• Publisher: Acclaim
  • Release Date: Sep 23, 2003

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
Buy On
  1. Cheat Code Central
    It makes a great arcade-style game but it can't touch any of the basketball sims. It still comes up a little short on modes and options even when compared to games such as "NBA Street" but it does have its place.
  2. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    While this latest version succeeds in providing a polished, fast-paced, fun game of over-the-top 3-on-3 hoops, it doesn't really offer anything we haven't seen before. [Dec 2003, p.191]
  3. While Acclaim has managed to make a game that is better than any of the other attempts at a home edition NBA Jam still doesn't live up to the arcade original and falls short of other arcade hoops like "NBA Street" and "NBA Showtime."
  4. Game Informer
    Routed by the gameplay, options, and depth of "NBA Street." [Nov. 2003, p.149]
  5. 80
    The resulting relaunched game is worthy of its weighty legacy. "NBA Street" has a better all-around arcade-style game, but if all you care about are big dunks and big points, NBA Jam will deliver you to highlight heaven.
  6. games(TM)
    The slightly clumsy controls and overly enthusiastic (read: nearly unbeatable) AI, plus with a new Hot Spot system that feels very random, makes the whole game feel rather lopsided and not much fun. [Dec 2003, p.125]
  7. As a nostalgia piece, this new iteration is a great 3D representation of the classic NBA Jam experience, but when compared with recent arcade basketball offerings, like the "NBA Street" series, it doesn't quite measure up.
  8. 75
    My biggest nitpick is that defense and rebounding is still an afterthought.
  9. With the return of NBA Jam comes the return of pick-up-and-play gameplay and quick, fast-paced (and exciting) basketball entertainment. However, it is also accompanied by lacklustre AI, repetitive commentary and a short lifespan.
  10. Online play might have taken NBA Jam off the "rent for nostalgia" list and put it on the "must-have" list. As is, there are better basketball alternatives - several of them.
  11. GMR Magazine
    Unless you're feeling nostalgic, you're better off stickin' with EA's "NBA Street" series for over-the-top roundball fun. [Dec 2003, p.84]
  12. 70
    Other titles have taken the formula and advanced it to such a degree the NBA Jam just can't compete...With a weak AI and no online play, there's little to keep you coming back.
  13. It falls short, sadly. What was a wow in the early 90s is merely pedestrian today.
  14. Offering decent graphics, decent sound, and a replay value that just doesn’t quite seem to stick, NBA Jam isn’t recommended for any average basketball game fan, only the veterans will have fun with this title.
  15. The Legends Tournament alone is reason to own NBA Jam.
  16. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The series should've stayed dead and buried. [Dec 2003, p.182]
  17. Play Magazine
    The game isn't perfect. For starters, the AI could've been more challenging - I was able to break it down fairly easily and score at will. [Nov 2003, p.105]
  18. PSM Magazine
    Fans may find sentimental value here, but Jam just doesn't have the depth, features, or ambition level of its decendents. [Dec 2003, p.46]

Awards & Rankings

#81 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. DanK.
    Mar 12, 2004
    Did he really just do that? I can't believe it! BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!
  2. RozzaW.
    Jan 1, 2004
    What a game! From a easy 2 pointer to a massive monster jam. What else could you want?
  3. NickW.
    Dec 29, 2003
    Great game, but not as good as the originals.