Boasting an amazing level of detail and great depth with its various game modes, NBA 2K10 is easily 2K Sports' best hoops title yet.
It is by far the most authentic NBA experience offered, and the "My Player" mode alone makes the game worth the $59.
Before hitting the numerous positives, let's address the two main complaints: the buggy frame rate and poor connectivity for online play.
Is the frame-rate bug a problem? Yes, but it hasn't frustrated me to the point that I turned it off. Believe me, there's nothing more maddening than your frame rate bugging out while you're in the middle of a fast break. But you can figure out how to work around it. Plus, I expect 2K Sports to release a patch.
Never miss a local story.
Does the server suck? Well, yeah. You can't always find a match online, but that was a problem last year, too. Although it is a test of patience, I have been able to play online.
The positives easily outshine those two issues.
Consider this: There are rules to having a franchise. You can't just change the year and expect gamers to come back. You have got to give them more. The commentary needs to change and the gameplay needs to improve.
NBA 2K10 has made strides to improve all of that. It's not the same title as NBA 2K9 by any stretch of the imagination.
Signature Style has most certainly made things more fun. Dwight Howard will look for opportunities to punish his opponent with thundering dunks. Kobe Bryant will make acrobatic shots and LeBron James will use his speed and athleticism to muscle his way to the hoop.
The game's players mimic their real-life counterparts to the point of perfection. They've even perfected James' famous chalk toss before the game.
The crowd also is the best it has ever been. Fans chant and seem to know what's going on in the game, as opposed to just screaming endlessly.
The Association is deeper than it has ever been, too. You can send players to the D-League — and you can play those games. You can have full-blown practices. It is the most realistic NBA experience you will encounter.
But what makes me keep playing the game is the My Player mode. It allows you to create a player, and you have to work to make him a force. No longer can you create a player in your likeness and juice all of his stats. No, you have to start from the bottom and have some knowledge about the game of basketball.
You start as an undrafted rookie in the Summer Circuit and work your way to an NBA training camp. If you don't raise your game, you'll get shipped to the Developmental League. If you're a standout, you might squeeze onto the end of someone's bench.
You'll find yourself spending hours playing to earn more minutes and eventually become a starter. It's the best feature of the game.
Overall, the game is solid. A few small gripes aren't enough to take away the fact that it's the best basketball game out there.