Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

NBA 2K13 (Wii U) Review

Review for NBA 2K13 on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Basketball is quite an interesting prospect in the gaming scene, since the sport is not as popular as the likes of football, rugby or cricket in the UK, but as with American Football there are enough fans to keep publishers churning out annual updates, even in the European market. Whereas with other sports titles EA is the leader of the pack, Take-Two / 2K Sports holds the crown with its NBA 2K series, and the 2013 edition is the most comprehensive yet.

Basketball is basketball is basketball, unless it's NBA Jam, of course, in which case it becomes some frenetic end-to-end, non-stop monster that keeps players perched on the edge of their seats. NBA 2K13 brings plenty of that same energy to the fore, but eases off the pedal slightly to allow gamers to enjoy the more technical side of the sport, building up play slowly-but-surely, before pulling off some masterful stroke of skill to switch past an opponent before setting a team-mate up for an almighty slam dunk, the likes of which cause the on-watching gaggle of supporters to be whipped into an immense frenzy.

Released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 - and even the PlayStation Portable and Wii - way back in October 2012, the game finally arrived on Wii U in Europe on download on 17th January, with a limited retail presence. Was it worth the wait? The answer is a bit of yes and no, since whilst there is now some use of the GamePad, it is not exactly a game-changing inclusion that will convince those that stepped away from other versions to suddenly come back and change their minds. It is likely for this reason that NBA 2K13 has mainly be pushed on eShop over here in order to appeal to the niche crowd.

Screenshot for NBA 2K13 on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Executive Producer, Jay-Z, does a fine job of ramping up the atmosphere of this not-so-straight-laced sports simulation, with a few over-the-top features mixed in to complement the standard basketball antics. The controls can be a little bit confusing at times, however, and the special moves that can be pulled off are also not right there at the player's beck and call, meaning that to get the most out of the experience the manual and help sections need to be fully scrutinised, which will undoubtedly put some off. However, the team controls are extremely tight, and the flow of matches makes for some highly enjoyable times. As for the special 'Signature Skill' moves, these mainly come into play for the MyCareer mode when trying to level-up a personally created amateur to help them develop into professional over time, making RPG-like choices throughout their budding career. One of the biggest draws, though, definitely has to be its all-star inclusions, from the weird (Justin Beiber) to the legendary (Charles Barkley, the 1992 Dream Team, and even the 2012 Olympic gold-winning US team).

The main advantage this Wii U version of NBA 2K13 has is that Off-TV Play is included, yet anyone wanting to go portable will probably have already tried the PSP version last year. Another element is how tilting the GamePad towards your body brings up a heat-screen - the Gatorade Biometric Scan - that basically shows how tired players are. Sadly, though, it is not revealed in the game until accidentally tilting the pad for the first time, causing a shock reaction! Also, for those playing using the GamePad alone, there are some handy on-screen touch-enabled tactical coaching options to be brought into play.

Screenshot for NBA 2K13 on Wii U - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


Tight controls, with a little room for craziness in the midst of the serious sporting action, with the only flaw being how intricate everything can be, meaning some preparatory study of moves and control sets is required before diving onto the court. Off-TV Play on the GamePad is a welcomed bonus.


Visually impeccable, although there is no clear improvement over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 counterparts, and only the added HD sheen really separates it from the Wii edition.


From the crystal clear commentary to the realism of the sound effects, and even the atmospheric soundtrack, NBA 2K13 is an aural treat all round.


With leagues, tournaments, customisable features, multiplayer and online goodies galore, this is simply brimming with content for basketball aficionados.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

NBA 2K13 is by default the best basketball game on Wii U, but it is based upon one of the best in the gaming world today anyway, so is deserving of the crown. The sad matter of fact, though, is that anyone that was even the slightest bit interested in the title would have picked it up back in October last year on other formats. This Wii U iteration does not bring anything particularly special to the table, but any fans of the sport that do dive in will be treated to a superbly impressive, and accurate, simulation of the popular pastime.

Read and post comments

 Buy NBA 2K13 (Wii U) Buy NBA 2K13 (Wii U)

Share this Review Share this Review




Games you may also like...


2K Sports







Online enabled

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

Who owns this game?

I own this game View All

Who wants this game?

No members want this game yet - be the first to add to your wishlist!
I want this game View All

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

I didn't think much of the demo myself...not sure i'd pay £40 for it though, would rather wait for it to get cheaper on the PS3 instead


Comment on this review

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.

Follow this topic Follow this topic

Keep up with new comments with the RSS feed for this topic, or subscribe via email above.
Turqoise Radio - Cubed3's Glass to the Wall
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Latest news and updatesSite Feed
Vote on our latest community pollNintendo Poll
Vote: Which eShop Games will you Download this Week (EU)?
Pokemon Link: Battle
Aqua Moto Racing 3D
Snow Moto Racing 3D
Real Heroes: Firefighter 3D Download Version
Master Reboot
Wooden Sen'Sey
Super Toy Cars
Mega Man Battle Network
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6
Siesta Fiesta
Member of the weekMember of the Week
This week's top member is Ifrit XXII, awarded the most stars for great posts.
Online Play and ChatOnline Nintendo Play & Chat
General Chatroom: Click here to chat Wii U Nintendo Network Codes - Find other Nintendo Wii U users 3DS Nintendo Network Codes - Find other Nintendo 3DS users
Listen to our Nintendo Jukebox - Classic Mario, Zelda, Metroid songs and more Nintendo news and reviews on the move