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The 10 Best NBA Video Games to Play

Are you a video gamer who is also a fan of basketball? Here are the best NBA video games to play, both new and old!

Are you a sports gamer? NBA video games have consistently been a hit with fans of both video games and basketball throughout the years. While new updated versions continue to come onto the market each year with better graphics and performance, video game players continue to play older versions because of the nostalgia associated with them, certain game performance features, and because of their preference in consoles. While new versions are being developed and released, many gamers don't always have the resources to change up their gaming system; therefore, the older games continue to stay popular. We have made a list of some of the best video games you can play to emulate your favorite NBA team or player of all time, both new and old, for video gamers to enjoy. Check it out below.

NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18 is the most recent installment of NBA-related video games on the market. Each year, NBA 2K puts out a new version, and video gamers await the new arrival to see what progressions the game will have when it comes to performance, graphics, players, and more. What is highly impressive with the NBA 2K18 installment is that each specific player in the game can handle the ball differently, just like the players do in real life. This is unique, because when video gamers pick their NBA teams within the game, they are actually choosing based on the differences in ability of the players. These are digital advancements that you will not see in past installments of this video game.

NBA Live 18

Another more recent installment in video games centered around the NBA is NBA Live 18. In this video game, you can choose from different modes such as The One, where you can play in leagues or in street mode. The game will focus on your player’s career from college to professional as you move through the game and try to progress their skills over time. There is also a franchise mode, which works more like the NBA draft and a normal NBA season style game. NBA Live 18 has some relatively good graphics and gameplay; however, gamers seem to enjoy NBA 2k18 better when it comes to the 2018 NBA video game choices.


NBA Jam is one of those video games that brings back the nostalgic feeling of childhood arcade and Nintendo play time. Thankfully for gamers, NBA Jam is now available for XBOX 360 and Playstation 3, so everyone can relive the glory days. The new NBA Jam even brings with it some new remix modes as well as its original game modes. NBA Jam keeps its vintage style with cheesy commentary, over the top dunks by the players, unrealistic gameplay, and more, exactly what makes this game fun.

NBA Live 06

NBA Live 06 was one of the first NBA video games to really look high quality when it comes to graphics. The faces of the players look accurate, and so do the coaches. Overall, the visuals of this game, especially back in 2006, is impressive. However, as new installments came on the scene, this one fell to the wayside (as expected). It’s hard for video games to keep up as technology continues to improve. Other than the graphics, back in 2006, gamers were impressed by the sound of NBA Live 06 as well.

NBA 2K11

The history of NBA 2K covers is extensive, and NBA 2K11 is one of the few video games prominently features Michael Jordan. Also, NBA 2K11 has the best features of any other NBA video game, including Michael Jordan’s games in perfect recreation, NBA teams that are almost identical to the ones in real life, a franchise mode, and excellent controls. NBA 2K11 even comes with 10 Jordan Challenges throughout the game that you must try to conquer. Overall, NBA 2K11 is unique to its other annual installments, which makes it fun to play in years to come as new installments have come out.

NBA Street Vol. 2

NBA Street Vol. 2 is a great addition to the list of NBA video games to play because it is unique amongst its competitors. This game is made by EA Canada and features many different modes to play. There are single player and multiplayer options where you can play in Pick Up Game mode, NBA Challenge mode, Be A Legend mode, and Street School mode. This game will take you through the urban streets of the biggest cities, and teach you the ins and outs of basketball from the legends of the game. This game is nostalgic and fun. It brings a different vibe than most of the other games in the NBA 2K series.

NBA 2K16

Similar to its other installments, NBA 2K16 was one of the best video games of its time. NBA 2K16 brought even more upgraded visuals of the player models with more realistic facial features, true life wingspans, and signature animations all around. Overall, the gameplay for NBA 2K16 was upgraded significantly as well. With each year NBA 2K continues to improve, and back in 2016, this video game was a showstopper.

NBA Hangtime

NBA Hangtime is similar to NBA Jam in that it is one of those nostalgic video games based around the NBA that we still love because of its vintage feel. It doesn’t have the best graphics or the most realistic moves, but it has fun dunking capabilities for players, and its appeal comes from the fact that the gameplay is a little more over the top. NBA Hangtime is more about seeing how you can manipulate the game's features than it is about trying to simulate a real life basketball situation. This game was made to be just that; a game. Fans enjoy it for that reason. Now, just imagine if this was around to highlight how the 2017 dunk contest would go.

NBA Street Showdown

NBA Street Showdown is another video game that is well past its prime. This video game is fun for fans who want to relive their childhood a little and enjoy the old graphics and extravagant gameplay of past technology. NBA Street Showdown comes with career mode, mini-games, and head-to-head play. This is a three-on-three basketball game where players come from all 30 NBA teams, and some NBA stars are included as well. Overall, this game is fun, and is still played by some for a nostalgic effect.

Coming Soon: NBA 2K19

While its release date is still a couple weeks away, many gamers are anticipating the next best installment on the list of NBA video games, which is NBA 2K19. This video game will surely be one to buy because it will blow the others out of the water with incredible new features, gameplay, and performance. Stay tuned!

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