Take a look at where this year's epic cover stands in the series' illustrious history.

Major news broke today with the announcement that three legendary basketball figures will grace the 75th Anniversary Edition cover for this year's game, according to NBA 2K22. Because of this stunning new addition, we're taking a look back at some of the most memorable NBA 2K covers in history to see where the NBA 2K22 75th Anniversary Edition stands in comparison.

Where does the cover of NBA 2K22 75th Anniversary Edition rank among the top ten most iconic sports video game covers of all time?

According to a press release from 2K Sports, the premium 75th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K22 will commemorate the National Basketball Association's founding on June 6, 1946, 75 years ago, by featuring three legendary cover athletes. Having multiple cover athletes isn't something that the NBA 2K series has been afraid to do in the past, but perhaps none have been as iconic or unique as the trio that will grace the cover of this year's installment.

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Brooklyn Nets player Kevin Durant will appear on the stunning 75th Anniversary Edition cover, which will be his third appearance on the cover of the magazine. The Standard Edition for this year was chosen by Luka Doncic, who was also featured on the cover, according to Dirk Nowitzki during a press conference to announce the cover:

“It is, of course, a great honor to be featured on the Legends cover. I believe it is, and it is a tremendous honor for me. Of course, with Kevin Durant and Kareem, we're talking about some of the best players to ever compete in this sport. As you can see, you have Luka on the real cover, which means that you have two Mavericks on the cover at the same time, which is super special, of course. So I'm super happy, super thrilled that I was able to be on the cover with Luka, who I try to assist and mentor a little bit, and that's super special. I'm proud of him for what he's been able to accomplish in only a couple of years in the league, and I'm overjoyed that things worked out that way,” Nowitzki expressed his delight.

As a result of this year's epic legends cover, we've decided to take a look back at the top ten NBA 2K covers of all time to see if the NBA 2K22 75th Anniversary Edition makes it into that elite group. Due to the fact that the NBA 2K series has been around since 1999 and has featured over 30 different players on either Standard, Special, or International editions, as well as over 30 different cover designs, there is a lot of competition.

10. NBA 2K11, which includes Michael Jordan

It was for the release of NBA 2K11 that NBA legend and cultural icon Michael Jordan was invited to grace the cover of the NBA 2K series for the first time in his career. It was a fitting cover and game for arguably the greatest player to ever compete in the NBA, and Jordan was later chosen as a cover athlete for NBA 2K12 and NBA 2K16, but it's this classic cover debut that takes the tenth spot on our list of the best cover debuts of all time.

9. NBA 2K9, which includes Kevin Garnett

There aren't many regular Standard Edition normal covers on this list, which is due to the fact that the NBA 2K series frequently invests more time and resources into the Special Edition covers than the Standard Edition covers. However, Kevin Garnett, in this iconic shot from the NBA 2K9 cover, has to be the most visually arresting of the traditional single athlete image covers.

8. NBA 2K19: 20th Anniversary Edition, which includes a cameo by LeBron James

The release of NBA 2K19 marked a watershed moment in the series' cover history, as the series began to experiment with their relatively safe formula and realized the potential of more unique designs. The 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19 featured LeBron James as the cover star, with the gold color scheme perfectly highlighting the King of Miami.

7. NBA 2K13, which includes Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose as playable characters

Kevin Durant will appear on the cover of the NBA 2K series for the third time this year, having previously appeared on the cover with a different group of players in NBA 2K13. For the first time ever, multiple players from the NBA 2K series appeared on the same cover, and Kevin Durant was joined on the cover by Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose.

6. NBA 2K4 (ESPN NBA Basketball) with Allen Iverson  .

It was originally published by Sega Sports, but the company eventually sold developer Visual Concepts to Take Two Interactive, which resulted in the formation of 2K Sports, which released NBA 2K6 as the first installment in its franchise in NBA MT.

Furthermore, only two games in the NBA 2K series feature direct ESPN branding, with this first installment serving as the final game to feature original cover athlete Allen Iverson, who passed away in 2011.
Despite the fact that ESPN NBA 2K5 was the last game to feature ESPN branding or be published by Sega Sports, this iconic pose by Iverson for the only game that didn't include the 2K# phrasing in the title has stood the test of time and marked the beginning of a shift.

5. NBA 2K20: Legend Edition, which includes Dwyane Wade as a playable character

Moving closer to the present, we have the Legend Edition of NBA 2K20, which featured this eye-catching color scheme and featured Dwyane Wade as the cover athlete on the disc. In many ways, this design, as well as the magnificent background work that was done for it, feels like a forerunner to the painted style that has emerged since then.

4. NBA 2K18: Legend Edition Gold, which includes Shaquille O'Neal as a playable character

In photography and design, as well as in basketball, sometimes all you need is the perfect shot, and this holds true in both fields. In addition to featuring the legendary Shaquille O'Neal, this unforgettable Legend Edition Gold cover for NBA 2K18 was notable for the incredible work done by the photographer who captured this moment in time.

3. NBA 2K21: Mamba Forever Edition, which includes Kobe Bryant as a playable character

Following the tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, it was no surprise that NBA 2K21 chose to honor the Lakers legend with a Mamba Forever Edition. Atop that, the current generation Mamba Forever Edition included this stunning painted design, demonstrating that cover art can be just as artistically expressive and creative as any other medium.

2. NBA 2K22: 75th Anniversary Edition, which includes Dirk Nowitzki, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kevin Durant as playable characters

The painted design choice from last year has been carried over, and major credit goes to Atlanta-based artist Charly Palmer for creating it, because NBA 2K22's 75th Anniversary Edition cover is nearly as good as the best on our list, coming in at number three. This iconic look at the past and present of the NBA,Cheap NBA 2K22 MT Coins featuring Dirk Nowitzki, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kevin Durant, is without a doubt one of the best covers in the series' history, and it ranks second only to one other cover on this list.

1. NBA 2K16: Spain Edition, which includes Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol as players.

Last but not least, we have the only international edition to make this list, but it is one that is often overlooked in terms of design, concept, and core photography, despite being one of the best.

Due to the fact that the legendary director was heavily involved in the development of NBA 2K16's MyCAREER mode, which features a more compelling story than previous years, the game has been dubbed "A Spike Lee Joint."

However, while some have criticized the MyCAREER design as being too restrictive, the imagery from that year has stood the test of time, and it was the first year in which Special Edition covers were included in the NBA 2K franchise.

With three different covers for a single version of the game, NBA 2K12 broke the multi-cover barrier, but NBA 2K16 took things to a whole new level by featuring Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird on three different covers for a single version of the game.

Starting with the trio of Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Anthony Davis all receiving a Standard Edition cover that players who purchased the retail version of the game would receive one of at random, with the other two included as inserts so the cover art on the case could be changed if desired, NBA 2K16 had eight different covers with all different cover athletes.

Michael Jordan was chosen to be the face of the Legend Edition cover, Dennis Schroder was chosen to be the face of the Germany Edition cover, and Tony Parker was chosen to be the face of the France Edition cover.

However, it was the cover of NBA 2K16 featuring Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol from the Spain Edition that we chose as the best NBA 2K cover in the series' history on this day.