Throughout the last 20 years of basketball video games, there were flaws that you would accept: the highest rated three-point shooter would jack the most shots for the computer; there were canned animations for players; I’ve never seen real-life Karl Malone or Patrick Ewing do 360 degree two handed dunks---but they did in video games; and for any NBA fan in the '90s the most glaring omission in games was no Michael Jordan.
NBA 2K11 has brought Michael Jordan into the video game world like no other publisher has before, and in addition to #23, 2K Sports has raised the benchmark for what to expect in a simulated NBA game.
Michael Jordan is fully integrated into NBA 2K11. The game features "The Jordan Challenge," which you play 10 defining moments in Jordan’s career. After accomplishing all 10 challenges, you unlock a young Jordan, which you can develop a career with on any NBA team you choose, and create a legend.
2K Sports could have easily dropped Michael Jordan into the same game engine used for NBA 2K10 and most would have loved it. But pushing the envelope, 2K Sports has really polished what was already strong gameplay and improved upon the NBA 2K series. The previously described unbelievable gameplay mechanics of yesteryear are non-existent in NBA 2K11. Playing against Patrick Ewing’s 1990s New York Knicks, Ewing played like the man we watched on Sportscenter, with true-to-form stats: 30 points and 14 rebounds. In a game against the original big three of the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird finished the game with about 40 points.
NBA 2K11 may be the best sports game available this year, and arguably the most enjoyable basketball game to date, winning over both NBA Live loyalists, as well as NBA Jam nostalgists. The game’s only flaw to speak of is the computer’s uncanny ability in playing passing lanes, but otherwise a genre defining game.
Playing NBA 2K11 allows generations of hoops fans to live out our childhood dream to be like Mike.
Purchase NBA 2K11