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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 SNES Swish! 2 points
NBA Jam SEGA CD Time to play
NBA Jam SNES Sacramento at Dallas in the first half
NBA Jam SEGA CD Main menu

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Alternate Titles

  • "NBAジャム" -- Japanese spelling

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Player One Genesis Mar, 1994 95 out of 100 95
Freak Genesis Mar, 1994 93 out of 100 93
Play Time Genesis Apr 06, 1994 91 out of 100 91
Play Time SEGA CD Jan, 1995 85 out of 100 85
Video Games Game Gear Apr, 1994 84 out of 100 84
Video Games Genesis Apr, 1994 83 out of 100 83
GamePro (US) Game Gear Mar, 1994 4 out of 5 80
Mean Machines Game Gear Apr, 1994 76 out of 100 76
RetroGame Man SNES May 09, 2016 7 out of 10 70
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.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • February 1994 (Issue 55) - Game of the Month (SNES version)
  • GameFan
    • Vol. 3, Iss. 1 - Best SNES Action/Arcade Game of the Year 1994

Contributed to by Kartanym (12825), Freeman (42406), Pseudo_Intellectual (59455) and Mullet of Death (653)