• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Oct 21, 2003
Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 92
    Not only is the gameplay tight, but the addition of 24/7 mode adds a whole new level to the term "must buy"... Overall the best playing basketball game this season.
  2. If you are planning on buying only one basketball game this year, ESPN NBA Basketball is the one to get.
  3. ESPN NBA is not only one game but two, and they both kick ass... The best in video game basketball. [Nov 2003, p.146]
  4. 85
    While there are still some control problems that keep it from being perfect, Sega's dominance on the hardwood continues. This year makes it a three-peat.
  5. 100
    A basketball technician’s dream. Games against the CPU realistically mimic a real game, while scrimmages against friends received a boost of energy thanks to sped-up gameplay and better shot blocking. ESPN NBA Basketball 2K4 retains the top slot by just a hair.
  6. It's the bugs, the lousy camera, ... and absolute necessity to adjust all of the gameplay sliders to find that decent game that shoots the overall score way down.
  7. With its excellent graphics and myriad game modes, ESPN NBA Basketball is a good, strong title. The gameplay quirks like rebounding difficulty and the canned animations are there and can be frustrating, but are easily overlooked when you take in the big picture.
  8. 80
    Clearly, the 24/7 mode is the most impressive element, and it could've easily been its own release. All combined, it adds up to a very good game, due largely to the breakout star.
  9. When you face a player, it's almost like a fighting game: who will execute the proper move first? [Nov 2003, p.104]
  10. Until the developers master the riddle of team A.I. (players here don't always respond properly in certain situations), work remains undone. Even so, this year's model is great.
  11. Represents the pinnacle of the sport in videogame form with its nearly flawless gameplay and wide assortment of modes.
  12. Treads the fine line between simulation and arcade play - and pulls it off. It's quite simply the best hoops game on the PS2. [Dec 2003, p.40]
  13. I like more of a sim aspect in my sports games which leaves me undecided about the new arcadish feel of this game.
  14. Just as "Madden" continues to dominate gridiron play, so does ESPN NBA Basketball on the hardwood. [Dec 2003, p.84]
  15. A great portrayal of professional basketball. While its counterpart, "NBA Live," may have more razzle and dazzle, ESPN has the fundamentals covered. If you know the difference between a "2" and a "5" when it comes to basketball positions, ESPN is your choice.
  16. Drop-dead gorgeous and the gameplay is as smooth and realistic as ever. ESPN looks, plays and sounds as close to the real NBA game as you can possibly get on a console right now.
  17. Overall while it's actually quite fun it really is lacking in imagination, leaving it in the same league as many of its average competitors.
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. H.S.
    Jun 30, 2004
    10
    This game is the best nba game of all time. Moreovrer the 24/7 mode is addictive. The graphics are awesome. You can play on the street orThis game is the best nba game of all time. Moreovrer the 24/7 mode is addictive. The graphics are awesome. You can play on the street or start your own dynasty. Full Review »
  2. EdwardF.
    Mar 30, 2004
    10
    I think the controls are easy.rebounding and dunking are very easy.
  3. JBalla
    Mar 12, 2004
    10
    This game is the hottest 2K4 edition of Basketball. It's realistic and correct gameplay puts it in the "on fire" mode.This game is crisp This game is the hottest 2K4 edition of Basketball. It's realistic and correct gameplay puts it in the "on fire" mode.This game is crisp and clear and is fun so It never gets old. The realisticness and crisp clear graphics make it fun instead of dull to play. This game is a proud show off for all the games with unrealistic graphics,weak dull super nintendo graphics, because it is the best. If you want a game with futuristic clearitiy and crisp sharp graphics then this is the game. HOLLA ATCHA BOY. Full Review »