Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. NBA Live 09 is the real deal when it comes to a great video game basketball experience.
  2. NBA Live 09 is a massive step forward for the franchise, and, in some ways, for sports games in general. It looks better than 2K’s excellent hoops game, and plays just as well, too.
  3. 90
    Although it’s disappointing that New Zealand isn’t one of the twenty international teams included in the game, that disappointment is greatly outweighed by all the positives.
  4. The game builds on the solid fundamentals of NBA Live 08, while making the game play more like an NBA broadcast.
  5. 85
    The inclusion of Dynamic DNA and NBA Live 365 are two of the most important innovations in sports gaming this year. Combined with all of the other enhancements EA Canada has provided and you are looking at the most feature-rich basketball title to come along in some time.
  6. For me, I chose NBA Live 09. Not only has EA brought legs back to this franchise since struggling its first two years out on next generation platforms, but they have delivered a very strong outing last year and now this year as well.
  7. The game flow is much better, the animation is smoother and the overall experience is more enjoyable. Sure, there are some elements that would be nice to have included (like a better Be A Pro mode), but that little bit is countered by the replayability offered by the NBA Live 365 feature and the DNA downloads.
  8. Regardless of some of the stumbles in NBA Live 09, this year’s game is definitely worth a purchase for the first time in years.
  9. NBA Live 09 isn’t quite as good as NBA 2K9, but EA’s effort will appeal more to those who aren’t so interested in a steep learning curve, and you won’t sacrifice much in the way of realism.
  10. 81
    It's a real step-up from last year's version of NBA Live, which felt stilted and robotic by comparison. [Issue#170, p.81]
  11. NBA Live 09 for Xbox 360 and PS3 offers a similar experience with respect to its previous version, but with a series of improvements and features, making it more competitive. It's getting better year by year, however, still stands second to its big rival NBA 2K9. Though it´s not the best among the basketball games, yet a nice alternative with great repertoire in terms of dazzling options choices in videogaming.
  12. Unlike NBA 2K9, you don't need to read the game booklet to perform sweet looking ankle breakers or run the reliable pick and roll, but there's more exciting features here than just playing exhibition.
  13. NBA Live 09 delivers a respectable game of basketball in a series that has displayed questionable quality in recent years. I see even brighter days ahead for EA Canada's basketball title.
  14. 80
    The new features aren't exactly earth shattering for this year's installment, but the game is fun to play and a noticeable improvement over "NBA Live 08."
  15. But small gripes aside, NBA Live 09 delivers some great basketball and will please most PS3-owning basketball fans. [Nov 2008, p.88]
  16. NBA Live 09’s gameplay improvements make this the best game in the series. If more care would have been taken to the new modes, it might have unseated the 2K franchise.
  17. NBA Live 09 is not a bad game. In fact, it's a relatively good game, if a bit incomplete.
  18. It’s hard to understand what happened this year. While the developers have been able to successfully incorporate so many new features into Madden 09 and NHL 09, the same winning recipe can’t be found on NBA Live 09. Nonetheless, fans of the franchise will find fit to their shoe on what we can label as a good NBA Live game but not the best we’ve seen.
  19. NBA Live 09's gameplay has again seen some improvement, but there are still a few rough edges.
  20. 75
    Not quite a 2K killer, this year's edition of NBA Live is definitely a significant step towards reclaiming the basketball videogaming crown.
  21. Some elements seem to finally be "complete" for the Live series, but for everything the game does right, four things are in obvious need of more work. On paper Live 09 sounds great; in execution it's the same story as usual.
  22. Despite being a fantastic game, we can't say we are totally satisfied with NBA Live 09. We are sure that the EA team has the talent to make a better game and taking the series to a really groundbreaking level, as they show with the NBA Live 365 functionality. [Oct 2008]
  23. Live 09 is fun to play with friends. But some annoying animations and controls stop if from reaching its potential. Maybe next year?
  24. 75
    Live 09's made significant strides, particularly in terms of innovation, but like the Houston Rockets exiting in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, it's the same old story here. NBA 2K9 continues to be the dominant basketball title, hands down.
  25. Though EA is doing all they can to create a realistic basketball sim, there are far too many blatant errors in their formula that make it far from perfect. The inclusion of new online features may not be enough to make up for repetitively frustrating mechanics.
  26. 70
    Sadly, even if the fans at Arco were banging authentic Sacramento cowbells like crazy, it wouldn't be quite enough to land NBA Live 09 on top of the basketball heap.
  27. NBA Live 09 is still not quite ready to bang the boards with the best, but it's the most user-friendly hoops game on the market. The pick-up-and-play control scheme, vibrant visuals, and improved action will appeal to those who feel the NBA 2K series is too complicated.
  28. 65
    NBA Live 09 does have some solid moments here and there, but you'll have to fight your way through a number of inconsistent elements to fully enjoy everything it has to offer.
  29. NBA Live 09 is probably everything you’d expect from EA and the Live series, but it fails to live up to the enormous hype it can generate from year to year.
  30. The actual gameplay is still awkward and slow next to the flowing brilliance of "2K." [Nov 2008, p.85]
  31. NBA Live 09 was so close to being almost everything I wanted from a basketball game.
  32. Measured against the rest of EA's high quality pro sports line-up, NBA 09 looks and plays a distinctly amateur game of B-Ball. [Oct 2008, p.103]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. krisc
    Dec 25, 2008
    This game would be great except they remove the damn shot meter indicator thats there duringywarmup for the games! How can one enjoy the game if shot results are arbitrary? Should be able to sink EVERY open shot if timing is right. This is the best NBA game but Im buying the Inside 09 simply because of control over shooting. Im baffled as to why they removed it. Full Review »
  2. MiloJ
    Nov 13, 2008
    Good, not great. Good graphics, gameplay, updated rosters. NBA 2K9 has that, too, though, and a better player ratings system. One sim franchise mode had Boston as the 8th best Eastern conference team. They are probably in the top 5 hands down in being one of the best teams. You would think they would have run 10,000 simulations to get Boston to be ranked higher. Full Review »
  3. jeremyr
    Oct 22, 2008
    NBALIVE09 is the basketball game to get this year, last year I was a 2knba fan but this year nbalive09 takes the crown, hands down for easports doing a great job on nbalive09. Full Review »