NBA 2K13 (Wii U) Review

By Adam Riley 11.03.2013

Review for NBA 2K13 on Wii U

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

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

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

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.


2K Sports







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


Comments are currently disabled

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.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.