Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 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. There isn’t a new mode that takes the game over the top, or a new feature that makes it best out there, but it is the combination of a vision and the hard work to get through some rough years to get to this game which is by far the best NBA Live game I have played in a long, long time.
  2. The game builds on the solid fundamentals of NBA Live 08, while making the game play more like an NBA broadcast.
  3. 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. The massive gap in quality between the Live and 2K series has finally shrunken to the point where either option will give you a solid basketball experience.
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. TonyAube
    Oct 17, 2008
    9
    I was a longtime 2k fan until this year. For the first time since the inception of the 2k series, I've returned 2k9 for Live 09. I can't believe it, but I actually prefer it and am flat out just having more fun playing it. 2k9 has a lot of depth as diehards know, but the gameplay is too bogged down with various things I won't get into depth here about, since this is a Live review. I've only played about 5 or 6 games but I prefer the defense in live and feel their lockon is easier to apply and you don't get penalized as harshly for not having it locked in - 2k9 makes Derek Fisher into Tiny Archibald if you aren't locked on. Live is just better balanced and provides a more free flowing and realistic (IMHO) flow to the game. The gameplay feels like 2k used to feel (2k6 and 2k7) in the way driving and kicking is satisfying. But the difference I'm finding is that unlike those older options, it's not a dunkfest like b-ball games of a couple of years ago used to be. I find the presentation to be much better in live and it's a breath of fresh air to leave the Harlan/Kellogg/Miller team and upgrading to Marv Albert and Steve Kerr (he must've had some spare time in the offseason?). NBA Live 365 is an awesome addition and I love the detail in the player tendencies effecting gameplay the way it does. The graphics and animations aren't to the level of 2k which does animations better than in any sports game...that went to a whole new level in 2k9 where the players feel more like the real-life counterparts moreso than live. Because of that and the little nitpicking things I won't go into bc of space I've taken off a point and rounded up from a super solid 8/soft 9....I can't believe I'm saying it but 'hats off to EA'. Full Review »
  2. NBAOz
    Oct 9, 2008
    6
    Improved slightly over last years NBA Live 08, but still has a long way to go if it ever wants to be in the same league as NBA 2k series. Player likenesses are horrendous, numerous bugs such as players going straight through other players, players get stuck in animations sequences which is annoying, the game just doesn't feel as responsive as NBA 2k9 and it looks like the game is being played in a cave as the lighting is just too dark... I noticed that NBA Live now has realistic jersey/short cloth animation which is good to see, however the 2k series has had this for 3 iterations now. Overall this game is above average and NBA 2k9 takes the crown yet again this year for best hoops simulation. Full Review »
  3. RogerM.
    Oct 6, 2008
    9
    Compared to retail (full) version of 2K9, the graphics IMO are sub par. The player models have an awkard build and the faces are off 95% of the time? i.e: Dirk Nowitzki looks like a Norse comic book character, Kobe and other players, well lets just say, "who is that!?" Presentation and commentary leave 2K9 standing still. 2K9 re-used almost all of Kenny Smiths commentary with the "new guy" repeating the same script. Controls/ gameplay are fluid, although it can get "glitchy" at times, ball physics get too speedy, i.e: shooting a buzzer beater can cause the ball to zip up and over to the hoop not to mention the super fast & funny looking release. Or getting fouled can cause you to rise awkardly high in the air along with your opponent. (bleh). If you've never played the 2K series all of what i just stated is irrelevant to you. In other words, You WILL like this game. Good stuff. Full Review »