NBA 2K11

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NBA 2K11
NBA 2K11 cover art.
Developer(s) Visual Concepts
Publisher(s) 2K Sports
Series NBA 2K
Platform(s) Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Playstation 2, Nintendo Wii, Windows
Release date(s) October 5th 2010
System requirements Minimum:
  • Windows XP/2000/Vista/7
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 10.5 GB free hard drive space
  • 128 MB video card with DirectX 9.0c driver
  • 8x or faster DVD-ROM Drive
  • Sound card with DirectX 9.0c compatible driver
  • Dual Analog GamePad (Recommended)

NBA 2K11 is the twelfth installment in the NBA 2K series, released in North America on October 5th for all platforms. It is the direct sequel to NBA 2K10 and was followed by NBA 2K12. It is available on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 2, Playstation Portable, Nintendo Wii and Windows PC platforms. On June 2nd 2010, it was confirmed that former NBA great and Charlotte Bobcats (now Charlotte Hornets) owner Michael Jordan would appear on the cover.

The demo was released for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on September 13th, 2010. A special 3D version of the game was made available through Best Buy on November 16th, 2010. An update that added 3D support for all Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 users was subsequently released on January 16th, 2011.

Cover Player[edit]

On May 26th 2010,'s Jon Robinson reported that 2K Sports were looking to feature former NBA great and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan as the cover player for NBA 2K11. Robinson also reported that Jordan himself may appear in the game as a playable character, along with former teammates and opponents so that gamers may faithfully recreate classic games and rivalries from the Jordan Era.

2K Sports confirmed Michael Jordan as the cover player on June 2nd, 2010. This marks the first time a retired player has appeared on the cover for NBA 2K and will be Jordan's first official appearance in a seventh generation basketball game. On July 22nd 2010, 2K Sports confirmed the inclusion of The Jordan Challenge in which users would be able to take control of ten different versions of Michael Jordan (each representing Jordan from a different season) and complete different challenges related to some his most memorable performances. The presence of other historical teams related to the challenges was also confirmed, along with the ability to use those teams in all game modes.


Producer Mike Wang returns to the development team beginning with NBA 2K11, following two years with EA Sports as a member of the NBA Live development team. The game includes familiar gameplay elements such as Isomotion, the Shot Stick, Association mode and My Player. It also marks the debut of the Jordan Challenge.

Player Controls & Gameplay[edit]

NBA 2K11 retains the use of Isomotion controls for dribbling along with the Shot Stick, though players may also use a face button to shoot. NBA 2K11's controls also include signature gathers, pro-hop and euro step moves.

Gamestyles are introduced in NBA 2K11, offering slider presets which allow the user to quickly and easily tailor the game to their needs. The four gamestyles are Default (geared towards realism but with more dunks and a little more up-tempo), Casual (more for arcade-style players), Simulation (optimum settings for a realistic game) and Custom (user-defined settings). NBA 2K11 also features enhanced playcalling and expanded playbooks for all 30 NBA teams.


2K Sports enlisted the services of a former TNT producer to assist in further polishing the in-game presentation of NBA 2K11. Although the game continues to use fictional 2K Sports Network branding, the presentation closely apes TNT's broadcast style and features Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg on commentary, along with ESPN's Doris Burke as the sideline reporter.

When playing games in the Jordan Challenge, authentic lines from the original broadcasts have been recorded by Harlan, Kellogg and Burke, further adding to the retro atmosphere.

Playstation Move Support[edit]

NBA 2K11 will support Playstation Move controls, though Playstation Move will not be required to play the game. Microsoft Kinect will not be supported by NBA 2K11.

3D TV Support[edit]

3D TV is supported by NBA 2K11, though as with Playstation Move it will not be required to play the game. On November 2nd 2010, it was confirmed that a 3D PS3 version of the game would be available at Best Buy from November 16th. An update that added 3D support for all users was released on January 16th, 2011.

Although 3D support was originally only planned for the Playstation 3 version of the game, the Xbox 360 version also received the 3D update on January 16th.


NBA 2K11 has moved away from two player animations in NBA 2K11, to further avoid canned moments from occurring in the game. There is also a multitude of signature shots, moves and dribbles included in NBA 2K11 for both current players and historical players included as part of the Jordan Challenge.


In addition to returning modes such as Association and My Player, NBA 2K11 introduces The Jordan Challenge in which users take control of different Bulls teams from the Jordan Era and replay some of Jordan's most memorable games while trying to achieve the same stats (or better). The Jordan Challenge also makes use of era-specific playbooks for the historical opponents along with custom commentary, appropriate retro art and signature shooting styles and moves for the historical players. Due to licensing issues, most teams only include real players in the starting lineup while rounding out the bench with generic fictional players.

Both Association Mode and My Player benefited from several "under the hood" improvements as well as new features. Association Mode boasts improved trade and free agent signing logic, auto-generated portraits for generated rookies, dynamic attendance and more. My Player was expanded with the inclusion of post game interviews, new simulation settings and revamped grading system amongst other improvements.

NBA 2K11 also features the Draft Combine as part of My Player mode, in contrast to the NBA 2K10 Draft Combine which was released as a downloadable standalone game available through the Xbox Live Marketplace and the Playstation Network Store.

My Jordans[edit]

NBA 2K11 features Jordan Brand shoes, including all 25 Air Jordans. They are unlocked randomly every two hours of game time and can be managed under the My Jordans screen.

Historic Teams[edit]

The following historical teams are immediately playable in all modes in NBA 2K11. Due to likeness rights, most teams only feature real players for their starting lineups with the benches rounded out with generic fictional players.

  • 1985-86 Chicago Bulls
  • 1985-86 Boston Celtics
  • 1989-90 Chicago Bulls
  • 1989-90 Atlanta Hawks
  • 1989-90 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 1989-90 Detroit Pistons
  • 1990-91 Chicago Bulls
  • 1990-91 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1991-92 Chicago Bulls
  • 1991-92 Portland Trailblazers
  • 1994-95 Chicago Bulls
  • 1994-95 New York Knicks
  • 1995-96 Chicago Bulls
  • 1995-96 Seattle Supersonics
  • 1996-97 Chicago Bulls
  • 1996-97 Utah Jazz
  • 1997-98 Chicago Bulls
  • 1997-98 Utah Jazz

Completing the Jordan Challenge unlocks a new single player career mode, MJ: Creating a Legend, in which the user can play a career as Michael Jordan on any team in the current NBA.


NBA 2K11 received very favourable reviews and a very positive reaction from gamers, receiving a score of 9.5 from IGN and being touted as one of the best sports games of the year, as well as one of the best basketball games ever released. It sold over five million units and garnered 21 video game awards, with a Metacritic score of 89.



NBA 2K11 Logo

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