In celebration of the franchise’s 25 years in the gaming business, NBA 2K24 is paying tribute to legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant by featuring him as the game installment’s Cover Athlete of the Year, which includes a slew of in-game content and rewards, an NBA League Pass 12-month subscription, and a temporary Summer League Pre-Order Bonus.

This is not Kobe Bryant’s first in being featured as the cover for the beloved basketball game franchise, though, with 2K10, 2K17 (Legend Edition), and 2K21 (Mamba Forever Edition) seeing his image on the packaging. NBA 2K24, therefore, marks the five-time NBA Champion’s return, twice on both antemortem and posthumous occasions, following the athlete’s sudden passing in 2020.

Bryant’s comeback on the cover also signals a series of firsts in the franchise. Most noteworthy of which is the “Mamba Moments” mode, which recreates LA Lakers’ all-time leading scorer’s highlights across his athletic career from the beginning—giving players an insight into the events that gave life to the legend upon taking his first step in the professional NBA court.

In addition, there is also the ProPLAY, which is a new cutting-edge technology that directly translates NBA footage into actual NBA 2K24 gameplay.

And for the first time as well, there is also cross-play, which now lets players from both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S platforms play competitively against one another.

NBA 2K24 comes in three variants—Kobe Bryant Edition ($59.99/$69.99), Black Mamba Edition ($99.99), and 25th Anniversary Edition ($149.99)—at varying prices and packaging, and will be available worldwide on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, and PC on September 8, 2023. Pre-orders for all three versions are available now.

But for those looking to get their hands on a uniquely special rendition of NBA 2K24, consumers in both USA and Canada will be able to purchase the WNBA Edition exclusively on Gamestop. Instead of Kobe Bryant, the limited edition sees New York Liberty Guard, NCAA all-time triple-doubles leader, and WNBA All-Star Sabrina Ionescu as the cover.

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