Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
Buy On
  1. Play Magazine
    Debuting in this '03 renewal is the EA Sports "freestyle" control. Wihout question, it WILL change the way you play basketball games...forever. [Nov 2002, p.88]
  2. The freestyle controls are excellent and the graphics are easily the best of any basketball game available for the GameCube.
  3. The atmosphere is great, the control awesome, the challenge solid, and the eye-candy sweet.
  4. With improved graphics, better animations, and a control system that, like their commercials say, allows players to fully express themselves anyway they want, Live 2003 is unbelievably solid.
  5. 85
    It's very intuitive and fast in the action department, which makes it a perfect choice for the casual b-ball enthusiast. If you don't mind a looser representation of the NBA world, this is the game for you.
  6. Isn't much of a simulation, but it's still an incredibly fun game that should appeal to a wider spectrum of basketball fans.
  7. Nintendo Power
    Delivers the whole professional basketball package. [Dec 2002, p.214]
  8. 80
    Sim fans will be disappointed with the under-powered defense, but for twitch players, NBA Live 2003 is a dream come true.
  9. 78
    It's a huge step forward for the franchise and other developers will likely copy the freestyle dribbling system for years to come, but until the defensive and offensive play is better balanced, it's hard to recommend.
  10. 60
    The fast pace, smarter computer-controlled players, and freestyle control system make it enjoyable at times, although it also makes you think that such things might have been better suited for the next version of "NBA Street" than a game with pretensions to simhood.
  11. It’s hard to diss a game that looks so realistic (Iverson’s still rocking ’rows), but there’s just something wrong when the only way to stop anyone from driving to the bucket is by taking away their keys to the stadium.

Awards & Rankings

#77 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jul 5, 2012
    Fun if slightly unrealistic, if all you want to do is dunk and try to score 100 points with Jerry Stackhouse in five minute quarters (trueFun if slightly unrealistic, if all you want to do is dunk and try to score 100 points with Jerry Stackhouse in five minute quarters (true story), this is the game for you. Full Review »
  2. JoeBlow
    Aug 5, 2003
    Gameplay and graphics are mediocore when compared to EA's football games. The potential for this game is nowhere near tapped.
  3. JeromeF.
    Jan 8, 2003
    I love this game.