In Ultimate Basketball, the player can choose one of seven fictional teams that each have different skills such as having tight defense or a phenomenal passing game. Each team also has their own players who are given ratings on their quickness, shooting and defensive ability. The point of view is horizontal for the most part. Occasionally, a close-up action scene is shown on plays such as slam dunks and free throws. There are also two different play modes, "Tournament" and "One Game." Players can play alone, against a friend, or with a friend against the computer. Their is also a "Watch" mode where to spectate games fully being played by the computer.