The NBA Live
series of basketball video games
, published by EA Sports
, is currently one of the leading National Basketball Association
simulations on the market.
The predecessor of the NBA Live series was the NBA PLAYOFFS
series, which featured Lakers vs. Celtics
, released first in 1989
-compatible PCs and later adapted for consoles in 1990
for the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis
. This game was played from a horizontal view (while later versions moved to an isometric
view before ultimately moving to 3D
on newer consoles). The game was one of the first to feature an NBA license, containing both real NBA teams and player likenesses and signature moves. Details such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
's goggles are clearly visible, and Michael Jordan
's "Air Reverse Layup" is animated with very high accuracy. Detailed player numbers were also visible. The game featured only eight of the sixteen teams that qualified for the NBA playoffs that year, as well as both NBA All-Star
The next game in the series was Bulls vs. Lakers, released in 1991, followed by Bulls vs. Blazers in 1992. Unlike the first game, these two releases were titled after the two teams who were in the NBA Finals the previous season, while the original release apparently chose the Lakers and Celtics due to both teams' historical success. Each revision added more teams and players, as well as more signature moves. The series also included an Olympic basketball game, Team USA Basketball (1992) which uses the same engine. The final game in the series was NBA Showdown 94 for SNES before the transition to the NBA Live series.
Originally, the NBA Live
series was released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES with NBA Live 95
. The naming was changed from utilizing the last two digits of the year to the entire year number from 2000-2005, but returned to the original naming convention with NBA Live 06
The Create-A-Player feature was not available in the 1995 versions of the game, but have been a mainstay since NBA Live 98. NBA Live 98 in 1997 was the last NBA Live game for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and the SNES. NBA Live 98 also was first NBA Live series game to support 3Dfx graphic cards. Only first generation Voodoo and Voodoo Rush cards were officially supported.
Starting from NBA Live 2000, the series featured NBA Live Legend All-Stars Teams, that included some biggest names from five decades (50s to 90s). These teams could be used instantly, but to use the players as regular players (e.g. traded, played on regular NBA Teams) they needed to be unlocked. Along the series, some of the rosters were changed due to many reasons.
NBA Live 2005 brought the addition of the Slam Dunk Contest, Three Point Shootout, and Rookie Challenge.
NBA Live 07 was released for the Playstation 2, Xbox, PC, Playstation Portable, and the Xbox360. The major new feature for this year was an evolution of the freestyle superstars system.
NBA Live 08 was released October 2nd, 2007 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Wii and PC. NBA LIVE 08 features for the first time eight international teams, including 2006 World Championship winners Spain, runners up Greece and USA, as well as France, Germany, Italy, Argentina and China.
NBA Live 09 is to be released on October 7, 2008 and Tony Parker will be the cover athlete. The game will be available for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. It will feature the first concept of daily updates changing stuff like tendencies, rosters, and hot-cold streaks.
NBA Live games have been released for the Sega Genesis, Super NES, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Windows, PlayStation Portable and most recently with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii.
|NBA Live 95
|| Seven player action shot from 1994 NBA Finals, Knicks vs. Rockets |
|NBA Live 96
|| Tip-off before unnamed game of 1995 NBA Finals, Rockets vs. Magic (SNES and Genesis) Shaquille O'Neal (PC and PlayStation) |
|NBA Live 97
|| Mitch Richmond |
|NBA Live 98
|| Tim Hardaway |
|NBA Live 99
|| Antoine Walker |
|NBA Live 2000
|| Tim Duncan |
|NBA Live 2001
|| Kevin Garnett |
|NBA Live 2002
|| Steve Francis |
|NBA Live 2003
|| Jason Kidd |
|NBA Live 2004
|| Vince Carter |
|NBA Live 2005
|| Carmelo Anthony|
|NBA Live 06
|| Dwyane Wade|
Yuta Tabuse, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol
|NBA Live 07
|| Tracy McGrady|
Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker/Boris Diaw , Pau Gasol
|NBA Live 08
|| Gilbert Arenas |
Dirk Nowitzki, Andrea Bargnani, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker/Boris Diaw
|NBA Live 09
|| Tony Parker |
Luol Deng, Andrea Bargnani, Pau Gasol
NBA Live 2002
NBA Live 2003
- Features Jason Kidd on the cover.
- This was the final game for the announcing team of Don Poier and Bob Elliott.
- This was the last Live to feature Michael Jordan, John Stockton, & David Robinson as active NBA players, as all 3 retired at the end of the 2002–03 season.
- PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of NBA Live 2003 came with a bonus CD that contained the game's music and bonus commentary. No other editions of the game had a bonus CD.
- Yao Ming is called Ming Yao in the game.
- Rap artists Snoop Dogg, Angie Martinez, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, Just Blaze, Lil' Flip, DJ Clue and Hot Karl are unlockable characters who have songs in the game.
- The player can change the settings by choosing an exhibition game.
- Franchise mode is just about the same as Season mode, albeit the NBA Draft.
- Patrick Ewing is a free agent in the game.
- Danny Ferry is on the San Antonio Spurs in the game.
- The song "Full Moon" by Brandy Norwood is in the game.
- NBA Live 2003 was the last released basketball game available for Sony's first installment of the Playstation
NBA Live 2004
- Features Vince Carter on the cover.
- Rap artist Jermaine Dupri appears in the game as an unlockable free agent.
- Marv Albert and "The Czar" Mike Fratello debuted as the broadcasters in NBA Live 2004.
- This was the first game that had the "My Favorite Team" feature where the player can choose his or her favorite team and it appears on screen.
- The game had the NBA Store, which allowed the player the opportunity to purchase retro jerseys and shoes.
- NBA Live 2004 is the only game of this date to feature the Basketball Hall of Fame.
- The Charlotte Bobcats made their debut on NBA Live 2004, but they consist of only eight unnamed players, and their attributes cannot be edited like most of the regular players.
- This was the final edition featuring the name and likeness of Michael Jordan. The five-year contract originally signed prior to NBA Live 2000s release expired and Jordan chose not to renew. He appears as a member of the 2003 All-Star Team and is removed once a player goes online to update their rosters.
- In dynasty or season mode, if one of your players is up for the MVP and has the ball toward the end of the 4th quarter the fans will chant "MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP!" This also occurs in NBA Live 2005 and 06.
- Introduced a "2-Shoot Button" scheme where 1 button was used for jump shots and another for layups/dunking.
NBA Live 2005
- Features Carmelo Anthony on the cover. Anthony was also featured on the cover of NCAA March Madness 2004, making him the third player (Steve Francis and Tim Duncan are the others) to be on covers of NBA Live and NCAA March Madness. Furthermore, Anthony appeared on the cover of NBA Street Homecourt, making him the first and only player to appear on all three EA Sports basketball franchises (NBA Live, NCAA March Madness and NBA Street).
- This was the first game to feature All-Star Weekend, complete with the All-Star Game, Rookie Challenge, Slam Dunk Contest, and 3-Point Shootout.
- Numbers can be retired in Dynasty Mode.
NBA Live 06
- Features Dwyane Wade on the cover.
- Was the last in the series to appear on the Nintendo GameCube.
- In this game, Steve Kerr took over announcing duties when Mike Fratello went to coach the Memphis Grizzlies as a coach in the game.
- Introduced the Freestyle Superstar attributes & controls separating the Superstars of the league from the rest of the pack.
NBA Live 07
- Features Tracy McGrady on the cover.
- New features include Total Freestyle Control, new Free Throw Shooting, The X-Factor and ESPN Integration.
- In some releases, the first round of the playoffs is called the "Quarterfinals."
- One of the gyms where the player scouts potential prospects is the same recreation center that is a playable court in NBA Street V3.
- The PC version of the game had a bug that prevented players to fatigue and substitute. A patch was eventually delivered by EA Sports, fixing the problem.
- Only NBA Live game that had separate buttons for dunks and layups.
- Was the last in the series to appear on the original Xbox.
- The Xbox 360 version features an achievement ("Online with 1000 people") which requires the user to be online in the game simultaneously with at least 999 other users.
- The Thomas & Mack Center makes its second appearance in an EA Sports game, this time as the site of the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. The first time was in EA Sports Arena Football.
NBA Live 08
- Features Gilbert Arenas on the cover.
- Commercials feature Gilbert Arenas and the #2 overall draft pick of the 2007 NBA Draft, Kevin Durant.
- New features include "Go To Moves," "Hot Spots," "Quick Strike Ballhandling" and also "Own The Paint."
- Exclusive rights to FIBA players and 8 national teams (Argentina, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the USA).
- First basketball game to be featured on the Wii console.
- The PC version of the game could be played online using Hamachi.
- "Freestyle Superstars" feature was removed from the game, as well as the X-Factor feature.
NBA Live 09
- Features Tony Parker on the cover.
- Set for an October 7, 2008 release
- New features include "Pick and Roll Control" "Signature Playcalling" "NBA Academy" "Quickstrike AnkleBreakers" and also "Lockdown Control".
- Dynamic DNA
- NBA Live 365
- Exclusive rights to FIBA players and 24 national teams
- Pro Mode- be a part of a team and lock in as one player - online using Online Team Play, or offline in single player mode. Let NBA LIVE give you feedback and track how well you are playing your position.
- Ground-Breaking feature - AI(artificial intelligence) updates.