NBA 2K11 is like the video game sports genre's Michael Jordan. Came out in the clutch and won it all.
Honestly, this game looks excellent on HDTV's. The player models look lifelike enough (not andre kirilenko's hair) and the player movements are very smooth. Sweat gradually comes out from the players; you won't see it in the first few minutes but you will after some intense fast break action. Theres nothing much to say about this game other than that it looks terrific. Even on 480p, it still looks pretty good. There are less pixelized edges on the players and more detail is rendered on the texture of the player's skin and eyes. What I like is that the player's forehead will wrinkle when his eyebrows go up. It is as close to a real basketball game on television as it gets. As a sports game, graphics need to be good enough to be enjoyable and NBA 2K11 achieves this step.
Theres no need to say how awesome this game is in terms of gameplay. The built-in Jordan mode (can be a DLC on its own) Blacktop (street mode), Association Mode, and player specific animations make this game a must get. It is a really deep sports game that provides realistic basketball moves and post up techniques. "Most" players shoot like their real-life counterparts and the layup/ dunk packages make driving the lane animations fun to watch because the moves are just so much that everytime, there could be a different layup animation to surprise you; especially the contact layups will make you go "WOW".
The dribbling system has made a huge improvement; moving the left stick with the L2 OR Left trigger held will initiate fancy crossovers to soothen your eyeballs out. The transition from move to move is smooth and the dribbles actually trick your opponents. This game provides deep gameplay for basketball fans and non basketball fans alike.
Momentum also players a heavy role in this game. If you go on a scoring run, you will most likely make most of your shots unless your players are COLD as indicated by the change of colors on the shooting bar (cell phone bar near your player's name).
The in-game music has always been the weak point of the 2k basketball franchise. Songs that are provided this year is decent enough but really, its not what 2k is focused about. What I am more focused about is the basketball and net sounds. The SFX seems to be a bit low even if I turned down the Announcer, crowd, and broadcast volume. They need to fix it so the basketball bouncing noise and the net sound "swish" can be heard better. Overall, the sound department is still lacking a few working hours.
The menu's are not hard to navigate but they are quite simple for an AAA title like this. Surely I can navigate through it but it just doesn't look too well of a game until you actually play it; and I mean you have to play it in order to know why I gave it such a high score. The Michael Jordan mode, in my opinion, should have its own separate section and not be part of the 2k scrolling menu option. Since he is one of the best basketball player to ever grace the league, his mode should deserve a space of its own. Other than that, everything looks fine and organized, just not too flashy. But with a game like this, they should arrange it to have a flashy look to it. The in-game gym from E.A. is not a bad idea. Maybe an implementation of that in NBA 2K12 can help this game look better.
Replay Value- 9.5/10
Online issues still persist in the 2k series. No matter how much they upgrade their servers, it seems that most of the games can't be connected unless both players are connected to the router with a cable. But this isn't the biggest thing 2k has to offer. What it offers is the Association Mode, Jordan Mode, League games (surprisingly they work everytime), and the My Player Mode.
We haven't talked much about the My Player Mode so here it goes;
You create your own player, play games, get drafted to an NBA team, and play the franchise as yourself. Pretty simple right? Well only to an extent. There are challenges and rules that you need to follow. A system called Team Mate grade is involved. This measures your performance as a player when it comes to team play. You can be rated 99 but if you don't have a good team grade, you won't get too much skill points to use for advancing your skills and you could be traded because of it.
This game is packed with fun and just a few bugs click in at times. Paused action when inbounding the ball can take a few seconds before the referee puts the ball back in play. Maybe its on purpose but it breaks the momentum this game offers to the player.
All in all, I recommend this game to any basketball fan out there because it just rivals the NBA actions you see on television.
Final score is a 8.5 out of 10