Jason Venter writes: "An emphasis on fun has always played a key role in the NBA Jam legacy. As they did with Arch Rivals, the members of the original development team at Midway took the sport of basketball and stripped away the most inconvenient rules. There were no fouls, only thrilling opportunities to push someone out of the way as you roughly took the ball from him. Teams consisted of three members, with only two of them allowed on the court at any given point. Only the rules that make sense within an arcade context (shot clocks, three-pointers, goal tending violations and the like) play a restrictive role in NBA Jam."