Review by easportsrulz

"Don't let my s/n fool you, even I think this is the best you can buy."

When Sega announced plans to discontinue the Sega Dreamcast, sports gaming fans rejoiced at the decision. It meant that next-gen platforms would have a legit contender to go up against the juggernaut known as EA Sports. NFL 2K3 is the first major attempt by SEGA Sports and Visual Concepts to dethrone the long-running Madden NFL franchise. Let's say after last year's minor disappointment, Sega is now 1 for 2.

Gameplay: 10 out of 10
The gameplay rates very high and for good reason. Although the learning curve is longer for NFL 2K3 than Madden, you'll get used to it very quickly. Practice is a good way to brush up your skills. Franchise mode is deep as promised and gives you the opportunity to play the pre-season, put players on the trading block, look at upcoming rookies, scout them, plus all the other stuff contained in most NFL franchise modes. One minus is that I believe you can't coach a different team in Franchise Mode, but that doesn't bother me. Situation mode offers a chance for you to re-create famous games, with help from the classic teams offered in the game. ''Maximum Passing'' mode allows you to create hot routes and lead your receivers. This can be toggled on the controller setup screen. Create-a-team is not as deep as Madden or NCAA Football, just name your city and team and pick a logo with a default uniform. Create-a-player is very good, you can choose what type of position role your player can be (Aggressive or Balanced) and you will be given pre-set ratings.

Story: Not Applicable
Well, there really isn't a story line to the NFL... just lead your favorite team to the Super Bowl in Franchise Mode by building it up over a period of time.

Audio/Video: 10 out of 10
Graphics are amazing. The players body movements are the most realistic I've seen but sometimes a little arcadey. All that aside, the games move very fluidly. Also of note, Sega Sports is now linked with ESPN. This is a welcome change. I was impressed by the presentation of the games and how close the graphics were to the real thing. The menus are a little hard to navigate through, but you'll manage easier if you have a guidebook (I rented my copy since none were available, Hollywood Video does not put books in their games) The Weekly Wrap-Up is a nice touch, but it could use tweaking. The ''Play of the Week'' is nothing more than a game-winning FG or a long pass that wasn't a TD. But I can't complain considering no one else has attempted it. The audio is great considering that ESPN has some catchy theme music. Although the FMV in the beginning of the game is not in-sync (Dan Patrick is about two seconds behind of the audio) it doesn't bother me. Play-by-play is good, better than Madden and you get full coverage including who the starters are and pre-game analysis. Once again, very impressed.

Replayability: 9 out of 10
Although there isn't Two Minute Drill or Mini-Camp Mode, NFL 2K3 makes up for it because the actual games are that fun. You can play again and again and still be satisfied until NFL2K4 comes out. Once the online adapter comes out, there will be a spike in popularity.

Buy/Rent: Buy! Buy! Buy!
I admitted earlier that I rented it, but I was trying both games. Pretty soon, I will buy and own a copy of NFL 2K3. This is a complete football game. Without gimmicky Madden Cards or mini games, Sega pulls through in the clutch.

FINAL SCORE: 10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/18/02, Updated 08/18/02


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