DAR Games: 6 Pivotal Basketball Games On Xbox 360

By @TrueGodImmortal

The Xbox 360 was the preferred console for most during its generation. It was a huge seller over even the PS3, and it left gamers with so many classic memories in every genre. Today, I wanted to take a small look back at 6 basketball games from 6 different series that were a part of the Xbox 360 generation. These are some of the better games and some of the games that missed the mark. One game featured here has been called the best game in the history of basketball gaming. Which games did we select? Let's take a look.

*College Hoops 2K8

-So, 2K was able to have a decent run with their college series and I think many of us can appreciate what they did with their games, though most were partial to the NCAA March Madness series. My fondest memory of the Xbox 360 years is that there was competition between most of the games in the basketball realm even if the games weren't always the greatest. There was a competition with the NCAA games, the NBA games, and even the NBA Street series had something that drew fans in. Now, 2K runs the world, Live is angling for a spot back, and there are no NCAA games. College Hoops 2K8 however was really solid and surprisingly, even with Greg Oden on the cover, the game doesn't fall flat at all. The gameplay, the inclusion of so many different teams, and the extensive modes made this a very enjoyable game. It is debatable that 2K not only does NBA better than EA Sports, but college basketball as well.

*NBA Live 07

-So, when choosing a NBA Live for this article, I found myself pondering. Do we discuss the fall of NBA Live once it got to the Xbox 360 and PS3? Or, do we ignore the games that signaled the franchise was done and focus on the last truly decent game in the series on the system? Well, since we here at DAR are trying to spread positivity, it was only right we looked at one of the last positive moments for Live before their game took a turn for the worse. I actually enjoyed NBA Live 07 to an extent. Live was falling off already, and this game doesn't necessarily stop that, but it does prolong the fall a few years. Tracy McGrady is the cover athlete here during his time in Houston, and T-Mac is tough to guard on this game for sure. The gameplay is a little off at times, and sometimes the pace of the games feel a little lackluster, but for the most part, this is an enjoyable game that has things we loved about Live in the past and things we grew to dislike as well. Live was up and down in the 2000s, but it was really falling in the Xbox 360 era.

*NBA Jam

-In what could be called more of a reboot than a return or sequel, the loved arcade game NBA Jam comes back to life on Xbox 360, years after the relevance of the series was long gone. The return was met with a lot of fanfare, but some things are better left in the past. Nostalgia aside, this game is good, and while it is essentially the straightforward entertainment that I remember, maybe games that were a little more intricate like Live and 2K and even Street changed my perspective. It has what you want, and it is fun for small periods of time, but the lack of true online play for the game takes it down a notch. The original NBA Jam was always one of my favorites and while it was nice to have something that I grew up playing come full circle, it also reminded me how much I appreciate the evolution of basketball games since then.

*NBA Street: Homecourt

-So, the NBA Street series was one that really grabbed attention from a number of gamers and basketball fans alike and rightfully so. The ability to play on the blacktop and in your local park in a video game was way too fun to pass up. With Denver era Carmelo Anthony on the cover, this game paled in comparison to the first two, but was still entertaining of course. Playing at the street ball pace and pulling off the moves and everything in between made this an enjoyable experience, but I do have one issue and that's the soundtrack. While the soundtrack for Vol. 2 is not going to be duplicated, the soundtrack here really does leave you shaking your head and takes slightly away from the fun of running the court. All in all, the gameplay was solid, the graphics were solid and the game itself was fun to play. That is all you ask for in terms of NBA Street games.

*NBA 2K11

-Of course, the best of the best has to be mentioned. This is the best basketball game of all time and it was the breakthrough that 2K needed in the gaming world to give it the undisputed no. 1 spot. I admittedly was a fan of both 2K and Live, but 2K9 started me on the path of being a fan of the series more and 2K10 took it over the top. 2K11 was like the seal that made it clear 2K ruled the basketball gaming world and it all started for one reason: Michael Jordan. The inclusion of Michael Jordan at a time when it felt as if we would never have a chance to play as him again in games was a genius touch, and the Jordan mode is one of the greatest modes in sports gaming history. NBA 2K11 is the standard bearer in basketball gaming and the GOAT. Much like the man featured on the cover of the game.

*NCAA Basketball 09

-The EA Sports series was one that many of us wish would come back, but of course, that's probably not going to happen. The NCAA has a lot of criticism  leveled against them for a number of valid reasons, but regardless, this was a fun series to play. This game in particular had Kevin Love on the cover and of course, with the game being built on the same engine as NBA Live, you would expect some of the same issues. However, perhaps with the NCAA being in play here, the game flows smoothly, as opposed to the expectations we may have had for a game attached to the NBA. The gameplay is solid, the pace is much better than the previous editions (that used to have March Madness in the titles) and the fast break is one of the best things I've seen in a game, and one I wish current games implemented better without silly turnovers. NCAA Basketball 09 was a pretty solid game, and it was one of my favorites from the Xbox 360 basketball era.



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