NBA Superstars Arcade Game: A Nostalgic Tribute to NBA Jam

After three decades, the NBA is heading back to the arcade with NBA Superstars.

By Blair Marnell on May 21, 2024 at 4:34PM PDT

Just over three decades ago, Midway’s NBA Jam was a monster hit in arcades that rivaled Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II. Arcades have largely fallen by the wayside since the days of NBA Jam’s dominance. However, the spirit of the game is being revisited in NBA Superstars, a new arcade game from Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix that recreates the over-the-top style of NBA Jam. And to further connect the two games, NBA Jam announcer Tim Kitzrow is lending his voice to NBA Superstars as well.

All 30 NBA teams are represented in NBA Superstars, which features modern players including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and more. One of the updated changes for this title is that NBA Superstars will feature three-on-three games as opposed to NBA Jam’s two-on-two contests.

The arcade cabinet for NBA Superstars also marks a considerable progression from the NBA Jam era. It comes with a 75-inch screen, marquee lights creating the illusion of camera flashes, and team-specific colour-coordinated RGB LEDs. Furthermore, players have the opportunity to establish their own online accounts that record their performance and statistics using QR codes that the game can scan.

NBA Superstars will be launched in arcades this summer. However, if you prefer bringing the arcade experience to your living room, the NBA Jam home arcade cabinet by Arcade1Up offers multiple iterations of the iconic basketball game. Right now, you can enjoy a $100 discount on the Shaq Edition at Best Buy. And if you’re more inclined towards modern consoles or PC, you might want to explore NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, a spiritual successor to NBA Jam which conserves the original’s two-on-two action.

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