For the longest time, EA Sports was the king of golf games for many years. With its partnership with Tiger Woods, EA Sports delivered tons of great golf video games that nobody else could deliver.
However, golf games from EA Sports kind of died off when its partnership with Tiger Woods was cancelled when the latter cheated on his wife multiple times. 2K Sports took over the golf video game market since then thanks to the release if PGA Tour 2K21.
With the success of PGA Tour 2K21, 2K Sports with developer HB Studios have now released PGA Tour 2K23 in 2022. Since most of the world has forgiven Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer of all time has been included in this new game.
While Tiger Woods is arguably the most famous person in this game, there are tons of other real-life golfers in PGA Tour 2K23 too. New Zealand’s own Lydia Ko is in this game, and this will surely put a smile on Kiwi golf fans’ faces.
Sadly though, only two other female golfers join Lydia Ko in this game. It would have been nicer if more females were added, although the game doesn’t have a huge roster overall. 2K Sports has also surprisingly added two NBA legends in the game as Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry are in the game too!
In terms of presentation and content, golf fans will be happy to know that this game includes tons of real-life golf courses. Many of the courses from PGA Tour 2K21 make a return, as well as some newer ones added too. There are also some fictional golf courses to add some variety.
If you get sick of the golf courses that are already added into the game, you can change things up yourself. This is all thanks to the game’s own course creator. In the course creator, you can make your own golf course. You are free to make it as easy or hard as you want!
Graphically, PGA Tour 2K23 looks somewhat similar to that of PGA Tour 2K21 on last-gen consoles. Sure the character models look great, but the overall golf courses just don’t look all that realistic to me. It seems as if PGA Tour 2K23 lacks the visual flair that NBA 2K23 has on Xbox Series X.
Gameplay-wise though, there are two main ways that you can play PGA Tour 2K23. Firstly, there is a 3-Click swing system. Here you use the face buttons to putt and swing, and you need to time it right if you want to get a good shot.
I actually didn’t like using the 3-Click swing method because I was really bad at timing the shots and angles required. The other way to play is by flicking the analogue sticks to swing and putt. This was my preferred method of playing as it was easier to control the ball this way.
If you play on a harder difficulty, you have to control your shots more gently. I remember flicking the analogue stick too hard one time and the ball was thrown off-course and landed into the water. By playing on the easier difficulties, the ball trajectory is corrected for you so you won’t many mistakes.
While swinging the ball is straightforward, putting requires more skill and patience. This is because the terrain is usually uneven, and you need to choose the right angle to putt the ball into the hole. You do have a preview of the ball’s route, although you can only use this once. You cannot continually preview the route as this would make the game too easy to play.
As for game modes, there sadly aren’t that many to play through. The main game mode that most people will sink their teeth into first is MyCareer. This is where you create either a male or female rookie and you guide them to become a professional golfer.
Unlike in the NBA 2K series, there is no storyline or other types of side quests in this career mode. You pretty much just enter lots of tournaments in hopes of winning all of the championships you can muster. This mode also includes a rivalry system where you get more rewards if you beat a certain player in a tournament.
Another game mode that is really fun is ‘Topgolf’. In this mode, you have ten shots, and you have to guide the ball into different coloured targets on a driving range. Though this mode is short, I had a lot of fun playing Topgolf with my brother.
There are also many multiplayer modes you can play if you want to compete with other people online. That being said, PGA Tour 2K23 still lacks a lot of content if you compare it to NBA 2K or other sports games in the market.
Overall, PGA Tour 2K23 is a great follow-up to PGA Tour 2K21 as it features more professional golfers, a better career mode, and satisfying gameplay. The only things holding this game down are its average-looking graphics and its lack of content.