Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 87
    Call NBA Live 2004 the New Jersey Nets of hoop games if you will. Excitement and entertainment is what they bring to the court, but there's always someone just a bit better waiting in the wings.
  2. Hardcore players will appreciate the added control brought by the new features, like off-the-ball control and the jump stop. The separation of the dunk and shoot buttons is an especially great move.
  3. It’s fun, but it’s not technical basketball. A lot of explosive dunks, long threes, and overpowering defense keep the game exciting and accessible to everyone, but big fans of the sport of basketball may be a little disappointed.
  4. It's a more physical and challenging play, but it still struggles with the fundamentals. [Nov 2003, p.170]
  5. 85
    Thanks to revolutionary ten-man motion captures, the look of 2004 will impress you. This is the first hoops game I've played where everyone on the court acts the way they're supposed to.
  6. 80
    If the offensive and defensive balance were just a bit more fine-tuned, and the Xbox and GameCube versions had online support, NBA Live 2004 would have the legs for multiple plays through the Dynasty mode and a clear shot as the top hoops game.
  7. Now where NBA Live 2004 excels is in the gameplay department. NBA Live successfully gives you almost total control of the game of basketball, crossovers, pivot moves, shot adjustments, and fade-aways, are all aspects of the game that EA has given you control of.
  8. The bevy of new moves and increased difficulty will surely please fans, though more work could have been done polishing the graphics and smoothing out some of the gameplay quirks. As it is, this is a solid drive to the basket.
  9. 80
    Strengthening the improvements to gameplay is the addition of sliders to help customize the action, from the computer's shot block ability to foul frequency, game speed, and more.
  10. Live is quite simply the best-controlling basketball game ever. Player control is unprecedented. [Dec 2003, p.152]
  11. EA has done it again, implementing expanded Freestyle control, improved defensive AI, superior graphics and a brand-new announce team...Looking for the best basketball game? NBA Live 2004 is nothing but net. [Nov 2003, p.105]
  12. Thanks to some intelligent tweaks, you'll now find a much better balance between offense and defense. It's not as easy to blow by a defender on the perimeter, but when you do, the adjusted A.I. compensates and another defender picks you up.
  13. The game does have several shortcomings, including incredibly tough computer defense, a few glitches in the dynasty mode, and some overly long animations that affect gameplay, but all in all NBA Live 2004 is the best game of the series.
  14. The controls in NBA Live 2004 are tight and very responsive. The freestyle controls have been toned down from last year. This year, the freestyle controls are more suited for the skill players who handle the ball regularly.
  15. The real star of NBA Live 2004, however, is the superb visual quality and the newfound ease with which players can call set plays and change defenses. [Dec 2003, p.84]
  16. If there's ever been a better basketball videogame than NBA Live 2004, it resides on the Planet Degloop, yet unavailable for human pleasure. [Dec/Jan 2004, p.84]
  17. This is the best version since "Live 2000" (a classic in my opinion) and I'm looking forward to see how the game improves in the future.
  18. Marv's vocal performance is so terrific that EA should strongly consider rebranding the series "Albert 2004." Hey, it worked with John Madden. [17 Oct 2003, p.L2T 21]
  19. The game flows like no other basketball game out there, but a few flaws keep NBA Live 2004 from running away from its competition.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. ChrisC.
    Jul 28, 2004
    6
    While the gameplay was certainly enjoyable in Live, the bad graphics (ie black jerseys look gray) and inaccurate player ratings (Iverson While the gameplay was certainly enjoyable in Live, the bad graphics (ie black jerseys look gray) and inaccurate player ratings (Iverson couldn't make a bucket to save his life in this game) really bogged down the game, and made it, overall, a poor gaming experience. Next year, I?ll be buying ESPN. Full Review »
  2. TomL.
    Jan 28, 2004
    10
    This is the best bball game goin around man. Forget about inside drive and espn, they are no comparison ya know what im sayin. NBA live rocks This is the best bball game goin around man. Forget about inside drive and espn, they are no comparison ya know what im sayin. NBA live rocks mate, the graphics are unbelieveably true to life. I have started a season with the Rockets and am averaging 15 blocks a game with Yao Ming. Made some awesome trades and have already one 2 championships in my first 2 seasons. Full Review »
  3. Mr.BT
    Nov 25, 2003
    5
    Nice graphics and gameplay. You'd think, in this day and age of computer rendering software, that ONE of these damn companies would be Nice graphics and gameplay. You'd think, in this day and age of computer rendering software, that ONE of these damn companies would be able to make a net swish and have accurate rim physics for dunks and three-pointers. Nope. Until they get those things right, keep renting games like this and ESPN and hope that basketball is taken to the next level like Madden has taken football. Full Review »