NBA 2K11 was released October 11, and it's been heralded as one of the greatest sports video games of all time. Between the ability to play as Michael Jordan, to the combination of features that appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers alike, it's certainly thrust itself into the conversation.
But is NBA 2K11 the best sports video game ever? Is it even in the top 10? We've compiled the comprehensive list of the 50 best sports video games of all time, based on a series of criteria.
Timelessness: How has/will the game hold up over time?
Graphics: Obviously, we're doing this based on how the graphics were at the time of publication, rather than currently, to avoid bias towards the most recent installments of the games.
Gameplay: Was the game fun to play? How did it handle, smoothly or choppily? Once again, we're basing this on the gameplay standard of the time, to keep things fair.
Authenticity: How close to the real thing was it? This wasn't a big factor, as games can be classic without being realistic, and vise versa.
Originality: Did it do something no other game has done? Was it the pioneer for something that wouldn't be fully realized till later?
Difficulty: Was the game easy to pick up? Was it tough to master? A game that strikes a good balance here gets major points.
Intangibles: Something that can't be measured by the other criteria. It'll make sense, I promise.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get started.