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The Best Franchise Mode of 2019: NBA 2K20's MyLeague

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The Best Franchise Mode of 2019: NBA 2K20's MyLeague

This is an award we didn’t want to give out this year, but tradition is tradition. So, the Best Franchise Mode of 2019 goes to NBA 2K20‘s MyLeague mode.

Now, I say we didn’t want to give this award out because we’ve already given out our award for Worst Trend in Sports Games, and that went to single-player modes getting shafted. Within that award, one of the core arguments goes back to franchise modes and how they have not been enough of a focus for studios lately.

With NBA 2K20, it’s not that MyLeague was not changed at all, far from it. The issue is 2K did their 2K thing where it was just very buggy. It still remains buggy months later, but it has been somewhat improved since a rough launch.

What helped 2K win this award is that it remains the most ambitious franchise mode. The developers do try to up their game and improve the mode. The problem is you can feel the weight of their decisions catching up with them here. The mode feels like it’s buckling a bit while trying to accommodate new elements. To put it another way, it feels like the simulation engine and the overall guts of the mode seem unable to properly handle all of the information and details.

OS contributor Matthew Ederer wrote a good piece about MyLeague late in September. (Some of the issues mentioned in it have since been patched.) The point of the article was that there was a good mode there, it was just buried under a lot of bugs and glitches. It’s frustrating to run into problems in these franchise modes when you get past year one, and it does seem like that’s one of the biggest faults with most of these games. That was even more true for MyLeague because there was a brutal issue with players coming off their rookie deals earlier than expected.

Those sorts of errors just should not happen at this point. On top of that, members of the community were incensed about the changes to MyGM mode. The 2K developers took that mode in a completely new direction revolving around competitive leaderboards, and it did not sit well with many people here on OS.

All that being said, NBA 2K20 does have the most comprehensive online franchise mode, and positive strides were made there. More than anything, that is what also helped push it over the top among the staff. Madden 20 is the only other game that really delivers on the online franchise mode front.

Again, I don’t know if there’s a true winner in this category when it comes to traditional sports games. There’s still great text sims out there like Football Manager and OOTP delivering depth and longevity to franchise modes, but console sports games need to pick it back up.

Community Vote – The Best Franchise Mode of 2019

1.    NBA 2K20
2.    MLB The Show 19
3.    Madden NFL 20

The community vote was much closer than our staff vote. NBA 2K20 got about 35 percent of the vote. MLB The Show 19 was close behind with 32 percent of the vote. Madden 20 trailed well behind those two games with 10 percent of the vote. I think if The Show had an online franchise mode, it would have pushed it over the edge.

Well, and just improving the mode in general would probably get it over the edge. The Show has carry-over saves, which is still the best feature, but it feels like not enough is improving year-to-year here. The CBA being in flux probably doesn’t help things, but it’s long past time for The Show to put some effort back into franchise mode. It’s not even that the mode is so terrible in the context of today’s games, it’s just not a mode I want to talk about that much as a strength of the game.

And that is a core part of the issue. None of these games can point to their franchise mode as the best part of their game. Every single one of these franchises has had strengths through their many releases, and a lot of the time it used to involve franchise mode. People are still playing College Hoops 2K8 and NCAA Football 14 for their franchise mode equivalents. Madden was once beloved in part due to its franchise mode back in the 2004-2006 era. I played all 162 games of my MLB The Show franchise back during the PS3 era.

I don’t believe developers have forgotten how to make quality franchise modes, I just think companies need to realize that now as well.

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  1. "People are still playing College Hoops 2K8 and NCAA Football 14 for their franchise mode equivalents."
    To be fair, those are  the last versions of their respective franchises and we don't have a choice but to continue playing those for our college sports fixes. If we were still getting College Hoops 2K and NCAA Football games, I doubt people would be sticking with 2K8 and NCAA '14 dynasty modes instead of hopping to the most recent installments. Conversely, if 2K20 became the last year for an NBA game, I bet people would still be playing its franchise mode in 2026 and beyond.
    While true, NBA2k20 does have the best franchise mode, as far as depth of Franchise in console sports games. But it is also sad, that this is the state of our franchise modes in sports games, that a broken mode that goes unfixed yr after yr, wins this award, simply because of its depth, and not because its a solid mode where everything works as intended.
    This may not be feasible, but could companies like EA and 2K integrate their games with companies that make text based sims with deep franchise modes?  So you import from the text sim into 2K, Madden or whatever to play a game, and then afterwards export back into the text sim for off field elements?  
    Just asking.....the text sims are a little too deep for my tastes, but it seems like franchise folks like them.  
    Franchise Modes are the only thing I play on Sports games, and Sports games are mainly the only thing I play. Unfortunately some games haven't improved them much lately (not that NBA 2K needs to).
    It is frustrating that some games, especially Madden do little to improve their Franchise mode (so I pass). Every sports game should by like NBA 2Ks MyLeague. Where you can customize teams, divisions, prospects, and more. As well as see tons of stats easily by clicking on your players.
    If we did the top 3 franchise modes, it would be NBA 2k20's MyLeague,  MLB The Show, and NHL 20's franchise mode.  Madden 20 would never come within 1o ft of having a top 5 spot if I expanded it that far.
    I'm honestly probably eventually going to just be doing text sims. I love the ability to watch or play as the players I draft and the teams I build which is why I still prefer 2K at this point. I'm already doing Draft Day Sports for college hoops because I had to put my PS3 up in storage back in August. I can't really do College Hoops 2k8 anymore. It's a shame.
    I do like the Draft Day games though.
    eaterofworlds888
    I'm honestly probably eventually going to just be doing text sims. I love the ability to watch or play as the players I draft and the teams I build which is why I still prefer 2K at this point. I'm already doing Draft Day Sports for college hoops because I had to put my PS3 up in storage back in August. I can't really do College Hoops 2k8 anymore. It's a shame.
    I do like the Draft Day games though.

    Ive already went the route of text sim with OOTP, and I had Draft Day college basketball a few yrs ago and I like it, but Im just not handy with using a PC, so its hard for me to get the real players, teams and coaches. It was explained to me, how to do it, but I couldnt figure it out, so thats why I havent went that route for basketball, already.
    If Wolverine studios could get licensed for atleast the NBA game, I would got tha route and quit NBA2k forever, as the only games I play on my PS4 is NBA2k, other than I did buy Madden this yr after not buying it for several yrs, which I wish now I wouldnt have wasted my money on it. Its also been 2 yrs since I bought MLBTS, due to their lack of effort within franchise mode, so I wouldnt even need to own a PS4.
    Unless major changes are made, with either NBA2k or MLBTS with Franchise mode, in NBA2k with fixing everything that broken, as its very deep, problem is things dont work, and have been broke for yrs now. Where as with MLBTS, franchise mode just needs to be deeper, closer to what OOTP is. I know there is no way with a console to get as deep as OOTP is in a sports game, but in MLBTS case, they could improve how Spring Training is done, and add more fictional ballparks, and more spaces for MILB players on rosters, even if the lower levels of the minor league teams arent playable.
    Really outside of fixing whats broken within NBA2k's ML, the only other thing really to add is G-League, and I would be as happy with it as I am with OOTP.
    It will be interesting to see just how big a jump the sports games make with these next gen consoles that will be coming out, I think near the end of this yr. I was expecting more out of a jump from the PS3 to the PS4, and while I think NBA2k made a descent jump, I dont feel the same way when it comes to The Show, although Im sure some would disagree with me on this,lol.
    NBA 2K20 MyLeague:
    - Broken player mentorship feature
    - Most 2nd round picks don't get signed by CPU teams
    - Outdated and/or missing player photos
    - Missing assistant coaches, but we have M. Stauffer as a coach, so cool...
    - Out of date, rarely changing player tendencies
    - Badges that factor into a player's worth
    - Silly positional system that significantly factors into a player's OVR value
    - Poor/nonsensical CPU trades
    - Generated draft classes with absurd player tendencies
    All of these problems are EXACTLY the same this year as they were last year in 2K19.
    Cardot
    This may not be feasible, but could companies like EA and 2K integrate their games with companies that make text based sims with deep franchise modes? *So you import from the text sim into 2K, Madden or whatever to play a game, and then afterwards export back into the text sim for off field elements? *
    Just asking.....the text sims are a little too deep for my tastes, but it seems like franchise folks like them. *

    I've thought this for a while. They would have to give some of these sim game creators a call though and pay for it. Everyone knows 2K doesn't like paying for things...
    CaseIH
    Ive already went the route of text sim with OOTP, and I had Draft Day college basketball a few yrs ago and I like it, but Im just not handy with using a PC, so its hard for me to get the real players, teams and coaches. It was explained to me, how to do it, but I couldnt figure it out, so thats why I havent went that route for basketball, already.
    If Wolverine studios could get licensed for atleast the NBA game, I would got tha route and quit NBA2k forever, as the only games I play on my PS4 is NBA2k, other than I did buy Madden this yr after not buying it for several yrs, which I wish now I wouldnt have wasted my money on it. Its also been 2 yrs since I bought MLBTS, due to their lack of effort within franchise mode, so I wouldnt even need to own a PS4.
    Unless major changes are made, with either NBA2k or MLBTS with Franchise mode, in NBA2k with fixing everything that broken, as its very deep, problem is things dont work, and have been broke for yrs now. Where as with MLBTS, franchise mode just needs to be deeper, closer to what OOTP is. I know there is no way with a console to get as deep as OOTP is in a sports game, but in MLBTS case, they could improve how Spring Training is done, and add more fictional ballparks, and more spaces for MILB players on rosters, even if the lower levels of the minor league teams arent playable.
    Really outside of fixing whats broken within NBA2k's ML, the only other thing really to add is G-League, and I would be as happy with it as I am with OOTP.
    It will be interesting to see just how big a jump the sports games make with these next gen consoles that will be coming out, I think near the end of this yr. I was expecting more out of a jump from the PS3 to the PS4, and while I think NBA2k made a descent jump, I dont feel the same way when it comes to The Show, although Im sure some would disagree with me on this,lol.

    I'm not computer saavy either. I just use the fictional teams and players. It used to bother me but it doesn't any more aside from some of the logos looking really generic. I just replace those. Would be nice if they could get the rights to the real players and teams though.
    eaterofworlds888
    I'm honestly probably eventually going to just be doing text sims. I love the ability to watch or play as the players I draft and the teams I build which is why I still prefer 2K at this point. I'm already doing Draft Day Sports for college hoops because I had to put my PS3 up in storage back in August. I can't really do College Hoops 2k8 anymore. It's a shame.
    I do like the Draft Day games though.

    I've been thinking about giving Draft Day Sports Pro Basketball 2020 a try. But the lack of trade finder feature makes me a bit hesitant. That's definitely a feature I like about MyLeague.
    SavoyPrime
    I've been thinking about giving Draft Day Sports Pro Basketball 2020 a try. But the lack of trade finder feature makes me a bit hesitant. That's definitely a feature I like about MyLeague.
    If you want a good preview of it there is a channel on YouTube called Decathlon Gamer who has a pretty good series on it.
    NO 2nd round picks get signed by CPU teams. ever. the cpu all 'decline'
    TeamBuilder
    NBA 2K20 MyLeague:
    - Broken player mentorship feature
    - Most 2nd round picks don't get signed by CPU teams
    - Outdated and/or missing player photos
    - Missing assistant coaches, but we have M. Stauffer as a coach, so cool...
    - Out of date, rarely changing player tendencies
    - Badges that factor into a player's worth
    - Silly positional system that significantly factors into a player's OVR value
    - Poor/nonsensical CPU trades
    - Generated draft classes with absurd player tendencies
    All of these problems are EXACTLY the same this year as they were last year in 2K19.
    Nupe2k2_4
    NO 2nd round picks get signed by CPU teams. ever. the cpu all 'decline'

    not to mention G-League players and overseas players on contracts get insane progression that doesn't make any sense.

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