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NBA Jam is a two-on-two basketball game You can play any NBA team, and you can play as players like Barkley, Starks, Pippen, and Grant. Each human player controls a single player, so choose your squad wisely to take team-mate skill into account. The game is action-oriented, and players can perform unrealistic slam-dunks. Full performance statistics are automatically recorded. The play clock and 3-point line apply, but other rules are largely overlooked.


NBA Jam Game Boy Serious hang time
NBA Jam Game Gear Greatest players
NBA Jam SNES Hey? Is that ball on fire!?
NBA Jam Genesis About the only actual rule that is kept in this game :/

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Alternate Titles

  • "NBAジャム" -- Japanese spelling

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Power Unlimited Game Gear May, 1994 9.5 out of 10 95
Netjak SNES Aug 15, 2002 9.1 out of 10 91
Play Time Genesis Apr 06, 1994 91 out of 100 91
GamePro (US) SEGA CD Jan, 1995 4.5 out of 5 90
Game Players SEGA CD Jan, 1995 87 out of 100 87
Play Time SEGA CD Jan, 1995 85 out of 100 85
Play Time SNES Feb, 1994 85 out of 100 85
High Score Genesis Apr 13, 1994 4 out of 5 80
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Genesis Feb, 1994 7.6 out of 10 76
Video Games & Computer Entertainment Game Boy Jan, 1995 7 out of 10 70


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1001 Video Games

NBA Jam appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


One of the game's major features is the NBA license and the real athletes. The arcade version became such a hit that several NBA athletes requested to be included in the game. Some of those requests were fulfilled and special versions were sent to a few select arcade owners. One of those athletes was Michael Jordan who actually was featured in a pre-release version but taken out because he left the NBA. According to Mark Turmell, Shaquille O'Neal actually bought two arcade cabinets; one for his home and one for his hotel rooms when traveling.

Easter egg rumor

Another famous thing about the original arcade version is the big number of easter eggs, including hidden athletes and a free Battlezone variant (arcade owners really didn't like that one!). The promotional material of the game included photos of cheerleaders, portrayed by Playboy models. So everyone searched for the hidden codes to unlock their models in the game... Kerri Hoskins was even pestered with phone calls at home.

Sega Master System port

A port of the game for the Sega Master System was developed, but never released.


According to the magazine Retro Gamer, the arcade version made over one billion dollar during its first year.


  • GameFan
    • Vol. 3, Iss. 1 - Best SNES Action/Arcade Game of the Year 1994

Contributed to by Kartanym (12843), Freeman (39030), Pseudo_Intellectual (57749) and Mullet of Death (653)