Top 10 Basketball Games
Robert Carroll
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Below is my Top 10 list of basketball games. These are games that meet all of the following criteria: (1) basketball games (college or pro); (2) focusing on "simulation" of the sport (not too abstract); and (3) fun to play. This is a list of the BEST! As always, your mileage may vary and some entries may be "controversial." As such, please feel free to comment, debate, or just express your own point of view. Feel free to thumbsup this list (to draw attention and more comments) or any pleasing, interesting or thought provoking entries. If I missed one that you feel is essential or I am "insane for not listing" (trust me, it has been said before), then by all means let the comments fly . . . just be civil. FYI - I am a sucker for comments and discussion and usually thumbsup most if not all of them.

I find that these lists sometimes are helpful for others seeking similar games and the more rich the discussion for more useful the list.


As a side note, this is the toughest Top 10 list I have done to date. There are just not a lot of basketball games (or at least not a lot of good ones) out there. I had to give a lot of leeway to criteria #2 and included some games that are very light (at best) on game simulation; but are quite good at simulating season/management/drafting/etc. Again, if you know of better games, then by all means join the discussion and, as always, thanks for reading and participating!


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1. Board Game: Statis Pro Basketball [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:3737]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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"A truly great basketball simulation. When you play you feel the flow of an actual game. To paraphrase Orson Welles 'If I had two lives, I would devote one to Statis Pro'."

--Sean Gregory (sgregory)
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2. Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Pro Basketball [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:5398]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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"Best basketball game by far. There are only 2 "weaknesses" to this game, and they aren't that big: 1) The graphics are out of the 1970s (you feel like your cards are punch cards from an old room-sized computer) -- but hey, this is a sports simulation, not a Eurogame. 2) the concept of "sagging" on a poor outside shooter or playing tight on a great shooter does not occur on an individual basis. Either all perimeter defenders sag or play tight or none of them do. This is corrected in the computer game. Initial playtimes are bigger unless you are playing with an experienced player. I got it down to 1 hour for a basic game and 1.5 hours for an advanced game. This game has the most strategy and realism of all of the basketball games. It is the best way to play mixed teams from drafts or to compare teams from different eras. Loads of fun if you are a hoops junkie."

--Judd Vance (airjudden)
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3. Board Game: College Basketball Dynasty [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:7513]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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"Fun. Free and well worth time and cost to print out if you are a fan of college basketball.

Solid as is, but fun to tinker with.(My tinkers have been on compnents/graphics side; not substance as the substance of this game is nearly perfect.).

Coaches cards posted by devotees were an excellent addtion to this game and I hope to see more of this being done.

Fan here has psoted player nice counter upgrades, but would like to see real faces (like on coaches cards) for players. Sticking with generic counters for now over somehat cartoonish artwork, which were well done but not to my personal taste. (Great work though and many if not most may prefer these excellent counter upgrades.)

Makes me wish I could use design software well enough to make my own counters. As it is, I would have to commission someone else to do so.

Using painted wood blocks now (Vs. glass beads) for chips, but may have some plastic ones laser cut. Might mount boards and chips and counters on magnets for vertical play eventually..

This has become a staple for me among my college basketball games collection."

--Bob Nash (nashesq)
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4. Board Game: Replay Basketball [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:8704]
Robert Carroll
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Joplin
Missouri
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"At one point, I went back and forth between Strat basketball and Statis Pro basketball. I didn't like Strat because I never could build up a flow to the game. Statis Pro gave me the flow but not the detail. Replay Basketball, with the no-dice version is, in my opinion, the perfect tabletop basketball game."

--Chris Rowe (rowech)

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5. Board Game: March Madness [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:7850]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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"March Madness actually consists of two very different games: a "basic" game that lets you play an entire 64-team tournament in a single session with each player controlling the fortunes of 16 different teams, and an "advanced" game that allows you to have great college teams from different eras play each other in single games that take about 30 minutes to complete. (You could use the advanced game to play an entire 64-team tournament, but it would take a long, long time to finish!) Many players may dismiss the basic game as a dice-fest completely determined by luck, but there is definitely a certain amount of skill involved in managing your block of teams to try to get one to claim the championship. As with all social games, the greatest fun is interacting with the other players, especially during the wild early rounds of the tournament as upsets abound... and the basic game is fun, although it is best with four players. When fewer than four players are present, solitaire (dummy) rules are used for the missing players."

--Jay Richardson (richfam)

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6. Board Game: BasketBoss [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3068]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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"One of my favorite themes for a game ever. The theme doesn't usually add or subtract from my enjoyment of a game, but here it definitely enhances it. The gameplay itself is relatively quick and fun, yet still features many interesting decisions typical of good Euros, so you don't have to be a sports fan or even have much knowledge of basketball in order to enjoy the game. I love it!"

--Tim Thomas (Socal Tim)
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7. Board Game: Basketball Strategy [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:14075]
Robert Carroll
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Joplin
Missouri
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"Surprisingly good. Rules could have been better written. Pieces are bit on the cheap side and can be fidgety. But I like how the basic game is simulates basketball and that the advanced games allow for a more realistic simulation."

--Miklos Lipcsey (ronto)
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8. Board Game: Oscar Robertson's Pro Basketball Strategy [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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"Nice simulation; plays a bit long though."

--Bob Cowden (rsca)
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9. Board Game: NBA Showdown [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:11485]
Robert Carroll
United States
Joplin
Missouri
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"Awesome game. Plays quick, has the feel of the best sport and is perfect for drafting and leagues. Travesty this only lasted one set, missing the following draft class which showcased wade, bosh, lebron (and kirk)."

--Mykel Kramer (paytonboy)
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10. Board Game: NBA All Star: Officially Licensed Board Game [Average Rating:5.91 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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"Good medium weight basketball simulation. It succeeds in capturing the spirit of a match surprisingly well while at the same time abstracting a lot of gameplay elements to keep the game managable. Rules are not very good and as always with Ghenos it's a puzzle to piece the game together combining english, german and french rules. Oh if only I could read italian. Board and minis are of good quality. But the cards and chits are horrible quality. Also the design of the cards is mindboggling. Why not put the effect the card has on the card instead of forcing players to look everything up in the rulebook. So the game has it's ups and downs but the gameplay makes it all worthwhile."

--Richard Rutten (Blind Reality)


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