Top Critic Average
While NBA Live 16 is a step forward in some areas, it's still hard to recommend over other basketball video games on the market. Until gameplay doesn't feel so stiff, NBA Live will feel like an 8th seed in the Eastern Conference -- in on the action, but not much hope to advance in the playoffs.
The franchise is still on the comeback trail and may not overtake 2K's juggernaut for a couple more years but the gains this year are significant and the franchise is clearly trending upwards
Needless to say, NBA Live 16 has a lot of promise but only comes in a little bit above average at its current state. Hopefully EA Sports provides gamers with an October patch or else the game will fall well below the ranks of its highly touted expectations.
NBA Live 16 is made to feel accessible and simple. At least that's what the structure caters to. From in-game learning help to player development, it's all mostly basic. With this pause in progress, it will be interesting to see if Live will be able to rebound from a supposed "beating" it's looking to take once NBA 2K is released the same day.
NBA Live 16 makes a number of well implemented adjustments to the gameplay, but the lack of completely new game modes, or even major additions to the existing ones, prevent NBA Live 16 from being a real slam dunk.
NBA Live 16 takes a small baby step forward with the franchise, but there are still core gameplay elements that need to be smoothed out before it can be a championship caliber game.
NBA Live 16 isn't a very good game but at least the series is moving forward, albeit slowly. The technical aspects are definitely the highlight, as the graphics are actually quite good and the music and sound effects add great flavor. The modes aren't a problem, either, because you've got a nice variety here.
Compared to last year's iteration, NBA Live 16 is merely a slight improvement compared to that game's larger overhaul. Though the other modes have received little to no attention this time, the inclusion of Pro-Am injects some fun into the series. The presentation is fine, but the flaws are becoming more apparent as some elements remain unchanged. The gameplay still needs some work, especially on the defensive side, but at least those who lean toward offensive play have a few new weapons in their arsenal. The series still isn't a real competitor to the other basketball series, but the potential is there. How long it'll take before it reaches that potential remains to be seen, especially since we expected that to occur in this year's version.
[W]hat we're left with is a solid game of basketball with meat and potatoes features. It doesn't hold up to NBA 2k16 and doesn't do enough to be the breakthrough the series needed. That being said, EA Tiburon is on the right track and if they spend the next year truly fine-tuning the mechanics and coming up with a dazzling career mode, this could be the penultimate chapter before the Live takeover.
NBA Live 16 has a lot of really solid pieces that are starting to come together. These disparate parts still need smoothing out and the game itself still has room to improve, but those looking for a more arcade-like NBA experience with a variety of modes should enjoy what the game has to offer.
Much to our chagrin, EA Sports has once again proven that they can't make a quality basketball game. Like the Toronto Raptors, it is hard not to speculate how much more of a beating NBA Live can take before they just throw in the towel permanently. Hopefully the answer to that question is never, but they still have a seemingly insurmountable amount of ground to make up in order to even be competitive.
NBA Live 16 has a few new modes and features that help elevate it above last year's offering, but that's practically a footnote when you consider how the game flubs some of its basic controls and AI.
The gameplay is fundamentally flawed, mainly with the inaccuracy of the AI and shooting system, and the presentation needs sprucing up, especially in terms of commentary. With a lot more effort in these departments, EA Sports just might pull off a contender. Or, hey, maybe it's just time to bring back NBA Street and stick with what works.
NBA Live 16 takes incremental steps forward in ball control and online functionality, but its underdeveloped modes and inconsistent mechanics make it a chore to play.
Overall, NBA Live 2016 is another sports game. I did have fun while I was playing it; however, it seemed like there was a serious barrier between my understanding of basketball and how much fun I could have. Serious basketball fans will no doubt enjoy it, but if you're not a serious basketball fan, while it might make a decent game for when you have friends over, I think Mario Party would do the exact same thing.
There's not much positive to NBA Live 16 apart from the unique menus and the well-conceived game modes. Gameplay is borderline crippling, leaving the final product on the whole incomplete. Uneven growth keeps this year's outing from being justifiably on anyone's radar.