NBA Live 18

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NBA Live 18
Cover art featuring James Harden
Developer(s)EA Tiburon
Publisher(s)EA Sports
SeriesNBA Live
Platform(s)PlayStation 4
Xbox One
  • WW: September 15, 2017
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

NBA Live 18 is a basketball simulation video game developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA Sports. It features James Harden of the Houston Rockets as its cover athlete and was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 15, 2017.[1] The game is the 21st installment in the NBA Live series, and the follow-up to 2015's NBA Live 16 after EA took a year off between games. Though still receiving some criticism for its gameplay, the game was noted as an improvement over recent installments, and became the highest rated game of the series since NBA Live 10, according to Metacritic.


NBA Live 18 features Houston Rockets guard James Harden as the cover athlete. Harden previously shared the cover of NBA 2K16 with Steph Curry and Anthony Davis.[2] The game includes an "UltimateTeam" mode that allows players to draft different players to create a custom roster, similar to EA's Madden NFL franchise. It is the first basketball video game to feature a full WNBA roster. It features a single-player career mode called "The One," similar to 2K Sports' "MyCareer" mode. In this mode, the created player has the chance of taking their skills across leagues and even join the NBA Draft and Combine which features over the top analysis from segments of ESPN First Take hosted by Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith. In them, they give their open minds in opinion in the direction the player is going to progress through the mode.[3] The game mode allows players to experience basketball life on and off the court with more clothes and a Game Face app for iOS and Android devices, allowing players to scan their face and insert it into the game.[4]


On August 8, 2017, EA Sports announced the soundtrack for the game, which would feature 31 songs, including Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, Lil Uzi Vert and Rick Ross. The soundtrack was also made available for streaming on Spotify.[5]


NBA Live 18 was released on September 15, 2017, several days before its rival, 2K Sports' NBA 2K18. In order to compete with 2K, EA announced all players who pre-order the game would receive the game for $39, compared to the standard $59 cost.[2]


Aggregate score
Metacritic(XONE) 72/100[6]
(PS4) 72/100[7]
Review scores
Game Informer7/10[9]

NBA Live 18 received "average" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.

Many critics noted the game as an improvement over its predecessors, but wrote the gameplay still had room for improvement. In a positive review of the game, Chris Roling of Bleacher Report wrote: "Here, casual means good fun. It feels as accessible as a basketball game should and is a step or two ahead of what many fans might have anticipated for a game following up on an outright cancellation."[13] EGMNow gave the game 7.5/10, writing: "NBA Live 18 has improved in almost every way over its predecessor, making a strong case for its continued existence. However, a lackluster franchise and a sense of been-there-done-that with that other basketball series puts Live 18 one step behind the competition."[8]

IGN gave the game 6.5/10, saying: "NBA Live 18's simplistic and fluid mechanics make for an approachable game of NBA, or WNBA, basketball. But for all that it does well on the court, elsewhere it fails to live up to its potential. There are plenty of side modes, but few have the depth or interesting new ideas to be worth getting invested in."[11] GameSpot said "Between the WNBA matches and the position variety of The One, NBA Live 18 succeeds–albeit barely–as a viable alternative to NBA 2K18."[10]

Game Informer said "NBA Live 18 still doesn't match or best NBA 2K18's deep feature set, but this year does show progress. The stable online matches, interesting career mode concept, and adequate if arcadey gameplay all point to a more promising future for EA's most struggling sports franchise."[9] It later gave the game the award for "Most Improved Game" in its 2017 "Sports Game of the Year" Awards.[14]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "NBA Live 18 Release Date And Cover Star Announced". GameSpot. August 11, 2017.
  3. ^ "'NBA Live 18' Demo Impression: The Good, The Bad And The Bottom Line". August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  4. ^ "PUT ON YOUR GAME FACE: Become THE ONE with the GameFace HD app". EA Sports.
  5. ^ "Hit the Paint with NBA Live 18 Soundtrack". EA Sports. August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  6. ^ "NBA Live 18 for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "NBA Live 18 for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Goroff, Michael (September 14, 2017). "NBA Live 18 review". EGMNow. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Bertz, Matt (September 25, 2017). "NBA Live 18: Showing Signs Of A Turnaround". Game Informer. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Concepcion, Miguel (September 25, 2017). "NBA Live 18 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Vollmer, Ben (September 19, 2017). "NBA Live 18 Review". IGN. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Good, Owen S. (September 18, 2017). "NBA Live 18 review". Polygon. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  13. ^ Roling, Chris (September 17, 2017). "NBA Live 18 Review: Gameplay Videos, Features and Impressions". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Game Informer staff (January 8, 2018). "The 2017 Sports Game Of The Year Awards". Game Informer. Retrieved January 11, 2018.