For many, basketball is more than just a game, and NBA 2K19 doesn't take that lightly. It throws every resource it has into the theatrics of the sport, creating charismatic presentation, a well-written story mode, and strong core gameplay. The series' persistent weaknesses are still apparent in areas like the transition game and ludicrous microtransactions, but there's so much variety to how its extensive MyLeague mode plays out that there's always a reason to look forward to the next game of basketball.
NBA Live 18's simplistic and fluid mechanics make for an approachable game of NBA, or WNBA, basketball. But for all that it does well on the court, elsewhere it fails to live up to its potential. There are plenty of side modes, but few have the depth or interesting new ideas to be worth getting invested in.