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The best NBA 2K games, ranked

We all have something to say about an NBA 2K game, for better or worse. While NBA 2K games have generally been on a downward spiral ever since NBA 2K17, the franchise still has a loyal fanbase with great history. Here, we take a trip down memory lane and look at the best NBA 2K games which are ranked accordingly.

5. NBA 2K9

We’re all cheap. To be completely honest, this wasn’t the most mind-blowing game with regards to gameplay, graphics, features, etc. Moreover, online play wasn’t even available in this game. However, this was the first NBA 2K game that was priced correctly for literally just $20. Everyone bought the game because it was dirt cheap. While it didn’t have deep online features, it had Blacktop, dunk contests, 3-point Shootouts, play now, My League, and basically everything that a usual NBA 2K game had.


4. NBA 2K14

The nail in the coffin. During this year, NBA Live tried to make a comeback in the basketball simulation space as they discontinued their games since 2010. However, NBA 2K14 was just better in all aspects. This is what finished off NBA Live and solidified the place of NBA 2K as the superior franchise. Not only did this game have the most drastic improvement in graphics, but The Park was introduced for the first time ever and has remained iconic ever since.


3. NBA 2K10

The game-changer. Prior to NBA 2K10, NBA Live was considered steep competition as gamers were essentially split among the two games. Nevertheless, NBA 2K10 shifted the tides in its favor with the introduction of Blacktop online.

To take it even a step further, YouTube sensation, Chris Smoove, also started his first series on MyCareer during this game which changed the YouTube space for the years to come. Ever since then, YouTube became a popular outlet to exhibit progress, to try different experiments, show how-to tutorials, online streaming, and much more. This literally caused the death of NBA Live as they simply (temporarily) stopped making games after this year.


2. NBA 2K11

This is NBA 2K10 but on steroids. As this was the first year that NBA 2K had no competition with NBA Live not being around anymore, NBA 2K took full advantage. They added the Create-a-Legend game mode, introduced iso dribbles, and finally included Michael Jordan in the game. This was one of biggest improvements in a single year that NBA 2K came up with.


1. NBA 2K16

The last time it was perfect. NBA 2K16 is arguably the greatest NBA 2K game of all time for good reason. They introduced an amazing MyCareer story arc, they rolled out the iconic ProAm, and it featured the one of the best Parks that was ever created. This was the pinnacle of innovation and improvement for the NBA 2K franchise. Sadly, it has been downhill ever since then.


With all these great games in the past, it’s fair to say that this franchise isn’t dead yet as there’s still a glimmer of hope somewhere down the road. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that NBA 2K can turn it around for the years to come.