Game Play Summary:
NBA 2K20 is a “pay-to-win” basketball arcade. The player mainly plays NBA games with real-life or customized players and teams; games follow the rules and objectives of NBA games. Several game modes are present and many settings can be customized. Up to six expansion teams can be created and used in both MyLeague and MyGM Modes, with the possibility of a 36-team league, and any team can be relocated and rebranded.
Along with the current season's teams and players, previous games in the series have featured NBA teams from past eras, such as the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls and the 1985–86 Boston Celtics. NBA 2K20 adds six more such teams, such as the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs.
As with other games in the series, the in-studio pregame and halftime shows are based on the real-life NBA on TNT presentations, featuring Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal, with the latter two analysts also appearing as players on the 1993-94 Houston Rockets and 1994-95 Orlando Magic/2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers/2005-06 Miami Heat, respectively. During games, the announcers are Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony, Chris Webber, Steve Smith and Clark Kellogg, with Doris Burke and David Aldridge as the sideline reporters.
For the first time ever in the NBA 2K series, all twelve teams from the WNBA are included; however, they can be only used in Play Now (one-game exhibition) and single-season modes. It includes Candace Parker as well as other WNBA All-Stars.
A staple of the series, MyCareer, returns as one of the available game modes. MyCareer is a career mode in which the player creates their own customizable basketball player and plays through their basketball career. The mode features a storyline (with the voices of actors including Idris Elba) which plays out as the player competes in games as well as off-court activities. The creation tools have been overhauled. The Neighborhood also returns to MyCareer in which players can customize their wardrobe, get haircuts and tattoos, and purchase power-ups. They can also do their workouts and run drills to improve their attributes at their current team's practice facility.
The game's returning MyGM and MyLeague game modes, which task the player with managing all basketball operations for a specific team, were a point of emphasis during development. MyGM is more focused on realism, whereas MyLeague offers more customization options. MyGM mode attempts to introduce more cutscene-style interactions than previous games in an attempt to give the mode a storyline, which is dubbed My GM 2.0.
NBA 2K20 again, for the eighth time in the series, features MyTeam mode, a mode based around the idea of building the ultimate basketball team and maintaining a virtual trading card collection. Players assemble and play with their team in basketball tournament-style competitions against other players' teams in several formats. Assets for a team are acquired through various means, including randomized card packs and the auction house. Virtual Currency (VC) is used extensively in the mode.
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