Since 1995, EA's NBA Live series has been one of the biggest and best, competing with anything Midway or Acclaim offered as competition. Almost ten years down the line, the series is still going strong with the imaginatively titled NBA Live 2004.
Gameplay remains largely the same between NBA Live's many incarnations - player stats, tweaked controls and improved visuals are the main changes from year to year - but it's the authenticity of the game and its officially licensed content that makes for the most immersive basketball experience around.
Playing NBA Live 2004 is pretty simple: passing and shooting the ball is a simply case of pressing the right buttons on the control pad, but there are a few new tweaks and additions players should know about. An enhanced Freestyle Control option gives players the ability to make signature moves and mid-air adjustments and players can control any player, anywhere on the court, in a nod to EA Sports' 'Off the Ball' feature as seen in FIFA 2004. This increases the amount of variables within the game, and makes things far more interesting. On the other hand, you can try your skills with management by building your own team, recruiting free agents and importing players in the game's new Dynasty Mode.
Good performances will reward virtual basketball players with a variety of hidden extras, and the game also includes a good selection of music from well-known artists including Outkast and Black Eyed Peas.