Technical Foul: The Worst, Most Heinous Basketball Games Of All Time
This week marked the release of ShaqDown, a surprisingly good video game featuring former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal that has little to do with basketball. The premise? The Big Aristotle beats up zombie mutants to save the world, or what's left of it.
Crazy plot? Sure, but we like ShaqDown. The games on this list, not so much. A handful of companies failed to capitalize on NBA stars, instead releasing atrocious and at times comical titles featuring some of the best players to hit the court. That said, try not to stumble out of bounds watching this hilariously “turrible” footage.
Slam City With Scottie Pippen (Sega CD)
We can all agree that switching from cartridges to discs was great for gaming, and we can also agree that the process went through growing pains, thanks in large part to Sega. In the 90s, the company attempted to shove titles featuring low resolution MPEG footage upon the masses. Exhibit A: Slam City with Scottie Pippen, a horrendously bad sports game that attempted to capture the one-on-one experience. Not only did the controls come up woefully short, but the voice acting, well, see for yourself.
White Men Can't Jump (Jaguar)
White Men Can't Jump the movie is quite good, especially with Rosie Perez in skimpy clothing; that and the hoops acrobatics, of course. The Atari Jaguar video game, on the other hand, hurts the eyeballs. Ugly character models? Check. Players falling all over the place? Check. Annoying words appearing on-screen, like OUCH and BANGED? Absolutely. Watch the video for a good laugh.
Shaq Fu (SNES, Genesis)
One cannot list comically awful hoops games without this stinker. Released by Electronic Arts across multiple platforms in 1994, the idea was to merge Shaq's larger-than-life personality with a 2D beat-em-up to take advantage of the fighting frenzy that had overtaken arcades and home systems. The result was a sloppy mess that paled in comparison to the top dogs of the era, most notably Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II. ShaqDown is mercifully a step in the right direction.
Michael Jordan: Chaos In The Windy City (Super Nintendo)
In the 90s, everyone wanted to be like Mike. Armed with this knowledge, Electronic Arts and Ocean shoehorned his airness into a side-scrolling action adventure game. Jordan's weapon of choice? Basketballs with unique abilities. The plot? He sets off to rescue fellow NBA players so they can participate in an All Star charity game. Wait, what?
If anything, Basketbrawl did nothing to fix the perception that the sport breeds violence, not with players whipping out knives and stabbing the opposition. That aside, clunky mechanics, weak animations and all-around trashy gameplay made this Atari Lynx title (like most) one to forget.