Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 88
    Thanks to Live's controls and in-your-face gameplay, it's one of the better basketball games to hit the cyber court this year, even if it is more of a two-player arcade game, rather than a sim.
  2. Hardcore players will appreciate the added control brought by the new features, like off-the-ball control and the jump stop. The separation of the dunk and shoot buttons is an especially great move.
  3. The gameplay is extremely tight and well done in NBA Live 2004! The game plays like a dream.
  4. EA has made significant strides in creating a more realistic flow to digital hoops... I have to give the nod to ESPN, but I eagerly look toward next year's Live. [Nov 2003, p.147]
  5. 85
    Thanks to revolutionary ten-man motion captures, the look of 2004 will impress you. This is the first hoops I've played where everyone on the court acts the way they're supposed to.
  6. 90
    If the offensive and defensive balance were just a bit more fine-tuned..., NBA Live 2004 would have the legs for multiple plays through the Dynasty mode and a clear shot as the top hoops game.
  7. In terms of sound, NBA Live 2004 does a great job of presenting an authentic aural presentation with ripped-from-the-court sound effects of player's shoes squeaking on the wood floor, the undeniable swish of the ball slapping into pure net, and dynamic crowd reactions.
  8. 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.
  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. 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]
  11. 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.
  12. NBA Live 2004 has to get the nod over "NBA Jam" due to the deeper gameplay, sexier looks and fresher soundtrack.
  13. The gameplay has been dramatically tweaked, but the changes haven't detracted from the quick and responsive pace of the previous game. [Dec 2003, p.182]
  14. Stiffer gameplay, clunkier graphics and a lack of competitive depth conspire to keep this franchise from repeating as the top hoops game. [Dec 2003, p.47]
  15. 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.
  16. 60
    EA, please learn how to make a basketball game that's actually based off of basketball next year. Buy an NBA rulebook and have the lead designer thoroughly study it, please.
  17. 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]
  18. The perfect purchase for simulation basketball fans that want a little of arcade-like freedom.
  19. 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]

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