NBA 2K14 for iOS review: Too expensive for what you get

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.7
  • Installation and Setup: 9.0
  • Features and Support: 7.0
  • Interface: 6.0
  • Performance: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good NBA 2K14 for iOS has good-looking graphics, plenty of game modes, and you can play as your favorite teams and players.

The Bad Announcers don't know the player names. Controls are simple and lack precision. Lack of plays or skill buttons make the games boring and one-dimensional.

The Bottom Line Sadly, NBA 2K14 is better left on consoles, offering only simple controls for iOS, poorly programmed announcers, and repetitive gameplay.

Don't Miss

NBA 2K14 is a mobile port of probably the best NBA basketball game on consoles. But unfortunately, just like last year's game, the iOS version of NBA 2K14 looks great on its surface, but fails at nearly everything that makes the console versions great. This is especially insulting when the game goes for the premium price of $7.99 at the time of this review.

The game has some good qualities
There are a few positive things about NBA 2K14 for iOS, and before I get to the negatives, I'll talk about them here. One is the overall look. While you're not going to get the smooth graphics found on consoles, 2K Sports has done a good job of making the arenas and teams look pretty good. As you play, the game has cool graphical details like reflections on the hardwood floors, there are great player animations with signature moves for star players, and the faces are pretty recognizable for most of the players. In other words, at least it looks good while you're playing.

The other redeeming quality of this game is that it's probably the most authentic basketball simulation on mobile devices. Unfortunately, that isn't saying much. There simply are no other games in the App Store that can compare with the visual realism, sounds, and NBA action in NBA 2K14. It's pretty much the only show in town, and while I admit that it's cool to be able to play a game with my favorite team on my iPad or iPhone, it's the gameplay and other features that make the $7.99 price tag seem way too high.

Fortunately, there are a few game modes to choose from to keep it somewhat interesting. You can play single exhibition games, choose a team to play a full season (and continue on to subsequent seasons), a couple of special modes where you can play as Lebron James (the star on the cover of NBA 2K14), and Bluetooth or online multiplayer.

NBA 2K14
In the Path to Greatness modes, you play only as Lebron James with no player switching. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Lebron James special content
This content is called Path to Greatness and is divided up into two modes where you play as James with no player switching. Heat Dynasty (because the Heat were last year's champions) lets you play through consecutive championship series to see how many times the Heat can get back-to-back championships. The game chooses likely Western Conference champions that would face the Heat each year, starting with the Houston Rockets. With each game, you'll have three additional challenges that require, for example, that you keep a certain player under 15 points.

Don't Miss

 

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Where to Buy

NBA 2K14 (iOS)

Part Number: id692743025

$7.99

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category Games
  • Compatibility iOS
About The Author

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.