2. Any classic NBA Live game
For most of the 2000’s, the dominant basketball video game franchise came from EA Sports, not 2K Sports. That video game was NBA Live, and it constantly broke new barriers for the sports gaming industry throughout the 2000’s.
NBA Live 2005 and 2006 were groundbreaking games that were among the best basketball video games of all-time. They included features like NBA All-Star Weekend, where you could compete in the Slam Dunk Contest with Kobe Bryant or Vince Carter and/or try to win the Three-Point Contest with Peja Stojakovic or Ray Allen.
The mid-2000’s also included some of the more fun rookie classes to look back on at this point. LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade, all shared a rookie class in 2003-04 and two of those three were cover athletes in the same decade.
The NBA Live game series throughout the early-to-mid 2000’s laid the groundwork for what has become the NBA 2K video game now. Improving franchise mode, becoming a player and seeing the journey of their career, and expanding the game’s features through realistic modes outside of exhibition, franchise, etc.