Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. 90
    The gameplay finally matches the graphics, and the result is what basketball fans want and need in a PS2 game.
  2. The defense is excellent – players hunch down or take swipes at the ball. The alley-oop button is a beautiful thing. [Dec 2001, p.92]
  3. The real gem of the post game is that as your player nears the basket, the AI team eventually double teams him. When it does, you find the open man for a mid- or long-range jumper. This is basketball 101, and I love it.
  4. The fact still remains though that if you are looking for a game that represents sim-hoops, there is no game that represents that better than NBA Live 2002.
  5. The game has not taken any new leaps and bounds towards improvement in the way that Sega Sports "NBA 2K2" has, scoring this game just a little lower in the overall fun factor.
  6. Although the rebounding game is a bit improved, there are new presentation elements, and the new franchise mode adds quite a bit of replay value, NBA Live 2002 does not improve significantly on last year's version and seems to be falling behind competing hoops products.
  7. 76
    While it's clear that they knew of the biggest problem areas and addressed each and every one of them, the majority of improvements were only minor ones and didn't really add up to much in the end.
  8. With few improvements over the last version, NBA Live 2002 is taking a risk by opening the door to its competitors.
  9. One, why are the replays so dark? And two, why do they just give an overall ranking for the teams, why not also have it broken down by offence and defense?
  10. Appealing just to player management aficionados and ignoring the excitement at the heart of the game will eventually cost them dear.
  11. NBA Live 2002 takes a step backwards in our minds with less of a focus on strict, simulation style play and too much emphasis on flashy, easy broad based play.
  12. Tries so hard to be good, but fails at just about every turn. [Dec 2001, p.169]
  13. 50
    One part of the game that had me screaming at my players like Bobby Knight, and wanting to choke them out a la Latrell Sprewell, was that they would box out effectively maybe one out of forty times, and have no opposing player near the ball as it drops from hitting the rim.
  14. I think it's safe to say that someone at EA Sports has too tight a grip on the mantra, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Year after year, the Live series crops up with minor retrofits while other EA lines, like the admirable Madden games, enjoy sparkling new touches and interesting new modes.
  15. I dare people to enjoy NBA Live. [Jan 2002, p.216]
  16. Look up the definition of 'weak-sauce' in Lewinson's Dictionary and you'll find the following: sloppy control, inconsistent player physics, cheating AI, incorrect play can see where this is leading, can't you?
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 2 out of 5
  1. DanaL.
    Jun 11, 2002
    I have been playing ea basketball games since NBA 98 and besides graphics improvements the games have been getting worse. The rebounding, shooting, player speed and post moves are so unrealistic that it hurts me to play. If these thigs were fixed then they would have a great game! Full Review »
  2. AnthonyM.
    Jan 6, 2002
    NBA Live 2002 is unbelievable! The rosters most of all. The 40 new dunks and new lay-ups are so real. I'm tellin' ya if you like basketball and have good taste and you haven't bought NBA Live 2002 yet you better buy it before it's sold out. Plus it will probably be worth a lot of money 'cause there was never a palindrome (a number that looks the same if you look at it backwords) basketball game. And 'cause there's Michael Jordan. Not one NBA Live game has ever had Michael Jordan on the regular roster 'till now. Full Review »
  3. ErosD.
    Nov 25, 2001
    This game looks great and plays terrible. This once great franchise is sinking. Fast.