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When EA bought exclusive rights to the NFL license in 2004, Sega’s popular NFL 2K video game series had no choice but to fold. Fortunately for 2K Sports, which took over after Sega soon thereafter, they still had a breadwinner in its NBA 2K franchise. With NBA 2K, the game makers set out to capture the most in-depth user experience on the virtual hardwood, and it’s safe to say they have succeeded in their mission thus far. While it initially took some time for the game to gain momentum on the then-popular EA Sports NBA Live series in the early 2000s, over the past decade, NBA 2K has continued to climb both the sales and popularity charts. In fact, just last year, NBA 2K14 became the top-selling sports video game in the U.S. on the next-gen consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — the first time a basketball game reigned supreme over other sports games during a console release.

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