NBA 2K12 Review (Xbox 360)

Creating A Legend Mode

Your mileage may vary, but this was my favorite mode. Last year’s version gave players the chance to take Michael Jordan from Rookie to vet. How do you top that? By giving you access to basically the entire current NBA roster. (NOTE: James Harden, OKC Thunder. The beard in all its glory. And the OKC roster is awesome. Seriously. WIN). The catch? 1) No press conferences in this mode. An obvious choice since it would be incredibly expensive. And 2) no rookies.

Alas, as the game was nearing completion, the NBA lockout happened and for some stupid reason, the NBA refused to allow permission to use the latest rookies until after the season began. As a result, the in the box version of NBA 2k12 has 2 generic ‘rookie’ characters, both in the Western conference. Fortunately, now that the NBA season has finally started, this will soon be rectified. Actual NBA rookies will be added to the game via free DLC.

My Player Mode

Simply put, My Play mode is one of the beefiest single player options I’ve personally experienced in a sports game. Building off of previous incarnations, it’s been both expanded and streamlined to maximize the player’s sense of becoming a star while minimizing the tedium of actually getting there. You begin your career already in the pros, so no tedious playing just to get to the bare minimum of what you actually want to do. It’s as much fun in-game as in between when you consider endorsements, give interviews, negotiate your contract and generally enjoy the minutia of managing your image and your career.

One note: while you start out already in the pros, you have to earn a lot of XP to unlock goodies to customize your player with new abilities and personal flourishes. That makes it slow going at first. But don’t worry that this means you’re going to have to level-grind (to borrow a term from RPGs for a second) your way through the season. If you manage to play with skill despite lacking the perks, you’ll still have a shot of advancing at a fairly brisk pace.

The Soundtrack

That games will have licensed music is an unremarkable thing, but when a game has a perfectly chosen soundtrack that not only has a ton of killer songs but just feels like the essence of the subject at hand, it creates the perfect atmosphere. Such is the case with NBA 2K12. The soundtrack just kills it through and through with a mix of hip hop and indie groups like Bad Meets Evil, Shinobi Ninja, XV and The Death Set that perfectly captures the feel of a live NBA game – at least in my experience at the few Lakers games’ I’ve been at in person.

However, none of this matters as much as the fact that they actually went there and included Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball”. Why this song isn’t on the soundtrack for every basketball game ever made is a mystery, but it ought to be required like singing the Star Spangled Banner before a baseball game. Because seriously.

The Endgame

Simply put, there isn’t enough praise to heap upon NBA 2K12. It’s so good you can almost see Kobe’s divorce papers sticking out of his shorts. Accessible to casual basketball fans, easy to play and yet responsive and visceral, boasting excellent graphics and with NBA’s Greatest Mode some of the most incredible attention to detail yet seen in any sports game, it’s a masterpiece.


* Wonderful, responsive controls
* Incredible attention to detail, especially NBA’s Greatest Mode
* James Harden’s Beard recreated with 100% accuracy.
* Challenging without being monotonous
* Variety of modes guarantees a unique experience with every game
* Perfect soundtrack


* Uncanny valley effect; especially the eyes

Final Score: 97/100

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7 Comments on NBA 2K12 Review (Xbox 360)


On January 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

The worst basketball game ever made don’t let anyone fool you so many hacks and glitches say you miss 1 shot with Kobe don’t even attempt to shoot with him agian the hot cold system is very broken the steals and passing are just stupid I feel like I’m playing on the moon the 2k server for online is retarded who ever designed it should commit suicide and 1 last thing lolfranchise modelol wooolooooooooow flavsr flab style go buy some crack instead of this


On February 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

i ing hate how difficult it is to move around and do moves in 2k12, my turnovers are just crazy cause of it, never had a problem with turnovers in the other 2k’s and been playing since “2k”. Then i hate how you guys put the training camp. I like how 2k11 had there training camp where they just told you how to do the move at the bottom of the screen, then tells you if you did the move right. The training camp in 2k12 is really stupid in my opinion because, you can’t go on to the next level if you can’t pass the current one….. which is stupid in my opinion, because what if you don’t want to learn that certain of move. I cant figure out good post moves b/c i cant get pass a certain dribbling move. Besides that, 2k still produces great simulation games and i s with it……


On February 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm

PS; Oh, one more thing i don’t with! I understand that if you put up you icons before you pass it should pass to the icon you pressed, but sometime you just press “A” and it would pass to the nearest person to you…. In 2k12, it doesn’t do anything like that. Even when i move my analog stick towards the direction i want to pass it to, somehow it seems to make the DUMBEST pass ever. Causing even more turnovers for me. Hate making excuses but, Shyt that is crazy….. you guys should fix that ASAP…. Avid player of 2k and no other 2k does that stupid shyt….


On February 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

This game is so sorry the cpu plays the game for you. You can be winning and the computer takes over and you start missing everything so the other team wins. The my player mode is the worst ever the movement,the shot control,and team play sucks. If you want to play at a good level you gotta save money and by other people shots. They need to do better next year and not rush to put a game out that isnt donhe right for the fans of nba 2k!


On March 6, 2012 at 8:32 am

Will someone please just give me a strategy or anything if they have one. I’m desperatly trying to beat 3 on 3 era challenge & am stuck on the 3rd to last team (shaq,nash,garnett) its almost like there is no stoping them, nash barely misses jumpers and when he does, shaq or garnett just jam it in, i want to beat this so i can use regular players in pick up games, etc. Any advice on someone who beat it would be so appreciated _ thanks. By the way, my team is MJ, Hakeem, & Karl Malone if that matters, thanks again


On March 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Well I got past them somehow & now am getting just murdered by the next group (Kobe, Dirk, & Duncan), anyone who has played this game mode please give me any advice you can. No cheat codes or walkthroughs online, if anyone beat the tournament please respond and let me know what team you used and your strartegy …. thanks again, sorry for double posting …

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