4 Best Basketball Games On Xbox One

Basketball games on the Xbox One can be very addicting. Whether players are hoping to compete against friends and family locally, or hopping online, a few companies have released well-respected games over the years.

Looking for the four best basketball games on Xbox One? These are the options to stick with over anything else.

1. NBA 2K21

The NBA 2K series is the only current simulation that is released every year and available on the Xbox One. Even though a lot of focus has shifted to the new Xbox, plenty of people are having fun playing on this generation.

The game has plenty of basketball options for people who enjoy playing online, or those who only want an offline experience. When the new game comes out, it is a very competitive online community. This goes for both MyCareer and MyTeam, as people end up paying a lot of money to make upgrades.

This can be a frustrating part of the game, as some people believe it has turned into a pay-to-win game. Yes, most competitive players are spending much more than just the initial fee to buy the game in the first place.

As for the gameplay itself, the basketball feels very real and consistent. A few overpowered moves work within the game, but 2K has done a great job of balancing things as much as possible with new tweaks to the gameplay. Offense is much more the focus than defense, but that should come as no surprise since the company hopes to sell as many copies as possible.

With EA Sports still struggling to come out consistently with a game, this seems to be the only choice for Xbox One users wanting the most up-to-date rosters. It is not a perfect game by any means, but 2K continues to deliver at a pretty high level. The best part is that there are so many different modes that no one has to be forced to play a particular way to have fun.


  • Current NBA rosters take realism to another level
  • Plenty of modes for all types of players
  • Online play is very active and competitive


  • Costs a good amount of money to be competitive online right away
  • Servers crash too often

2. NBA 2K17

As soon as a basketball game is out of date, it drops significantly in price. In today’s market, a person only has to invest a few dollars to get NBA 2K17. That does not mean it is a bad game by any means, even if many players are no longer on the same team.

For avid basketball fans, accurate rosters might be a problem. For those who are just trying something new and want to get a basketball game to try, this is the perfect one to pick up. It is arguably the best of the bunch on the PS4, as they introduced some new features that were never available on the game before.

Presentation had a bit of an overhaul, headlined by using a total of 11 different voices to announce the game. This was the first time that a sports game took on this level of customization with commentary, and it helped prolong its lifespan.

With each passing year, NBA 2K17 becomes that much more outdated. It certainly frustrates some people, but others will like that they do not have to keep up with every new release continually.

Basketball lovers on a budget wanting to play with older teams and really enjoy themselves should give NBA 2K17 a try. It is one of the best games out there, considering that used copies sell for so little.


  • Very inexpensive
  • Plays as realistic as any NBA 2K release
  • One of the best MyCareer stories


  • Rosters are out of date
  • Some modes are limited or completely eliminated due to lack of working online servers

3. NBA Live 18

Like with other consoles, the Xbox One only has one competitor to NBA 2K as far as simulations are concerned. The problem is, EA Sports has not been able to put out a game for a while, and people are left with a subpar option if they want an alternative. It is not that NBA Live is unplayable by any means. It is just not a complete package that most people are looking for.

In the beginning, NBA Live plays extremely well. The rosters are a bit out of date, and some teams have gone through jersey changes, but everything else is relatively the same.

The gameplay is much improved with NBA Live 18 compared to releases right before, but there will still be some clunky action in the paint. Collisions do not look natural in this game, and the players feel just a bit too stiff.

However, not everyone is a massive fan of how the 2K series plays either. Those wanting an alternative will not be able to find a better simulation game on the Xbox One. NBA Live still has plenty of loyal fans to their series, and the potential to be a rival to 2K is evident with this release. Maybe with the next generation of consoles, EA Sports will get everything back in order.


  • Excellent graphics
  • Numerous modes to try out
  • Most refined NBA Live game on Xbox One


  • Collisions are a bit clunky
  • Loading times are a bit long

4. NBA 2K Playgrounds 2

Most people remember NBA Jam as one of those popular sports games when it was first released decades ago. While it is not a perfect comparison to NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, it shows the evolution from that game.

Not only did 2K use the licensing to get players and teams, but they spent time trying to come up with gameplay that is a bit over the top, but still requires strategy.

Players can compete locally or online in two-on-two action that is fast-paced and easy to learn. More advanced players begin to learn that certain moves are more overpowered than others. It is a great way to play a more relaxing basketball game, rather than focus purely on simulation.

The franchise is due for a third release at some point with updated rosters, but the good news is that NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 has dropped significantly in price. It makes it a must-have for casual basketball gamers.


  • Easy to learn
  • Games go by quickly
  • Plenty of players to choose from


  • Rosters need an update
  • Too many moves are a bit overpowered

Our Top Pick

Unless the person is looking for a very casual basketball game, NBA 2K is the best game on Xbox One. It provides so many different ways to play, and older versions can also end up being a cheap investment.

Basketball fans who actively keep up with the NBA should spend the money and get the most current game. This will end up being the most immersive experience. It also helps those wanting to be competitive online and go up against other gamers worldwide.

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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