Alphabest: Mega Drive – N

Alphabest: Mega Drive – N

Hope you like basketball because oh my are there some basketball games. Hopefully, there’s some other stuff too. Shall we look?


NBA Action, NBA Hangtime, NBA Jam, NBA Live and NBA Showdown. Oh, and NBA All-Star Challenge. Most of these have several yearly versions too, so there are hundreds. Millions of hundreds. “Football” that isn’t real football and “hockey” that isn’t real hockey are also represented heavily with NHL and NFL and NSPCC and NRA and whatever. All these in the bin.

Which doesn’t leave a lot else, unfortunately. There are a few utterly baffling Nobunaga titles, which although have a following (and even now are still going strong) I’ve never understood them. Nigel Mansell’s World Championship Racing isn’t a patch on Monaco GP 2 either so the letter N is left with…

Normy’s Beach Babe-o-Rama?! God no. I played it “for fun” a few weeks ago and it was perhaps the worst game I’ve ever experienced. It looks, controls and plays terrible.

Thankfully, these exist:

The New Zealand StoryThe New Zealand Story is one of the cutest platformers ever created. You’re a kiwi who must rescue other kiwis from the clutches of a nasty walrus. Its cuteness belies its difficulty, though, and many stages feature ride-on balloons and spikes to avoid making it incredibly tough going.

NBA Jam TENBA Jam Tournament Edition may well be on my List of Dross higher up, but it honestly doesn’t deserve to be. Unlike other basketball games from that list, this 2-on-2 variant is fast, allows a degree of violence, and has incredible and impossible dunks. It removes all the rubbish from the sport and leaves a superb reduced ruleset game which is just pure fun. And some excellent soundbites too – “He’s on fire!”.

And the Alphabest?

I threw you off the scent a bit, but yeah, the best by a comfortable margin is NBA Jam Tournament Edition. It isn’t vastly different to the original NBA Jam, but adds more players and modes so wins out. New Zealand Story is also great, but later levels are too frustrating to be fun.

Who’d have thought a basketball game could ever come out top in one of these posts, eh?

Next time! The letter currently known as O.


  1. Oh, great. Now I have the music from New Zealand Story running through my head. Except I can’t remember it, so it’s actually the Tetris tune. No, wait… now it’s Bubble Bobble. Grrr.

    Seriously though: second half of the alphabet! I didn’t think you’d stick it out this far. (F’narr!)

    Duncan Snowden
    1. I can’t remember the New Zealand Story tune either, actually. Although it’s very catchy when you’re playing. How odd.

      And I’m Fully Committed(TM) to a complete Alphabest series. I’ve made my bed.


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