Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Play Magazine
    Debuting in this '03 renewal is the EA Sports "freestyle" control. Wihout question, it WILL change the way you play basketball games...forever. [Nov 2002, p.88]
  2. With improved graphics, better animations, and a control system that, like their commercials say, allows players to fully express themselves anyway they want, Live 2003 is unbelievably solid.
  3. Freestyle control allows unparalleled dribbling and defensive control.
  4. Official Xbox Magazine
    Quite simply the best two-player basketball game ever made. [Dec 2002, p.108]
  5. 85
    The emphasis in this game is on scoring and creating spectacular plays, a job that once belonged to the NBA Jam/Showtime series. People enjoyed watching Live 2003 as much as they enjoyed playing it.
  6. A huge improvement from NBA Live 2002, bringing back the enjoyment that had been missing before. Obviously the FreeStyle Control has a huge role in this revival.
  7. With the solid on-court graphical presentation, fast-paced gameplay and variety of game modes, many may actually see it on even par with "NBA 2K3."
  8. Is it better than NBA 2K3? Well, no, not really, though some of you will find the faster-paced gameplay to be more enticing, and even doubters should check it out for the Freestyle control alone.
  9. Focuses on the up-tempo aspects of the sport of basketball as opposed to the half-court set, and the result is plenty of fast breaks, quick passes, and few shot clock violations.
  10. If you're looking for a realistic and fun basketball game, then NBA Live 2003 will not disappoint.
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    I still wholly recommend "NBA 2K3," but Live looks like it's back on the upswing. [Dec 2002, p.258]
  12. 80
    Sim fans will be disappointed with the under-powered defense, but for twitch players, NBA Live 2003 is a dream come true.
  13. The Gameplay reminded me more of a charity All-Star game than an actual NBA game.
  14. 78
    A variety of gameplay issues end up overshadowing the majority of improvements.

Awards & Rankings

#82 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. SamJ.
    Feb 25, 2003
  2. JessicaM.
    Dec 11, 2002
    Wow this is a great game.
  3. ChadS.
    Dec 4, 2002
    I think is just about the same as NBA2K3 only for the free style. that made everything jump up a lil on the scale.