All-Pro Basketball

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All-Pro Basketball delivers engaging gameplay with stunning visuals, offering multiplayer excitement and authentic basketball action on the NES platform

All-Pro Basketball, a basketball video game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1989, offers players an immersive 5-on-5 basketball experience that stands out for its stunning graphics and challenging gameplay mechanics.


In terms of graphics, All-Pro Basketball truly shines. The game features beautiful cinematics, especially during massive dunk sequences, which are visually impressive and add excitement to gameplay. Each player is well-designed, with noticeable height differences between them. However, there’s a slight drawback in the standard running animation, where every player runs with one hand dribbling an invisible ball. Despite this minor flaw, All-Pro Basketball remains one of the best-looking basketball games of its time, surpassing many of its predecessors.

Music and Sounds

The music in All-Pro Basketball complements the gameplay well, providing an upbeat and energetic backdrop. While it fits the overall sports theme, the soundtrack does suffer from repetitiveness, as there’s only one song that plays during games. Additionally, the sound effects, particularly the beeping/chirping noise when switching players or passing targets, can become annoying over time. Despite these drawbacks, the music and sound effects effectively enhance the gaming experience, albeit with some room for improvement.


All-Pro Basketball’s gameplay presents a mixed bag of challenges and enjoyment. Initially, the game may feel unintuitive and flawed, requiring players to adapt to its unique mechanics. One notable departure is the vertical style of the court, which differs from the standard horizontal layout seen in most basketball games. Furthermore, the screen switch/reversal mechanic, triggered each time a player crosses the half-court line, adds complexity and disrupts the flow of the game. Adjusting to these changes takes time and patience, but once mastered, playing the game becomes more natural and enjoyable.

All-Pro Basketball (NES gallery 02)

Despite technical issues such as limited camera views and confusing passing mechanics, All-Pro Basketball offers authentic basketball rules and features, including fouling, traveling, back passing, and player substitutions. The game’s league mode, consisting of a 35-game season with a sports reporter providing news updates, adds depth and immersion to the gameplay experience. While the default AI may frustrate newer players with its relentless steals and punishing gameplay, overcoming these challenges adds to the satisfaction of mastering the game.

Replay Value

With eight playable teams and multiplayer options, All-Pro Basketball boasts moderate replay value. The diversity in team playstyles and the ability to compete against friends or the computer provide incentives for players to return to the game for more competitive action. Whether playing solo or engaging in multiplayer matchups, All-Pro Basketball offers lasting entertainment and replayability for basketball enthusiasts.

Reviewer Opinion

As someone who isn’t typically a fan of sports games, All-Pro Basketball pleasantly surprised me. Despite initial difficulties and minor flaws, the game’s entertainment value shines through. After overcoming the learning curve, I found myself genuinely enjoying the gameplay experience. While it may not be perfect, All-Pro Basketball offers a fun and engaging basketball simulation that is worth trying, especially for fans of the sport.


In conclusion, All-Pro Basketball delivers an enjoyable basketball experience on the NES platform, offering a balance of challenges and entertainment. Despite its technical shortcomings and initial learning curve, the game’s stunning graphics, immersive gameplay mechanics, and moderate replay value make it a worthwhile addition to any NES gaming library. Whether playing solo or competing with friends, All-Pro Basketball captures the essence of basketball and provides hours of engaging gameplay.

All-Pro Basketball (NES gallery 01)

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Is this game suitable for beginners?

While All-Pro Basketball may pose a challenge for newcomers due to its unique gameplay mechanics and initial learning curve, with time and practice, players can adapt and find enjoyment in the game.

Does All-Pro Basketball feature licensed NBA teams and players?

No, this game does not have NBA licensing. However, it offers eight playable teams, each with distinct playstyles, providing variety and depth to the gameplay experience.

What is the replay value of All-Pro Basketball?

This game offers moderate replay value, thanks to its diverse teams and multiplayer options. Players can engage in solo matches or compete against friends, ensuring lasting entertainment.

Are there any specific strategies or tips for mastering All-Pro Basketball?

To excel in this game, players should focus on mastering passing mechanics, adjusting to the vertical court layout, and effectively utilizing player substitutions and strategic plays.

Does this game support cooperative gameplay?

Yes, this game supports cooperative play for up to two players, allowing friends to team up against the computer or compete head-to-head, enhancing the social aspect of the gaming experience.