NBA Live (video game series)

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NBA Live
Developers EA Canada (1995–2010)
EA Tiburon (2010–present)
Publishers EA Sports
Platforms PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Sega Genesis, Super NES, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone, and iPod Touch

NBA Live is a series of basketball video games, published by EA Sports. It is the successor to EA's previous NBA Playoffs and NBA Showdown series. Its main competitor is the NBA 2K series. After the release of NBA Live 10, EA attempted to retool the series under a new name with NBA Elite 11. However, the game was met with bad publicity and development problems before release and was cancelled (though a playable demo was released for download). In November 2010, development of the franchise was moved from EA Canada studio to Florida-based Tiburon studio. It was eventually announced that the series' next installment would be released in Fall 2012 and would return to the NBA Live name as NBA Live 13,[1] but announced on September 27, 2012 that they would cancel the release.[2] However, in the fall of 2013, the game would officially return with NBA Live 14.

NBA Playoffs[edit]

The predecessor of the NBA Live series was the NBA Playoffs series, which featured Lakers vs. Celtics, released first in 1989 for MS-DOS-compatible PCs and later adapted for consoles in early 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive. This game was played from a horizontal view (while later versions moved to an isometric view before ultimately moving to 3D on newer consoles). The game was one of the first to feature an NBA license, containing both real NBA teams and player likenesses and signature moves. Details such as Horace Grant's goggles are clearly visible, and Michael Jordan's "Air Reverse Layup" is animated with very high accuracy. Player numbers were also visible. The game featured only eight of the sixteen teams that qualified for the NBA playoffs that year, as well as both NBA All-Star teams.

The next game in the series was Bulls vs. Lakers, released in 1992, followed by Bulls vs. Blazers in 1993. Unlike the first game, these two releases were titled after the two teams who were in the NBA Finals the previous season, while the original release apparently chose the Lakers and Celtics due to both teams' historical success. Each revision added more teams and players, as well as more signature moves. The series also included an Olympic basketball spinoff game, Team USA Basketball (1992) which uses the same engine. The final game in the series was NBA Showdown 94 for SNES before the transition to the NBA Live series.

Year Game Title Features
1989 Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs NBA team and players, signature moves in team game.
1992 Bulls vs Lakers and the NBA Playoffs Co-operative play, instant replay in team game.
1992 Team USA Basketball International player licenses.
1993 Bulls vs Blazers and the NBA Playoffs Basketball game officially by EA Sports, custom team
1994 NBA Showdown Multiple custom team, 3rd party in game advertisement, white box cover, all NBA teams.

NBA Live[edit]

The NBA Live series was originally released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES with NBA Live 95. The naming was changed from utilizing the last two digits of the year to the entire year number from 2000–2005, but returned to the original naming convention with NBA Live 06.

The Create-A-Player feature was not available in the 1995 versions of the game, but have been a mainstay since NBA Live 96. NBA Live 98 in 1997 was the last NBA Live game for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and the SNES. NBA Live 98 also was the first NBA Live series game to support 3Dfx graphic cards. Only first generation Voodoo and Voodoo Rush cards were officially supported. NBA Live 99 was the first to feature Practice Mode and Multi-season play.

Starting from NBA Live 2000, the series featured NBA Live Legend All-Stars Teams, that included some biggest names from five decades (50s to 90s). These teams could be used instantly, but to use the players as regular players (e.g. traded, played on regular NBA Teams) they needed to be unlocked. Along the series, some of the rosters were changed due to many reasons as Michael Jordan was on the 90's team through 2004 and then, Spud Webb and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tom Chambers were added to the rosters in NBA Live 06.

NBA Live 2005 brought the addition of the Freestyle Air, NBA All-Star Weekend which includes the Rookie Challenge, Three Point Shootout, Slam Dunk Contest, and the NBA All-Star Game, and Freestyle Challenge which 2 players or more can play the Three Point Shootout or the Slam Dunk Contest.

NBA Live 06 was released on September 26, 2005 for the Xbox 360, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PC, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 Mobile. It features Dwyane Wade as the cover athlete.

NBA Live 07 was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, PlayStation Portable, and the Xbox360. The major new feature for this year was an evolution of the freestyle superstars system. Tracy McGrady of the Rockets is the cover athlete.

NBA Live 08[3] was released October 2, 2007 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Wii and PC and Gilbert Arenas is the cover athlete. This was the first entry in the series to feature national teams (under FIBA's license) and the last edition of NBA Live to be available on Windows.

NBA Live 09 was released on October 7, 2008 and Tony Parker is the cover athlete. The game is available for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, and Wii. It features the first concept of daily updates changing stuff like tendencies, rosters, and hot-cold streaks. The PS2 game featured Dynamic DNA, Be a Pro Mode which you create a player and put him in the NBA (Be a Pro is also in EA Sports NHL and FIFA series and its similar to Madden's Superstar Mode), a deeper practice mode, expanded FIBA world championships, Hot Spots 2.0 and an improved dynasty mode.

NBA Live 10 was released on October 6, 2009 and the cover athlete was Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

NBA Live 13 was to be released in Fall 2012 but was canceled.

NBA Live 14 was released on November 19, 2013. It is currently the latest of the NBA Live series.[4]

Game Title Cover
NBA Live 95 Seven player action shot from 1994 NBA Finals, Knicks vs. Rockets
NBA Live 96 Tip-off before Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals, Rockets vs. Magic (SNES and Genesis)

United States Shaquille O'Neal (PC and PlayStation)

NBA Live 97 United States Mitch Richmond
NBA Live 98 United States Tim Hardaway
NBA Live 99 United States Antoine Walker
NBA Live 2000 United States Tim Duncan
NBA Live 2001 United States Kevin Garnett
Lithuania Arvydas Sabonis
NBA Live 2002 United States Steve Francis
NBA Live 2003 United States Jason Kidd
NBA Live 2004 United States Vince Carter
Spain Raül López
NBA Live 2005 United States Carmelo Anthony
France Tony Parker, Spain Pau Gasol
NBA Live 06 United States Dwyane Wade
Japan Yuta Tabuse, France Tony Parker, Spain Pau Gasol
NBA Live 07 United States Tracy McGrady
Germany Dirk Nowitzki, France Tony Parker/Boris Diaw,[5] Spain Pau Gasol
NBA Live 08 United States Gilbert Arenas[6]
Germany Dirk Nowitzki, Italy Andrea Bargnani, Spain Pau Gasol, France Tony Parker/Boris Diaw
NBA Live 09 FranceUnited States Tony Parker[7]
United Kingdom Luol Deng, Italy Andrea Bargnani, Spain Pau Gasol
NBA Live 10 United States Dwight Howard
Spain Pau Gasol
United Kingdom Luol Deng
NBA Live 14 AustraliaUnited States Kyrie Irving


  1. ^ Hinkle, David (2012-02-23). "EA's next basketball sim is NBA Live 13". Joystiq. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  2. ^ Suszek, Mike (2012-09-27). "NBA Live 13 canceled by EA". Joystiq. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ August 23, 2006 4:55PM PDT (2006-09-25). "Dirk leads European NBA Live covers". Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  6. ^ April 30, 2007 9:14AM PDT (2007-10-01). "Gilbert Arenas nets NBA Live 08 cover". Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  7. ^ Bailey, W. Scott (June 25, 2008). "EA Sports puts Spurs' Parker on its cover". 

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