If you're going to buy only one basketball game this year, it should be this one. It's a stellar experience, and the MyPlayer story mode is exceptionally fun, well written, and chock-full of personality. Some of the subject matter might not be ideal for younger kids, since there are sexually suggestive comments and mentions of suicidal thoughts, but as a piece of art fused with basketball, it's a fresh and fun break from the norm. NBA 2K16 feels great to control, looks and sounds top-notch, and offers many modes, game styles, locations, and teams to choose from (or create). Despite some Internet hiccups affecting the performance of the 2K Pro-Am mode, featuring five-on-five tourneys, this mode and the rest of the game are a blast to play and offer a lot of bang for the buck.
Along with the regular modes and the ambitious 2K Pro-Am online mode with built-in spectator support via NBA 2KTV, you can engage in competitive street ball games in the MyPark and Gauntlet modes (with three newly updated parks from last year); and the MyTeam mode lets you collect past and present NBA players, customize your lineup, and play in five modes. Returning this year is the meaty Road to the Playoffs that has you completing challenges, collecting cards, and facing off against rivals, and there's a reimagined MyGM mode, were you can play as manager of a team. With so much to see, do, and play -- and the fact that the game is available on multiple platforms (new and old) -- it's easy to see why NBA 2K16 is simply the best basketball game available this time around. Kudos to 2K Sports for raising the bar once again.