I picked up a copy of NBA Jam for the Megadrive last week. It’s considered a classic for a reason. I didn’t actually own a copy of it back in the day and I wouldn’t say basketball was my go-to sporting interest. But I certainly played it with my cousins and a few of my friends owned copies.
Powering up the Megadrive for the first time in a long time felt good and you can see why the game became popular. Apart from the Americana aspect, it’s very fast, the controls are responsive and the method is simple. It’s a “pick up and play” kind of title and you’re not disadvantaged if you don’t know a jot about basketball. Despite the “photo realistic” depictions of the players being touted as a major feature at the time they’re pretty hard to tell apart. But it doesn’t matter.
Sometimes leaving old games in the past to preserve the memory of how they were and how it felt is the best play. But some old games still play very well. NBA Jam is one of them.