If there's one thing NBA 2K21 can be criticised for, it's microtransactions. Whether you're playing on current-gen or last-gen, in career or MyTeam, on any platform, 2K's basketball franchise has become the epitome of borderline egregious in-game purchases.
That's a shame because as we explained in our PS5 and Xbox Series S/X review, it's a great virtual approximation of the between-the-posts action of the NBA.
If you've been looking to jump in, but have been looking for a way to do so without being asked to spend more in-game, there's a way - Apple Arcade.
NBA 2K21 Is Available On Apple Arcade, With No Microtransactions
For the uninitiated, Apple Arcade is, in many ways, the tech giant's version of Game Pass. For £4.99 per month, subscribers get access to over 180 games that are playable on iPhone, iPad and Mac. And the best part? No microtransactions.
All Apple Arcade games have precisely zero microtransactions, and that includes NBA 2K21.
That means you can play matches or even jump into a career mode (albeit with comic-book-style panels in lieu of the high-production-value cutscenes in other versions). Sure, touch controls take some time to 'click', but once they do, it's a great chance to enjoy the franchise, plus you can connect a third-party controller to play.
That's not to say it's perfect, though. I'd have loved a chance to manage a team as a GM, especially with touch-screen controls making it easier to pick a lineup, for example, and as you'd imagine it won't look quite as incredible as the next-gen versions.
Still, NBA 2K21: Arcade Edition is well worth a look for a more casual basketball fan, or even a player looking to avoid being pestered for microtransactions.