NBA Showtime | Retro Video Game Review

NBA Showtime, the popular arcade game of the 90s, is a classic that basketball fans of all ages will instantly recognize. Developed by Midway and released in 1999, NBA Showtime took the world by storm with its fast-paced gameplay and stunning visuals. In this article, we will delve into the details of NBA Showtime to provide you with an in-depth overview, review, and score of the game. Our goal is to help you gain a better understanding of what makes this game so significant and why it has become such a beloved classic within the basketball genre. Join us as we take a journey through the history and gameplay of NBA Showtime, providing critical evaluation of its graphics, story, sound design, replayability, and difficulty. Let’s explore one of the most iconic basketball games of all time.

NBA Showtime – Retro Video Game Overview, History, and Review

If you ever played NBA Showtime in the ’90s, you might feel a rush of nostalgia from the sound of the ball going into the hoop. Developed and published by Midway Games, NBA Showtime was released in 1999 and left an indelible mark on the basketball video game genre.

The gameplay of NBA Showtime offered an entertaining experience full of fast-paced action. It was very popular among gamers of all ages because of its simple controls, easy-to-use moves, and smooth gameplay. The mechanics are still excellent, despite the game being released more than two decades ago.

The game modes offered tons of variety and challenges to keep players invested. In addition to the conventional modes, such as arcade and season, the game introduced new modes, such as three-point shootout and the alley-oop challenge. The mini-games weren’t only enjoyable but also had significant impact on the gameplay experience

The controls are intuitive and responsive, allowing players to smoothly and easily evade or attempt a steal. The camera angles are effortless and do not make playing the game cumbersome. They adapt to the ball’s location, ensuring an immersive experience for every game.

In summary, NBA Showtime’s gameplay stands the test of time. Its innovation made it a classic game that never dulls with age.

NBA Showtime – Retro Video Game Overview, History, and Review

When it comes to basketball video games, NBA Showtime has stood the test of time. This game is one of the most popular arcade-style basketball games that was released in the late 90s. Its visuals are still commendable, given that it was released 20 years ago. The game’s graphics look realistic, and the players’ character design resembles real professional basketball players.

The environment of the game is very vibrant and lifelike. The basketball court is well-defined and animated, providing a sense of immersion to the players.

In terms of texture, NBA Showtime stands out from the rest of the basketball games of that time. The game has a smooth and polished texture, making it pleasing to the eyes. The basketball and the court both have a glossy texture, which enhances the visual experience of the players.

Compared to other similar games of that era, such as NBA Jam, the graphics of NBA Showtime is more precise and detailed. The game has evolved with the new technology, and the developers made sure the graphics are on par with the best games of its time.

The graphics of NBA Showtime is one of its main attractions and adds to the thrill of the game. The attention to detail and intricate design of the game’s overall presentation is certainly impressive.


NBA Showtime, a game released in the 90s, is a true classic in the basketball genre. The game’s storyline and premise revolve around the journey of a basketball team competing in the modern era.

The game’s creativity and originality is evident in the abundance of extra features that make it one of the most entertaining sports games of its time. The commentary, for instance, is one of the few aspects that help make the game stand out. It’s both humorous and informative, enhancing the player’s experience and immersion into the game.

The impact of NBA Showtime in the basketball genre is incredibly significant. Fans of both arcade-style and simulation basketball will find some fun in NBA Showtime. The game’s fast-paced, freewheeling approach to securing points has become a staple of the arcade basketball genre since the game’s release. Furthermore, it attracted both sports fans and non-fans alike.

Whether new or old to the game, players can appreciate the attention to detail, storytelling, and fun factor in NBA Showtime. Players experience the hype and excitement of the basketball scene in the ’90s era. It is an experience that is hard to match even in contemporary games.

Overall, NBA Showtime remains one of the most renowned and enjoyable arcade-style sports games ever released. The game’s storyline and premise, creativity, and impact are impossible to deny.

Sound Design

NBA Showtime’s sound design is a major element of the game that helps to provide an immersive experience. The game’s sound quality is exceptional, and it shows that a lot of effort was put into creating an atmosphere that is true to the sport. The sound effects of the game provide players with a realistic experience of the sound of the ball bouncing on the court and the crowd’s reaction during the games.

The voice acting is outstanding as well. The announcer’s voice is captivating, he sets the atmosphere for the game, and it’s heartening to hear him scream “He’s on fire!” after one player has executed three dunks in a row. The voiceovers add life to the game and make it more engaging.

The music in NBA Showtime is another aspect of the sound design that contributes to the excitement. The background score is upbeat and energetic, which is perfect for a fast-paced game. The music evolves and changes when the game reaches its critical moments, which adds to the tension.

Compared to the sound design of other games of the same era, NBA Showtime’s sound quality and effects stand out. Other basketball games of the time period did not deliver the same experience in terms of sound quality.

All in all, NBA Showtime’s sound design is a significant element that sets it apart from other basketball games of its time. It helps to create an immersive experience that draws players in and makes them feel like they’re genuinely on the court.

Replayability and Difficulty

NBA Showtime is not only a game that players can complete in one sitting. Instead, it offers a unique and exciting experience that players can enjoy multiple times. With various game modes, including the three-point shootout and tournament, the game has significant replay value. The player can play with different teams, which makes every playthrough unique.

When it comes to evaluating the game’s difficulty, NBA Showtime has a steep learning curve. At first, it may be challenging for new players to get used to the game’s fast-paced gameplay and responsive controls. However, with time, any player can master it.

Compared to other games of the same era, NBA Showtime stands out for its high level of accessibility. Unlike other basketball games that focused on realism and simulation, NBA Showtime was more arcade-like. This approach allowed players to enjoy the game more, even if they were not basketball enthusiasts.

Overall, NBA Showtime’s replayability and difficulty make it a game that players can revisit repeatedly. Whether they want to improve their scores or try different teams, the experience is always compelling. While its difficulty curve may be steep, the game is accessible enough for anyone to enjoy. In short, NBA Showtime is one of the most replayable basketball games of its time.


In conclusion, NBA Showtime is a classic basketball arcade game that has stood the test of time. The game’s simple yet exciting gameplay, combined with its impressive graphics and sound design, have made it a popular favorite among fans of the genre.

NBA Showtime’s story does not provide a groundbreaking experience but adds an exciting twist to the typical basketball game with its ‘on fire’ mode. The game also has high replayability, allowing players to continue playing for hours without becoming bored.

Based on our evaluation, we provide NBA Showtime a score of 8 out of 10. It’s a must-play for all basketball and retro arcade enthusiasts seeking to experience the 90s’ ambience. The game’s simplicity and mechanics are easy to pick up while providing a challenging experience to master.

Overall, NBA Showtime is a fantastic game that deserves recognition as a basketball arcade game classic, complete with fluid gameplay, mesmerizing graphics, and atmospheric sound design. We recommend this game to anyone who loves arcade games, basketball, or is a fan of retro gaming.


1. What platforms can I play NBA Showtime on?

You can play NBA Showtime on various platforms, including Arcade, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color.

2. Does NBA Showtime have multiplayer modes?

Yes, NBA Showtime has multiplayer modes that allow you to play with up to four players.

3. How does NBA Showtime compare to other basketball games of its time?

NBA Showtime was considered one of the best basketball games of its time due to its realistic gameplay and smooth controls. It received positive reviews and was often compared to similar games like NBA Jam and NBA Live.

4. Is there a difference in gameplay between different platforms?

While the core gameplay of NBA Showtime remains the same across platforms, some versions may have slight variations in graphics or gameplay due to hardware specifications. However, the overall experience for the game remains consistent.

5. Can I adjust the difficulty level in NBA Showtime?

Yes, NBA Showtime allows players to adjust the difficulty level depending on their preferences. You can choose from four difficulty levels: Rookie, Pro, All-Pro, and Hall Of Fame. Each level offers unique challenges and rewards.

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