Born for Wii: NBA Jam

Nintendo knows how to sell you a console. Whether it's Tetris bundled with every Game Boy, Super Mario World packed in with each shiny new SNES, or Wii Sports freely tagging along with the bazillions of Wiis they've sold in the past two years, the gaming giant has a history of providing fun and enticing games as a free incentive to buy their consoles. This generation, Wii Sports has certainly become a runaway success -- there's probably an unsettling number of people who never even put another game in their system. And while Wii Sports can be a lot of fun, it's obviously a pretty simplistic experience that doesn't cover the range of entertainment sports have to offer. Sports videogames often get a bad rap for spawning milked franchises and little but roster changes from year-to-year, but every so often a game comes along and totally annihilates the formula. In 1993, that game was NBA Jam.

Midway's NBA Jam defined and popularized an arcadey, totally unrealistic and totally awesome style of gameplay for sports games. No fouls. Superhuman dunks. Turbo mode. Like the football series NFL Blitz Midway would develop several years later, NBA Jam passed up the finer points of basketball (like, you know, the rules) to focus on what really made the game fun. It's been several years since anything inspired by NBA Jam saw the light of day, and it's high time this timeless series returns to its former glory with a new take on its wacky, blissful gameplay.

Every week, Born for Wii digs into gaming's sordid past to unearth a new treasure fit for revival on the Nintendo Wii. Be sure to check out last week's entry in the series, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, and for more great titles that deserve your attention, take a look at Virtually Overlooked.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.