NBA Action 98

aka: NBA Fastbreak '98
Moby ID: 2968
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Sega's first attempt at Basketball on the PC includes plenty of neat visuals; realistic AI and motion capture work; official licenses of the NBA including players, teams and courts; practice mode to help you get used to your team; and a multiplayer mode (for up to 5 players on one computer). You can also create your own team and players in the edit mode, in case you don't like what the NBA offers.

Groups +



Credits (Windows version)

89 People (62 developers, 27 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Product Manager
Package Illustration
Creative Services
Special Thanks To
Lead Engineer
Lead A.I. Engineer
A.I. Engineer
Win 95 Engineer
Art Director
Animations / Player Models / Textures
[ full credits ]



Average score: 73% (based on 17 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 1 reviews)

There's a very good game underneath those ugly graphics.

The Good
Let's get to the point immediately: NBA Action 98 is probably the best implementation of the game of basketball available on the PC. I've played every major PC basketball game, with the exception of NBA Inside Drive, and none of those other games offer as much gameplay as this one. I always find it hard to explain “good gameplay” but I'll give it a try. First of all, this game is not a dunk-fest. Jump shots, hook shots & 3-pointers are just as important. Too often basketball games rely too much on posting up with your center & power forward. Just pass the ball to them and they'll stuff it. NBA Action 98 is more about ball-movement, finding the open player, setting picks etc. You can't just dunk every time. Of course you can try but you'll either lose the ball or you're called for charging. Moreover sometimes players are in foul trouble early and you'll need to bench your starters, teams have scoring-runs and sometimes you'll lose a player because of injuries. In the final game of the first round of the playoffs I lost Shaq but won the game. In the next round my Lakers had to play the Rockets. Without Shaq I didn't have a real inside presence and Hakeem Olajuwon dominated the game.

The A.I. is rather good. The computer is capable of making a fast break, using several players to shake off my defenders. It really punishes you if you try to crash the board too hard (that is, if you try to get an offensive rebound after a missed shot instead of retreating on your own side of the court). It will also punish you if you leave a player undefended. When the computer sees an opportunity to score it will not hesitate. It also knows when to make intentional fouls in the final stages of a close game.

Some other positive things:

  • The motion captured player animations are really good. Some of them are better than those in NBA Live 2000.
  • Two useful camera-views: the full court view and the classic press/side view. The action view and isometric view are rather bad however.
  • The number of different keys is manageable.
  • It doesn't have those everlasting close-ups.

**The Bad**
The game's presentation is absolutely horrible. If the game wasn't called NBA Action 98 you'd think it was made in 1995. The game has no form of 3D hardware support whatsoever, the textures don't look very colorful, 640 x 480 is the maximum resolution and the players look like a bunch of cubes glued together. Although I think the developers have tried to add a different face for every player, it isn't easy to distinguish one player from another. The logos, screens and menus look dated. Moreover using the menus is a laborious process; you can't use the keyboard to type in your name but have to select one letter at a time from a list. The game has no mouse-support at all. This game is a port from a Sega Saturn game and that's very very obvious. I don't like the commentary at all. It’s done by Chick Hearn of the LA Lakers, which might be a good thing if you're a Lakers fan but I find his voice unpleasant. He's got two or three cool/funny lines like: “He got his hand caught in the cookie jar!” (after a reaching in foul), but it grows old fast. Some more bad stuff:
  • The game clock is slow. I managed 12-minutes-per-quarter-scores in an 8-minutes-per-quarter game.
  • The jump shot animation is a bit slow; your shots are blocked too easily.
  • Match-up problems. Sometimes the computer uses a 6 foot 1 sized player to defend a seven footer.

**The Bottom Line**
You know what they say, don't judge the book by the cover. It may look ugly but it's a good game. BTW Visual Concepts and Sega addressed those graphical problems with the splendid NBA 2K games for the Dreamcast & PlayStation 2.

Windows · by Roedie (5239) · 2002



The cover features the LA Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during his rookie season ('1996-'97). Kobe is even mentioned in the game's credits. The rosters of the game itself are based on the '97-'98 season (Tim Duncan's rookie year).

Playstation version

While the Sega Saturn and Windows versions of the game feature some of the courtside billboards displaying the Sega Saturn logo, the Sega logo, and the Sega Sports logo, the Playstation version unsurprisingly has these logos now saying Fastbreak, Midway, and Visual Concepts.


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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 2968
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

SEGA Saturn added by Kabushi. PlayStation added by Thomas T.

Additional contributors: Roedie, Alaka, Thomas T.

Game added January 13, 2001. Last modified November 21, 2023.