Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Buy On
  1. Live 06 delivers with its incredible new gameplay feature, Freestyle Superstars. The game focuses on showing a difference between player types aside from merely what position they play.
  2. 90
    This is my favorite two-player sports game of the year so far. The Superstar moves really change the way you play the game, and for the better, as for the first time in years you can really tell the difference between players like Shaq and Eric Dampier.
  3. 90
    Being able to dominate players with Shaq or throw cross-court, no-look passes with Tony Parker is a wonderful addition, and it actually makes you feel like you're playing the game with real NBA players, not just a bunch of identical players.
  4. The game modes feel a lot more complete this year and it all feels good on the Xbox. Some AI problems do crop up, but it doesn't get annoying.
  5. I had a lot of fun playing the dunk contest in "NBA Live 2005," but I couldn't really get deep into the actual games. This is not so in NBA Live 06. I'm thoroughly enjoying the actual season games this time around and I have to attribute most of this love to the Freestyle Superstar system.
  6. This is the best offering EA has created in many years. The gameplay isn't perfect, but the addition of superstar moves makes it extremely entertaining.
  7. Official Xbox Magazine
    A great flow and fine multiplayer action put a serious spit-shine on Live's sneakers. [Dec 2005, p.117]
  8. NBA Live '06 gives you a helluva good game; solid on both sides of the ball. On the downside, there isn't as much innovation as you might be hoping for.
  9. Pelit (Finland)
    An enjoyable basketball game for the most parts. Superstars add freshness to the offensive play with their scoring ability. Stiff animation and poor camera work are minor problems. [Oct 2005]
  10. Yes, it is arcade-like, for some this may be a turnoff but throw in all the modes and the online aspect and this one has plenty to keep basketball fans happy.
  11. A very good basketball game. There are things that could've been done better but doing one of the things just right, like the Superstar characteristics, seems to make all that moot. Even with the noticeably skewed player ratings, the game is quite fun.
  12. What Freestyle Superstar really does is give NBA 06's players a real identifiable personality and court persona that matches the actual player and brings a more realistic gameplay to the virtual hardwood.
  13. While NBA Live 06 makes a couple of steps forward with the Freestyle Superstar Controls, it manages to make a couple steps backward at the same time.
  14. 80
    The Superstar control sets will ensure that each game has a lengthy highlight reel while keeping the gameplay fast and fun. Fundamental issues with the game and its key features keep it out of the upper echelon of basketball titles.
  15. 80
    Aside from the enhanced one-on-one, the five-on-five gameplay also gets a bit of a brain boost. Fast-breaks and transitions spread the court in a more realistic fashion than before, and the two-person motion capture technique makes for some very cool animations on defense.
  16. We could have done without the ads for Toyota (what is this, a movie preview?), but the slamming soundtrack and retro touches-the 1995 version of EA's game is included-should help bring the league one step closer to atoning for the Charlotte Bobcats.
  17. 80
    NBA Live 06's seemingly small additions have improved the on-court action immeasurably, making it one of the best entries in the series to date.
  18. NBA Live 06 on Xbox feels like it is trying to go in one direction, but still stay in the same spot it has since last year.
  19. While NBA Live 06 does its best to put a new face on its game with the new superstar abilities and tweaks to its franchise mode, the series as a whole still feels stuck in neutral.
  20. Game Informer
    EA is definitely focusing on an area of the sport that I feel that all developers should be, but the series has fallen far behind "NBA 2K6" in nearly every category. [Nov 2005, p.145]
  21. In NBA Live 06, there are so many modes to play. And I found that if you got tired of playing the season, you can always go to one of the other game mode to change things up a bit.
  22. The camera doesn't swing around fast enough after a change of possession, causing some turnovers and missed fast-break opportunities. Plus, the dynasty mode, slam-dunk contest, and three-point shoot-out have all basically gone untouched.
  23. AceGamez
    It's a decent attempt, but it lacks what it used to have, and if you own the 2004 or 2005 version then just stick with them and trade the appropriate players to the correct teams.
  24. NBA Live 06 does take a step into slightly more appealing arcade territory with its star player system. Essentially, certain players now possess 'star' powers in particular fields (shooting, blocking, three pointers and so on), which adds a nice strategy element with respect to building up a well-rounded team in Career mode. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  25. 70
    A rather flat and average game.
  26. While it's got some good graphics and some good options, gameplay leaves a lot to be desired.
  27. NBA Live 06 is fine, decent, entirely competent, but who wants that again? We want bite, and even though this game has Marv Albert, it barely manages to break last year's skin.
  28. For gamers who just want to shoot, slam, and take it to guys in the paint, this game will more than meet your expectations. If you are looking for a game filled with strategy and intense pressure, you may want to get your hoops action elsewhere.
  29. Out of the box, the game is an unrealistic dunkfest, but after some slider changes, the game resembles the NBA.
  30. The developers failed to create any sort of balance, and even though the defensive intensity has been bumped up several notches this is still a run and gun basketball game.

Awards & Rankings

#59 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2005
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 6 out of 15
  1. WadeD.
    Jun 6, 2006
    I like this game. I can't wait til NBA Live 07 comes out.
  2. KarS.
    Dec 25, 2005
    Nba live 06 is a great game and it gets better by the years. its not supposed to be impossible for people to score. its a little over Nba live 06 is a great game and it gets better by the years. its not supposed to be impossible for people to score. its a little over exaggerated, but not by a lot. either way, its tons of fun, and its worth every penny you pay for it. Full Review »
  3. RyanH.
    Dec 1, 2005
    I am a huge sports fan and the little things in a game make all the difference to me. NBA Live 06 is a very frustrating game.When I bought it I am a huge sports fan and the little things in a game make all the difference to me. NBA Live 06 is a very frustrating game.When I bought it I though it would be a fun realistic game you know close the NBA with a few flaws. The biggest flaw this year is the defense where is it? This game is a good arcade style game for casual fans,but not even close to realistic game play. EA better get it together or 2K is going to dominate sales to the all the NBA fans who love playing video games. Full Review »