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NBA Ballers (PS2)

/ Apr 5th, 2004 No Comments

NBA Ballers is an over-the-top one-on-one basketball game highlighting the “bling-bling” lifestyle of NBA superstars. NBA Ballers features the best players playing today in the NBA as well as NBA legends dropping dimes and dunking in your grill to determine who is the greatest baller of all time.

game features

The game features some great modes – a quick play just to get rolling, a career mode, and a fully featured on-line mode that supports record keeping and tournament play.

Obviously, the career mode and the on-line game play are the foundation of the title. Playing on-line (PS2 only) was a lot of fun as you can pull the over-the-top moves and dunks against people across the country. The career mode is a lot of fun, to create your own baller and have him go from Rags (wearing a Midway Shirt and all) to Riches (wearing whatever you end up buying for him). There’s a lot of depth to the modes of play for one or two players that gamers should enjoy.


NBA Ballers takes me back to the days where basketball games for console systems were fun. Too often companies try to make ultra-realistic simulations for sports games, and it doesn’t always equate into a good time for gamers. NBA Ballers is the type of title where you don’t have to learn 395 different button mashing combinations to pull the moves you want to use against your opponent. To do the super moves and make your opponent “Act A Fool” (yes, the game keeps track of this), it doesn’t take much time to get used to the controls. Personally, I found the controls of the title to be extremely intuitive and easy to learn.

The basketball game itself has some different ways to play, but the standard way of playing is the traditional “Street” rules where you play to 11, loser get the ball, with a 2 minute time limit for each round where you play best 2 out of three. The format of the games is perfect for the “fast and furious” pace intended for the game.

Graphics & Sound

The graphics are great … I thought the player models (the crux of the graphics) were pretty solid, although “fat” people look a little more “wide” than they do obese. The faces of the players look dead on, so the touting that Midway has done about the players’ faces is definitely worth the hype. I was very impressed with the animations for the sick moves you can pull on different opponents … most of the moves come straight from those ridiculous basketball videos they sell on late night television where the players pull moves nobody could have ever of thought up in a million years.

The soundtrack is definitely one of the highlights of the game with a good hip hop mix and on-the-court beats by the renowned DJ Rocky Rock.

Overall Impressions

Lets get something straight – I found myself ridiculously addicted to this game while testing it out … for some reason I had to get my custom-made “Rags to Riches” player some more Bling Bling … he had to get a new beanie, a new shirt … I had to be more popular to get a friend (friends help you out during the game, as you can pass to them!) … it was all some sort of weird fantasy basketball world I got caught up in. At the heart of it all was a very fun and easy to play basketball game.

The graphics and sound of NBA Ballers was pretty solid, with the highlights being the animations for the big moves, the faces of the players, and the ultra-cool hip hop soundtrack. The gameplay of the title is pretty deep, and PS2 owners get the added bonus of playing on-line which offers a ton of fun things to do (I’m 5-0 thank you…) including tournament play. NBA Ballers should keep your attention for a while, as this is a perfect “party game” where you and a friend can throw it in and go back and forth playing battle after battle with your favorite NBA stars.

Overall, NBA Ballers is a very fun and addictive arcade style basketball game that offers plenty of modes and features to keep a gamer’s attention for a very long time. The over-the-top style and theme of the game along with some of the ridiculous moves you can pull on an opponent give the game a tremendous amount of appeal to the gamers tired of the “ultra simulators” that we’ve seen for years on end. Kudos to Midway for making a basketball game a fun and innovative title.


Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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