Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
Buy On
  1. 88
    My favorite hoops game of the year for its atmosphere, its wondrous meterless free throw system, and its improved Legacy Mode. Though there are still some gameplay flaws and sound bugs, College Hoops 2K5 is a diaper dandy.
  2. If you're a fan of college basketball, the attractive presentation, smooth online play, and deep legacy mode are all good reasons to check out ESPN College Hoops 2K5.
  3. Game Informer
    Every bit as impressive as the company's flagship NBA title. In fact, I'd say that it even plays a hair better. [Dec 2004, p.167]
  4. Not only a gorgeous-looking game but also one of the sweetest college hoops game to come along this year.
  5. A true workhorse, it does everything strongly and efficient, and doesn't have any real weaknesses that can't be overlooked over a short bit of experience with the title.
  6. 90
    At $19.99 this game is the best steal in videogame basketball.
  7. 80
    It's half a step behind EA's "March Madness," but with a $20 price tag ESPN College Hoops 2K5 costs less than a hot dog at the Final Four.
  8. In the end, it's a shame that the bugs in the game were not fixed prior to release; it is unimaginable that they weren't noticed by the design team. They're pretty blatant.
  9. Official Xbox Magazine
    This year we're picking Sega's game over EA Sports' - it just feels more like the real thing. [Holiday 2004, p.82]
  10. Play Magazine
    Gameplay was virtually lag-free and response time was so smooth, it rivaled any other sports game played online. [Jan 2005, p.80]
  11. The online play and custom soundtrack options are in place, the gameplay is spot-on, the graphics are some of the best you will find in any genre, and the ESPN presentation is the cherry on top.
  12. With a superior dynasty mode, better graphics, good enough to be fun controls, and a sick $20 price tag, I can not think of an excuse not to have this game.
  13. A defensive feast for the gamer who loves hacking and whacking over dishing and swishing. Its high level of strategy awards the player who makes the key steal over the one who soars to make the emphatic dunk, and the college "rah-rah-rah" atmosphere enhances the solid gameplay experience.
  14. netjak
    The solid gameplay foundation and attention to realism really makes this game a true hidden gem in the 2004 crop of sports games.
  15. Well…I'm two weeks into playing this game non-stop and the other shoe hasn't dropped. I can't find a major problem with this game, and I've just been enjoying it.
  16. Some of the elements need to be fine tuned in next year's version, such as presentation and audio. With these problems asides, the depth of the Legacy mode, increased Xbox Live features, and better gameplay make this a good buy at $20.

Awards & Rankings

#54 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. JordanM.
    Apr 27, 2007
    Good game but it freezes ALOT during legacy mode. Would be great if you didn't have to reset your game every other time you play it!
  2. JS.
    Dec 28, 2006
    Great game everything is pretty realistic with what real coaching is like... and I am one so I know... by the way to that guy that wants Great game everything is pretty realistic with what real coaching is like... and I am one so I know... by the way to that guy that wants unlimited recruiting points, there are rules in NCAA that limit how many you have in real life, you can only make so many calls have so many visits etc... they're annoyingly complicated but the game does a good job of depicting them. Full Review »
  3. CoryK.
    May 7, 2005
    This game is the best basketball game of 2005. I probably would give it a 9 but it's only $20 and that's a lot of bang for your buck.