4 Best Basketball Games On PC

Playing any kind of sports game on the computer instead of a console can be a very different experience for players of all skill levels. There is the ability to not only play with high graphics, but the modding community has made some of the games look even better than ever before.

From simulation to arcade-style games for the computer, these are basketball games to keep an eye out on. One has stood out from the rest, and the community has done as much as possible to keep it shining at the highest level with each new mod.

1. NBA 2K

Playing NBA 2K on the computer is a little bit different from consoles. There is some good and bad, and it really just depends on what a person is looking for with their basketball game.

First, let’s start with the good part about NBA 2K on the PC. There is a very active modding community that allows people to enhance the game in many different ways. Not only does the game look better, but there is some added realism to the mix as well. 

The community does all these mods, so there is no extra cost. It is also not very hard to implement the mods, even if a person never experienced modding in the first place. It is as simple as downloading the mod and placing it in the right folder.

The most recent NBA 2K is an excellent game for people who want the newest players and features. This is also where online players will get the most competition, but that is a bit of a mixed bag in general.

Most PC players believe that the game is great to play offline, but online can be a bit frustrating. That is because there is a lot more cheating online with PC gamers, and mods can be used to negatively impact the game.

There is not a better game franchise for people who want to get the best graphics and the best-looking basketball overall. As long as 2K provides a very solid base, modders will take care of the rest to bring something different to the table. Anyone who owns a PC that can run NBA 2K well should consider it, especially if they play offline.


  • Plenty of modding opportunities to download
  • Game runs extremely well on high-level computers
  • More controller options for a customizable fit


  • Online play is abused at times
  • Hefty investment to run graphics at the highest resolution

2. NBA Live 18

The NBA Live series has been a bit hit or miss in the last few years. Not only have some of the releases received negative reviews, but they have scratched several others. With that said, getting an older version of NBA Live (like NBA Live 18) is still doable on the PC because of the modding community. This requires players only to play offline to enjoy, but that is sufficient enough to make a list like this.

NBA Live has always had amazing graphics for their basketball game. Where it lacks a bit is its overall playability. There are many people who think that NBA Live never feels all that realistic at all, as the game is relatively clunky no matter what a person is trying to pull off.

NBA Live 18 is the best effort to date from EA Sports. It is not perfect, but it is a great alternative for those not particularly fond of NBA 2K. Between these two games, most basketball fans will find a simulation that fits exactly what they are hoping for.


  • Outstanding graphics
  • Active modding community
  • Plenty of offline modes


  • No online play still available
  • Gameplay is a little clunky

3. NBA Playgrounds 2

The crazy arcade gameplay of NBA Playgrounds 2 is something that casual gamers will enjoy. It reminds a lot of people of the older NBA Jam games, but with updated rosters and better graphics overall. There are a variety of moves people can pull off that allow them to really shine, which is pretty surprising to see the least.

Most people who end up enjoying NBA Playgrounds 2 like that the game is easy to pick up and play. Games do not last very long at all, and there are some over-the-top moves that make it great to play with or against friends. The 2-on-2 action is also a lot more simplified than having to control five different players working as a unit.

Since NBA Jam is not made consistently any longer, NBA Playgrounds 2 is the best option for two people who want to play this style. It is relatively cheap these days, so most basketball fans who already own a simulation game will also give this a try.


  • Very easy to learn
  • Games go by quickly
  • Skill still plays a determining factor in winning and losing


  • Rosters could use a little bit of an update
  • Some moves are a bit too overpowered

4. Draft Day Sports: College Basketball

Text-based simulators for soccer and baseball have been around for a while, but basketball is not nearly as popular. With the current lack of college basketball games to play, this text simulator has turned into a bit of a cult classic for people who want to immerse themselves into full management.

There are a lot of different ways to mess around with the settings and see what works, but many people are satisfied with the hours of fun they can have strategizing as much as possible.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of college basketball games is all the management that people can take advantage of when running a team. This game provides all the action, which can become very addicting for anyone wanting to try their hand at being a coach.

It really does feel like the same type of work that an actual coach needs to put in to craft their team the way they want it (without the travel or stress).

It is worth giving the game a try for anyone who follows college basketball. Some might instantly be turned away because it is only text-based, while others will find it to be addicting. For the PC, this is the best simulator one can find.


  • Very realistic management
  • New features added all the time
  • Recruiting is as realistic as ever


  • No actual gameplay
  • Licensing issues are frustrating to deal with

Best video games on other platforms:

Chris Davis

I'm Chris, the guy behind BasketballJoy. I've played basketball for 20+ years and have been a full-time coach since 2017. On this website, I share everything I know about the most beautiful sport in the world - Basketball.

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