One of the interesting things that’s happening with modern sports games is that simply controlling a real team and playing a season is no longer the top priority. Perhaps with the NBA 2k series more than others, the additional game modes and possibilities – MyPlayer, MyCareer, MyTeam, etc. – really steal the show. And in fact, where the recently released NBA 2k20 is concerned specifically, MyCarer Mode is earning raves among reviewers.
With that said though, the straightforward NBA action at this game’s core shouldn’t be ignored. The player rosters are up-to-date, the renderings are just about flawless, and the gameplay is better than it’s ever been – which essentially means this is the best playable simulation of the NBA we’ve ever seen. There’s something to be said for simply starting a season as a real NBA franchise and playing it out. And for anyone looking to do just that, we’ve spent some time figuring out which teams are the most fun to play with….
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have been the most enjoyable team to play with in a few of these games in recent years, and they’re still right up there in 2k20. Things have changed for this team, with some of the best players gone either in free agency or due to injury. But you don’t necessarily have to adhere to reality when, for instance, the real world learns that sharpshooter Klay Thompson is unlikely to play in 2019-20 as he recovers from a torn ACL. He’s on the roster, so you can play him if you want. But the bottom line is that the Warriors still have real-life video game character Stephen Curry, who has a ludicrous 99 3-point shooting rating. In other words, you can just have fun shooting the lights out with this team.
Just as Stephen Curry is fun to control in 2k games because of his shooting ability, James Harden of the Houston Rockets can be a blast. The last one or two instalments in this series have done a fairly good job of simulating the pure control Harden has over his game, and you’ll hit most of the shots you pull up with controlling Harden also. As an added bonus, the Rockets now have Russell Westbrook too, and if you’re the type of NBA gamer who prefers to run around and try explosive moves with the fastest guy on the court, he’s still the best man for it. There’s not much excitement beyond those two, but you can essentially play with them NBA Jam-style and still win most of your games. Plus, they’re two of the most annoying guys in the game to play against, so there’s something to be said for getting on their side.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers haven’t been any fun to play with in a 2k game for years, but all of that’s changed this time around. Following a turbulent real-world offseason for the NBA, the Lakers now have two of the best players of the modern era – LeBron James and Anthony Davis – prompting NBA betting analysts to “power rank” them as the likely title favorite in the league. In terms of impact on 2k20, that just means that Los Angeles is one of the strongest teams top to bottom (with even role players like Rajon Rondo being fun to play with if you like to get creative and realistic with your offensive execution). Putting things more bluntly though, James and Davis are ranked first and seventh, respectively, in player ratings. That’s always going to make for some fun gameplay.
Regarding the Clippers, you can more or less just re-read the Lakers bit above and insert the names Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in place of James and Davis. For my money, Leonard and George aren’t quite as fun in video game form as James and Davis, but they’re second and eighth in player rating, so if you just enjoy having some of the best players in the game at your disposal, the Clippers should definitely be on your list.
The Celtics don’t necessarily have the star power of the teams above, and they’re not the favourites in their own conference in real life the way the Lakers and Clippers are. But I’ve found they’re a ton of fun to play with in this game because they’re basically a collection of similarly skilled guards and wings. There aren’t many guys you pass the ball to on the 2k20 Celtics that you’d rather have avoided. Kemba Walker (who has a top-20 player rating) feels unleashed, in that he’s often been fun to play with but there’s seldom been a reason to use him before (given that he played for the Charlotte Hornets, who were no fun). Jayson Tatum is fun to push boundaries with, given that the game does a pretty nice job of capturing his potential without turning him into Kobe Bryant. And all in all, it’s just a fun team to get familiar with.
Start with one of those teams and you’ll have a blast getting into 2k20. There are plenty of reasons to try out other teams as well, whether you want to control the reigning MVP in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, you want to experiment with the presumptive Rookie of the Year in the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson, etc. But I’d take those five teams above before any others, in what’s turned out to be an incredible NBA video game.
NBA 2K20 is available to play on the PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android and iOS platforms.