NBA 2k14 is the strongest basketball game to be released in the last ten years. The 2K series has long been the stalwart product of the genre, boxing out other franchises like the Live series, and it uses its position to continue to excel. The core of 2k14 continues on down the same path that the prior entry, 2k13, established. Fortunately for basketball fanatics this is not a bad thing as the gameplay has reached almost unparalleled realism.
NBA 2k14, as a basketball simulator, is unrivaled in the world of video games. Every time that I would drive to the hoop as Derrick Rose I could feel the twitch of the controls respond to my every movement. The game manages to capture both the strength and the speed of this superstar. If I were to instead play as Steve Blake I would have a distinctly different feel for the game. This is a merit to how realistic the game has become. Gone are the days that you are getting scorched by end of the bench rotation players. If you play as a superstar the game feels like it and if you play as a scrub then the same thing applies.
Controls in the game are fairly similar to last years entry with a few exceptions. The new "Assist Pass" system is a joy to utilize. By hitting your LT/R2 buttons you will be able to send no look and cross court passes to your other players. For drive and kick teams this allows for a whole new strategy to be employed. It is a risky maneuver, just like in real life, but can quickly pay dividends with a hot shooter. The shot stick also seems more concise and you won't be spending time accidentally sending up junk shots because your thumb slipped a little bit.
The game modes are the same throughout sans the Dream Team mode that was used often in online play. Euroleague teams have been added instead. The Association is still where most ballers will spend their time as they try to craft the perfect team through years of gameplay.
The lone new gameplay addition this year is the "LeBron: Path To Greatness" story driven gameplay. In this mode you will begin your career as LeBron James as he currently is: the leader of the Miami Heat. From there you will decide his future in the league. It's a fun distraction but not near deep enough to warrant prolonged game play.
The graphical enhancements in the 360 version of 2k14 look incredible but they don't hold a candle to the next gen iterations. In the XB1 and PS4 versions you will feel like you are courtside at a real NBA game. The commentary is spot on and even the sweat on your players brow looks realistic.
NBA 2k14 is the best basketball sim to be released on last gen systems, the Xbox 360 and PS3, and a great starting point for the next generation of ballers.