Review by BAdB0i87

Reviewed: 10/26/02 | Updated: 01/07/03

Beats Madden.... AGAIN!

I was never a big fan of football games for the Playstation 2. Even when Madden first came out, the graphics were impressive, but the gameplay was horrible. And then I played NFL 2K2...

Gameplay: 8/10

The gameplay for NFL 2K3 is just plain excellent this year. The controls are basically the same. It has all the previous game modes that was in NFL 2K2 with the addition of online play. Online play is extremely fun and competitive, but it has its flaws. Unlike Madden, there is no ''pause'' time limit, so many unlucky gamers like myself have come across certain people called ''pausers''. These ''pausers'' will usually pause the game when they are losing and will leave. Sega has even included the ability to download updated rosters. So the Eagles will have Duce Staley, and Antonio Freeman. The Dolphins will get Cater. These updated rosters are not available for online play. The franchise mode this year is probably the best thing that has happened to sports games. Everything is completely new and graphical. The franchise goes in real depth with Free-Agent Wire, Rookie Scouting, and all seven rounds of the NFL draft. Gamers will even be able to persuade retiring players to play a couple of more seasons. What I really liked was how after winning the Super Bowl, I tried to convince some of my retiring players to come back, but they didn't. :( NFL 2K3 is powered by ESPN this year, and that includes a half-time report and a weekly wrap-up letting you know the results of all the games, Players of the Week. And the Play of the Week. The Plays of the Week are kinda crappy because they have the teams perform the same plays over and over, and your team will never be in there... unless that's just me.

Graphics: 9/10

The graphics this year could not look any better. The even included E. James gold teeth. :p All the players look like their actual counter parts in reality. The tackles in the game are the best I have ever seen in a football game. All of the animations run smoothly, with very few glitches. Some examples would be the ball going through your hand when you try to swat or intercept the ball. Unlike Madden where the players look extremely short with weird body proportions, Visual Concepts made everything just right.

Sound: 8/10

The play-by-play announcing is done by the same two guys from last year, and now includes a sideline reporter telling you about any injuries in the game. With the new license with ESPN, the ESPN guy is here to give you all the news that you will need. There are still some old lines from the original, but there are plenty of new lines. The fans seem to be more in to the game this year, and the music over the PA is great too. The greatest thing is that when you create a player, as long as their last name matches a real life current star in the game, their name will be said.

Challenge: 10/10

The game has the same three different difficulty levels: Rookie, Pro, and All-Star. Those who played 2K2 should be able to play at the Pro level. Guess what, the game now has ''Game Sliders''. We can now customize the game however we want. You will be able to adjust the amount of interceptions and fumbles in the game. Since NFL 2K3 has online gaming, take it online and face people across the nation for the top spot on the SegaSports ladder. The game even has a Challenge Mode where you play the CPU with set settings. After playing a game, you will receive a code where you go to the SegaSports web site and enter your code. You will then be ranked and you can win prizes if you are the top player.

Replay: 10/10

Not much I can say, Franchise will keep you busy for a long time. Playing against friends is great and online gaming is fun.

Overall: 9/10

Madden may sell more, but NFL 2K3 is definitely #1 when it comes to site reviews and magazine reviews.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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