Sad news for sports fans: Kobe Bryant tragically passed away recently. He was renowned as the de facto NBA basketball player from his humble beginnings in 1996 to 2016.
— Barstool Gametime (@StoolGametime) January 26, 2020
He’s been breaking records and maintaining streaks for 20 years to the point where he’s renowned worldwide. To pay tribute to the legend, we at Kakuchopurei will highlight his top tier video game basketball moments.
NBA Live 97 onwards
Back in 1996, Kobe Bryant was selected 13th overall in the 1996 NBA draft. He was 17 at the time and needed to get his parents to cosign his first contract; that was quite a big deal back then to bring in a super-young player in the big leagues.
That also means he was represented in pixelated form in the Megadrive and SNES versions of NBA Live 97 in pixelated glory. Yes, he’s been around with the NBA for THAT long.
Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside
His debut in the NBA was so legendary that he ended up in his own game for the Nintendo 64. 1998 was indeed a riveting time for polygons in sports games, eh? The game became popular enough at the time to warrant a sequel in 1999, and went multiplatform on PC, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color.
The third game’s title ditched Kobe’s name, although he was still on the cover.
A pity he wasn’t born a few years earlier. Otherwise, he would have been in his own 90s mascot action game.
NBA ’07: Featuring the Life Vol. 2
Remember when Sony had an NBA sports game series on the PS3 and PSP? Good times.
NBA 2K10 Onwards
In 2009 onwards, he’s been appearing in a lot more NBA games than usual. He graced the 2K10 cover of one of 2K Games’ biggest sports meal tickets. That franchise is so bit, not even a microtransaction-influenced slot machine can stop its reign.
Regardless, the NBA games have portrayed the video game version of Kobe Bryant in the best and most accurate way possible within the constraints of technology during their time.
Rest in peace, Black Mamba, and thank you for the memories.