Publisher: 2K Games
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PSP
Reviewer: Kris Polglase
The current generation of consoles are reaching their zenith in terms of potential and delivery of greatness.
The games releasing in 2012 are the pinnacle of brilliant developers and genius studios and represent some of the cream of the crop for this, the seventh go around for consoles.
Nowhere has the limit been seemingly reached than the sports genre.
With every subsequent iteration, each major sports title has peaked a perfect pyramid of power. Fifa, Madden, NHL and yes, NBA 2K.
NBA 2K12 was a brilliant game. A combination of programming skill, amazing presentation and that unquantifiable spark of wizardry that every amazing game has.
It seemed like the developers at 2K Sports had reached the limit of their powers with one of the best sports games ever made.
Well, turns out they hadn't. NBA 2K13 improves, tweaks, cleans and strengthens just about everything about last year's game, while throwing in more features, integration and online play than ever seen in a basketball simulation.
For 2K veterans
The big question here is not whether NBA 2K13 is worth buying or renting, because undoubtedly it is, but whether those that have indulged in the 2K world of basketball, should come back for this round.
There's an argument to be had that nothing can really change monumentally over the course of twelve months, but 2K Sports have done their damnedest to make those 12 months an experience that even 2K veterans will lose themselves in.
The biggest change for those that have dived into the pinnacle of basketball simulation before are the controls.
Borrowing liberally from EA Sports preferred control scheme for many of their sports games, evolving from titles like Skate and SSX, the NBA dribble stick leads a whole new dimension to controlling NBA 2K13, and while it will take a while to get used to, once properly understood, you'll wonder how you ever got by without it.
The dribble stick means that shooting is more precise and therefore more difficult than ever before; this allows for players to "feel" the game and become even more adept, especially online, than ever before.
Another improvement is found within the meat of the game, the My Career mode. While not promising a revolution, 2K Sports has managed to extend the My Career into a 24/7 obsession.
Virtual currency is earned throughout the many modes within and without of My Career, allowing players to buy skills, gear and customize their My Players into the ultimate MVP.
Astonishing dream teams
NBA 2K13 also brings in some astonishing dream teams that allow players to determine just who, and what era, were the best of all time.
The dream team concept has brought in such legends as Bow Wow, Justin Bieber and Pauly D from Jersey Shore to add to some actual legends in the form of 1992 Dream team who actually deserve the label.
Much has been made of this years Jay-Z connection and while it might not mean all that much down under, the music mogul is the perfect fit into an already cutting-edge presentation.
Bringing his style and know-how (he is part owner of the Brooklyn Nets after all) to the game, it's never intrusive, but adds another edge to the already amazing package.
And that's what NBA 2K13 is, an amazing package.
While it can't reach the heights of Fifa 13, the ultimate sports game on the planet, NBA 2K13 pushes the boundaries of just what can be achieved in a basketball simulation.
If you've ever dreamed about throwing down a huge, game-changing slam dunk but are shorter than a hobbit, then NBA 2K13 is truly the perfect way to live your dreams.