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NBA Live 98

NBA Live 98

PlayStation Cover art featuring Tim Hardaway playing for the Miami Heat

Developer(s) PlayStation/PC: EA Canada
Sega Genesis/SNES: Tiertex Design Studios
Sega Saturn: Realtime Associates
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Series NBA Live
Platform(s) PlayStation, Windows, Sega Saturn, SNES, Sega Genesis
Release date(s) Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • NA March 1998
Sega Saturn
  • NA December 17, 1997
  • EU 1997
  • JP April 2, 1998
  • NA November 30, 1997
  • EU December 1997
  • NA October 31, 1997
  • EU 1997
Sega Genesis
  • NA July 1, 1997
Genre(s) Sports (Basketball)
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

NBA Live 98 is a basketball video game based on the National Basketball Association and the fourth installment of the NBA Live series. The cover features Tim Hardaway of the Miami Heat. The game was developed by EA Sports and released on November 30, 1997 for the PlayStation, October 31, 1997 for the PC and December 31, 1997 for the Sega Saturn. It was the final version of NBA Live released for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and Sega Saturn.

The game introduced various innovations to the series, including the now standard feature of passing to any teammate with a single button press. The game also made various graphical improvements, with new player models and faces modeled after actual player photographs. The PC version introduced support for 3D acceleration, utilizing 3dfx's Glide API. The PlayStation, PC and Saturn versions have Ernie Johnson as studio announcer and TNT/TBS color analyst Verne Lundquist doing play-by-play commentary, (the Saturn version does not include play-by-play commentary). NBA Live 98 is followed by NBA Live 99.


The game features 1997-98 NBA Rosters accurate as of October 1, 1997. New features include the "Total Control" system, that allows players to choose between a dunk or layup or pass to any teammate with the press of a button. "Tight" player moves allow players to spin, crossover, back down, ball fake and more on command. Player lock lets players always control a specified player on court.

Though playing during the 1997-98 NBA season, Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan is not featured in the game. Jordan is replaced by the fictional "Roster Player" in the Bulls lineup. However, Charles Barkley made his first appearance in Live 98 as a member of the Houston Rockets.


Various new modes were introduced. A new GM Mode lets players choose franchises, draft players and play custom seasons. The game also features the Three-Point Shootout, which could be played using full or split screen. Four difficulty levels are available, including a new Superstar difficulty level, along with improved AI with smarter players and more accurate stats.

With the introduction of 3D players, courts, and jerseys came an opportunity to patch and update these aspects of the game. Programs such as the EA Graphics Editor allowed patchers to update almost every visual aspect of the game with ease.

External links

  • IGN: NBA Live '98
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