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The best basketball games 2024

If you want basketball games, see if your hoop shooting skills really are like Mike, with our picks of the best ballers of the bunch on Switch and mobile.

If you’re on the hunt for the best basketball games, we’ve put together an absolute slam dunk of a list of our favorites on mobile and Switch for you to check out. Whether you’re a novice with the ball or a regular hoop shooter, we’ve got options to suit all skill levels and budgets, so you can decide on which game to tip off in.

For more ball sports, be sure to browse our picks for the best cricket games, golf games, and football games on Switch and mobile. Or, if you prefer a slower-paced afternoon with a little less athleticism, check out our lists detailing the best golf games and fishing games on Switch and mobile.

With that out of the way, let’s step up to the free-throw line for the best basketball games on Switch and mobile. 

NBA 2K24 Arcade Edition – mobile

The latest NBA game, and one that you can access right away if you’re an Apple Arcade subscriber. Not only does it provide what is probably the most realistic basketball experience on mobile, but it also gives you the chance to build your own basketball team, while progressing through contests and carving out your own NBA career.

The game gives plenty of options for online play, but there’s just as much to do if you prefer to play against CPU players. You’ll likely spend a lot of time hunched over your players’ stats, making tweaks here and there to ensure you’ve got them all in the best shape possible. It’s fun, it’s addictive, and it’s worth a try.

Key art for NBA 2K24 Kobe Bryant Edition for best basketball games guide

NBA 2K24: Kobe Bryant Edition – Switch

NBA 2K22 is yet another installment in the iconic basketball series, with a bunch of new additions for another year of balling. Whether you want to create your all-time fantasy line-up in the MyTEAM mode and test them out online, or try your luck taking your favorite team to the play-off finals, it’s a must-play for the basketball obsessive with a penchant for realism.

The obvious difference in this game compared to others in the series is the tribute to legendary NBA baller Kobe Bryant. With the Mamba Moments game mode, you can recreate iconic games from the player’s most pivotal moments with teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, reminding yourself of just what a great he was. We’ve also got a guide to NBA 2K24 locker codes to pick up some in-game goodies.

Cover art for NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, one of the arcade basketball games on Switch

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 – Switch


Basketball is one of the few sports to really embrace an arcade mode, and NBA 2k Playgrounds 2 is the best way to play 2-on-2 with a cartoon Lebron. We don’t mean the one from Space Jam, either. 

There’s more than you might anticipate in this animated package, so don’t find yourself thinking there isn’t some serious competition waiting in the online lobbies, or even if the game’s surprisingly challenging solo mode. It’s as fun as arcade basketball games get, offering a reprieve from intense and realistic simulated balling with some stylish 2-on-2 gameplay.

Key art for Desktop Baseball, the tiniest of all basketball games

Desktop Basketball – Switch

Okay, think of a basketball court, make it super teeny tiny, shrink down the players too, and you’ve got Desktop Basketball. It’s a game that proves that size doesn’t matter, with tight controls, approachable gameplay, and a handful of charming minigames, it’s easy to lose a few hours shooting hoops and taking names.

Out of all the ‘Desktop’ series’ sports games, Desktop Basketball suits the shrunk-down format the most. It might not be the most fluid, but if you find the official NBA titles a little overwhelming, you can enjoy a few games here without hours of practice first. 

Basketball Arena cover art, one of the cartoon style basketball games

Basketball Arena – mobile

If two-on-two sounds a little too much like teamwork to you, go solo on the court with Basketball Arena. While it lacks the mechanical depth of some of the other entries on the series, it almost makes it easier to have fun, with little to no learning curve for new players.

It’s also got basketballing monsters, and we can’t begin to tell you how onboard we are with that. There are also a few nods to players from the history of the NBA and more than one Dennis Rodman lookalike in the impressive roster of characters.

NBA Infinite screenshot of a player slam dunking for best basketball games guide

NBA Infinite – mobile

If you’re a fan of high-intensity mobile basketball, NBA Infinite is a free-to-play game you should check out. With multiple game modes, including 1v1, 3v3, and 5v5 matches, all the teams and star players from the NBA, and some intuitive mechanics that put you in the heart of the action, it’s well worthy of its place on this list.

NBA Infinite emphasizes online play, and you can check out how you compete with the rest of the world thanks to some in-game leaderboards. Or, if you think of yourself as something of an excellent shot, you can take part in three-point throw competitions to prove your hooping ability. However you want to play, NBA Infinite has you covered.

Key art for Dunk Shot, one of the wackiest basketball games out there

Dunk Shot – mobile

Do you remember Doodle Jump? Dunk Shot is Doodle Jump with basketballs. It’s fun, more fun than it should be, and you don’t need to unlock the greatest players of all time to score some slam dunks.

If you find some of the more true-to-the-sport titles on this list a little intense but still want to shoot some hoops, this might be the one for you. It’s free-to-play, too, so you don’t have to spend a dollar to get out on the court.

Cover art for NBA 2K Mobile, one of the premier basketball games on mobile devices

NBA 2K Mobile – mobile

It’s rare that you find the type of realism and quality of both graphics and gameplay in a mobile game when compared to console releases, but with NBA 2K Mobile, EA has hit the nail on the head.

Now in its sixth season, there’s a whole lot of content to get through if you want to take your side all the way to the playoffs, and with it being free-to-play, you’ve no excuse to not be shooting hoops on the go. Plus, you can grab some freebies with our NBA 2k Mobile codes

Key art for Basketball Club Story game for basketball games guide

Basketball Club Story – Switch

Kairosoft makes some of the best management sims out there, so if you’re a fan of basketball games, it’s worth trying out the developer’s foray into the world of balling. Sure, there’s no dribbling or slam dunking for you to do, but you can put together a team of elite players like your name is Jerry Buss.

Basketball Club Story lets you tell your own tale, from starting a team of league minnows to becoming the biggest name in the game. You can sign deals with sponsors, level up your facilities, and most importantly, recruit and coach a new generation of top-tier players. If you’d rather be Phil Jackson than Michael Jordan, this might be the one for you.

Screenshot of a sheep scoring a slam dunk in Never Be Afraid Slam Dunk for a list of the best basketball games

Never Be Afraid Slam Dunk!

Okay, so this is one of the weirder picks on our list, but stick with us. Have you ever wanted to play basketball as a horse, score a slam dunk as a chicken, or make a three-pointer as a zebra? If you answered yes to all three questions, Never Be Afraid Slam Dunk! might be the game for you.

As you can probably guess from our description so far, this entry on our guide to the best basketball games leaves realism at the door. Still, there’s a surprising amount of depth here, with articulate controls, cartoony graphics, and over 2o different bizarre ballers to unlock. Trust us, it’s a lot of fun.

With that, you’re up to date on all the best basketball games on Switch and mobile. Or, if you prefer grass courts to wooden ones, why not take a browse through our list of the best tennis games on Switch and mobile.