I have been following this game series since 2k8 and each year it has improved, but the last 2 games have been special. This is not a pick up and play game, in my opinion, and there is a steep learning curve. But when you get it the experience is truly gratifying. Graphically it is streets ahead of anything fifa has done,or any sports game, with no generic players. But what I really love about this is The Association mode, you get the chance to run an NBA club, dismantle aging squads, rebuild through the draft, or go with Miami and sign some veterans, it is all so authentic... I have spent hours playing this mode, (rebuilt Clevaland, and after 4 years won them a championship!) There are other great aspects to this game, such as legends mode were you get the opportunity to relive the best moments of 10 of the all time great NBA players. MJ, Larry Legend. Wilt, Dr J, Magic and many more. The my player mode is also very deep, but since I havnt invested a huge amount of time in it i'll leave it to others to comment on that.
In conclusion, this game has been occupying a lot of my gaming time for most of the year, and for anyone out their who loves the game, or even has a passing interest and is willing to invest enough time to learn the intricacies of this game, I cant recommend this highly enough