NBA 2K16 Has Won This Category Four Years in a Row

As great as the NBA 2K franchise has been, it's a mild disappointment that for the fourth year in a row there has not really been a solid candidate among the regular circulation of sports titles to dethrone it. Regardless, NBA 2K16 is far and away the best of the series and continues to improve upon its weaknesses -- something that other franchises sometimes continue to struggle with.

 

NBA 2K has done a remarkable job of staying on top of the sports gaming industry in recent years, and winning OS’ sports game of the year four years straight proves how much this game resonates with fans. When you consider how much fans love OOTP and the Show, and how much longer Madden, NHL and FIFA have been around, it’s pretty incredible that 2K has shot past them all.

 

The NBA 2K series began this generation as a ridiculously good-looking game that was missing features, lacking depth and was riddled with technical issues. Two sequels later, and NBA 2K16 now offers plenty of compelling modes to play, plus it has solved most of the product's networking problems, apart from Pro-Am's "waiting for opponent" connection countdowns, and MyTeam's maddening "0-0 arbitration losses."

 

 

The gameplay allows for more creativity and contains more on-court options than any other sports title, thanks to this year's rebuilt team playbooks and added freelance offenses. The 30 NBA franchises and hundreds of past/present NBA players all look and act closer to their real-life selves than the athletes do in any other sports video game. NBA 2K16's massive roster is so closely detailed, that even a journeyman role player like Steve Novak has his signature "championship belt" celebration properly replicated.

 

Visual Concepts' poorly conceptualized and weakly supported MyTeam mode still can't compete with EA's Ultimate Team offerings, but all of NBA 2K16's other features are either at the top or near the top of the sports genre. That same industry-leading quality is present in superficial aspects like graphics, animation, commentary, and presentation packages.

 

I don't really think it's that surprising. It has not always been my sports game of the year, but it comes to the point with a yearly title where if you dominate long enough, you're going to end up as the default choice. And that's not me bagging on NBA 2K -- it deserves these awards, it's more me saying to unseat the champ you have to go above and beyond what the champ is doing, and maybe even do it for more than one year. It's the same with real sports. 

 

If you're Michael Jordan, even if you're not statistically the best player in any one season, it doesn't necessarily mean you're not still considered the best. NBA 2K has earned the right to be the franchise to beat.

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