With EA Sports planning to bring back NBA Live this year (unless they don’t) to go head-to-head with NBA 2K14, we’re going to take a look at some personal favorite NBA games throughout the years. The only stipulation: the games have to be (more or less) sims, so no NBA Jam or Arch Rivals. Let’s run down our Top 5. Remember, these aren’t the necessarily best ever or most popular ever, just our opinion.
EA Sports has cancelled basketball. Again. For the second time in three years they have gotten within spitting distance of their release and pulled the plug on their NBA simulation title, first NBA Elite 11 in 2010 and now NBA Live 13 today.
I was a huge NBA Live fan back at the end of the 90s and was interested in seeing what EA could do with a coupe years of preparation. The answer? Not much. It seems that negative feedback from various sources internally and externally doomed the project. Will we see the brand again? Maybe, but if we do it will have some huge hurdles to overcome in public opinion.
I’ve reviewed NBA Live 08 for PC, and it was terrible. A sad, sad state of affairs. So, in that light, I’m reviewing Live 09 on the Xbox 360 to hopefully give the series a fair shake, seeing as how this – the 360/PS3 build – is the version EA Sports has been putting all of their effort into. What I found is that this is not what I’m used to on the PC, and that’s both a good and a bad thing.
I’ve reviewed the last three years worth of NBA Live games on PC for this site, and I’ve come to a sad conclusion: EA Sports just doesn’t care anymore. It’s that simple. While there are a few niceties in Live 08, it’s mostly the same game as NBA Live 05, which was ok back in 2004. Heading into 2008, this just doesn’t cut it anymore. Simple as can be, EA’s attention is firmly on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 market now, and PC gamers are less then second rate. Why ‘less then’? Because EA Sports has at least made improvements to the Wii version. Continue reading
The NBA Live series is one that has a history of innovation followed by stagnation. Going from Live 97 to 98 was big, and then it floundered for a few years. Live 2003 and 2004 were very similar to one another and now we’re experiencing Live 2005 for the third year. This may be a product of the game being made for the current systems (First the PSX and Saturn, then the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube). After all, there’s only so much one can do with that hardware. It also could theoretically save effort that could be expended on gameplay and features. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Live’s formula is getting old, much more so then the other sports’ in EA’s lineup. Continue reading
The last few years I’ve preferred Take Two’s NBA 2K series over EA’s NBA Live, mostly due to a more accurate simulation of the game. This year I went out and picked up my yearly copy of NBA Live for the PC, and am happy to say that this is a huge improvement over the past couple of years. The graphics are better, the game forces you to play smart more often, the controls are more solid (provided you use a controller rather then the keyboard), and the superstar mode actually works. It’s not perfect, but it’s a definate keeper. Continue reading