The Evolution of Basketball Video Games – From Double Dribble to NBA 2K

Video games have come a long way since the days of the Atari and the Commodore 64, and with them, so have basketball games. What was pretty much two stick figures moving around awkwardly on our TV’s 30 years ago turned into real players likeness on screen, sometimes looking so real you think it’s an actual game on the more modern NBA 2k games.

My favorite was always Double Dribble, a Konami (Pro Evolution Soccer, if it rings a bell) game that came out in 1986. I used to play it on the Commodore, although it’s popularity really took off when it got to the Nintendo. The game had tons of bugs and quirks, but it also had animation sequences showing basketball players performing slam dunks, which was quite a rarity back in the day.

Of course, as the years passed, NBA Jam became the big hit for a while. Dunks, dunks and more dunks. It got boring after a while. The real game changer NBA Live ’95, as with everything EA Sports did in the 1990’s, it completely changed the way sports games were viewed, including NBA and basketball games. Live continued to dominate the market while street ball video games started to see the light of day, but at some point, NBA 2K took over. Better graphics, better game play, better everything when compared with the EA Live series, which still hasn’t been able to catch up.