10 Best Basketball Video Games Of All Time

Is basketball your favorite sport? Do you like to dribble up and down the court?

2K Sports

The first basketball video game - aptly titled Basketball - came out in 1978. It was a simple game of one-on-one on a basic Atari computer. The first licensed game was 1983's One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird, while one of the first five on five games was Double-Dribble from 1986.

Seeing and playing these three games today shows just how developed modern basketball games have become. The '90s were revolutionary in that department, but the 2000s are the decade that basketball games became really advanced, as EA Sports and 2K Sports were trying to one-up one another for the position of the best basketball video game developer. This rivalry spawned some of the best court action ever seen.

For that reason, this list mostly consists of titles created by EA Sports and 2K, with one sole exception. Can you guess what it is?

10. NBA Jam


Released by Midway in 1993, the game was the first entry in the NBA Jam franchise and obviously its cornerstone. It was the ultimate arcade game (and began life as a coin-op), and the rules reflected that.

The gameplay was ridiculous, as players would fly all over the arena, dunking from the three-point line and performing various stunts in mid-flight. They could go hot or cold, which enhanced or lowered their scoring abilities. NBA Jam is a quintessential '90s game - colorful, chaotic, campy, and yet very fun, especially to play with a friend.

Despite its arcade-y nature, it was also one of the first titles to feature real player likeness.


I write sitting with my dogs on the sofa, which often leads to whole paragraphs being deleted by a single touch of a paw or a nose.