NBA 2K vs NBA Live – Which Game is Better?

Basketball is one of the world’s most loved sports. Therefore, it just makes sense that a gaming company would have to make a basketball game. As of 2019, the 2 most popular basketball games are NBA 2k and NBA live.  NBA 2K first came out on November 10, 1999, and is published by 2k Sport. On the other hand, NBA live first came out in 1994 and is published by EA sports.  Both games have their own uniqueness and appeal. It can be had to choose a game to purchase as they are both good. Below are some features that can help you find out which is actually better:


When it comes to graphics both games are pretty good in their own way. 2k has better lighting than NBA live. This lighting makes the faces of the players pop and looks lifelike. Also, some features show up more clearly in 2k due to this lighting. However, when it comes to player models EA coms out victorious.  They have taken into account of every feature of a player even overdoing themselves when it comes to sweat.

  • When it comes to animation 2k scores 2 points against NBA live.
NBA Live 19 Graphics
NBA Live 19 Graphics


The animation aspect takes into account the overall movement of these two games.  2k has some really good animations and it feels that your character does exactly what you want it to. This makes for a great game feel as one becomes immersed in the game. On the other hand, NBA live will take some getting used to. The game feels a bit stiffer and animation based. For instance, when driving for a dunk you cannot stop the animation when it starts. This breaks the immersion and makes the game feel less fluid.

  • When it comes to graphics these games are even


One of the most important things to consider in these games is basketball courts. It feels great when a game is accurate here. It helps you stay immersed in the game as it becomes more lifelike.  Here both games perform well as the depictions of the basketball courts are really solid. However, NBA live has outdone itself here. Their courts look great and you have a variety of courts to choose from. Also, you can customize your own court. On the flipside, 2K still has good looking courts but loses out when it comes to variety and customization.

  • When it comes to the arenas NBA Live retaliates and scores 2 points on 2k
NBA Live 19 Gameplay
NBA Live 19 Gameplay


In any game, soundtracks are some of the most important aspects to take into consideration.  This is why games take to use a large some of their budget getting the freshest tracks on their games. Having the right soundtrack in a game can make all the difference when it comes to gameplay and immersion. EA has a larger number of fresh soundtracks on their games. 2K still has some good soundtracks but pales in comparison to NBA Live’s soundtracks.

  • When it comes to soundtracks NBA live dunks 2 points on 2K.

Ball Physics

Ball physics is an essential part of any basketball video game. In fact, the game’s realism and immersion are totally dependent on this feature. 2k has been around for a longer and more consistent time. During this time they have been able to iron out any ball physics issues that the game may have had. In contrast, NBA Live has been on and off game production. Consequently, they are a bit behind when it comes to ball physics.  

  • When it comes to ball physics, 2K scores two points on NBA Live
NBA Live - Ball Physics
NBA Live – Ball Physics

Artificial Intelligence

Sometimes you have no one to play a game with and have to play a single-player mode. This is where the games AI comes in. 2K has some of the best AI in the sports genre of games. Frankly, the AI is a genius carrying out some complex game plan moves. This will leave you at the edge of your seat as it is very challenging to beat the AI at higher levels. Consequently, the game feels a bit more fun and you might just forget that you are playing with an AI. NBA Live’s AI sucks. Half the time it is hard to picture what exactly artificial intelligence is thinking as it makes some disgusting plays.

  • When it comes to AI 2K has NBA Live beaten. 2 more points


Commentary is an important part of any sport. It keeps the audience entertained while still informing everyone what is happening in the game. Commentary is even more important in a basketball video game as it will let you know vital information like who fouled who. Moreover, it also keeps you immersed in the game. Here 2K has NBA live beat. EA has the idea to update commentary as the real basketball season progresses. However, they still will not be able to beat 2k with some of the best commentaries in any sports game.

  • 2k is dominating with 2 more points when it comes to commentary.
NBA 2K - Commentary
NBA 2K – Commentary

Player Customization

In-game currency has become a real nuisance in the gaming industry. Once a person has paid for a game it is a bit unfair to ask them to continue paying for things in the game. 2k is one such game. The game’s in-game currency is also known as VC or Virtual currency. You have to pay real money to get VC so that you can customize your player’s looks, tattoos or hair. Here NBA Live wins as it has some free things such as hairstyles and tattoos. This gives you more attachment to your character.

  • NBA live scores 3 points for caring more about their customers
NBA Live 19 Player Customization
NBA Live 19 Player Customization

Story Mode

Nothing beats a good story mode in a game. Not only does it make you better at the game, but it also gives you a reason to keep playing even when alone. The ultimate story mode keeps the player entertained and immersed in the game. 2k’s story mode has a good storyline with very good character development. In contrast, NBA Live lacks good character development but has a good real-life aspect. For instance, NBA Live uses some cut scenes that have real-life YouTubers talking about your character.

  • Here 2k scores to more points for the immersion that is character development

Online Gaming

Online gaming is a good way to bring players from all over together. Here, both these games have excelled well. There new additions to both games such as the 5 on 5 multiplayer matches that have taken the world by storm.  In online gaming, these games see eye to eye with very similar approaches.

  • When it comes to online gameplay, it is a tie.

NBA 2K vs NBA Live – Verdict

It is important to note that all games have a huge fan base which goes to say all games are good. That being said a deeper look into the games features reviles one true winner.

  • NBA 2K – 10 : 7 – NBA Live


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