fbpx
Telegram

Best NBA Games, Ranked – TheFantasyTimes

Photo of author

By Nikita Gambhir

Best NBA Games, Ranked



The Denver Nuggets have finally secured a championship victory after 56 long years of not quite grabbing the brass ring, and basketball has proven to translate excellently to the video game medium on many occasions. The sport got its first adaptation on the Magnavox Odyssey in 1973, and both the sport and gaming have come a long way since then.

Players have seen the action-packed sport translated into a variety of video game series, from player-specific projects to season chronicles and unconventional projects like NBA Street. For an effective, worthwhile game rendition, fans require a worthwhile season mode, fantasy basketball, and a wide variety of moves, dunks, tricks, and styles that players have exhibited and perfected over the decade.

There are several games of the legendary NBA that simply dunk on the rest. NBA Live 2003 revitalized the whole series, providing a more freestyle control system, allowing faster-paced, less monotonous gameplay on the court. The game also had the addictive fun of the Franchise Mode, which allowed fans to put a team together and develop them over multiple seasons.

NBA 2K17 provided the best career and management modes yet at the time, taking what had worked in its predecessor and cranking it up a notch. The game’s MyCareer Mode boasts everything players tend to seek out in a story-focused, sports-gaming experience.

NBA 2K2 saw the series finally step away from being a Sega exclusive for the Dreamcast console, and the game provided a wide variety of fun game modes to sift through, including exhibition, season, playoffs, and fantasy basketball. NBA Street Vol.2 was a masterclass in sequel gaming, taking players to the world of three-on-three street play and providing players with four fun modes of gameplay.

NBA 2K11 gave fans the ultimate Michael Jordan experience, where players get to relive many of the highlights of Jordan’s lengthy run with the Chicago Bulls thanks to the Jordan Challenge mode. NBA 2K16 perfected every key area of 2K gaming, providing an expansive and immersive experience for fans of basketball and gaming alike.

Another NBA season is in the history books, with the Denver Nuggets finally securing a championship victory after 56 long years of not quite grabbing the brass ring. One of the most explosive, fast-paced team sports out there, basketball has, unsurprisingly, proven to translate excellently to the video game medium on many occasions. All the way back in 1973, the sport got its first adaptation on the first-ever video game console: the Magnavox Odyssey. Needless to say, both the sport and gaming as a whole have come a long way since then.

x

RELATED: Every Player to Appear On The Cover of NBA 2K

In the present days, players have seen the action-packed sport translated into a variety of video game series, from player-specific projects to season chronicles, to more unconventional projects such as NBA Streetwhich took the game and many of its most iconic players to the street-level of playing for a different vibe. For fans, there are several aspects of the game that need to be covered for an effective, worthwhile game rendition. These vary from a worthwhile season mode to fantasy basketball, to having the wide variety of moves, dunks, tricks, and styles players have exhibited and perfected over the decade. With all this in mind, there are several games of the legendary NBA that simply dunk on the rest.

6 NBA Live 2003 Revitalized The Whole Series

NBA Live 2003 gameplay

The ’02 edition of the NBA live series proved to be an unexpectedly seminal entry in the long-running series. Released back when the Nets were still in New Jersey, the cover sports the team’s then-top point guard Jason Kidd on the cover, and made history when its popular hip hop-centric soundtrack became the first video game soundtrack ever to reach platinum sales status.

RELATED: Most Immersive Sports Games Of All Time, Ranked

The game’s seminal status can be traced to it being one of the first releases to unveil a more freestyle controls system, allowing faster-paced, less monotonous gameplay on the court. For players at the time, this key gameplay update immediately put this release leagues ahead of every live game to have come before simply because it was more efficient in making room for more tricks and skills from the players depicted in the game.

One of the finest sports games released that year, players also had the addictive fun of the Franchise Mode, which allowed fans to put a team together and develop them over multiple seasons, as well as a more standard Season Mode to enjoy as well. A key release in the then-ailing franchise, NBA Live 2003 remains influential to this day. The developers also learned from its few mistakes, ensuring more varied, colorful commentary became the norm in later editions.

5 NBA 2K17 Provided The Best Career And Management Modes Yet At The Time

NBA 2K17 gameplay

Following on from the universal goodwill surrounding NBA 2K16’s League Mode, NBA 2K17 took what had worked in its predecessor and cranked it up a notch. The result was one of the most addictive and expansive takes on team management ever put into a video game.

Along with being able to relocate teams, tack expansion teams on, and potentially even build an unrecognizably new and different league within the game, this 2K release also has one of the series’ finest MyCareer Modes. With an effective storyline penned by Creed scriptwriter Aaron Covington and on-point character performances from movie stars such as Michael B. Jordan and Matt Walsh, this game’s MyCareer Mode boasts everything players tend to seek out in a story-focused, sports-gaming experience.

Overall, while 2K17 didn’t reinvent the wheel, it did spruce up many of the great qualities of its predecessors, providing a flashy, effective look at the thrills and spills of playing ball on the hardwood court. Fans who bought the Legend Edition also got a special cover with Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant front and center, interestingly, this was not the last time a 2K game focused on ‘The Black Mamba.’

4 NBA 2K2 Was A Watershed Release In Basketball Gaming

NBA 2K2 gameplay

Another game-changing release for the sixth generation of consoles, NBA 2K2 saw the series finally step away from being a Sega exclusive for the Dreamcast console. This move permanently altered the series’ trajectory, especially considering the monumental success of consoles such as the Playstation and Xbox over the years.

RELATED: The Best Dreamcast Games Of All Time, Ranked

NBA 2K2 sported several thrilling new features at the time that have since become the widely-expected norm in sports gaming. These included features such as playable legends of the sport from yesteryear such as Larry Bird and Wilt Chamberlain, player-specific abilities, and a wide range of moves on the court. The result was a game that ensured 2K remained at the forefront of basketball gaming to this day. Impressing fans and pundits alike, the game also provided a wide variety of fun game modes to sift through, including exhibition, season, playoffs, and fantasy basketball which allowed players to form their own teams and play through entire seasons.

Sporting then-Philadelphia 76ers fan favorite Allen Iverson on the cover, the game more than lived up to his action-packed playmaking style on the court. While it might not look like much compared to more modern, advanced installments, the 2K era fully launched here, making it one of the most important releases in NBA gaming history.

3 NBA Street Vol.2 Was A Masterclass In Sequel Gaming

NBA Street Vol. 2

The arguable peak of the cult favorite NBA Street series, Vol.2 first hit the stands back in April 2003. Sporting icons of the sport like Michael Jordan and ABA legend Julius Erving on the cover, the Street sequel managed to eclipse its predecessor in just about every conceivable way, being both cutting edge for the time and now retro fun for modern players.

RELATED: Best Retro Sports Games, According To Metacritic (& Worst)

Instead of a typical arena setting, NBA Street lives up to its title by taking players to the world of three-on-three street play. Despite the street-focused habitat, the game boasts all of the expected teams and players from the ’02-’03 NBA season plus a selection of legendary players from the decades prior. By the standards of the time, the game has an impressively vast array of court moves and all-powerful dunks for players to enjoy utilizing.

Interestingly, the game became a must-have for diehard Michael Jordan fans due to featuring three career iterations of the arguable GOAT, allowing players to team comprised entirely of Jordans. EA Sports’ unconventional hit provided players with four fun modes of gameplay, including Street School, where players’ move-sets could be upgraded. Overall, it was a perfect execution of its concept and a classic game of its time, completely capturing the culture and vibe of streetball like nothing before or since.

2 NBA 2K11 Gave Fans The Ultimate Michael Jordan Experience

NBA 2K11 gameplay

When a game puts Michael Jordan on the cover, it’s safe to say the developers mean business. The NBA 2K’s 2010 entry proved to be an instant fan favorite, boasting slick controls and a variety of specialty modes.

RELATED: Best Sports Games Of All Time

Not only does the sport’s greatest-ever shooting guard adorn the cover, but he’s also a key part of the gameplay. Players get to re-live many of the highlights of Jordan’s lengthy run with the Chicago Bulls thanks to the Jordan Challenge mode. Essentially, for fans of the Jordan era of the NBA, this game is simply a must-have.

Beyond the fun emphasis on ‘His Airness’, the game also boasts then-better than ever gameplay for the long-running series, quick-paced controls, and a greatly enhanced level of presentation compared to prior games. An absolute blast for NBA fans old and new at the time, the thrilling look at the iconic ‘Air Jordan’ era, plus 2K’s lengthy list of technical improvements, made this a game-changing moment in basketball gaming as the 2010s rolled in.

1 NBA 2K16 Perfected Every Key Area Of 2K Gaming

NBA 2K16

Cult favorite filmmaker Spike Lee spiced this 2015 2K entry up with his signature style, adding another angle to what has since proven to be 2K’s finest effort to date. Sporting the Golden State Warriors’ 3-pointer king Steph Curry on the cover, the game also provided fans with alternate covers including Anthony Davis, James Harden, and Michael Jordan.

The spoilt-for-choice nature of the covers is just a taster of the immersive gameplay and modes on offer. The 2015 entry in the series was so expansive, it even included the complete EuroLeague, and was the first to really pioneer and emphasize just how far modes like MyGM could go. Giving players more freedom than ever with their teams, seasons, and trades, the fantasy sports aspect of the game was the best players had ever seen up until that point.

With astonishing graphics and game mechanics for the time, 2K16 was a treat for fans that showed just how different basketball gaming could hit on the eighth generation of consoles. Eight years later, it still remains an effective treat that covered just about every aspect of the sport a player could hope for for the ideal gaming experience.

MORE: Fun Basketball Games On Roblox

Join us on Telegram

Best Fantasy NEWS Website

The Fantasy Times is the top fantasy news platform for staying up-to-date with the fantasy world. We have a team of knowledgeable sports, movies, tv series, web series researchers and authors who give you free updates on your fantasy topic and news. Our team is extremely talented and has extensive knowledge of websites that offer fantasy movies, entertainment news, lifestyle, celebrities, sports strategies, news, insights, analysis and much more.

The consistent good feedback from our customers proves that we are the top fantasy news website for providing fantasy news, live cricket tracking, updates, stats, feedback and much more. Before every match, our qualified professionals conduct challenging analysis only for you. Along with the ideal players and their respective teams, you can also find player after-match insights and strategies here.

We can tell you that you are in the proper location right now if you have been searching everywhere for the Best Entertainment and Lifestyle News website. You may check out all the updates by joining our Best Entertainment News Updates Telegram Channel.

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.
Accept