NBA 2K13 is a mixed bag. In many ways, it is utterly the best basketball video game ever made. It improved over 2K12 in several important ways. On the other hand, several great features from past games were removed, which is baffling. Here is a summary:
Steps Forward + Better controls with the "shot trigger" and "dribble stick" + Better animations - incredibly lifelike player movements + Improved My Player mode, addition of My Player Blacktop online + Post play is better than ever + The game remembers your favorite camera angle (finally!)
Steps Backward - No legendary games feature, as was in 2K12 - Omission of several historical legends, including (but not limited to) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Chris Webber, Bob Pettit, and George Mikan - No 21 street mode, which has been with the series for over a decade (baffling) - Limited player selection in street mode - Inability to change camera in Team Up online mode - Inability to veto in Team Up ***This is really old, but I also want them to bring back chat rooms and opponent feedback for online play.
Overall, based on the gameplay, I must conclude that 2K13 is the best in the series overall...but it could have been even better if the developers had taken the care to make it more polished and complete. Perhaps some of the above omissions will be added as DLC.