When NBA 2K dropped onto the Sega Dreamcast in 1999, there were a lot of video game basketball franchises out there. The big kid on the block, NBA Live, was sharing shelf space with Nintendo's Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside, Sony's NBA Shootout, Konami's NBA in the Zone, Fox Sports' NBA Basketball and Midway's NBA Jam-inspired NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC. All you really need to know now is that NBA 2K13 was fundamentally the only AAA basketball title released last year. The series' debut staked its claim on being a more sim-style of basketball game, but with cover athlete Allen Iverson, it also brought ball handling to a new level. It might look pretty clunky now, but at the time it featured a level of detail on players-including tattoos!-that was unheard of. 2K more or less ushers in video game basketball as we now know it.
NBA 2K (1999)