There was a time where, along with the yearly releases of other sports games like FIFA, NBA 2K, Madden, there would ALWAYS be a golf game. Even if you weren’t a huge follower of golf as a sport, these games were always quite popular. Unfortunately, EA found them to be dropping off the edge of a cliff so to speak with their popularity not being as high as it once was, so their last offering was Rory McIlroy PGA Tour which came out in 2015!
2K had entries with The Golf Club in 2014 and “The Golf Club 2019 Featuring PGA Tour” which dropped in August 2018, but now, we’ve got a proper branded game from them, enter PGA Tour 2K21! How does it fare? Is it a hooked drive into the long grass or is it a hole in one? Let’s get into it.
Graphically, PGA Tour 2K21 is absolutely beautiful. Each hole just as lush as the last, the attention to detail in the surrounding environments of each course and each individual hole is definitely up there with the best. If you’re like me you’ll get distracted just enough to take a trip into the thick stuff. Yeah, that was rough… ANYWAY, it’s a little annoying how all the dangers look super appealing and as much as I’d love to take a quick swim or chill and build a sandcastle, as a novice I learned through some harsh experience you should stay well clear..!
Your player looks solid and the pros themselves are pretty spot on, the swing animations are really well done also. I played PGA Tour 2K21 on PC and if you’re also picking this up on Steam, of course, your mileage may vary, my PC was top of the line, 5-6 years ago… I’m rocking an i7 5820k and a Gigabyte G1 Gaming 980Ti, so while it isn’t the most modern rig, given the fact this isn’t the most active game with boatloads of stuff going on at the same time, I was still able to run it at 120hz, 1440p, on high and it really does look fantastic.
Honestly, there’s not really much to say about the graphics other than they’re great, so we can move on to the next hole. A 420-yard par 4 commonly known as, gameplay.
Taking a swing at PGA Tour 2K21 was a lot of fun. It offers many different ways to play from the game holding your hand to let you feel as if you’re prime Tiger Woods to full-blown realism where you’re going to finish every hole on a double bogey unless you’re an expert of course. I opted for pretty much the middle of the road, I had some assisted settings on, some weather but not super wild, I didn’t fancy playing in a tsunami.
I started out my career using easy settings with the opponents on ‘normal’, to try and ease myself into it, but after finishing ‘The Golf Club Open’ on -8 for the day, I turned it up to the normal difficulty setting.
My second tournament on PGA Tour 2K21 was the ‘Shriners Hospitals for Children Open’ we hit the ground running with back to back to back birdies but ended up finishing the back 9 in a pretty rough fashion with a bogey and double bogey. We got the run of the green with some solid short gameplay to end up on -9 for the day, winning by 1 shot! We’re flying! I was winning, I wasn’t on easy and I was having a lot of fun.
Since I was racking up the prize money I started kitting out my guy, there are a fair few big brands to choose from, Adidas, Puma, Under Armour, Callaway and more, I love me some Under Armour though. My guy is looking pretty slick if I do say so myself!
To break you into PGA Tour 2K21 there are plenty of training options and as previously mentioned assisted tools. You can use the grid on the green to help you get an easier read and if you’re still unsure, you can use the putting line which gives you a preview of where your ball is gonna end up as just a couple of examples. There are 6 difficulty levels you can choose from, these range from beginner to legendary and you can fiddle with these yourself to give yourself as much or as little help as you physically need. Finely tune the experience to suit your needs. You really can play this game your own way.
Given that this is the first golf game they’ve decided to slap the 2K branding on, I’m very pleased with the outcome of PGA Tour 2K21. Whether you’re a long time golf enthusiast or you’re just looking for something a bit different to your usual games to sink some time into, this is a great shout. It’s not something you have to dedicate a whole bunch of time to like some other sports games and while you can play it in a super competitive manner, you can absolutely just chill, play as much of the game as you want, play it at your own pace and take in the beautiful surroundings.
If you want to play realistically with all the assist options off and do a full 4-day tournament, you can, if you want to just take it easy, have some help doing it and have a short knock around the back 9 at TPC Sawgrass then that’s totally okay too.
PGA Tour 2K21 overall thoughts
As someone who used to play a lot of sports games back in the day, I’d find PGA Tour 2K21 really easy to recommend. These days I mainly play RPGs and shooters, but you know what? Current Stubat still had a lot of fun with this, I never encountered any bugs, the game didn’t crash once, I ran it through Steam Link for a bit and played it on my phone using the GameSir X2 controller and that was a blast too.
Unlike other sports games I never really felt like I was under pressure to play PGA Tour 2K21 constantly, I used to always get this weird feeling when I played FIFA that if I take too long a break I’ll get rusty and then when I mess up it frustrates me. But playing this was just fun, it was chill, even when I played online it was just a good laugh.
PGA Tour 2K21 is the sort of game I can absolutely recommend and I really hope that 2K will stick with this. I don’t want high-end golf games to fade into oblivion. They deserve to be leading the line with the other sports games that EVERYBODY plays. Even if you think golf is the most boring sport in the world to watch, pick this game up, give it a go, show 2K that it’s worth investing in this IP and let’s make golf games popular again because this is an easy 10/10. It’s a no brainer. They went for the crazy long drive on a short par 4 and somehow nailed the hole in one.
I’d love to know what you guys think, have you ever played any of the older Tiger Woods games and enjoyed them? Is PGA Tour 2K21 something you could see yourself getting deep into? Or are you going to steer clear? Let me know on Twitter @Stubat_!
PGA Tour 2K21 is developed by HB Studios and Illogika and is published by 2K Games. It’s currently available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. You can find more info on the official website HERE, and check out ore of our game reviews HERE.