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. It also featured a variety of secret characters, as well as the ability to track player records and statistics between play sessions.
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 its doors 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.