If you love the NBA, these iPhone basketball games will be huge slam dunks for you

Apr 4, 2017
Sports

The world owes James Naismith, the ingenious mind who invented the game of basketball, a lot. Ever since the first game was played in December 1891 – which had little to nothing in common with the basketball we know today -, basketball has evolved into one of the most popular sports on the planet that is played and loved by hundreds of millions of people. More importantly, the world’s premier basketball league, the National Basketball Association, is much more than a sports league, as the NBA has always been a vehicle for, and a pioneer of, social change. In the NBA, there have been one-of-a-kind superstars in each generation who have reached legendary status with their unbelievable athletic feats and with the way they’ve changed and popularized the game – just think of Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Shaq, or, last but certainly not least, LeBron James. It is often said that ball is life, which rings equally true for players and fans alike for a myriad of reasons, and with which we wholeheartedly agree. If you also happen to be a hoops fanatic for life, you’ll love these iPhone basketball more than YouTube commenters love “The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead!” jokes.

1
NBA Live Mobile Basketball

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In the latest installment of the mobile version of this classic EA Sports basketball game, the goal is to build your own squad, dominate your opponents, and ultimately become THE team to beat in a highly competitive league. Sounds easy, but in light of the fact that no matter which team you select, you’ll start out with a group of mediocre players, getting ahead in NBA Live poses quite a challenge, but what comes easy is usually of little worth, anyway. Defeating your opponents nets you coins and player packs, and you can also score awesome rewards by taking on daily challenges and by participating in live events, which add a dash of much needed versatility to an otherwise rather dull gameplay. For a mobile game, the graphics are okay, the controls are, as promised, intuitive and easy to learn, but overall, NBA Live is really nothing to write home about.

2
Dude Perfect 2

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YouTube’s basketball trick shot kings bring you an epic trick shot bonanza featuring the five Dudes – and also Panda, the sharpshooting mascot extraordinaire. Dude Perfect 2 packs 199 red balloons multifarious levels with mind-boggling trick shot challenges borderline defying the laws of physics, heaps of character customization options including unique power-ups and costumes, and the latest Dude Perfect videos you can watch right in the app.

3
Basketball Stars

basketballstarsBasketball Stars, arguably the GOAT multiplayer basketball game for iPhone, captures the highly competitive essence of one-on-one basketball. You can put your ankle-breaking, shooting, and scoring skills to the test in a pair of game modes: action-packed attacker-defender battles, and time-based shooting races. Basketball Stars became the king of the iPhone streetball court due to its realistic 3D graphics, its fully customizable players allowing you to represent your own style, and of course due to the backboard-breaking slam dunks and demoralizing blocks you can unleash on your opponents.

 

4
NBA 2k17

nba2k17NBA 2k17 prides itself as the most authentic basketball game to ever grace any gaming platform, which, at least in our experiences, is true in most cases, but unfortunately, the iPhone version of NBA 2k17 is an exception to this rule. Although the usual game modes (My Career, Quick Game, Blacktop, Season) are present, and the fan-favorite My Career is deeper than ever thanks to, for instance, an upgraded badge system and more attribute options, the controls and the overall gameplay leaves much to be desired – especially in light of the near-flawless gaming experience that 2k17 delivers on other platforms. On a brighter note, 2k17 comes equipped with several new historic players and an expanded EuroLeague with heaps of new teams, but still, quantity does not make up for the absence of quality.

5
NBA Jam by EA Sports

nbajamNBA Jam has so much nostalgic value and such an awe-inspiringly over-the-top gameplay that it will make you shout BOOMSHAKALAKA at the top of your lungs. Engage in high-flying 2-on-2 battles, pull-off gravity defying alley-oops and monster dunks, catch fire by making it rain from downtown, and enjoy the famous catchphrases courtesy of Tim Kitzrow, the original NBA Jam play-by-play announcer. You can play with superstar duos from all 30 NBA teams, and unlock vintage legends such as Dennis Rodman, Julius Erving, Scottie Pippen, and Karl Malone. NBA Jam features three game modes: “Play Now” perfect for casual games and for practicing SLAMMA-JAMMA!-inducing moves, a “Classic Campaign” in which you have to defeat all teams in your way to take home the elusive championship trophy (and in the process, unlock hoops legends, hidden players, and super fresh cheats), and a local multiplayer in which you can go head-to-head with your friends controlling literally big headed players.

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6
All-Star Basketball

allstarbasketballAll-Star Basketball delivers fully realistic basketball physics and all-star level 3D graphics. Although there’s an online multiplayer mode, All-Star Basketball is more of a lone wolf baller’s game, as you have to swish free throws, jump shots, and thrilling clutch shots as the clock winds down in various locations all by your lonesome. Before you start humming Obama’s Elf All By Myself, there are features that significantly alleviate your basketball solitude, namely arcade-style power-ups and thousands of player customization options thanks to an immense selection of gear covering multiple styles and eras.

7
Jam League

jamleagueJam League is a really strange, nevertheless not at all bad basketball game. What makes Jam League strange is that it feels like the developers put NBA Jam, Basketball Stars, and All-Star Basketball into the blender and what came out was this arcade-style 2-on-2 streetball dunk fest with several game modes and even more rim-crushing slams. Jam League features an ever-useful practice mode, traditional team games, so-called hotspot games in which you can compete against your friends, and online games tailor-made for dunking on random opponents from all over the world. You can select from 12 teams equipped with distinctively different abilities, 22 shoes which boost your speed, dunking ability, and stealing skills, 18 basketballs that enhance your accuracy from beyond the arc to Steph Curry-like levels, and, to top it off, you can add flavor to your high-flying game with 10 collectible dunks.

8
Stickman Basketball 2017

stickmanbasketball

Stickman figures are everywhere – with basketball courts not being exceptions to this rule, at least as it pertains to the realm of iPhone games. Stickman Basketball 2017 is a fast-paced basketball game starring – dare to make a guess? – high-flying stickman figures hooping much better than you ever will. You can choose from 115 teams (including one exclusively made up of Shawn Bradleys), and lead your favorite squad to victory in quick games, a variety of leagues (including the official Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League), tons of cups and knock-out tournaments, and you can even take the game of basketball to a most unusual and spine-shivering location in the creepy graveyard mode. Speaking of game modes, Stickman Basketball 2017 packs a multiplayer you can play with up to 4 controllers and a party mode for a maximum of 4 players on a single device. Thanks to heaps of unlockable content (including dunks, balls, and kits, to name just a few), deep team customization, touch controls requiring perfect timing, cute graphics, and 60 frames-per-second animations as silky smooth as Ray Allen’s jumper, Stickman Basketball 2017 is a surprisingly sweet basketball game with outstanding playability.

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9
Real Bouncy Basketball

realbouncy

Just like NBA Jam, Real Bouncy Basketball brings about a breeze of intoxicating nostalgia, although the latter takes the vintage-infusion a step or two further than the former. Real Bouncy Basketball is physics-based basketball game that pays homage to the old school with 2D pixel art graphics and a one-button control system you’ll master as easily as Russel Westbrook gets monster triple doubles. In Real Fancy Basketball, you can play intense 2-on-2 games against your friends on a shared screen, or battle it out with the CPU in case none of your pals are up to the challenge. You can choose from a wide range of game lengths (one, two, three, or four quarters with durations of 30, 60, or 90 seconds), 30 teams, and you can customize all teams and even select the players you’d like to have on your squad. In Real Bouncy Basketball, sheer power and will won’t get you two far, so make sure you use your brains and employ different tactics to outsmart your opponents.

10
StarDunk – Online Basketball in Space

stardunkStarDunk is an online multiplayer basketball game taking hoops way outside the stratosphere where it throws you right into the middle of interstellar basketball duels fought against fellow earthlings. StarDunk blends the most captivating features of retro arcade games and basketball games, making for a unique and rather addictive concoction.

 

 

11
Basketball Showdown 2015

basketballshowdownBasketball Showdown 2015 specializes in head-to-head flick shot matchups, delivering unparalleled realism with the revolutionary PhysKick Engine. Since in-game physics are based on meticulously precise measurements of real basketball mechanics, the ball bounces off the backboard, spins in the air, and rattles around the rim exactly the way it would in real life. Besides head-to-head matchups, you can assemble a squad with your friends to compete against other teams from all over the world in weekly tournaments to score awesome prizes.

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Balint Kodaj

Copywriter, poet, lyricist, journalist, social media and online marketing specialist, translator. Lives in Budapest, Hungary, but a Clevelander at heart. Established in 1987.

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