Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 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. These are the coolest and most rewarding dunk-fests we've ever played - and NBA Live 2003 is the most entertaining basketball game on the market because of it. [Dec 2002, p.54]
  3. A huge improvement over the past few versions of the game. The game has a good balance between realism and fast arcade style action.
  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. The controls were thoughtfully kept simple and easy to memorize for one specific reason: to allow gamers to focus on the new EA Sports Freestyle Control function.
  6. A game for those who don't mind sacrificing some realism for a more exciting experience. [Nov 2002, p.119]
  7. 87
    I haven't had this much fun with a basketball game since "NBA Showdown" on my Super Nintendo nearly 10 years ago. Innovative, fast, and possessing the most fluid control of any basketball game on the market.
  8. It retains enough simulation-style elements to appease those craving a realistic game, thus giving NBA Live 2003 a much broader appeal than its direct competitor, "NBA 2K3."
  9. For pick-up-and-play fun, NBA Live 2003 simply can not be beat.
  10. A very fast-paced and more arcade-like basketball experience, but a lot of fun nonetheless.
  11. Is it better than NBA 2K3? Well, no, not really, though some of you will find the faster-paced gameplay to be more enticing, and even doubters should check it out for the Freestyle control alone.
  12. The bottom line is that EA has made nothing but vast improvements with this version of the NBA Live series.
  13. Another criticism levelled at last year’s release was the dodgy AI. This time round the CPU players are much more intelligent making for a more challenging, yet rewarding game.
  14. It's the innovative use of the right analog stick that seals the deal. [Dec 2002, p.212]
  15. 80
    Sim fans will be disappointed with the under-powered defense, but for twitch players, NBA Live 2003 is a dream come true.
  16. 80
    The combination of Freestyle Control, improved AI, and super graphics have elevated this veteran's game by leaps and bounds.
  17. The game's real improvement, which gives it a jump on the competition, is the fast break. [Dec 2002, p.171]
  18. 79
    The inability to play adequate defense makes Live 2003 a shallow affair.
  19. 75
    Simple, straightforward fun. [Dec 2002, p.70]
  20. Live 2003’s identity crisis and average-at-best graphics are inexcusable. It belongs next to “ShootOut 2003” in the rental bin while “NBA 2K3” spins happily ever after.
  21. Just expect the fun to be frequently interrupted by inexplicably bad passes, ball-hogging, and non-existent defense.
  22. 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.
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. [Anonymous]
    Apr 18, 2003
    10
    This game is so awesome dudes and dudets.
  2. DougP.
    Apr 12, 2003
    10
    This game is on the hook!
  3. JustinH.
    Mar 25, 2003
    0
    This game sucks, I hate it so much.