Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five! Every Friday I cover a topic related to basketball gaming, either as a list of five items, or a Top 5 countdown. The topics for these lists and countdowns include everything from fun facts and recollections to commentary and critique. This week’s Five is a list of five additions that would’ve greatly improved specific basketball video games.
We’ve yet to see a truly perfect basketball video game. That’s not surprising since true perfection is an unrealistic goal, and we all have our own ideas as to what that would entail besides. We have had some fantastic sim and arcade basketball games though, with the NBA Live, NBA 2K, NBA Jam, and NBA Street series all offering up some candidates for the best hoops titles of all-time. However, much as many of the all-time great players have had a weakness or two, the best basketball video games are often missing a feature or mode that would’ve made them even better.
Interestingly, it’s not just the all-time best basketball video games that feasibly could have been improved by just one addition. There are some very good and even a few mediocre games whose overall quality and reputations would be greatly impacted by the addition of a key feature or mode. It might not quite push them into the upper echelon of virtual hardwood classics, but hypothetically, they suddenly become far more appealing and playable with one big addition. I’ve selected five hoops games of varying quality, and nominated a major addition – one per game – that I believe either pushes them closer to “perfection”, or results in the most significant improvement.