Greatest Basketball Sims

I have on occasion enjoyed basketball simulations. It gave me a chance to learn more about the different leagues and rules, as well as different stars. When playing alone I prefer my rig, when playing with others, it’s time to unpack the consoles. Here are a few basketball sims I will never get tired of.

NBA Live 2004

This is easily the best installment of the NBA Live series, though, to be fair, NBA Live 19 was decent on PS4, but I digress. There are four game modes: Season, Dynasty, One on one, and Training. The final two are self-explanatory, but the Season mode allows you to build your own team to win the season, while in Dynasty mode, you spend point like in an RPG – improving your players’ skills.

NCAA March Madness 2004

Man, 2003 was a good year for games about basketball. The game is playable on Xbox and PS2. Pick your favorite school, or create one, and take others on in all major NCAA tournaments. One thing I like about this is that you can play as the team’s mascot.

NBA Ballers

If you’re on the market for one-on-one games, here is another PS2 title that might interest you. Ballers has an interesting commentary and a cool story mode. One of the interesting features is a game mode where three players all fight for the ball. There are also two meters on the screen – the Juice meter, that shows how long your player can keep it up, and the House meter, which, when filled, ends the match in the most BA way possible.

Honorable Mentions

The aforementioned NBA Live 19 has sparked some debate. Some players focus on the positive aspects. Other long-time fans, very openly criticize the gameplay. So which is it? You’ll have to find out for yourself. Personally, I think it’s fine, but nowhere near some of the other installments of the series.

I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a copy of NBA 2K6 for my old PS2, but I played it on my friend’s Xbox (no, we are not mortal enemies). It is kind of nice, and the graphics are amazing. I did feel a little off when it came to controls, but that could simply be because I’m not used to the Xbox controller.


Although it is old as dirt by now, NBA Live 2004 is the best basketball sim out there in my opinion. It could be nostalgia or just the love of good gameplay. There is a ton of basketball games out there to satisfy anyone’s needs, so it’s okay if you love something else, like the ancient Looney Tunes Basketball for SNES.