NBA Jam Review
NBA Jam box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Canada 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 5, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Additionally, NBA Jam comes to Wii sans any online features. There are some cool achievements to unlock via local play, but if you’re hoping to hook up with players around the world for some competitive two-on-two, you’ll want to hold out for the game’s release on one of the HD consoles. Considering EA has both their own online service and the Nintendo WiFi Connection to choose from, it’s a baffling omission that cuts the package off at the knees.

NBA Jam screenshot

On the plus side, the presentation in NBA Jam is not only a great tribute to one of gaming’s favorite franchises, it’s also a splendid fit for the modest-powered Wii. The digitized representations of the players is still a great look that fits perfectly alongside the lampooning nature of the gameplay, and the stands are full of detailed spectators that each have their own unique animations. The courts look fantastic, and the framerate is butter.

I was surprised at the lack of music during most matches, though. There is the occasional cadence here and there, but the gameplay could definitely benefit from a few rockin’ tunes. The announcer, however, is pretty hilarious – “No hoop for you!” – adding tons of great chatter in the background during play. For the most part, the sights and sounds of the court are a feast for the senses.


NBA Jam on Wii is a solid, fun reboot that should please many fans. Considering its roots, the game aims to deliver the goods, but it doesn’t quite reach its full potential. The controls work fine, but the gameplay feels a bit hollow. As natural as motioning to dunk a ball is, I just never got that feeling of satisfaction I was hoping for. Played together with a group of friends, NBA Jam promises a good time. However, the lack of any online options means the game has limited appeal when weighed against its HD counterparts due out later this year. NBA Jam on Wii borders on the value of a downloadable title, but it’s still a fun package worth checking out.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

It’s a fun look that works especially well on Wii. Audiences are made up of more than merely background stills, though the animations are a bit archaic-looking.
The concepts behind the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls are inspired. The lack of subtle feedback, as well as the lightness with which the characters move, make gameplay feel a bit more like a novelty than something you can truly sink your teeth into.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
NBA Jam could stand to have a bit more music happening during actual gameplay, but the commentary and sound effects are still stellar components that add tons of personality to the experience.

Play Value
There are ample modes to choose from, loads of fun achievements to mine, as well as some really charming Easter eggs, and the two-on-two basketball is good fun in short stints with friends. The lack of online play, however, makes this a wait-and-see title for folks who also own an HD console.

Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • With two distinct game modes: Classic Campaign and Remix Tour, EA Sports NBA Jam offers something for everyone.
  • From boss battles against some of the NBA’s greatest legends, to half-court game modes with distinct challenges and winning conditions, players will be taken through an NBA Jam experience that, while completely unique to the basketball videogame genre, is classic arcade hoops at its best.
  • In Classic Campaign, players can take a trip down memory lane, individually or cooperatively with a friend, as they play through all the teams in the NBA in a worst to first ladder tournament. In Remix Tour, players will be faced with a new twist on the traditional NBA JAM experience.

  • Screenshots / Images
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