NBA 2K Soundtracks: the greatest of the decade

What are the top 5 2k soundtracks of the decade?

Mason Berger

What are the top 5 2k soundtracks of the decade?

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The NBA 2K franchise has been a dominant figure in the sports video game world for quite some time, and they continue to be very successful year in and year out. Each year, people still make their way to buy the newest edition of NBA 2K, even though the game itself doesn’t change too much from year to year.

One thing that does change every year, though, is the soundtrack. Every year, there is a brand new soundtrack that is featured, comprising of many songs from a wide variety of musical genres.

For some people, including myself, much of my perception of the game is based on how good the soundtrack is. If the soundtrack isn’t good, then I will not like the game as much. But if I enjoy the soundtrack, then I’ll be pretty fond of the game.

I talked to the dream team of NBA 2K soundtracks (including myself), Elder seniors Joe Weber and Jonathan Paff, and together, we have formed a list of the five greatest 2K soundtracks of the decade. Here, I put these thoughts into words.

5. NBA 2K18

2K18 has a great variety of classic hip hop all the way to modern, more electronic music. A couple personal favorites from this soundtrack are “All of Me” by Big Gigantic, “Hip Hop Hooray” by Naughty By Nature, “No Lie” by Sean Paul, among others. Easily one of the more diverse soundtracks in 2K’s history, with artists ranging from Lil Uzi Vert to Sammy Hagar. You really never knew what kind of song would be played on this game, which for some people, is exciting. I personally enjoyed this game very much, mainly because my Indiana Pacers were surprisingly good that year, and the soundtrack was good to me. Overall, one of the better soundtracks in recent memory.

4. NBA 2K13

Another one that has such a great selection of classic hip hop as well as some modern hip hop. It contains the O.G. hip hop song, “Shook Ones, Pt. II” by Mobb Deep, which alone gives it a high ranking on this list. The soundtrack was also produced by Jay-Z, so there are plenty of classic Jay-Z songs included. To go along with that the Pacers were outstanding in 2013, so I had to keep up with them by playing the game a lot. It’s also got some nice modern rock music as well as modern pop, with artists like Coldplay and U2. 2K13 was nicely done in the soundtrack department. Nice job, Jay-Z.

3. NBA 2K14

These next three stand above all the others by a wide margin, in my opinion. 2K14 has a masterful soundtrack. This one was filled with – dare I say – bangers. “All Of The Lights” by Kanye, “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, “Started From the Bottom” by Drake. Macklemore, Imagine Dragons, The Black Keys, Eminem, Jay-Z, John Legend, Nas, Coldplay? I mean come on! [Insert Travis Kelce “pfft”] This is one of the most underrated achievements of LeBron’s career: creating an absolutely fantastic soundtrack for 2K14. My oh my, do I love this soundtrack. (Pacers were also good this year, too.)

2. NBA 2K16

The fact that there is another soundtrack above this one really is something. NBA 2K16 was my all-time favorite game of the 2K franchise, and the soundtrack played a huge role in this. The Pacers weren’t that good, but that didn’t matter to me because the game and the soundtrack were awesome. There are so many songs on this soundtrack, that it is hard to pick out favorites. This was the first game to bring back classic songs from previous games, which was a big hit for me. DJ Khaled and DJ Mustard also produced some of the soundtrack, so immediately this is good news. Pretty much every genre of music is covered (except classic rock?) in this one. Even the songs that aren’t even in English are pretty good. Flawless soundtrack.

1. NBA 2K11

The greatest ever. I don’t care what everyone else says. I don’t care if another one comes out that is great. Highly regarded by many experienced 2K players as the O.G. soundtrack, at least of my generation. 2K11 is and always will be the G.O.A.T. of NBA 2K soundtracks. Period. Are any of these songs popular today? No, but that’s what makes it so great. All of these songs on 2K11 are solely 2K songs, seating them in the upper echelon of songs in my book. Immediate nostalgia if I hear one of these tunes. And nothing but great, nostalgic memories. The Pacers weren’t great that year, but my third grade self created players to make them good. What a great game, with the greatest 2K soundtrack ever to be featured.

Honorable Mentions: NBA 2K12, NBA 2K19

I personally like the 2K12 soundtrack more than the 2K19 soundtrack, but that’s whatever. These are both pretty good soundtracks. Not top five worthy, but good enough to be mentioned. So there you go.

All you got to do is look up these soundtracks in order to listen to them, and from there you can agree or disagree with me. My opinion is my opinion, and feel free to disagree. I could care less. If you want to talk about it, come talk to me or Jonathan Paff or Joe Weber, a.k.a. the three 2K soundtrack masters of knowledge. Any of us will talk about it any time, any place, any day. But, these are the top 5, no ifs, ands, or buts.