NBA 2K13 is quickly becoming one of the most highly anticipated basketball games ever, and for good reason.
Between the new control stick, signature skills, a revamped My Player mode and the inevitable physics upgrades, the newest edition from the 2K series is going to knock your socks off.
Of course, these 10 players will help make the experience even more fun. Everyone has favorite players to use, and these are the ones that I can't help but gravitate toward.
Some, but not all, are superstars. Others are rookies, ready to make their first big impact on the world of professional basketball.
Remember, these are my favorites, and the selections are entirely subjective. Don't hesitate to leave your personal favorites in the comment section.
Just like he does in real life, LeBron's video-game likeness will be able to dominate each and every facet of the game. He'll make jumpers, he'll be unstoppable going to the rim, he'll play lockdown defense and he'll pass the ball efficiently.
If you're looking to make basketball beautiful, you'll want to use LeBron on your squad.
Let's be honest here: Dominating the opponent is fun.
I can't tell you how many times I've watched people's concentration wane on the defensive end of the court when playing basketball video games. No matter how realistic it may be, defense simply isn't as enjoyable as offense.
It's far more thrilling to rack up the points than it is to win a low-scoring battle.
For that reason, Kevin Durant might be the most fun player of all in NBA 2K13. With the exception of the historical legends, Durantula is going to be the hardest offensive player to stop in the entire game.
He can score at will in transition. His slashing abilities are insane. And of course, his ridiculous jumper is impossible to stop once you master the timing of the release.
Durant is going to be the player du jour of many players looking to score as many points as possible while forgetting defense even exists.
You're about to find out just how easy—or hard—it is to be Kobe Bryant on the basketball court.
No player excites me more than Kobe now that 2K13 is incorporating signature skills and the control stick. We'll finally be able to imitate the ridiculous shots that Kobe takes on a regular basis. At least, we'll get close to being able to imitate them.
When you use the Los Angeles Lakers, you'll have plenty of great options.
Something tells me that the ball is still going to end up in Kobe's massive mitts more often than not.
I can't dunk. I've never been able to, and unless I use a trampoline or lower the basket, I never will.
NBA 2K13 gives me the opportunity to throw down vicious slam dunks, humiliating my opponent at a moment's notice. When I'm playing a friend, I love to pause the game and analyze his posterization from all angles.
Maybe I'm a jerk, but you do it too. Don't lie to me. I'll know.
Blake Griffin is going to be the most sensational dunker in the game, just like he was in last year's edition. You'll be able to jam it home over anyone and everyone on the court, racking up the points and the highlights.
It'll feel good.
There's one reason for that: the control stick.
You'll be able to have more control than ever over the subtle movements made when handling the ball. Rondo will be more effective than ever, slickly sliding around defenders and embarrassing them with crossovers and overall trickiness.
Plus, his stealing abilities make defense pretty enjoyable. You're a constant threat to swipe the ball away and put up an easy layup whenever you're using Rondo to guard your opponent.
I have to include one superstar big man who plays with his back to the basket.
Andrew Bynum is my choice, beating out Dwight Howard and the rest of the league's premier centers. His rating won't be as high as the new member of the Los Angeles Lakers, but he'll be more fun to use.
Bynum's post moves are going to be deadly in the newest version of the game, and you occasionally have to throw the ball onto the blocks and go to work.
Plus, you can't always use the top player at every position! That would just be unfair.
To be perfectly honest, this entire article could be filled up with star players. After all, they tend to be the most fun guys to use in video games.
However, let's break the convention and roll with four players who most certainly haven't qualified for star status yet. Two are young players with NBA experience, and two are entering their first season in the Association.
Leading off this crop is MarShon Brooks, who was my personal favorite non-star to use in NBA 2K12. Maybe I had an uncanny mastery of his shot and playing style, but I simply couldn't miss with him from outside the paint.
Brooks' ability to shoot on the move, whether catching and shooting or simply pulling up off the dribble, is astounding. His handles are solid, but it's this ability to put the ball through the net that stands out.
Even if it's still nearly impossible to dunk with him, Brooks will be lighting up the scoreboard for my team. Make sure you at least give him a trial run.
OK, so maybe shooting jumpers isn't your thing. Perhaps you prefer your young shooting guards to be of the athletic variety.
Fear not, for Paul George will be one of the most fun players to use in 2K13, and he's just about overflowing with athleticism.
George is set to take a massive step forward when real NBA action takes place, but you can get a head start when you select the dynamic 2-guard to your virtual squad. If you do so, your team will see dunks galore.
Remember how you could get a running start, draw the foul, make the dunk and then watch the Sprite-sponsored replay in 2K12 when using the best dunkers in the game? Expect a lot of that with George in the latest edition.
Once the 2012 NBA draft had taken place, I used a set of downloadable shared rosters to play with all of the latest members of the rookie class. That gave me a nice sneak peek at what the newest members of basketball's greatest video game franchise will look like in the 2K13 edition.
Of course, there will be quite a few changes, but the players seemed fairly accurate to me.
Damian Lillard was easily the most enjoyable rookie to use, and that will remain constant once the official version of Lillard is available to ball with.
The newest point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers is quite difficult to slow down on offense. He can pull up and hit deep two-pointers with ease, and he's even more terrifying if given space to get around his defenders.
He might not be tall, but he can throw down some highlight-reel dunks when he has a lane to the rack.
Get a head start on Lillard's Rookie of the Year campaign and use him as soon as the game comes out on Oct. 2.
It's going to be worth using the Charlotte Bobcats just to get your hands on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Of course, you could remedy that problem by doing a fantasy draft and creating your own team...
MKG is a hustle player who contributes in all facets of the game, and that characteristic will manifest itself in the virtual world. The incoming small forward will be able to help your team out however you need him to.
If you're in need of rebounds, start using MKG. If you need to lock down the opponent's best perimeter player, switch over to the former Kentucky Wildcat.
And of course, don't ever hesitate to throw an alley-oop lob to him in a fast-break situation.