5 best basketball games for PC to play

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you're looking for the best basketball games for your PC, keep reading this article and find the most popular of all times.
  • You can try the newest NBA simulation, which allows you to perform the most professional techniques.
  • If the legendary Michael Jordan is your idol, check a video game that spots him as the centerpiece.
  • For a full head coach experience, we have the best basketball game recommendation for your PC.
5 of the best best basketball games for PC

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Playing video games is one of the most popular activities to enjoy in your free time. However, there are plenty of games that you can choose from, from sports games to action ones.

Since we know how many fans are out there waiting for the highest-rated recommendations, in this article, you’ll find the 5 best basketball games for your PC.

There are a few great options waiting for you. Thus, whether you want to live in the legendary stars skins or have the greatest coaches’ experiences, this list will surely fulfill your needs.

What are the best basketball games for PC?

NBA 2K21

The NBA 2K21 game represents one of the most popular basketball simulations with a gameplay mechanism that allows you to perform the sport under some professional and cultural aspects.

If you’ve ever played some of the NBA game series, this one is going to be extremely familiar to you. However, it comes with some new upgrades.

One of the most popular is the latest shot-stick aiming, which allows for the challenge of actually aiming shots rather than just timing them. 

Alongside the developments, the Pro Stick feature has advanced in 2K21. Now, you can also use extensive dribbling and even initiate size-ups. 

NBA 2K gameplay director Mike Wang explained on the official NBA2K website the following aspects:

For NBA 2K21, when you shoot with the Pro Stick, the shot meter changes from a timing bar to a targeting system. So instead of trying to stop the shot meter when you reach the perfect release window, you adjust the Pro Stick in real time to hit the ideal center aim point.

Among one of its amazing features, we have to mention the building of a custom player which goes through a story. Thus, you’ll be able to lead into a full career, take to the streets, and rec center for pick-up games.

According to its capabilities, NBA 2K21 allows you to model your player’s movement after the following legendary stars: LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and the list can continue.

You should also know that NBA 2K21 allows you to play on both single-player and multiplayer. In these terms you’ll have the occasion to train your abilities on the single-mode, then show your friends who is the badass.

Get NBA 2K21 from Green Man Gaming

You can also take a look on the price offers available on G2A, and also the ones available on Kinguin.

NBA 2K20

The NBA 2K20 game also incorporates an important series of well-known basketball celebrities. Moreover, most users affirmed that this sports simulator has no rival in its genre.

Unlike the older NBA editions, it seems like this one proved to feel much more intuitive. Thus, you can easily learn the basics without being trained before.

The centerpiece of the game is the venerable Michael Jordan. However, you can also find there a few legendary names, that will surely fulfill your basketball dream.

You’ll be able to live in the skin of the L.A. Lakers star Anthony Davis or the Miami Heat VIP, Dwayne Wade. Their images were used for the NBA 2K20 game’s covers, considering the impressive gameplay performed in real life

Among other notable improvements from the previous editions, there are now 27 different types of ball handlers. This feature adds some personality and eliminates the feeling of similarities between players.

According to gamers, the biggest strategic change made from the older versions of NBA has to do with the use of turbo. Unlike the other editions, it is more limited now.

As in the NBA 2K21 case, the present game allows you to play in both single-player and multiplayer modes. So, your experience will be completed.

Get NBA 2K20 Legend Edition from Kinguin

If you’re interested in finding other price offers, we recommend you to check the ones available on G2A, and also the ones from Green Man Gaming.

NBA 2K19

The NBA 2K19 game is built under a fantastic presentation and gameplay, and also a wide array of game modes. You’ll enjoy intuitive control, but you should also know that skills and thoughts are required. 

Moreover, the producers did an excellent job with the fluidity of the animations, that match the identity of the basketball legends. In these terms, the players are lifelike and everything feels extremely smooth.

However, some users reported that it is not as smooth as it should. NBA 2K19 has a tougher learning curve than the older NBA series.

Probably one of the most important highlights that NBA 2K19 offers is the variety of modes. Besides all the standards versions that any sports game has, NBA 2K19 comes up with extra options.

For example, you’ll be able to feel the role of a basketball team’s general manager. Thus, the game offers you two stages: the story and the basic.

While the first one is using text-based cutscenes to connect all the big decisions and games, the basic model is cutting out all the story stuff.

NBA 2K19 also includes a Blacktop mode, where you can play street basketball on both one-on-one half-court or five-on-five full court.

If you’re a new player of the NBA series, or you just enjoy having a really good basketball game NBA 2K19 is a solid choice you should definitely consider.

Get NBA 2K19 from Green Man Gaming

You can also explore some other price offers available on G2A and on Kinguin.

NBA 2K18

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On the same model as the examples presented above, NBA 2K18 requires a good knowledge of the real-life players’ abilities.

Comparing it with the older NBA editions, this time you’ll find some genuinely impressive remakes on handling each legendary player.

The game’s main focus is based on taking advantage of the basketballers’ strengths and weaknesses. Thus, before going for dribbling drives, you’ll have to think twice about how to act.

NBA 2K18 also provides a really cool soundtrack, with 49 specific competitive badass songs. Most of them are also played during real-life gameplays. So, you’ll enjoy a true basketball experience.

However, users claimed that NBA 2K18 has taken a notable step back. Most commonly, gamers describe bringing microtransactions to a place that feels uncomfortable.

According to Metacritic, NBA 2K18 received the most generally favorable reviews for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game versions. In addition, the Nintendo Switch version got some mixed or average reviews from the critics.

Therefore, if you’re the type of person that can stand the ups and downs of bugs that will be patched, this game is perfect for strategic and professional basketball gameplay.

Get NBA 2K18 from G2A

Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2021

If you choose to play Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2021, you’ll have a high-quality virtual experience in the role of head coach of your favorite college basketball team.

You’ll be able to take control of all your desired school’s programs. Thus, you can recruit the next team stars, while preparing them for the new tournaments.

College Basketball 2021 features offer you some recruiting filters that make it even easier to target your favorite players.

In addition, the game allows you to supervise aspects like your players’ grades or decide what player or team will practice the sport.

Speaking about the game’s overall activity, with its amazing UI, Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2021 provides you a smooth moving around.

For original customization, with the new database editor, you’ll be able to change team details and conference names, you can edit logos, courts, and many more great features.

In conclusion, most users reported this game as being way more stable than the previous versions, where the entire campaign was usually crashing due to some annoying bugs.

Get Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2021 from G2A

Check out some older NBA editions

As you can see, we started with the four latest NBA editions. However, if you’re basketball-addicted, there are some other versions you should consider.

Thus, you’ll find below a list of best-selling basketball video games, made by Statista in 2012. The results are related to North American lifetime sales, expressed in million units.

Source: Statista

As you can observe, the study placed NBA 2K11 on the top of the list, with a total of 4.17 million units sold in North America.

The second-ranked is NBA JAM, with 3.88 million units, and the third one is NBA LIVE 2005, with a total of 3.19 million units. ESPN NBA 2K5 registered a number of 2.14 million units, is set on 10th place out of 10.

Each of the listed basketball video games has some interesting features that you should definitely consider when deciding to extend your NBA playing area.

Other devices on you can play basketball games

In addition, we decided to present you other devices on you can play basketball games, besides your personal computer. Thus, you’ll observe below some statistics results of the U.S. video game market size, by device.

This study was conducted by Grand View Research and it was released for the period between 2016 and 2027. Note that the results are expressed as USD Billion.

As you can see, the study focused on three main devices: console, mobile, and computer. As expected, each device recorded multi-annual growth. In addition, the researchers gave a constantly growing forecast for each gadget.

The most significant one is indicated in the mobile case and the second one in the console’s one. We can admit that our PCs will register a lower usage across time. Thus, the other handy devices will be on the top of gamers’ preferences.

Most popular video games on PS5

As admitted before, consoles and mobiles will gain more significant popularity across video gamers. There are plenty of devices you can choose from, but one of the most preferred by users is the PlayStation edition.

Therefore, we consider properly showing you some of the most played games on the latest version of PlayStation.

The picture indicates the most popular games on PlayStation 5 in the United States as of November 2020, with a focus on the installed base.

Source: Statista

As you can observe, on the top three places are set the following games: Astro’s Playroom; Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

However, NBA 2K21, our first recommendation in today’s article, is the fourth-ranked in the study conducted by Statista. As the results show, the game registered a total of 28,6% from the installed base.

Considering all the presented aspects, we hope you managed to find the perfect basketball game for your needs.

Also, for the times when your PC games are acting weird, we strongly suggest checking a full guide about how to fix game crashes in Windows 10.

For any other additional questions, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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