brooklyn Nets, and the Classic teams (first introduced
in NBA 2K11) that have been featured before, like the 1985–86
Boston Celtics and the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls, 12 new Classic
teams are introduced in NBA 2K16. The 1999–2000 Toronto Raptors,
Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady, the 2000–01 Los Angeles
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, the 2002–03
Dallas Mavericks, featuring
Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, and the
2007–08 Boston Celtics, featuring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and
Ray Allen, are some of the new Classic teams. The
EuroLeague teams, first featured in NBA 2K14, return for the
third time. Some of the 25
EuroLeague teams include Olympiacos
Piraeus, Panathinaikos Athens, FC Barcelona Lassa, Real Madrid, Alba
Berlin, and CSKA Moscow.
NBA 2K16 again, for the fourth time in the series, features MyTeam
mode. MyTeam mode was first introduced in NBA 2K13, and is based
around the idea of building the ultimate basketball team, and
maintaining a virtual trading card collection. Players build their own
custom team, selecting the players, current and past, jerseys, coach,
court, and other basketball related things, and play with their team
in basketball tournament-style competitions against other players'
teams. Players collect cards that unlock players, playbooks, and other
items that can be used in their team or sold. Players purchase card
packs with Virtual Currency (VC) which gives the player random items.
Cards have different levels that indicate how good the card is. A
player will commonly receive Bronze cards if they purchase cheaper
card packs. However, if the player purchases high priced packs, the
chances of getting Gold cards are higher. There are also rare cards,
such as Amethyst and Diamond cards, that are rarer and better than
other cards. The level of a card isn't always the most important
factor as the abilities of the actual player, and their rating
indicating how good they are, is most often more important. Players
can freely customize their team on the fly; players may change the
coach, players, jerseys, and anything else at any time. Customization
aspects were touted as being the major improvements for the
In addition to the MyTeam team customization, players may create their
own brand new team from scratch and play 5-on-5 games against other
players and their teams online, in the 2K Pro-Am game mode. Similar to
previous games' Crew mode, players customize team logos, colour
schemes, court designs, jersey styles, and certain other basketball
related aspects. Players can create a variety of designs and themes;
for example, the player has the ability to create the logos of past
NBA teams, such as the Seattle SuperSonics, or create a team which
features logos that consists of individual players. Unlike other game
modes, Pro-Am teams consists exclusively of MyPlayers. Players may
also play 5-on-5 games against other players using regular teams.
Regular online games are played in a mode called Play Now. In Play
Now, the player essentially levels up as they win games and move
through the online ranks.
Also returning in
NBA 2K16 is the MyCareer mode; MyCareer is a
story-driven campaign that first appeared in NBA 2K10. The
story is called Livin' Da Dream and focuses on an up-and-coming
basketball prospect. The story starts with the player in high-school,
but the player eventually enters college and then the NBA. Players
create their basketball player, giving basic information, such as
height, weight, position, background information, and name. (Even
though the player may choose a name and some background details, the
character is mostly referred to as "Frequency Vibrations" and has
an African American family. Certain other details about the character
are also not customizable, such as the player's personality and
birthplace. The character is from
Harlem, New York
Harlem, New York and had an
underprivileged upbringing.) Players follow the story of being a
basketball player as they upgrade their player's abilities with the
ultimate goal of becoming one of the greatest basketball players of
all time. The mode has a more cinematic presentation than previous
games, with more cutscenes and stories. The player character
enters the NBA via the draft, but not before playing for the college
of their choosing. The player character quickly draws attention
for his on-court and off-court actions, as he continues his journey
towards superstardom. Players play basketball games in the NBA,
interact with other players, which may result in friendship or
rivalry, coaches, members of the media, and fans, negotiate contracts,
appear in endorsement deals, practice in gyms, upgrade their player's
abilities, customize their player's skill set, and customize their
player's physical appearance. The player's central hub is a
practice arena called MyCourt. As well as upgrading their player and
practicing (etc.), the player may customize their court and invite
other players to their court to participate in pick-up games, among
other activities. The player can also take their MyPlayer to MyPark
and play street basketball pick-up games against other players and
their MyPlayer. Returning from NBA 2K15, players may scan
their own face into the game.
The MyGM mode returns as well. Instead of only playing with the teams,
players customize all the aspects of one team as they are essentially
the boss of the entire organization. Players sign new players,
complete trades, negotiate contracts with players or coaches,
customize prices, add features to the arena, provide better facilities
for the players, maintain a good relationship with the team owner, the
players, media members, and fans, make a profit, and guide the team to
NBA championships. Prior to release, the MyGM mode was said to have
been drastically improved, with many new features having been added.
For instance, players may relocate their team to a different North
American city, a first for an
NBA 2K game. Other additions include
redesigned draft presentations, more off-season activities, the
ability to customize arenas and jerseys, players that can have
multiple injuries at once, three-team trades, and a mini game the
player may play while simulating games, to give the player
interactivity during simulations.
MyLeague mode is touted as a "sandbox" version of MyGM and is more
similar to previous games' Association mode. MyLeague features most
features in MyGM in that the player controls an NBA organization,
customizing basketball aspects, and making money. However, MyLeague
features more online multiplayer components, whereas MyGM is
single-player only, and has similar customization options to MyTeam.
MyLeague features more customization options than MyGM and removes
certain 'rules' to allow flexibility for the player. For example, the
player can freely relocate their team, trade players, change team
aesthetics, and purchase upgrades without restrictions. The player may
enter a MyLeague association made up of 30 user-controlled teams,
instead of one user- and 29 CPU-controlled teams.
Spike Lee was involved in the development of the game. Lee is
the director, writer, and co-producer of NBA 2K16's MyCareer mode. A
Spike Lee Joint", Lee said of working on the game: "We follow a
kid through the trials and tribulations of being a top high school
player and the decisions he has to make." Lee also said the experience
of video game development was "unique", and stated that he felt he
could "push the boundaries of innovative storytelling". 2K
spokesperson Ryan Peters said: "We just told Spike, 'You transform the
narrative, and we'll change that into digital polygons.' And he did
that, bringing a protagonist and antagonist to the story." The cover
states "Be The Story" and features pictures of the cover athletes from
early in their respective careers, both emphasising the game's
In an effort to make the game look more realistic, many of the real
players in the game had their entire body scanned into the game, as
opposed to just the face like in previous
NBA 2K games. A first for
NBA 2K series, the full body scanning allows the entire body of a
specific player to be uniquely different from any other body. In
NBA 2K games, a player's face was unique, while the body was
generic and predefined. The full body scanning improves details in
players' tattoos as well, something that has been criticized in past
NBA 2K games. Cheerleaders, coaches, and fans were also scanned into
the game; the designs of cheerleaders, coaches, and the crowd have too
been criticized in past games.
DJ Premier, DJ Mustard, and
DJ Khaled curated NBA 2K16's soundtrack.
The soundtrack features 50 different songs, more than any other NBA 2K
game. The soundtrack consists of six playlists: one compiled by each
of the curators, one that contains songs that aren't necessarily in
English, another that contains songs from past
NBA 2K games, and a
master playlist that contains all songs. Most songs are licensed for
the game but several were created exclusively for the soundtrack.
Players can select a playlist or create their own.
During broadcasts of the 2015 NBA Finals, the first trailers for the
game were shown. The trailers are called "Story is Everything" and
feature Lee discussing and highlighting the game's MyCareer mode.
NBA 2K16 was featured at the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo; the
same trailers were shown. Extended featurettes of the game were
shown at Gamescom 2015. Many of the game's aspects were shown,
including the MyTeam, MyGm, and MyCareer modes, as well as some online
The first official gameplay screenshots were revealed in August
2015. A second official trailer, titled "Beyond the
Shadows", was released on August 10, 2015; it features Spike Lee
narrating a summary of Stephen Curry's basketball career, and
showcases some gameplay footage. Another trailer, titled
"James Harden: Believe", was released on August 13, 2015. Similar to
the Curry "Beyond the Shadows" trailer, "James Harden: Believe" is
again narrated by Spike Lee, but focuses on James Harden's basketball
career. A trailer about Anthony Davis' basketball career was
released on August 20, 2015. The trailer is titled "Rise" and is
Spike Lee once again.
An extended gameplay trailer was released on August 24, 2015. It
features over two minutes of gameplay and teases the presence of
college basketball teams. Another gameplay trailer, titled
"Living World", was released on September 2, 2015; it features several
of the game's developers discussing the improved presentation.
A trailer called "Livin' Da Dream" was released on September 14, 2015.
It extensively showcases the MyCareer mode. A promotional trailer
called "Be Yourself" was released on September 22, 2015. Several
other promotional trailers were also released, including "The Whole
Story", a trailer focusing on MyCareer mode, which also confirmed the
presence of college teams.
NBA 2K16 launch party was held on September 22, 2015. It welcomed
fans and media members — as well the main three cover athletes,
Spike Lee, Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson, some of the game's
developers, and others — to play the game and conduct
NBA 2K16 was released worldwide on September 29, 2015, for the
PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Microsoft
Windows video gaming platforms. A mobile version for Android and iOS
was also released on October 14, 2015. If players pre-ordered the
game, they received it on September 25, 2015, four days earlier than
those who chose not to pre-order. Players also received several
in-game bonuses for pre-ordering the game. If players purchase
the special edition of the game, they receive the Michael Jordan
cover, several physical items, such as a poster, and many in-game
A companion app for iOS and Android devices was released alongside NBA
2K16 on October 1, 2015. Titled MyNBA2K16, the companion app was
Cat Daddy Games
Cat Daddy Games and allows the player to manage various
aspects and participate in various games that all tie into the main
game. The player may earn VC for use in the main game, purchase
accessories and other items for use in the main game, view several
statistics, manage their MyTeam, interact with other players, and
manage their MyPlayer, among other things. The companion app's cover
Paul George of the Indiana Pacers.
When players purchase the retail version of the main game, they
receive one of three different cover arts; distributed randomly,
players will receive a cover featuring either Anthony Davis of the New
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, or James
Harden of the Houston Rockets. Although, a foldable insert
featuring the other cover athletes is also included, effectively
allowing the player to choose their preferred cover. If players
purchase the special edition of the game, they will receive the
Michael Jordan cover. Copies of
NBA 2K16 in France feature Tony
Parker of the
San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs as the lone cover athlete, while
Germany's copies feature
Dennis Schröder of the Atlanta Hawks, and
Spain's version features
Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Pau
Gasol of the Chicago Bulls. This is the first time multiple covers
NBA 2K game have been available since
NBA 2K12 when Hall of Fame
players Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and
Larry Bird were one of the
three cover athletes.
NBA 2K16 received "generally favorable" reviews from critics,
according to review aggregator
Metacritic which gave the game a score
of 86/100 from 10 critics for the
Xbox One version, and 87/100
from 42 critics for the
PlayStation 4 version.
Jeff Landa gave the game a positive review for Electronic Gaming
Monthly. He scored it a 9.0/10, praised the overall presentation and
gameplay, and stated: "Games like
NBA 2K16 will tend to overreach in
how it chooses to occupy your time outside of the virtual arena. This
is where most players will find the fault with 2K16, as not every mode
external to game time is as fleshed out or competent as the main
course. Not every returning 2K player will welcome the minor
adjustments to the control scheme. Some online hiccups will frustrate
others, and the addition of a MyCareer that doesn't always feel like
yours will split many down the middle. Still,
NBA 2K16 remains a
refined technical masterpiece that rewards rookies and veterans alike
with a showcase that belongs in the basketball hall-of-fame."
Game Informer's Matt Bertz awarded the game a 9 out of 10, concluding:
NBA 2K16 is the first true classic sports game of this console
generation. I can only hope other sports games follow Visual Concepts'
steadfast dedication to innovating on both the gameplay and game mode
fronts." Bertz praised the MyCareer acting, commentary, the visuals,
calling it the "best-looking sports game ever made", the "ambitious"
changes and "innovations", the "stellar" gameplay, and the depth,
saying the game "offers the most value you'll find in a sports
Devin Charles of
Game Revolution gave the game a positive review. He
scored it a 4.0 out of 5 and praised the "fantastic" presentation, the
amount of depth, the "great" soundtrack, and the involvement of Spike
Lee. Charles did feel as though the controls could have been better
and disliked the dialogue in MyCareer mode. Charles concluded his
review by saying: "[
NBA 2K16 is] possibly the most complete game to
the series. Truly when picking a title for yourself it's all about
your preference. I actually like NBA Live 16's Pro-Am more, yet I like
the way 2K16 presents its product on and off the court. Having options
like playing with old-school teams and players further keeps fans
2K Sports rarely take a step back and this year is
Josiah Renaudin from
GameSpot gave the game an 8/10 and wrote: "NBA
2K16 draws you in with its welcoming personality and expanded game
modes. But it still manages to push you away with unexplained
intricacies. A deep tutorial would have gone a long way toward making
the new passing and screening maneuvers easier to incorporate into
your game, and at this point, it's inexcusable that this game still
struggles online. Still, the fact that
NBA 2K16 is a great basketball
experience can't be ignored. Few sports games come close to providing
a more authentic and fun virtual representation of the real thing, and
even if this is the least user-friendly entry in years, I can't stop
GamesRadar's Rich Grisham scored the game a 4.5 out of 5 and wrote:
NBA 2K16 is absolutely brimming with content; so much so that it's
virtually impossible to experience it all. Its core basketball
experience is spectacular, and it takes big chances with an expansive
story mode, a multitude of online options, and a presentation that is
second to none in the sports game space. The only lingering doubt is
its ability to keep its online infrastructure up and running from Day
One, as many of the game's features are tied to the 2K servers being
operational. It's the most ambitious sports game ever made, and a
must-play for anyone who's ever picked up a virtual basketball."
Michael Huber from
GameTrailers scored the game an 8.5 out if 10 and
Visual Concepts has done a commendable job with just one year
NBA 2K16 boasts many on-court improvements over last
year, most notably on defensive that help create a better flow during
games. Although the microtransactions devalue certain aspects of the
game, and Pro-AM has connection issues, the on-court changes and
additions are worth checking out for basketball enthusiasts."
In his review, IGN's Mike Mitchell scored the game a 9.0 out of 10 and
NBA 2K16 is one of the most complete packages I've ever seen.
Visual Concepts continues to raise the sports simulation bar
by completely retooling its silky-smooth gameplay, adding brand-new
physics systems, and refining its traditional game modes. Not all of
the changes work as well as others, most notably the Spike Lee-themed
MyCareer mode, but it doesn't take away from the impressive overall
package." Mitchell praised the overall gameplay, the AI, the online
stability, the depth, and the customization options.
Matt Whittaker of
Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 3.5/5 and wrote:
NBA 2K16 as a whole is actually an interesting challenge.
On one hand, this is arguably the most mechanically sound sports game
on the market and the gameplay improvements that
Visual Concepts made
are downright superb. The issue here lies with the decision to make
Livin 'Da Dream the focus and backbone of MyCareer falling flat. There
are some moments throughout Spike Lee's in-game film that might bring
a smile to your face, but this story doesn't lend itself to this
franchise's gameplay or the video game medium itself. Yes, basketball
fans will likely have a great time playing
NBA 2K16 for hours on end,
but there are too many small steps back here that can't be ignored.
The good news for fans of sports games is that the first misstep in
this great franchise is still a very good game, which speaks to how
truly fun its gameplay is."
Within its first week of release,
NBA 2K16 shipped over 4 million
copies, making it the fastest selling game in the series.
Additionally, digital sales of the game for the first week doubled
from NBA 2K15.
NBA 2K16 was also the best-selling game in the
United States for September 2015. At The Game Awards 2015, NBA
2K16 was nominated for Best Sports/Racing Game; it ultimately lost to
Rocket League. At the 2015 National Academy of Video Game
Trade Reviewers Awards,
NBA 2K16 won Game, Franchise Sports.
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