The latest NBA season is fast approaching and with it means the latest in the on going basketball video game franchises. NBA Live by EA and NBA 2K by 2K Sports are the go to game for basketball fans and this year’s entries(NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16) promise to be better than each other and their last incarnations.

Both games boast improved graphics, more game modes, deeper customization options and in-game collectible trading card modes. The games both make use of the latest generation of consoles to put out 1080 resolution and improved online game modes, but is that all the 2 games really have to offer and what sets them apart?  

NBA Live 16 box.jpgNBA Live 16

Developer: EA Tiburon

Publisher: EA Sports

Genre: Basketball, Sports

Rated: E for Everyone

Release Date: September 29th, 2015

Platforms: Xbox One and PlayStation 4

Game Modes: Single and Multi-player

NBA 2k16 Box.jpgNBA 2K16

Developer: Visual Concepts

Publisher: 2K Sports

Genre: Basketball, Sports

Rated: E for Everyone

Release Date: September 29th, 2015

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

Game Modes: Single and Multi-player

The Legacies

EA’s NBA Live series first started off as we know it, as NBA Live 95 released on SEGA Genesis and the Super NIntendo Entertainment system. The series continued for 16 consecutive releases until development trouble happened when they attempted to retool the game as NBA Elite 11, this lead to the series being put on hiatus until its return with NBA Live 14. Throughout its lifetime the series has seen many improvements and additions. In NBA Live 96, EA added the first create a player and it has been a mainstay ever since. EA Live 2000 saw the first inclusion of the NBA Live Legend All-Star Teams, which included some of the legendary players ranging through the 50s to the 90s and NBA Live 09 included Dynamic DNA, which would allow the game to receive daily updates that would change numerous aspects of the game like rosters and player tendencies.

Nba live 95.jpg

NBA 2K found its roots in the SEGA Dreamcast as an exclusive title for its first 5 years, afterwards the series was sold by SEGA to Take-Two Interactive and is now published  by 2K Sports. The series just like EAs NBA Live has seen many new features and additions. Some of the more notable features included are, a motion controlled free through mechanic which made use of the PlayStation 3’s Six Axis controller in NBA 2K7, NBA 2K12 was the first game in the series to offer built in 3D stereoscopic support for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and NBA 2K14 was the first in the series to support the latest generation of consoles.


What’s New and what sets these games apart.

NBA Live 16 will be introducing some new and innovative feature to help you get the best of the game on and off the court. First off, this game will see the first inclusion of the Live Pro-Am feature. It will feature two online multiplayer modes, Live Run and Summer Circuit. Live Run will let us play with our friends online in five-on-five matches across numerous iconic courts, indoors and out.  Next we have EAs new Live Motion movement system. This system features an all new and completely rebuilt catching and passing system which will give you more control and lets you feel the action as never before.  


The game will also feature a companion app for iOS and Android. This companion app utilizes the same Game Face HD technologie that EA has used for the past 3 games, to scan NBA players and put their likeness’ in the game. This means that you scan your face and put yourself in the game.

NBA 2K16 will see many of the same improvements as NBA Live 16, improved passing, shooting and a lot of other on the court improvements. The biggest changes come in the form of customization. With this latest iteration of the franchise, NBA 2K16 really is putting the emphasis on player customization. The player customization now includes over 1500 different tattoo designs, haircuts, accessories and more, for you to make your dream player in game. This iteration of the game will also see redesigned menus and new animations including mouth guard and photobombs.

NBA 2K16 Sscreenshot.jpg

We will also see some iconic teams being playable as well, such as the 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers, featuring Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, 2002-2003 Dallas Mavericks featuring (my personal favourite) Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, and finally my hometown heroes, the 1999-2000 Toronto Raptors with Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady. The teams I listed here only scratch the surface as they have more classic NBA teams, the return of many Euroleague teams and more.

Who really comes out on top?

Both games boast impressive improvements across the board as they constantly try to out do one another. Both of these games also attempt to offer a robust and highly customizable career style single player mode, they both have an online 5 on 5  game mode and both games even have a scan your face features. All in all it comes down to personal preference at this point, even though the long running fan favourite has always been the NBA 2K series, I’m hard pressed to chose one over the other. Either way both NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 offer a great basketball experience be it alone or with friends. Have you picked up one of these games yet, and if so what made you pick one over the other? Let me know in the comments below!

Pick up your copy of NBA Live 16 on Xbox One

Pick up your copy of NBA Live 16 on PlayStation 4

Pick up your copy of NBA 2K16 on Xbox One

Pick up your copy of NBA 2K16 on PlayStation 4

Pick up your copy of NBA 2K16 on Xbox 360

Pick up your copy of NBA 2K16 on PlayStation 3

Brad Pajuluoma
Being a child of the 80s Brad grew up playing any and all video games he could get his hands on from the 8 and 16 bit era. As he grew older, video games turned into a life passion. He now works as the QA Lead for one of Toronto’s leading mobile developers. Aside from playing any and all video games he can fit into his hectic schedule, Brad is also a DJ. He enjoys playing some of today’s latest and greatest electronic dance music at clubs here in the city.