NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 does a solid job making 2v2 arcade basketball fun for the long haul. Expanding on its predecessor, this sequel – now under the NBA 2K umbrella – includes two new major modes that enhance both the solo and multiplayer experiences. While the core gameplay feels very similar to NBA Playgrounds, that’s mostly a good thing. Playgrounds 2 still lacks the depth of the defunct NBA Street series and the pure chaos of the also-dormant NBA Jam, but it has found its footing as a unique take on arcade basketball in its own right.
On the single-player side of the equation, Playgrounds 2 features a season mode, which replaces the six tournaments seen in the original. This isn’t a full-fledged 82-game haul, however. Instead, each season consists of 14 regular season games and a best-of-three playoff format for the top eight teams from each conference. The truncated schedule works well here. You can finish an entire season in under a couple hours with the default game length of three minutes. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the long slog of sports sim seasons. It also gives you the option to play the season cooperatively with a friend via couch co-op or online. Of note, season mode has four difficulty levels, and the AI feels smarter in the sequel, especially when ratcheting up the difficulty.