NBA Live 97

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a game by Electronic Arts, and EA Games
Genre: Sports
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES, Playstation
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 6 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Sport Games, Sports Management Games, NBA Video Games, Basketball Video Games
NBA Live 97
NBA Live 97
NBA Live 97
NBA Live 97

One of the most respected basketball games for the Sony PlayStation returns this fall when EA Sports' NBA Live '97 takes to the court It looks like EA is going to change little about this game, instead opting to update the previous version. It appears that the most significant difference between this game and NBA Live '96 is the fact that the players will be represented as polygons rather than as sprites. With movement motion-captured from real NBA players, this title should prove even more realistic than any NBA Live game yet. The use of polygons may also allow the game to run faster than the previous version-an improvement that many gamers will be enthusiastic about. At least, the movement of the players should appear smoother and thus, more realistic. We can also hope that the company will address the minor gameplay issues that some players and reviewers pointed out, such as the occasional difficulty with distinguishing between players when they were closely grouped together.

As expected, this version will include all 29 NBA teams and over 300 "NBA stars." As of this writing, however, it isn't known yet whether this title will include the top stars that were noticeably absent from the previous version. You will, however, be able to create, trade and draft players, so you can put in any players that may have been left out of the actual game.

With the inclusion of in-depth statistics and play for up to eight players, this game should satisfy fans looking for a realistic simulation as well as those looking for an action-packed arcade experience. With all the new features. as well as the top-notch gameplay of the original. NBA Live '97 is sure to be an impressive sequel to its much acclaimed predecessor.

  • DIFFICULTY - Moderate
  • THEME - Sport

Download NBA Live 97


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

From the opening tip-off to the final buzzer, you won't find a more complete, dynamic, and in-your-face basketball game on the 32-bit market than Live '97. EA Sports takes hoops games to the next level and forces its biggest competitor. NBA Shootout, to take a seat on the bench.

Running with the Bulls

Live features five-on-five basketball the way it ought to be played: frantic, fierce, and above the rim. Players spin and use cross-over dribbles to deke defenders. You can use turbo, shoot skyhooks, get on a hot streak, throw alley-oops, or viciously shove opponents to the ground on your way to the basket.

On the strategy side, the playbook's packed with more than 50 offensive plays and 5 defensive sets. You can double-team any player, intentionally foul, or even crash the boards for that all-important rebound.

Exhibition, Season, and Playoff modes are available, along with four skill levels that will show how much game you really have. You can choose to play with Arcade rules, where pushing is prevalent and there's no out of bounds, or in Simulation mode, where you follow the strict letter of the referee's law. There's also a Custom option that enables you to play with as many or as few rules as you wish.

The Heat Is On

The most dramatic improvement over Live '96 comes in the form of new eye-popping, rim-rocking graphics. Mitch Richmond and Tyus Edney were motion-captured, and the resulting player movements--from layups to jump shots and even the way they fall--are the most lifelike and amazing in any basketball game to date. When you create a player, his name even shows up on the back of his jersey!

Superstar sounds slam home with the Grizzlies PA announcer A1 Murdoch, who yells out not only the name of the scorer but also who gave him the assist. Ernie Johnson of TNT lends his voice to help out on the stats, while the crowd's cheers will make you feel like you've stepped into an NBA arena.

Sweet Mourning Glory

If you've been looking for j fist-pumping players who t rain down threes and reverse i jams, look no further: Live '97 has arrived in time for the new basketball season. The only problem is that it's so good you may never want to watch a real game again.


  • When you have a streaky shooter like John Starks and he starts to light it up, keep feeding him the ball. He'll score points in hunches.
  • Be aware of your players' real-life abilities to understand how to fully utilize all their strengths.
  • Point guards like Stockton, who can shoot as well as pass, are the most difficult players to defend.
  • Double-team the man with the ball to force him to make a bad pass.
  • Jump in the air to draw a double-team, then pass the ball to the open man.
  • Abdul-Rauf might not stand for the national anthem, but lie's quick and will blow by defenders if they're not careful.

NBA Live's back to slam the socks off the competition. New graphics and improved gamcplay promise to win back the basketball championship for EA.


Live '97 will provide more data than '96, tracking every stat possible. This revamped version will offer multiple-game injuries, custom teams, and a create-a-player feature that's so in-depth, you'll see the last name of your player on the back of his jersey. EA's also working to expand players' one-on-one moves w ith improved dekes and shots, and is even trying to find a way to include illegal defense.

Don't slam-dunk that SNES just yet, sports fans. You'll want to save it for the nonstop hoops action of NBA Live '97. As usual, EA delivers detailed graphics, sharp animation, authentic NBA teams and players, and a basketful of customizable options, making this the best SNES b-ball action ever.

If It's in the Game...

In Live '97, EA Sports has created an impressively comprehensive simulation with enough options and features to deliver a satisfying gaming experience for basketball diehards and novices alike. You control every aspect of the game, setting rules, custom-creating your own players and teams, and calling plays on the fly.

All 29 NBA teams and over 300 actual players and their stats are included. New features include entertaining two-on-two and three-on-three practice modes, shootout competitions, and improved TV-style presentation of current game stats and player info.

Hit the Paint

The graphics are razor-sharp with plenty of individual player animation, and all players are featured prominently onscreen. Authentic touches such as home team logos at center court, animated sideline billboards, and Dennis Rodman's bleached-blond hair add to the realism (the shattering backboards aren't realistic, but they're cool anyway). You'll appreciate the animated play diagrams demonstrating each player's moves.

The controls are tight, with zero delay between your thumb and the screen. Sound effects are clear and consistent with what you would expect at a game.

What more do you need to know? Let's hit the paint!


  • Don't always rush the basket. Sometimes it's better to wait behind the three-point line to allow offensive formations to develop.
  • Don't attempt a turbo dunk unless you have a clear path to the hoop.
  • Remember to keep the weight proportional to the height of your customized creations, or they won't be very effective.

The best just keeps getting better. NBA Live '97 improves on this already classic series with new play options and cleaner graphics while maintaining the most insane, intense b-ball action this side of Madison Square Garden. From baseline to baseline, Live '97 is the best 16-bit basketball game yet.

Van Excellent Ingenuity

Live '97's All-Pro list of features scores big with Season, Playoff, and Exhibition games; every NBA team; a create-a-player feature; trades; custom teams; and some new rookies, including teen-age sensation Kobe Bryant. Play-calling is on-the-fly, and you have 8 offensive sets—including the Box and Isolation— and 16 offensive quick plays, like the Pick & Roll and Backdoor. You also have 6 defensive play options, along with the ability to switch player match-ups, double-team, or intentionally foul.

It's the fantastic new options, though, that will have you floating in NBA heaven. You can now select players from your favorite teams to battle it out in two-on-two or three-on-three half-court games. Or pick your favorite superstar to compete in the three-point competition or in an old-fashioned shootout, where two players are both given a ball to see who can score more points in the allotted time.

Starks Raving Mad

Graphically, an abundance of player details includes open shooters waving their hands in the air to call for a pass and smoother, more authentic jump shots than last year. Another new addition is a tiny box in the bottom comer of the screen that lets you see the score during gameplay—not just after every basket.

The crowd's roars and the sound of leather smacking the hardwood will make you feel like you're sitting courtside. There's plenty of PA music (maybe too much), and the announcer yells "Three!" when you sink one from beyond the arc.

Love Shaq

NBA Live '97 is the quintessential basketball title on the Genesis and is worth every penny for both the seasoned veteran and the hoops rookie. You'll be called for a flagrant foul if you let it pass you by.


  • During the shootout, you'll score more points with shots closer to the basket.
  • If you pass the ball inside to a threat like Kemp, you can pass back outside for a better look at a three.

Live's reign on the 16-bit courts has never been questioned, and this unfinished version of NBA Live '97 only strengthens that domination. Along with "of course" additions like updated rosters and a constant onscreen scoreboard, hoopsters will find faster, smoother graphics and fresh new animations for dunks, spins, and so on. If that doesn't get your ball dribbling, check this out: EA Sports expanded the roster of modes to include two-on-two and three-on-three half-court action, the three-point competition, and the shootout competition. These killer new modes inject Live '97 with a sweet arcade feel and impressive depth, but Live's trademark outstanding gameplay and features remain unchanged. Keep your eye on this ball -- it's warming up to be the monster dunk of the fall.

Snapshots and Media

Playstation Screenshots

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

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