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NBA Jam (sometimes "Jam" for short) 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 and get flagged. It also featured a variety of secret characters, as well as the ability to track player records and statistics between play sessions.
|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, Android|
|First release||NBA Jam|
|Latest release||NBA Jam: On Fire Edition|
October 4, 2011
After the release of NBA Jam Tournament Edition, Acclaim, the publishers of the home versions of the Jam games acquired exclusive rights to release games under the NBA Jam name. Acclaim released one arcade game, NBA Jam Extreme, 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 they 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 Jam series
|NBA Jam||1993||Arcade, Super NES, 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, 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 Nintendo, 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. NBA Maximum Hangtime was also a separate arcade version with 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.|
Acclaim Sports obtained the rights to use the "NBA Jam" name over Midway. Acclaim produced its own version of the game with the NBA Jam name starting in 1996, but is a different game series from that of the original Midway version of NBA Jam.
|NBA Jam Extreme||1996||Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Windows||Acclaim||NBA SuperStars 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."