NBA Live has a new cover athlete and a fresh look, and fans of the series have renewed hope that the franchise that once ruled the virtual hardcourt will again offer a top-notch simulation-basketball experience.
On Tuesday, the first trailer for NBA Live 15 was released, and if you haven't already taken a look at the video above, the first thing that will jump out at you are the improved graphics.
In NBA Live 14, the player models and environments were clearly a step behind what fans expected from a next-generation console.
It didn't help that the series' primary competitor, NBA 2K put out one of the most visually appealing games to date.
This year, we can say without hesitation that the gap in visual excellence has shrunk—if not closed all together.
The images in the NBA Live trailer have the pop that gets fans excited for a game to release. Dunks like the one Andrew Wiggins throws down in the video add a wow factor.
Last year's game also had a smoking-hot trailer, but once the game released, fans realized that the preview wasn't actually real in-game footage.
That was a bummer.
This year, EA Sports has assured us that everything in the trailer is from the game. A release provided along with the advanced look at the trailer states: "The video is composed of completely in-game footage, and every dribble, shot, dunk and move is something fans will be able to pull off themselves in the game."
That should ease the mind of skeptics who are wondering if the real game will look this good.
As sweet as the trailer looks, we all know this is just the first step toward selling and delivering a quality hoops simulation. Gameplay, features and presentation are still yet to be seen by the public.
That said, this is undoubtedly a move in the right direction. NBA Live 15 releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 7.
Follow Brian Mazique, aka FranchisePlay, the Sports Video Game Journalist.