Another popular genre of sports video games that takes a cue from the real world is basketball games. From those games with an official NBA license to others that use variations on the formula to create something new, basketball video games are not tied to the strict rules of the sport and are often more freestyle in form than baseball or football titles.
From the first ever title Basketball on the Magnavox Odyssey to the NBA Jam sensation in the arcades of the 1990s, basketball video games are some of the oldest titles around and are a true mainstay of the video game industry. Part of the enduring popularity of this genre is that, in addition to being one of the world’s most popular and fastest growing sports, basketball also has maintained a stable of luminaries and team’s that inspire devotion despite the changing tides of fan taste.
In fact, many games in the genre have traded on just this type of fandom with titles like Jordan versus Bird: One on One kicking off the tradition in 1989. The 1990s were a true high point for the genre with Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and the aforementioned Michael Jordan each contributing a game of some kind to the genre.
The true hit of the era was the NBA Jam arcade game which eventually made its way to every system known to man and is a force even today. From the NBA to street hoops, basketball games encompass a nimble variety of schemes in terms of gameplay and presentation.