Long before 2K engulfed the basketball video game market, a license from EA Sports delighted fans of the orange ball. After a promising entry in 1995, NBA Live lasted until the mid-2000s before experiencing a long descent into hell. A little nostalgia moment with the 5 best editions of the game!
“EA SPORTS it’s in the game”.
The famous slogan that no one has been able to repeat perfectly, but still remains etched in the minds of people who have spent a lot of time in the NBA Live game. The latter has rocked more than one basketball player, but some editions are more significant than others. And if the next few lines are definitely going to be split, we’d love to read on to pick our starting five for the NBA Live editions!
#1. NBA Live 2005: dream of the stars and All-Star Weekend
With Carmelo Anthony in Denver sauce on the cover, the hype has hit the mark to celebrate ten years of the license. But when the living room console runs out of CD, the adventure gets even crazier. First of all, it’s a well-polished soundtrack that tickles the ears of hundreds of players positioned very close to the screen. Will.I.Am, Joell Ortiz, The DOC, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck… As always, NBA Live features some notable titles. The game remains solid, the usability is still there and some small adjustments allow you to have fun on a Wednesday afternoon. But what most attracts fans and makes the 2005 opus legendary, is a new mode introduced in the game: All Star Weekend. And especially its dunks and 3-point contests that give the game a breath of fresh air. The first is more than amazing and we know many men who have used their retinas to reproduce the most beautiful figures in the hope of convincing the honest poor judges. Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Josh Smith… the choices are wide and varied, but the rendering remains pretty incredible even today. In addition to the stellar weekend that remains in everyone’s memory, the gameplay continues to improve, brands and models of shoes are finally appearing. In short, complete, fun and above all the swan song of a license that reached its peak in 2005.
NBA Live 2005 (2004) pic.twitter.com/q49icByLxy
— video game opener certified hood classics (@rawgameopener) July 12, 2022
#2. NBA Live 2003: the moves are rolling, this life is crazy!
In October 2002, NBA Live fans would finally understand why there was a second joystick on their controller. There are dribbling movements and feints thanks to the freestyle control that focuses on the opus in the show. Motion capture has been improved and players now respond according to their characteristics on the field. Speed, tomar, cross… there were many reasons that brought tears to some homes at that time. The players are better and better models and if you see a human torch passing by with a Bucks or Sonics jersey it’s Ray Allen coming to terrorize your defense. So everything was there for the 2003 opus, EA Sports even added coaches to the benches of various franchises. The acoustic atmosphere of the matches remains and what about the balanced playlist that year? Quite simply it went platinum, a first in the history of video games. “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”, an overheated console and a floor equipped with Jason Kidd’s version of the New Jersey Nets… noxious eye dust. The leader is also on the cover and when you look at the grub, you will tell yourself that the 2003 edition should be in the NBA Live adventure.
20 years ago today, “NBA Live 2003” was released on all platforms for $49.99
With new graphics, a freestyle control and a soundtrack that has gone platinum, it will be a change for Live to be considered as 1 of the best
Did you play it when it dropped? 🤔pic.twitter.com/dp5D6Ut4A6
— AuxGod (@AuxGod_) October 8, 2022
#3. NBA Live 1995: To be the first…
Honor to the veterans who completed the podium in the 1995 edition. Once the engine is started, we are talking here about orange pixels, strange displacement and rectangular circles… However, purists still remember a historical edition. First of all, because it is the first in the EA Sports saga to attack basketball by taking a technique that it has already mastered with the round ball since the launch of FIFA in 1993. To bring its games to life, the firm uses isometric 3D which makes it possible to display a game diagonally with a depth effect. In short, all that to say that NBA Live 95 is a real revolution, the gameplay is more than honest for the last century and the floors of the franchises, in the official colors, are crazy. The realism is striking in recognizable players, from the size of Muggsy Bogues to Dennis Rodman’s hair. The adventure is immersive, the atmosphere exists in the rooms and we quickly let ourselves be carried away in the bath. Also behind the scenes, players have control and can even pretend to be GMs by setting up trades. Sam Presti calmed down, it’s still not possible to nab Draft rounds and only players from the five majors can be traded. The base is simple and solid, but when you look closer, you regret the absence of a Michael Jordan trying his hand at… baseball. Although obviously, cheated players already exist.
If you don’t know, Dan Majerle is a great shooter, and he can really shoot with range
YT: https://t.co/xxwnH3jN2P pic.twitter.com/ntEwhDb5Nt
—Dee4Three (@Dee4Three84) August 29, 2021
#4. NBA Live 2000: medal of merit for beating Michael Jordan 1v1
Frustration: state of being frustrated, prevented from achieving a goal or fulfilling a desire.
This definition should be plastered wholesale on the cover of NBA Live 2000 instead of Tim Duncan. How many hours spent, neglected joysticks and nervous breakdowns caused opus 2000’s 1 vs 1 mode? Certainly too much and that is what makes a publishing legend. Remember, at the time, direct confrontation was a great new and the lovers is then very happy to discover it by taking control of the GOAT. The small problem is that you have to defeat MJ to unlock it and this is definitely the hardest and most exciting test of a generation. It was after the game was released that the children ran as fast as possible home from school to get their behinds kicked by Her Majesty. In addition to this almost lost rivalry, the game is also developing on the historical side with the inclusion of legendary teams dating back to the 1950s. The gameplay is more fluid, the opponent is more developed and the details work better, which again allows EA Sports to hit the mark.
When you had to beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1 to unlock him in NBA Live 2000. One of the hardest video game characters. pic.twitter.com/nQDQhnXHzW
—ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) April 20, 2020
#5. NBA Live 2004: the only basketball game where the Kings are strong
The reluctance was there to finish this top between NBA Live 2004 or 2010, but in the end, it was the version where Vince Carter was in the spotlight (and Tony Parker for the French version) that got of last place. For a whole bunch of reasons, the first? This opus marks LeBron James’ great debut in a video game. It’s the entire popular Draft 2003 class that’s also present on consoles and that’s a big strong point. Well yes, at that time, everyone dreamed of embodying Chris Kaman or Kendrick Perkins and maybe a little LeBron, Carmelo and Dwyane Wade. A golden youth then invaded the gameplay but it was always Tracy McGrady who took care of teaching them life. Among the offensive players, we saw Peja Stojakovic and Chris Webber carry a good Sacramento team…Kings fans know what you should do. If we base ourselves on the game itself, we go from the arcade-oriented version in 2003 to the more simulation-oriented version in 2004. True to the increase in power, this leads to the masterpiece of 2005 that completes the trilogy marking the peak of the EA Sports license before it descended into hell.
Classic NBA Live 2004 player intros 🔥 pic.twitter.com/uC8CZlKEF5
—ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) March 29, 2020
So there you have it for the essentials in the NBA Live saga. The EA Sports license was a pioneer, it held firm for several years before succumbing to the NBA 2K monster. His loss is the death knell for a competition that we can only regret. If 2K and NBA Live still hold the plug, the opuses will be competing with new stuff for our sheer enjoyment.
Text source: Raw Game Opener, AuxGod, Throwback Hoops.