Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. For this year's game, EA has taken freestyle control to a whole new level. A level so out of control, it's going to change the way you play basketball games...forever. [Oct 2004, p.89]
  2. 90
    EA did their homework and pulled together a solid basketball game this year. There isn't much to complain about in NBA Live 2005. And with the addition of the Slam Dunk Contest, the replay value is huge.
  3. A great basketball game with excellent gameplay, and the addition of the all-star weekend is a nice treat.
  4. 90
    The slam dunk matchup is a slick game within the game, but let's not forget what got you to the gym in the first place. NBA Live 2005 is an all-pro caliber b-ball game that continues to show improvements. [Dec 2004, p.140]
  5. 88
    In one year, Live has really transformed its 5-on-5 game into more of a sim without losing the fun and flash of previous seasons, Dynasty mode has been revamped completely, and the AI across the board, from the trade scenarios to how players behave on the court, is far superior to any basketball game EA Canada has ever put out.
  6. In terms of visuals and pace, Live runs circles around rival "ESPN," but the gameplay is still a distant second in terms of execution. [Nov 2004, p.142]
  7. Live gets the nod from me this season, partly 'cause of its extras, which include a three-point and surprisingly deep slam-dunk contest. [Bryan; Dec 2004, p.158]
  8. While some gamers will be turned off by the lack of total simulation, they still may be intrigued by the extras EA threw in for good measure such as the deep dynasty, slam-dunk contest, and three-point shootout.
  9. You really need to appreciate how pick and roll plays work properly because of the solid collision detection or how players act like their real-life counter-parts, such as Allen Iverson lazily dribbling the ball before exploding past his marker with a crossover, to get the most out of this.
  10. The addition of the All-Star Weekend is something that was too long in coming, and manages to convey enough changes to warrant an upgrade for longtime fans of the series.
  11. 80
    A deep Dynasty Mode and some cool new gameplay additions ensure that you'll be playing the game for months to come, and while we can't say yet if the game will be able to gain ground on its biggest rival, we can say this: NBA Live 2005 is the best EA Sports basketball game ever.
  12. So, like last year’s model, Live 2005 is good, but not great.
  13. The game is nearly identical to last year’s game, with only a few improvements to speak of. The inclusion of the All-Star Weekend is a nice touch, but it doesn’t really provide anything revolutionary to the genre.
  14. Plays a solid game of basketball, but even the flashy new features can't hide the fact that it isn't a huge step up from last year's edition.
  15. Does it work when distilled down to the basics? The answer for NBA Live 2005 is a resounding yes. [Dec 2004, p.146]
  16. It’s surprisingly robust and looks very cool thanks to the great animations, that’s for sure, but the whole Dunk Contest isn’t very intuitive.
  17. A fun basketball title, but this isn't one of those "must-have" years, unless All-Star Weekend is something you absolutely can't live without. EA just didn't bring its "A"-game for '05.

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