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NBA 2K21: Which Edition to Buy?

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There are several different versions of NBA 2K21 up for pre-order right now. If you plan on buying the game ahead of its release date, you’ll want to pick the right one for your interest level and budget.

NBA 2K21 is official and it’s heading to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Windows PC, Google Stadia, and Nintendo Switch on September 4th.

While the game will hit current generation platforms in early September, an upgraded version will hit the PS5 and Xbox Series X sometime before the end of the year.

Microsoft’s confirmed the Xbox Series X release for November and we expect the PS5 release date to land somewhere in the same vicinity.

That means you can expect the game to hit next-gen consoles sometime in November or December assuming it doesn’t get delayed.

This year there are multiple ways to buy a copy of the game. There is the standard version of the game for current platforms which features Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard on the cover. The standard edition comes with a pre-order bonus.

There’s also a standard edition for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X which features Pelicans star Zion Williamson on the front cover.

Those of you looking for a little more might want to pre-order the NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition. This edition features Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on the cover and it comes with some extras aimed at those planning to invest a ton of time in 2K’s new installment in the long running series.

In this guide to the NBA 2K21 editions we’ll take you through each version of the game and help you pick the correct version for your Xbox One, PS4, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, Stadia or, if you’re planning to buy one, your PS5 or Xbox Series X.

NBA 2K21 Standard Edition

The most basic version of NBA 2K21 is the standard edition.

If you’re buying the game for PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, Windows PC, or Nintendo Switch, the standard edition retails for $59.99 though you might be able to score a deal through a retailer like Amazon ahead of the game’s release in September.

If you plan on buying the game for PS5 or Xbox Series X, the standard edition is more expensive. The game is $69.99 for next-gen platforms.

We’ll probably see NBA 2K21 deals during Black Friday and the holidays so if you don’t want to spend $60-$70 on a copy, you might want to wait.

If you choose to pre-order a copy of the standard edition you get some bonus items that might come in handy during your play through. These include:

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered once a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

If you pre-order a copy of the standard edition for the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, you’ll get the following items:

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered one a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

Who should buy the standard version of NBA 2K21?

  • Newcomers¬†to the NBA 2K series.
  • People who don’t have a ton of time to play games and aren’t sure how much time they can or want to invest in a basketball simulation.

You can buy the NBA 2K21 Standard Edition for current consoles at retailers like Amazon and GameStop. You can buy the next-generation edition at GameStop.

NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition

Retailers are also taking pre-order for the NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever edition. This bundle comes with a lot more than the standard version, but it’s also far more expensive.

NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition - PlayStation 4
  • Please note that this item is not currently eligible for Release Date Delivery, so pre-orders may not arrive on the day of release. Available shipping options can be found on the order confirmation page.
  • Order the NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition for PlayStation 4 and you will also receive NBA 2K21 and 100,000 Virtual Currency for PlayStation 5 upon release.
  • This edition includes 100,000 Virtual Currency, 10,000 MyTEAM points, MyTEAM packs, digital items for your MyPLAYER, and more!

If you buy the Kobe Bryan Mamba Forever Edition for current platforms, you’ll need to shell out $99.99. Same goes for the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

If you pre-order a copy of this edition for current-generation platforms you get the following items:

  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

If you pre-order a copy of this edition for the PS5 or Xbox Series X, you get the following items:

  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

As for the bundle itself, it includes a long list of items. Here’s the full list of extras you get if you buy this edition for Xbox One, PS4, Windows PC, Stadia, or Nintendo Switch:

    • 100,000 Virtual Currency
    • 10,000 MyTEAM Points
    • 10 MyTEAM Tokens
    • 60 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
    • 30 Gatorade Boosts
    • 40 MyTEAM Promo Packs (10 at launch, then 3 per week)
    • Sapphire Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson MyTEAM cards
    • MyPLAYER Shoe Collection
    • MyPLAYER backpack
    • Kobe Bryant Digital Collection
      • 5 MyPLAYER Shoes
      • 3 MyPLAYER Jerseys
      • Black Mamba MyPLAYER Uniform
      • Rookie Lakers MyTEAM Jerseys
      • Black Mamba custom MyTEAM Jerseys
      • Sapphire Kobe MyTEAM Card (Evos to Ruby)
      • 5 MyTEAM Shoes (Incl. 1 Diamond)

And if you decide to buy the Mamba Forever Edition for PS5 or Xbox Series X, here’s what you get with the bundle:

  • 100,000 Virtual Currency
  • 10,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Tokens
  • 60 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 30 Gatorade Boosts
  • 40 MyTEAM Promo Packs (10 at launch, then 3 per week)
  • Sapphire Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson MyTEAM cards
  • MyPLAYER Shoe Collection
  • MyPLAYER 72 HR 2X REP Boost
  • MyPLAYER backpack and ball
  • Kobe Bryant Digital Collection
    • 5 MyPLAYER Shoes
    • 3 MyPLAYER Jerseys
    • Black Mamba MyPLAYER Uniform
    • Rookie Lakers MyTEAM Jerseys
    • Black Mamba custom MyTEAM Jerseys
    • Sapphire Kobe MyTEAM Card (Evos to Ruby)
    • 5 MyTEAM Shoes (Incl. 1 Diamond)

It’s also worth noting that if you buy this edition for current platforms you also get the NBA 2K21 Standard Edition on PS5 or Xbox Series X, 100K bonus VC, and the Zion Williamson Digital Collection that’s accessible on next-gen.

And if you buy this bundle for PS5 for Xbox Series X, you get the NBA 2K21 Standard Edition on PS4 or Xbox One and the Damian Lillard Digital Collection.

So who should spend the extra money for the Mamba Forever Edition?

  • People who know they are going to invest a ton of time in NBA 2K21.
  • Those who love to customize their character.
  • Those who want instant access to a lot of in-game items.
  • People who play more modes than the standard game.

You can buy the NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition for current consoles at retailers like Amazon and GameStop. You can buy the next-generation edition at GameStop.

Physical vs. Digital

You’ll also need to decide between a physical or digital version of NBA 2K21.

If you buy NBA 2K21 with a disc, you’ll be able to sell it to a retailer like GameStop for credit toward another game when you’re done with it.

You’ll also be able to sell it on a site like eBay or Craigslist for cash if you’d rather put your money toward another product.

Buying a physical copy will also allow you to easily lend the game to a friend, family member, or co-worker if they want to try before buying or if you get sick of playing it.

If you buy the digital version of NBA 2K21, you’ll avoid clutter building up around your entertainment center and you’ll also avoid damaging the game.

If you often misplace games or have kids who like to fling discs around the house like a frisbee, the digital version of the game is probably the way to go.

There’s also added convenience. Instead of digging through a sleeve of games or searching around the house looking for your game disc, you can start up your console and start playing immediately.

And finally, buying the digital version should allow you to pre-load the game ahead of its release in September. Pre-loading will allow you to start playing as soon as the game unlocks.

If you buy a physical copy, you won’t get your delivery until the morning, afternoon, or night of September 4th.

This should apply to the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game as well.

3 Reasons to Pre-Order NBA 2K21 & 6 Reasons to Wait

Pre-Order NBA 2k21 to Receive These Bonuses

Pre-Order NBA 2k21 to Receive These Bonuses

If you plan to invest a lot of time into NBA 2K21's various game modes, you might want to pre-order a copy because you'll get some bonuses with your order. 

If you pre-order a copy of the standard edition you get some bonus items that could prove useful. These bonuses include:

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered once a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

If you pre-order a copy of the standard edition for PS5 or Xbox Series X, you get the following items:

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered one a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

If you decide you want to go with the expensive Mamba Forever Edition for current-generation platforms, you get these pre-order bonuses:

  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

And if you pre-order a copy of the Mamba Forever Edition for PS5 or Xbox Series X, you get the following bonuses with your order:

  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

Those all come free with a pre-order and they'll give you a pretty good head start if you plan to play 2K's various game modes. 

Last update on 2020-08-14. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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