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Developer(s)Midway, Acclaim, Electronic Arts
Publisher(s)Midway, Acclaim, Electronic Arts
Platform(s)Arcade, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, 32X, PlayStation, Atari Jaguar, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, Android
First releaseNBA Jam
Latest releaseNBA Jam: On Fire Edition
October 4, 2011

NBA Jam is a long-running basketball video game series based on the National Basketball Association (NBA). Initially developed as arcade games by Midway, the game found popularity with its photorealistic digitized graphics, over-the-top presentation and exaggerated style of two-on-two basketball play. The successor to Midway's Arch Rivals, the original 1993 NBA Jam allowed players to jump many times above their own height, make slam dunks that defy human capabilities, and freely shove or elbow opponents out of the way without consequences. It also featured a variety of secret characters, as well as the ability to track player records and statistics between play sessions.

After the release of NBA Jam Tournament Edition, Acclaim, the publishers of the home versions of the NBA Jam games acquired exclusive rights to release games under the NBA Jam name under their Acclaim Sports brand. They produced their own games with the NBA Jam name starting in 1996 with NBA Jam Extreme, an arcade game featuring the trademark over-the-top style of the previous games. Meanwhile, Midway continued its own series of NBA games with NBA Hangtime. After NBA Jam Extreme, Acclaim started publishing titles exclusive to home consoles with a more realistic style. Acclaim then attempted to return the series to its arcade roots with one more console game, 2003's NBA Jam, before the company closed in 2004.

6 years later, Electronic Arts acquired the rights to the name and in 2010 released NBA Jam for the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was an attempt to replicate the original Midway games on newer consoles and original lead designer/programmer Mark Turmell was consulted on its development.


Midway NBA series

Title Year Platform(s) Publisher Innovation/New features
NBA Jam 1993 Arcade, Super NES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, Sega CD Midway 2-on-2 basketball, one of the first sports games to feature NBA-licensed teams and players. Tim Kitzrow in-game announcer.
NBA Jam Tournament Edition 1994 Arcade, Super NES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, Sega Saturn, 32X, PlayStation, Atari Jaguar Midway "Tournament" mode, more player attributes, player substitutions. Tim Kitzrow in-game announcer.
NBA Hangtime 1996 Arcade, PlayStation, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis Midway The gameplay is largely the same as the prior two Midway's NBA Jam games, with some additions. Has create-a-player feature. The title was changed due to the NBA Jam name being acquired by Acclaim Entertainment. An arcade mod kit called NBA Maximum Hangtime featured updated rosters. Neil Funk in-game announcer.
NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC 1999 Arcade, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Game Boy Color Midway Last of the Midway NBA Jam 2 vs 2 play version game. Tim Kitzrow in-game announcer.
NBA Hoopz 2001 PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color Midway This game is a descendant of NBA Jam and NBA Hangtime and a sequel to NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC. Features 3 vs 3 play.

Non-Midway NBA Jam series

Title Year Platform(s) Publisher Innovation/New features
NBA Jam Extreme 1996 Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Windows Acclaim NBA players of the 90's, uses 3D graphics. Marv Albert in-game announcer.
NBA Jam 99 1998 Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color Acclaim 5-on-5 basketball. Dan Roberts in-game announcer.
NBA Jam 2000 1999 Nintendo 64 Acclaim "Simulation" mode, "Jam" mode, improved create-a-player and create-a-team. Dan Roberts in-game announcer.
NBA Jam 2001 2000 Game Boy Color Acclaim None
NBA Jam 2002 2002 Game Boy Advance Acclaim None
NBA Jam 2003 PlayStation 2, Xbox Acclaim Legendary all-star teams (1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s). Tim Kitzrow in-game announcer.
NBA Jam 2010 Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 EA Sports New modes (Campaign, 1-on-1 boss battles, Elimination, 21, and Domination), High-resolution photographs for heads of players. Tim Kitzrow in-game announcer.
NBA Jam: On Fire Edition 2011 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 EA Sports New AI, improved visuals, roster updates. Tim Kitzrow in-game announcer.


In 1996, Next Generation listed the NBA Jam series as number 99 on its "Top 100 Games of All Time", commenting that, "NBA Jam is still a terrific game, especially in the arcade with four players. Many of its innovations are now cliche, but it remains one of the best arcade machines around."[1]


  1. ^ "Top 100 Games of All Time". Next Generation. No. 21. Imagine Media. September 1996. p. 37-38.

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