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Graphics on NBA 2K16 are pretty great in terms of on the court look

Last year’s NBA outing from 2K Sports was my first purchase for the Xbox One at launch. The decision was not solely based on reviews but because, along with a certain centurion-based game, it seemed the standout title to showcase the console’s graphical grunt. I wasn’t wrong; it looked and played brilliantly - but I’d suggest that this year’s version, NBA 2K16, is leaps and bounds better. During downtime the court-side camera from the bench is pretty cool, and helps sell that live basketball game feel. You won’t miss any of the action as you wait for your shot to prove yourself. One problem I found with the camera settings before I adjusted them was the view I had when defending. Players who were standing further out weren’t onscreen. This made it difficult for me to keep track of everything, and I don’t think it should be the default camera. Yes the players look great, but I’m much more interested in knowing where the ball is at all times.
NBA 2K16 brings plenty of modes and features to the table again too, from NBA Today, where you'll find quick games, online matches and every NBA team, 25 Euro league clubs and a host of classic NBA squads from decades gone by, to MyGM, wherein you'll manage an NBA team of your choice as an up-and-coming executive. Should you find MyGM mode appealing, you can influence almost every facet of the team, as you make promises to the owner and strive to deliver on your lofty goals. It can become pretty involving, but not nearly as all-consuming as MyCareer, which has undergone a bit of a revamp for 2K16.

Even though all of these visual improvements very much increase your immersion, my personal favorite visual upgrade pertains to the menus. I know that sounds strange, but I let out a big-ass sigh of relief when I saw the more streamlined and cleaner menus, because, come on, how sleep-inducing and flaccid were the menus for NBA 2K14? Last year, Visual Concepts threw in a story for your created character. NBA 2K16 takes it to the next level by polishing the experience in every way. The developers grabbed 30 players (one from each team) from the NBA to lend their voices to the expanded story, and one player per team will serve as the main person your player will be talking to. It’s an incredibly nice touch of immersion and the more frequent cut scenes make for a good motivator to keep you going in your career.
The other major game mode this year is MyTeam. This mode tasked me with earning (or buying) packs of cards that include players, boosts, coaches, jerseys, and more. While it contained some fun challenges and an interesting Domination mode that pitted me against increasingly difficult opponents and tasked me with earning stars by virtue of my performance, it ultimately came across as a real grind. Packs are expensive, and if I wanted to improve my team enough to compete I needed to either grind for MyTeam specific currency or VC (which can be purchased with real world money and is probably better used on the MyCareer player). I can see why others may find the collection and challenge aspect of the mode appealing, but it isn’t for me.
Fortunately, NBA 2K16 remains best on the court, and jumping into a regular game is as fun as ever. Player animations match their real-life counterparts wonderfully, and there's a level of weight to the controls that no other NBA series has been able to match. Also, it seems the game asks more of the player on defense in this entry. Superstars like LeBron James and Chris Paul will easily fly past players if they don't pay careful attention to court spacing and pick-and-roll attempts. The stronger emphasis on defense adds a welcome layer of challenge so that "guaranteed" wins aren't necessarily guaranteed anymore.
While 2K is still the best NBA game on the market it has plenty of room to grow and improve. The lesson to be learned from this review is NBA 2K16 is the game is a double edged sword. I’ve had some great fun playing this game and great frustration. The Career mode is fun but can get stale after a while and the cut scenes get old fast. MyTeam is a great idea following in the Ultimate Team Model like EA introduced but the mode is still young and needs serious work although despite its flaws I play that mode the most. The MyGM and MyLeague improvements from 2K15 to 2K16 have been impressive and both modes have their strengths and weaknesses but in general I like the direction 2K is heading in regards to those modes. Park should be completely scratched and that’s all I have left to say about the mode. Graphics on NBA 2K16 are pretty great in terms of on the court look, some improvements needed but crowd detail wont make or break a game in my opinion. The game-play has plenty of flaws that need to be addressed, mainly exploitable moves that you just don’t see in the real NBA.