NBA Live is pushing on NBA 2K‘s long-held territory as the only basketball game that matters, and that’s in large part to its quality gameplay and graphics. 2K has dominated the market with its fantastic b-ball simulations for so long that people are reflexively assuming that 2K will be superior in every way, always. But maybe not?
Gamespot threw together a side-by-side comparison that has both games running similar plays. It’s close, but the animations of 2K look smoother, probably because they’ve had years of refinement and additions to the nuance of the plays, but when it comes to skin and hair, NBA Live might just have the better graphics. When start really looking into the minutia of the visuals, 2K’s hands and jerseys look more real, but in the overall grand scheme of things (especially after looking side-by-side), 2K18 kind of has an “uncanny valley” thing going on. You can tell they’re digital beings. While NBA Live just looks slightly more natural and perfectly imperfect.
Here’s another comparison by GamingWithOva, if you need to consider more moles and brow furrows to inform your digital basketball purchase: