NBA Live 14 Game Poster Image

NBA Live 14

Pro basketball simulation needs more time in the virtual gym

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about the sport of basketball and the value of exercising and teamwork. They are exposed to the rules, strategies, and terminology related to basketball, and they only win by working together as a team. NBA Live 14 teaches the basics of basketball and a little about team sports.

Positive messages

The game is a simulated portrayal of the NBA, featuring all the league's teams and players. The sport is the focus, and it's presented in a fun, positive light.

Positive role models

The game features popular superstars from the NBA, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and more.

Ease of play

Fans of basketball video games such as NBA 2K14 should find the controls familiar, but the game doesn't really offer much instruction other than simple guides for reviewing the controls displayed on loading screens. There's no tutorial, either.

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Advertising is confined to spots in the arena where sports fans would normally see them, such as along the court. Most of the ads are by the NBA, while ESPN anchors the "broadcast" coverage featured during games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that NBA Live 14 is a family-friendly simulation of the National Basketball Association. The game is a real-world depiction of pro basketball, as players compete to win a championship as a team or guide an individual athlete toward a superstar career. Aside from some advertizing in the stadiums, parents biggest concern will be the open chat available when kids are playing online; families can avoid exploring this option.

Parents say

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What's it about?

For the first time since 2009, the pro basketball franchise NBA Live returns with a renewed commitment to delivering authentic pro basketball action. Players can choose to run a team in Franchise mode, or focus on one athlete in Rising Stars mode. There are also smaller challenges linked to the current NBA season that players can attempt to match, such as reliving a buzzer-beating shot. The game's touted feature is BounceTek, a physics-based dribble system built to accurately replicate ball-handling. Players can perform basic dribbles with the thumbstick or signature moves by pressing a modifier button.

Is it any good?


NBA LIVE 14 is a difficult game to recommend, especially when the more stellar NBA 2K14 is available. Although developers smartly incorporate real-world NBA moments through mini-games, it's the on-court action that suffers most. Players are stiff, moving awkwardly around the court. There's an overall lack of natural body movement, whether a player is shooting, rebounding, or running a fast break. Certain moves such as the hop step are easy to exploit for scoring easy baskets. If you must buy a pro hoops game, consider NBA 2K14 instead; NBA Live 14 requires a lot more practice time.

Families can talk about...

  • How well does this game mimic real-life basketball? How could it be better? Have you played a better basketball video game?

  • How well does the game teach the rules and strategies of basketball?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Subjects:Hobbies: sports
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, strategy
Collaboration: teamwork
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:November 19, 2013
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors)

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old February 21, 2014

Excellent basketball video game franchise makes their best game yet.

This game has no violence, sex or language. This game forces players to use strategic thinking. Who should I pass to? Is this a safe shot? Those are some questions players have to think about. So this game is a definite choice for basketball player from ages 5-17. This game may be frustrating for kids from ages 0-4. This game allows players to interact with strangers.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Safety and privacy concerns