NBA Live '96
System: Super Nintendo
Publisher: EA Sports
Released: 1995
Capabilities: 16 megabits

The Game

EA Sports delivers the sequel to last year’s success, NBA Live ‘95, which revolutionized 16-bit basketball gaming. Is this another award winner, or just another repeat of last year’s game. That’s for you to decide, now let’s get on with the review.


Way better than EA Sports previous SNES Basketball game, Bulls vs. Blazers, in this game you get a great 3/4 view(like in Shadowrun and Super Mario RPG for the SNES), that looks good. And it's also amazing how you can actually see the jersey number on each player during game play for a SNES game. All the characters are easily distinguishable because of the player numbers on the jerseys, plus it’s easy to tell the difference from the different skin colors in the game. Plus you can even get nice little other details in on players like goggles and different color hair.


You got all the regular basketball sounds, like the "swish" sound, and the ball bouncing, etc. All the sound effects are well done and give you the feeling of watching the real thing. The game has a pretty good opening soundtrack music. One thing I don’t like about the sound is the annoying player grunts, I mean when you shove some body, the give off this annoying little “ugh” that sounds so stupid. I would’ve liked just a little commentary, but no such luck.

Game play

Same as previous NBA Live games. There's a couple of new features, plus updated teams and rosters. There are lots of modes of play, you can do simulation, or arcade where you turn off all the NBA rules. There's exhibition play, playoffs, or season play. The game has a battery save option so there's no need to type in passwords. You can edit up to about 20-30 players, and end up creating your own player, and if you input the name of a classic, retired player, you'll get him automatically created, some of these classic players are Larry Bird, and Wilt Chamberlin. I went all out when I found out about these codes, and created an all-star team with current stars and all-time greats of the past. Actual game play is quite good, and resembles an actual game, for example, they show a certain players stats after that player makes a rebound or basket, or the team's stats after a team player makes a block or steal.

You can save during your season and have either a short, average, or long NBA season. The game keeps track of all your stats too, and you can have user records that keep track of all your total points, rebounds, blocks, steals, etc. that you made. Baskets are easy to make, and so are 3 pointers, but you can make it more challenging by increasing the level of difficulty, plus the computer AI is pretty good, and those defenders will chase you around like madmen! Nothing much to say bad about the game engine, except whenever you edit a player, you gotta edit a player from an NBA roster, so you lose that player, but oh well, you can get read of all the crappy bench players any ways.

Replay Value

Gosh, this game can keep you hooked forever. Season mode is a blast, since you can save any time during it, and the same goes for playoffs. The hidden greats of the past is a great addition. Plus up to 5 players can play this game at the same time with the support of a multi player adaptor. Plus there’s user records that keeps track of all your points, steals, blocks, and so on.

In Brief

+: Superb graphics and audio, awesome game play engine for easy play, plus hidden all-star greats!

-: Lose players you edit, nothing much new from last year’s game

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 7.8
Game play: 9.1
Replay Value: 8.4

Overall: 8.6

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9