• Publisher: Midway
  • Release Date: Apr 5, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. The player models - especially the detailed faces - look amazing, right down to Allen Iverson's tats and Larry Bird's disturbingly tight shorts. [June 2004, p.92]
  2. If you take the time to unlock everyone, and you have the time and ability to go online, then you’ll have a great time. However, if you are just interested in playing some quick games with good players, you can’t, because they’re all locked.
  3. 80
    Ballers’ best perks are its astonishingly hi-res textures (almost too hi-res—seeing the pores in the faces of player models isn’t exactly a pleasant thing), its depth of customization, the wide variety of smoothly animated street moves, and the intriguing 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 mode.
  4. Eighty-four hyper-detailed players are represented, or you can create your own baller and go rags-to-riches, racking up pimp-wear and "Scarface"-worthy real estate.
  5. It's really good. Midway conjured up some surprisingly deep gameplay mechanics that take the idea of 1-on-1 basketball to another level. [May 2004, p.101]
  6. Does a great job of bringing street flavor to the videogame world, presenting an engaging – and fun – experience. There is no question – the game is sequel-worthy.
  7. One on one basketball can be fun but can also become monotonous so its really a case of needing to like the sport because the storyline and other modes really aren't going to keep you playing the game for a great deal of time.
  8. Now all that Midway needs to do is to improve the AI and to focus more on the unique nature of 1 on 1 basketball. If they can do that, then they’ll have no problem rising to the level of "NBA Street" and maybe even beyond.
  9. 75
    Victory is accompanied by flashy jewelry, fancy cars, and the truest measure of a champ, a larger posse. [Mar 2004, p.39]
  10. 75
    Original concepts don't happen often in video games -- especially sports titles, and Ballers delivers. The more hardcore a basketball gamer you are, however, the more you may be brought down by the gameplay snafus. This is style over substance personified, baby.
  11. 73
    Definitely the lesser of the two major street basketball titles. A little more polish, a lot less loading, and we might have a showdown next year.
  12. Each confrontation is generally exactly the same and victory is sometimes dependent on whether the irritating catch-up AI decides to beat you or not. [Oct 2004, p.120]
  13. Without the option of full scrimmages, I wonder how long the game will stay fresh in the minds of gamers after about 30 games or so.
  14. Maybe Midway will release a follow up with the same graphic engine, but with cleaned up gameplay and some two-on-two action. If that happens, I could definitely see my friends and I spending hours upon hours reliving all our old NBA Jam memories.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. JacobB.L.
    Feb 7, 2005
    Wow! This game is a little overhelming in the beginning with all the options and game modes and moves. Sound is really outstanding and fits the game 100% Graphics are good, but not the best I've seen on the PS2. Gameplay is fun! Only really bad thing I can say about this game is the loading times can be a bit long, but only a bit! Full Review »
  2. Bob
    Jul 25, 2004
    The first game I played crashed when I tried to steal the ball from the CPU. I never played this game again. Booo-urns.
  3. Jayb.
    May 11, 2004
    This game is awesome. the best basketball game ever. get your ball your close and your crew and oh ya dunk, slam 3 pointers at the busser. i give it a big fat and juicy 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Full Review »