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.
1NBA Live Mobile Basketball
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.
2Dude Perfect 2
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.
5NBA Jam by EA Sports
8Stickman Basketball 2017
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.
9Real Bouncy Basketball
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.
10StarDunk – Online Basketball in Space