I did a similar list a few years ago ranking the 23 best games that included Michael Jordan. Since that time I have found more games featuring MJ and also 2k12 & 13 were released. This list is drastically different from the one I did two years ago. The reason for this is my memories of these games has been refreshed, I have been playing a ton of retro games recently. Note: I actually found 33 games featuring Jordan but I omitted NBA Inside Drive 2002 and 2003 because I have never played these games. I've heard they are awesome and I'm really thinking about buying an original XBOX just to play them.
31. NBA ALL STAR CHALLENGE 2 (Gameboy)
I never thought I'd find a basketball game worse than NBA All Star Challenge but that was before I knew that a gameboy sequel existed. All the putridness of All Star Challenge ported to the Gameboy. YES!
30. NBA ALL STAR CHALLENGE (SNES/GENESIS)
NBA All Star Challenge is just plain awful. It's a one on one game where making jumpers is harder than Battletoads. The only mode that is even remotely fun is the 3 point contest.
29. JORDAN VS BIRD SUPER 1 ON 1 (GENESIS)
The Genesis version of Jordan vs Bird proves the saying that graphics aren't everything. While this game looked better than its NES counterpart it wasn't nearly as fun or charming. The controls are just awful. Ranked by many as one of the worst Genesis/Master System games made.
28. MICHAEL JORDAN: CHAOS IN WINDY CITY (SNES)
This is a good under rated game but obviously a non basketball Michael Jordan game isn't gonna be ranked too high.
27. TEAM USA BASKETBALL (GENESIS)
This game is basically Bulls v Blazers featuring the teams of the 92 Olympics. If you're playing a friend then deciding who's gonna be the US could be a problem... unless your friend happens to be from Croatia or Spain.
26. BULLS VS BLAZERS (SNES/GENESIS)
This game is pretty much just a roster update of Bulls vs Lakers, The only difference I've noticed is Michael Jordan's signature move is the 'Kiss the Rim' dunk on the Genesis version. Whereas on the SNES version he has the same reverse layup he uses in Bulls Vs Lakers.
25. JORDAN VS BIRD 1 ON 1 (COMMODORE 64/MS-DOS/GAME BOY/GENESIS/NES)
Good old fashioned fun, the first basketball game I ever played. The dunk contest is easily the best part of the game.
24. MICHAEL JORDAN IN FLIGHT (MS-DOS)
Graphic wise this was the best representation of Michael Jordan in a game up until that point. The game however leaves a lot to be desired. Don't get me wrong it has some good things going for it but it has no NBA teams, no NBA Players (other than Jordan) and it's a half court 3 on 3 game.
23. SPACE JAM (PS1/SEGA SATURN/DOS)
Fun game designed for small children, kind of like a poor man's NBA Jam (VERY Poor).
22. TECMO NBA BASKETBALL (NES)
Far and away the best B-Ball game on the NES. It's basically just like Tecmo Super NBA Basketball without the SNES graphics.
21. BULLS VS LAKERS (GEN)
This is the first basketball game I actually bought and though I'm quite fond of it the problem is making jump shots is far too difficult so you just go for dunks and layups which are very easy to do. That was a big problem with the versus series, Dunks and Layups were unblock-able and virtually unstoppable.
20. NBA SHOWDOWN (SNES)
This was the last game to use the 'versus engine' and it was probably the crown jewel of the series. It featured all the NBA teams, a season mode and the ability to trade players. Add to that the fact that it was faster than it's predecessors and you have a winner.
19. TECMO SUPER NBA BASKETBALL (SNES)
This game was better in many people's minds than the EA 'versus games'. It was certainly faster and more fluid. It had all the teams and almost all the players, unlike Bulls vs Blazers which featured only playoff teams. The only things I didn't like about the Tecmo game was that all the players looked exactly alike which would occasionally result in you shooting a three with Bill Cartwright. Also it was too easy to score in transition. There was a Genesis version as well but it was probably one of the first games I can remember that replaced the great number 23 with the infamous number 99.
18. IN THE ZONE 2* (PS1)
This is one of two 'asterisk' games on this list. While Jordan is not officially in this game he is poorly hidden as a player called M.Guard #83. From what I've heard Konami got in hot water over using Jordan's likeness.If you like the old Run N Gun arcade style then this game is lots of fun.
17. NBA COURTSIDE 2002 (GAMECUBE)
Nintendo's NBA franchise was always pretty solid going back to the N64 days and the 2002 edition for the Gamecube was no exception.
16. NBA STREET (PS2/GAMECUBE)
A really fun game which was basically a super charged version of NBA Jam Ala Maximum Hangtime.
15. LAKERS VERSUS CELTICS (GEN)
The original versus game is till my favorite, Showdown was a better game overall but by the time it came out we'd already seen a ton of games with the same engine. Lakers vs Celtics was the one that started it all. It had plenty of flaws that were corrected in Bulls vs Lakers but to me Lakers vs Celtics is still a more enjoyable game than any of the sequels.
14. NBA SHOOTOUT 2003 (PS1/PS2)
Decent game, 989 sports was cranking out some great games in the late 90's but by 2003 they had clearly fallen far behind 2K and EA.
13. NBA LIVE 2001 (PS1/PS2/PC)
This was the first PS2 Live game and while it was very good it was pretty much a souped up version of Live 2000. That's definitely not a bad thing but I expected more from the new console at the time.
12. NBA LIVE 2003 (PS1/PS2/XBOX/GAMECUBE/PC)
Very fun game but it is very arcade-y, you'll see more vicious blocks in one game than you'll see in a whole season of NBA basketball. Also Michael Jordan looks nothing like Michael Jordan, he has HAIR! I have no clue what they were thinking, of all the faces to not get right they chose the most recognizable person in the NBA.
11. NBA 2K3 (GAMECUBE/PS2/XBOX)
The 2k series was real good from the beginning and while 2k3 wasn't as good as 2k2 IMO, it was still a real solid game.
10. ESPN NBA 2NIGHT 2002 (XBOX/PS2)
Over looked and under appreciated game. It wasn't as good as 2k2 or live 2002 but this game had a lot going for it.
9. NBA 2K12 (PS2/PS3/XBOX 360/Wii/PS PORTABLE/IOS/CLOUD/PC)
I know I'm gonna catch heat for ranking 2k12 so low but I thought the game was a big disappointment and a big step backward from the greatness of 2K11. To me the game was as incomplete and broken down as the asterisk NBA season it represents. I know this game is quite popular among the modding community thanks to Hawk23's amazing UBR but I'm ranking the stock game. The lack of CPU double teams, the awful fast break logic and new dribbling system were all deal breakers for me.
8. NBA LIVE 96* (SNES/GENESIS)
This is the other asterisk* game. Jordan was not officially in this game but as everyone knows, on the 16 bit versions all you had to do was enter Jordan's name in the create a player and he would pop up, as would any other legend. The live series kind of felt like you were running on ice but it was still great for its time.
7. NBA LIVE 2000 (PS1/N64/PC)
Jordan made his long awaited return to the gaming world when EA signed him up for NBA live 2000. This is one of those games that you really remember and love. The ps1 version was much better than the N64 mainly because the graphics were better and it was a bit more challenging.
6. NBA LIVE 2002 (PS1/PS2/XBOX)
EA really got their feet underneath them with Live 2002 and took advantage of PS2's superior graphics. This is the game that bridged the gap between the PS1 versions of live and the PS2 versions.
5. NBA 2K2 (PS2/DREAMCAST/GAMECUBE/XBOX)
An unbelievably Great game for its time. It was the best basketball simulation up until that point. The only flaw that this game had was the same flaw that a lot of the early 2k games had which was the ridiculous free throw shooting where you had to line up two green arcs.
4. NBA STREET VOL 2 (PS2/GAMECUBE/XBOX)
Everything a sequel should be, they took everything that made the original NBA Street great and added to it. This game has 3 different version of Jordan: Wizards, 96 Bulls and 85 Bulls.
3. NBA LIVE 2004 (PS2/XBOX/GAMECUBE/PC)
This was the last game to feature Jordan for quite some time so I was playing this game for years until I discovered the world of PC gaming and mods. It's a great game, a little arcade-y but still the last great console Live game IMO.
2. NBA 2K11 (PS2/PS3/XBOX 360/PS PORTABLE/CLOUD/PC)
After a seven year absence from b-ball video games Michael Jordan made his triumphant return. Jordan + 2K was what fans were asking for for years and 2K definitely didn't disappoint.
1. NBA 2K13 (PS3/XBOX 360/Wii/Wii U/ANDROID/IOS/PC)
After the disaster that was 2K12 Visual Concepts got back on track with NBA 2K13, not perfect out of the box but with some slider tweaking it is the greatest basketball game ever...for now.
Last edited by MJALLDAY
on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.