NBA Jam Tournament Edition

aka: NBA Jam TE
Moby ID: 2981
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Description official descriptions

This game lets you play two-on-two arcade basketball with players from all the NBA teams. Gameplay is fast and action-packed, with few rules, no fouls, and deliberately unrealistic jamming. Players are rated on eight ability categories, from steals and blocks, to dunks and 3-pointers.

Up to four human players can take part, each always controlling a single player for their team, and AI for missing players. This allows for four players to face each other in teams of two, or for two players to team up against a third player with a CPU team-mate.

The Tournament Edition ups each team's roster to three players, and allows for substitutions between quarters. Shoving players now results in injuries, which lower a player's stats; encouraging you to sub them out and let them recover. Aside from the usual secret characters and cheat modes, the T.E. also includes four new additions you can individually enable from the special options menu: * "Hot Spots" are randomized zones on the court that reward extra points (up to a 9-point shot!) for making a basket while standing within them.

  • Powerup icons appear randomly, and convey temporary arcade-like benefits when picked up. Some examples are instant "on-fire," enhanced 3-point accuracy, monster dunks from anywhere on the court, or a bomb that knocks all other players to the ground.

  • "Juice Mode" increases the speed of the game up to 4x.

  • "Tournament Mode" disables all other modes, special characters, and cheats, and challenges you to defeat all the NBA teams to unlock extra players (2 extra players for almost every team). Winning Tournament Mode also unlocks a higher CPU difficulty level.


  • NBA JAMトーナメントエディション - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (Arcade version)

72 People (27 developers, 45 thanks) · View all



Average score: 84% (based on 43 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 123 ratings with 2 reviews)

Very arcade

The Good
This game is a lot of fun, certainly if you play it with a friend. There are a lot of weird power-ups that, for instance, let you dunk from half-court, make your player shrink or make his head grow. The commentary suits this game well, this announcer guy shouts He's on Fire! or Slam Dunk! with an exciting voice. Also each player has his own voice-call (for over 150 players) which is quite unique when you consider the age of this game.

The Bad
Maybe it was just my computer but I could not get sound and midi music at the same time. Also this game gets easy rather fast, just take a big guy like Mutombo or Ewing and push over your opponent after you've scored and immediately you repossess the ball. And why did I always had to play against the Dallas Mavericks when I wanted to play just one game against the computer??

The Bottom Line
This is really an NBA title with a difference, it can't be compared with all those serious simulations that appear these days. It has not got that much depth but it certainly is a lot of fun when you play it with a friend (you can play with up to 4 people).

DOS · by Roedie (5239) · 2006

Hyperkinetic Basketball frenzy

The Good
I've always thought that most sport games appealed mostly to those people that wouldn't be caught dead participating in that sport, and instead prefer to somehow bathe in all that gladiatorial glory that showbiz has splashed on sports events. I mean, one doesn't want to simulate a basketball game, one wants to bring down an entire stadium as Jordan! That's regardless of wheter a ball is involved or not. NBA Jam sort of proves that theory for me and stands today as the first game that somehow realized this and simply left any simulation pretense and gave you the gaming equivalent of an end-game highlights showcase. In short: all the action, all the stars, none of the hassle.

The game allows you to select any of the NBA-licensed teams with their corresponding players and duke it out in two-on-two matches for the main championship. The thing with the game is that the gameplay on the court is completely jacked-up to arcade levels. Characters just fly through the screen as if on wheels and that's without using the turbo gauge every player has (y'know, just as in real life!), you can shoot hoops from any part of the screen with a simple button and pass it or push (and injure! yay!!)an opponent with another. The fun part happens with all the unique and outlandish dunks you can perform with button combinations which amount to very gratifying "money shots". You can fly and spin through the air, break the board, and even make the ball explode and turn into an unblockable fireball!! Cheesy?? Yeah!! Unrealistic? Of course!! But you know what? It's fun!! The game just exudes an arcadey charm that trascends it's basketball-sim roots and make it an original fast-paced game that is a blast to play on your own and even greater when played co-op or against a friend.

And for a change, this particularly exciting arcade game got perfectly ported to the pc! All the original arcade jammin' can be now experienced on a nice 486 PC without any major problems, and unlike the 16-bit versions this port mantains all the arcade graphic, digitized speech (actually the voice calls for the players and the announcer) and features of the upgraded T.E. version which featured more hidden characters as well as stat changes and smaller additions.

The Bad
It could get old reeeeeal fast. Unless you make a constant use of it's multiplayer capabilities you won't get much fun out of the limited arcade and tournament modes, after all there's really nothing that lifts the game up from being a simple arcade game with equally simple gameplay. There's only so much we can take of that, right?

The graphics were never that hot for me, with far too cartoonish looks for the players and really chunky animation (something that wasn't so noticeable on the arcades because of the blinding gameplay speed).

The Bottom Line
Fast and entertaining arcade game that barely resembles the sport it's based on but makes a fun diversion nonetheless. Don't ask too much of it and you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of this perfectly ported arcade classic. And as always: much, much better when played with friends.

DOS · by Zovni (10503) · 2003



  • Originally Acclaim wanted to add players from the Mortal Kombat game as hidden players, but they had to be removed because the NBA found them not suited to their image.
  • A legal issue prevented the name Michael Jordan making an appearance in the game. Look what Acclaim has done instead: Jordan's Bulls team-mate Ron Harper is the named player, but the picture is of Jordan.
  • Due to Charles Barkley's licensed game Shut up and Jam, he does not appear in the game

Version differences

  • The DOS, Jaguar, Playstation, and Sega Saturn versions of the game use a 3D scaling technique, the players are big when they're on the near side of the court (close to the camera) and smaller when they're on the far side of the court. The 16-bit versions of the game don't have this feature. The 16-bit releases also lack recognizable faces (during gameplay) and voice calls for every player name.
  • The rosters of the DOS, Genesis, and SNES version are based on the 1994-1995 season (small differences between versions exist due to trades that could / couldn't be included because of the different release dates).


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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 2981
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Roedie.

Game Boy, SNES, PlayStation, Genesis added by POMAH. Arcade added by MusicFox. Game Gear added by chirinea. SEGA Saturn added by Kohler 86. SEGA 32X, Jaguar added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: chirinea, Alaka.

Game added January 12, 2001. Last modified January 28, 2024.