Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. EA has done it again, implementing expanded Freestyle control, improved defensive AI, superior graphics and a brand-new announce team...Looking for the best basketball game? NBA Live 2004 is nothing but net. [Nov 2003, p.105]
  2. Marv's vocal performance is so terrific that EA should strongly consider rebranding the series "Albert 2004." Hey, it worked with John Madden. [17 Oct 2003, p.L2T 21]
  3. 90
    When it comes to sports games, the GameCube’s controller always seems to suffer in points due to its unconventional button arrangement, but surprisingly it's not an issue this year. The default setting has been specialized for the GameCube, and it works wonders.
  4. 87
    Call Live the New Jersey Nets of hoop games if you will. Excitement and entertainment is what they bring to the court, but there's always someone just a bit better waiting in the wings.
  5. Thanks to some intelligent tweaks, you'll now find a much better balance between offense and defense. It's not as easy to blow by a defender on the perimeter, but when you do, the adjusted A.I. compensates and another defender picks you up.
  6. 85
    The game has some button scheme issues, but still comes across as a super sim that'll let you control your man like no game before.
  7. The controls in NBA Live 2004 are tight and very responsive. The freestyle controls have been toned down from last year. This year, the freestyle controls are more suited for the skill players who handle the ball regularly.
  8. The many customizable settings really ensure a unique gaming experience for all skill levels, and jamming the ball down the other players' throats is satisfying.
  9. The bevy of new moves and increased difficulty will surely please fans, though more work could have been done polishing the graphics and smoothing out some of the gameplay quirks. As it is, this is a solid drive to the basket.
  10. Now where NBA Live 2004 excels is in the gameplay department. NBA Live successfully gives you almost total control of the game of basketball, crossovers, pivot moves, shot adjustments, and fade-aways, are all aspects of the game that EA has given you control of.
  11. Casual fans may struggle a bit, but most b-ball veterans will embrace the new changes...and find their little slice of hoops heaven. [Dec 2003, p.159]
  12. Hardcore players will surely appreciate the gameplay experience and overlook the little control issues.
  13. The real star of NBA Live 2004, however, is the superb visual quality and the newfound ease with which players can call set plays and change defenses. [Dec 2003, p.84]
  14. Delivers a great basketball experience, if you can overlook the control issues.
  15. his version offers more control but the controller makes it more difficult to play than necessary.
  16. The action itself is fast and fluid.
  17. The game's complexity makes it difficult to plug in and play. [Jan 2004, p.159]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 5, 2012
    It's rare to see a sports game franchise regress from year to year, but that's what happened here- NBA Live 2004 is a huge disappointmentIt's rare to see a sports game franchise regress from year to year, but that's what happened here- NBA Live 2004 is a huge disappointment compared with 2003. The fun arcade-y sim style of 2003 has been revamped to try to make it more realistic, but this was less than successful, resulting in a game that's less fun than its predecessor. Full Review »