NBA 2K16 offers a somewhat true-to-life experience of playing basketball in all aspects of the game from high school phenom, to college sensation and finally NBA all-star.

The NBA 2K series evolves a little bit each year as the game receives its annual release and this time around controls feel the most polished ever.  In previous releases of the game we had upgrades to ball handling and post-up play but for NBA 2K16 we get simplified play — making things even easier for the average gamer.  When you are dribbling the ball and want to run – press the trigger, want to switch hands – flick the thumb stick, feel like doing something fancy double-tap the circle (on PS4) and see if your player can make a fancy pass.

Not only have the controls been overhauled and revamped but even the menu system too – in past years it was quite difficult to figure out how to even select a team – especially the classic ones.  In NBA 2K16 it’s easy enough to start up a match between a classic team like the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan versus a modern team like the Houston Rockets with James Harden.  Pitting classic all-star squads against new generation blood has been the most fun we’ve had playing the game thus far!

Probably the weakest part of NBA 2K16 is the campaign story mode written and directed by Spike Lee.  Spike Lee tries hard to entertain and even lifts real world story elements from his nemesis Reggie Miller but the motion capture and over-acting are just pretty embarrassing.  Another negative is the never-ending loading screens — we get these are necessary to any video game but for NBA 2K16 they seem extensively long.

We were able to get an online match going pretty easily once NBA 2K16 was released and marveled at some of the spectacular gameplay some of the ‘pro gamers’ could do out there — there’s definitely a learning curve like any other video game but once you can master the controls you’ll be impressed with how much detail and fun is inside the box!

NBA 2K16 from 2K Sports and Visual Concepts is out now for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.