It’s fair to say that golf fans didn’t have much choice when it comes to officially licensed games for their favorite sport. Rory Mcllroy’s PGA Tour was so poorly received at the time of its release that it effectively demolished the long-running franchise developed under the EA Sports banner.
It was then up to HB Studios to fill the void with their own The Golf Club series. They weren’t officially licensed PGA games, but the final entry in the series, The Golf Club 2019, included six TPC courses and a PGA Tour mode. After diving into the PGA license, HB Studios took over the PGA license in full under the 2K Sports banner and integrated more functions than ever before with the PGA Tour 2K21. However, with so many improvements the series has made, there is still room for improvement.
Dislike: Can’t play as a real player
Despite the lack of a real story mode, the awesome career mode in PGA Tour 2K21 does a great job of making the player feel like they’re in a professional tournament. Hence, the game is tailored so that the player feels like their character is the real star of the show.
However, it seems like a misstep not to let players pick real golfers in local or online multiplayer games. As with any other sports game, playing one of the best games in the world with your own skills on the court would have been great.
Loved: The fantastic control system
When it comes to a great game of golf, it has to feel really good. This is far more important than any other aspect of the game, and that includes the graphics and presentation. PGA Tour 2K21 absolutely spikes the feeling of swinging the golf club.
In this game, players really feel like they have complete and complete control over the movement of their swing, the direction of the ball, and more. Getting a perfect shot on the drive is just incredibly satisfying, and it’s an advancement over EA’s PGA series.
Didn’t like it: Needs more real players to play against
If there is one area that the PGA Tour 2K21 lacks, it is on the list of professional golfers. Compared to other sports titles published by 2K, it’s hard to understand why there are only 12 professional players in the game to compete against.
It’s likely (given 2K’s love for microtransactions) to assume that more real players will be made available to players for one price. That’s a shame because as great as the PGA Tour 2K21 is, it can’t compete with other sports titles when it comes to its rivals.
It’s true that the PGA Tour 2K21 presentation could use some work, especially as this new series is moving towards a new generation of consoles. However, one aspect where the game really shines is the commentary.
Announcement work is provided by color commentators Luke Elvy and Rich Beem. They do a great job in this game with lots of banter and remarks, which for the most part go fantastic with the action.
I don’t like it: There are no LPGA golfers
PGA Tour 2K21 is a significant improvement over the previous game from developer Golf Club 2019. It’s a more accessible game than ever with plenty of options for players to customize the experience and level of difficulty.
However, the lack of LPGA golfers is a pretty big misstep when it comes to a game like this. There are many female golf fans out there, and while players can create a female golfer, there are no true professional women to choose and play against in the game.
Loved: more accessible than ever
PGA Tour 2K21’s predecessor, The Golf Club 2019, is a great game in itself, but it was a steep learning curve that made it a little unwelcome to new players.
Fortunately, this new entry more than solved that problem by making it more accessible than ever. Players can adjust the level of difficulty and tweak the assists to be more fun for the average gamer. There’s even a left-handed option for the left-handed people out there.
Didn’t like: The character models
With the PGA series now under the 2K banner, it’s hard not to compare it to the other sports games they have under their banner. The character models in the NBA 2K and WWE 2K series look great for the most part.
Unfortunately, this does not apply to the character models in PGA Tour 2K21. While they are certainly usable, the player-made characters look a bit like the last generation. They wouldn’t have looked out of place on the PS3 or Xbox 360 and are even completely outfitted with this plastic-like skin.
Loved: Great local and online multiplayer
Another aspect of PGA Tour 2K21 that made it easy for players of the game is the ability to set up or participate in an online match with friends or random players. Another great aspect of online gameplay is the online societies mode, which is essentially social clubs that players can use to set up their own personalized tournaments.
Playing on-site at home is also great fun as it’s very easy to add a guest and quickly create a custom character to jump straight into the action. You can also exit a game and pick up where you left off, which is convenient as games can take a long time.
I don’t like it: Environments look a little static
PGA 2K21 is a great looking game without a doubt. The environments look realistic and the courses (both official and non-official) look fantastic. However, the presentation doesn’t quite do justice to 2K’s other sports titles like the NBA 2K series.
This is mainly because the environments look very static and lifeless. There is no movement in the trees when the indicator shows strong winds, and the crowd, who are mostly good-looking, do not evade if a ball flies straight at them.
Loved: Career mode is excellent
A story mode is missing in PGA Tour 2K21, but the game’s career mode does an excellent job emulating a real golf career without him. Players can work their way up in smaller tournaments such as the Q-School and Korn Ferry Tour or jump straight into major leagues and take part in the PGA Tour themselves.
Succeeding and standing high on the leader attracts sponsors, and players can level up to earn clothing and equipment to customize their player’s appearance.
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