Throughout the last few decades, basketball games have been characterized for being some of the most popular in the world, since they allow you to control your favorite players and teams. In fact, this became the main reason why this type of game is so great, both in online and offline multiplayer, beating other sports that also had their opportunity as video games.
Naturally, the evolution of basketball on gaming consoles has been framed by the developers' ambition to make it as realistic as possible, but some of them took different paths by adding fictional elements to the sport. Surprisingly, this strategy ended up achieving a huge amount of sales.
With that in mind, is quite normal to find different kinds of basketball games that you can actually enjoy, including those that offers some types of matches that are really entertaining, even when they don't exist in real life. Sadly, these experiments went the wrong way in many cases, giving us some horrible games.
Of course, we're not talking exclusively about those games that simply didn't meet expectations, considering that this situation doesn't always have to do with a game's quality.
In short, this list represents the best exemplifications of how to make a popular sport look disastrous and become an invaluable treasure for gamers that loves to make fun of the most shameful and horrendous parts of basketball.
15 Pat Riley Basketball (1990)
In addition to some of the most incredible moments in NBA history, Pat Riley has also had some embarrassing situations that will always be remembered. However, what no one expected was that his image was going to be immortalized in the minds of gamers, thanks to a video game that got his name as its title and bombed.
Also known as Super Real Basketball in Japan, this game is known for being terrible in every single aspect. In fact, this game could be easily considered as some kind of sick joke for anyone who expected to play their favorite NBA team, given the fact that it didn’t have any real ones. Believe it or not, even the players were fake. Of course, the game was extremely boring, unrealistic as hell, and the ball looked like one you use on the beach.
14 NBA All Star Challenge (1991)
The problem for this game was that many of its competitors offered a greater experience back in the '90s, as its gameplay was absolutely horrendous and depressing. NBA All Star Challenge even had a bizarre mode called Free Throw, where you stood there on your own and shot some lonely and sad free throws with the help of an ugly-looking cursor. That's right, not even a single pinch of enjoyment or competition at all.
Naturally, there was also a tournament mode, three points shots, and the classic one on one mode. However, this was really awful and annoying since the game really had disastrous images. And, as it was previously mentioned, the gameplay was so disastrous that playing defense or even running around was almost impossible.
13 Super Slam Dunk (1993)
The issues with this basketball video game start with the cover, which shows three images of NBA superhero Magic Johnson, including one where the Lakers legend looks like an old-school crooner with his signature below. While it remains unknown why Super Slam Dunk thought it would be cool to include this picture on its cover, the only thing that's certain is that we're talking about one of the most terrible basketball games in the history.
Overall, the game is really frustrating to play, given the fact that its speed is quite unbearable and the camera is similar to NFL games, where once you have the ball, it makes some kind of u-turn. On top of that, Super Slam Dunk doesn't have real teams or players. Not even Magic Johnson appears in the game, which is quite surprising considering that he literally gives a pre-game insight before each game.
12 Fernando Martín Basket Master (1987)
Fernando Martín was probably the greatest Spanish basketball player in their history before Paul Gasol, to the point where he became the first Spaniard to play in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers back in the 80s. Unfortunately, his promising career came to a tragic end after a car accident that took his life when he was 27 years old.
Two years before this terrible event, Dinamic Software released Fernando Martín Basket Master. The catchy element was the chance to play against the legendary basketball player in an old-school game of one on one, but the game was so horrendous in every single aspect that everyone hated it and the company disappeared just five years later.
The graphics were appalling even for the '80s standard, the game speed was incredibly slow, and the gameplay was so awful that it was basically unplayable. In any case, Fernando Martín Basket Master probably represents the worst tribute that a video game has made for any sports legend.
11 Looney Tunes B-Ball (1995)
The basic elements of a successful basketball game are quite easy. First of all, in case you're looking for a realistic experience, it needs to offer real NBA teams with the updated rosters and those players need to have accurate statistics and abilities. In case you don't care if the game is unrealistic, the gameplay should be smooth enough to ease playability, and the speed shouldn’t be too slow or too fast. Sadly, Looney Tunes B-Ball is exactly the opposite of each of these elements.
Basically, this game basically consists of 2 on 2 matches where you can also collect some gems on the court to buy power-ups and distractions. While these details could be quite entertaining for those who like unrealistic features in basketball games, the problem with Looney Tunes B-Ball is that its gameplay is so terrible that sometimes you don't know if you made a point or not.
Another big issue with this game is that its speed is extremely fast, which represent a huge problem even for one of this type, considering that the rhythm of each match is really uncomfortable. Lastly, Looney Tunes B-Ball has some easy in-game cheats, which is one of the most annoying details of the multiplayer mode.
10 Space Jam (1996)
As you might already know because of several disappointments, video games based on movies are normally huge flops. Naturally, Space Jam is not the exception to the rule and it reaches a higher level of madness and mediocrity just because of the fact that it was developed by Sculptured Software, the same company that made Looney Tunes B-Ball.
The game showed almost the same flaws, with the difference being that Michael Jordan and the silly monsters were also available. Naturally, this means that far from being a serious basketball game, it includes the awful gameplay and speed, with some terrible mini-games that ruin the already disgusting experience.
However, what's even worse about Space Jam is that it doesn’t have any music and the controls are extremely uncomfortable, which means that to shoot the ball you have to hold the button instead of just pressing it like a decent basketball video game.
9 Jammit (1994)
Instead of having any real basketball players, this crazy game only lets you choose three fictional characters that will definitely make you feel pine for Bugs Bunny or even Porky Pig. The characters are Slade, Chill and Roxy, who play one on one streetball matches where everything just feels wrong.
The first detail about Jammit is that it has terrible controls, meaning that executing whatever you try to do is a utopia. Secondly, every single time you jump near the basket or try to go for a dunk, the game suddenly send you to a cutscene, which is extremely frustrating after the first five minutes.
Finally, you can trash talk your opponent by hitting the pause button and choosing the insult you want to make, which definitely represents one of the funniest and disgraceful options in video games history. Believe it or not, each character has their own lines, and the most offensive options are things like “Shut up,” “Fool,” “Sucker,” or “Mama said knock you out!”
8 Double Dribble (1986)
Although there are many terrible basketball games, just a few have the proper elements to beat this one in terms of making something historically disastrous. In fact, Double Dribble is one of those games that can be considered as a comedic gem if you look at it from a different perspective.
One of the main problems with this game is that it was unrealistically easy, to the point where you had some black spots where you could score every single time you shot. Another issue was the lack of real players and teams, and the fact that because of Nintendo's limited hardware at that time, players permanently blink on the screen.
Also, when you're about to dunk the ball, the game suddenly shows a dunk animation that clearly resembles everything that was wrong about the '80s. And believe it or not, Double Dribble had a bizarre halftime show where the cheerleaders did some dance moves and the teams mascots came out. It was hard to watch.
This game is so incredibly laughable that it appeared on Family Guy, and not exactly as the epitome of a piece of art.
7 Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball (1991)
In 2030, a basketball league somehow ended up being ruled by evil robots that wanted to destroy the beautiful game and the only hope for mankind was no one else than Pistons´ bad boy Bill Laimbeer. For some reason, he still looked young and had the physical conditions to rule a team with his legendary leadership and physical game.
Although this might seem like something might describe to you while high, it is actually the plot of Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball, one of the worst games in the history. First of all, instead of wearing regular uniforms. the players in this game were dressed like cyberpunk villains. On the other hand, the game itself is crazier than its plot, because in order to get the ball from the opponent, you can actually grab them, punch them, or even throw them some grenades.
Furthermore, the speed is extremely slow, the camera makes you feel sick, and the graphics are so terrible that you don't even know which of the players is Bill Laimbeer.
6 1 On 1 (1998)
1 on 1's gameplay is quite normal, the speed is decent, and it has really good graphics for a game from that time. Given all that, if you're asking yourself why this is one of the most terrible basketball games of all times, let's say that it has reasons to also be considered one of the weirdest games ever.
Believe it or not, the soundtrack was quite similar to the music you can hear in a cheap erotic film, the locations where the matches were played are extremely weird (it includes a Swedish farm), and you can literally throw punches and kicks to steal the ball from your opponents. Furthermore, 1 On 1 doesn’t have any entertaining element for an unrealistic basketball game, which makes it really disappointing for those who really loves these types of games.
Finally, the elephant in the room is definitely the characters, which are characterized for being extremely bizarre. Some of these includes a hipster-dressed monkey with a gigantic tail, a really tall woman that could easily destroy your face, a skinhead-looking guy with a squirrel on his head, and a winged man with green hair and purple pants.
5 Rapjam: Volume One (1995)
As you might have already noticed with the previous games, not including real basketball players or at least the real teams is normally pretty disappointing, given the fact that these are really important details that they usually want to see. However, the crazy thing about Rapjam was that the available players were '90s rappers such as LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Flavor Flav, Warren G, Coolio, or even Queen Latifa.
That´s right, we're talking about a seriously wacky basketball game where you can play one on one or two on two matches with these particular rappers. Believe it or not, there's even a championship mode with the worst reward ever, giving your rapper a spot in a rap video and $500 bucks.
What's even worse was that basketball rules never applied in this game, to the point where every single point counted as 2 and you could double dribble anytime you wanted to. As you can see, this was definitely a really terrible moment in gaming history.
4 Michael Jordan: Chaos In The Windy City (1994)
The reason why this game achieves a notorious fourth place on this list is because of the huge disappointment that everyone who bought it back in 1994 felt. And why did they feel it? Because they expected a really cool basketball game and, instead, they got a side-scrolling action platformer where the main objective was to rescue Jordan's teammates, who were abducted by some evil doctor named Max Cranium.
As you would expect, the adventure was a madhouse and Michael Jordan: Chaos In The Windy City became one of the weirdest games of all time. He fought off giant spiders, floating eyes, and zombies with basketballs on their heads. What did you use to fight them? Basketballs, of course.
On top of this madness, there were some randomly placed hoops around the game, where you could dunk in order to collect some tokens. And. of course, to recover strength and energy, you just had to pick some Gatorade bottles.
3 White Men Can't Jump (1995)
In addition to its blatant lack of quality, the only similarity with the Wesley Snipes' film was that the game consisted of two on two streetball matches. The graphics were really bad and the camera work was embarrassing, but the worst detail about White Men Can't Jump was that knowing whether you made a basket or not was almost impossible. Surprisingly, the game's solution to that was to show some hardcore streetball phrases like “Schooled´Em!,” “Hacked,” “Airball,” or even “That Had To Hurt.”
Another big issue with this game was that the controls didn’t work at all, meaning that doing anything coherent was really difficult. Shockingly, the clearest representation of this problem was how some buttons didn’t respond, which was extremely annoying when you had the opportunity to make a dunk.
2 Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden (2008)
Just like Michael Jordan: Chaos In The Windy City, this game doesn’t have anything to do with basketball. However, the big difference is that it represent one of the craziest moments in the history of video games, given the fact that this is some kind of fan-made bizarre version of Barkley, Shut Up and Jam!, another wacky game that failed miserably.
Believe it or not, this game has the style of a Final Fantasy RPG and a crazy plot that should definitely raise serious concerns about the writer.
Things went like this: in 2041, Charles Barkley did a hell of a move called the Chaos Dunk, which accidentally killed almost every single person in the stadium. Eight years later, someone performed this same genocidal move, killing millions in the process, which forced Barkley to look for a solution. However, he also had to find his son Hoopz during the journey, and stop a villainous group led by the legendary Michael Jordan, with the help of a half robotic Vince Carter.
Although Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden has some bad graphics, a lot of swearing, and doesn’t even have Barkley's permission, it represents one of the weirdest experiences you can get in a video game.
1 Slam City With Scottie Pippen (1994)
This game starts with Scottie Pippen raping in the intro, as you chose the game level and some other options. For this one, you have to play through a one on one tournament where you have to beat every single opponent to gain the street's respect and play against the Chicago Bulls' legendary small forward.
Being an interactive movie, almost everything in Slam City With Scottie Pippen is a video, which is extremely annoying considering that the gameplay is uncomfortable as hell. And as you could imagine, the game has some embarrassing cutscenes where streetball players are slanging and doing things that are supposed to be funny.
Slam City With Scottie Pippen has the proper elements to be considered the worst basketball game in the history: horrendous controls, lack of real teams and players, and damaging an NBA legend's reputation.