NBA Jam (1993)
Ah, the smell of nostalgia is thick on this one. NBA Jam wasn't in any way an accurate representation of real-life basketball, but it made an indelible mark on the culture with concepts like players catching on fire after three consecutive made shots and calls like "BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA!" for thunderous dunks. The super-deformed players with nearly photo-realistic faces put the emphasis on personality-even though Bulls fans had to settle for Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant as their duo because of licensing difficulties with Jordan. The game also featured unlockable players like Bill Clinton. What Jam demonstrated was the power of the cultural aspect of basketball, even in a game that never tried to replicate the on-court product of the NBA.