Review by Megatronix

"The best NHL game"

I've played Ice Hockey and Blades of Steel on the NES, the NHL series on SNES, Genesis, Playstation, etc. I even played a few other NHL titles, including NHL FaceOff (worst NHL game ever) and NHL Hitz. But I never played the 2K series since they where on Dreamcast and I never had one (until now). I heard they were good but I sticked with the NHL series on PS2. But when NHL 2K3 came out for all systems, there was no excuse not to play it, according to GameSpot. And they were right. NHL 2K3 is the best NHL game I've ever played. It's so brilliant. EA Sports, be afraid, be very afraid!

Gameplay - 10/10
It's incredible. This game will suit both NHL fans who like simulation and arcade like style of gameplay. There's tons more gameplay options then there is in the NHL series. For example, win the NHL series, when you change the skill, not only does the AI of the players of the other team get harder, but so does the AI of the goaltender. In NHL 2K3, that's not the case. When you change the skill level, it only changes the AI of the players of the other team, not the goaltender. There is a seperate option for the goaltender's skill. This option in my opinion is such a great addition. There's so much more gameplay options in this game. For fans who like simulation, you can change the strageties of your team or not even play the game, just be a general manager or something and make trades and simulate all the games to see what happens. For those who like arcade style, you can crank up the game speed. The passing in this game is also much better than the NHL series, as well as the goaltender AI. You know what, there's so much to say about the gameplau that I'll just say this, NHL 2K3's gameplay is better than any of the NHL games by EA Sports (especially NHL 2003).

Graphics - 10/10
The graphics are incredible. Since there's so much to say about the graphics also, I'll just say this, they're better than NHL's. Unlike EA, Sega doesn't show off the graphics, instead they give you a good camera angle far from the ice so you can see all the players to pass to. The animations are incredible in the players, there's no frames missing, which is a problem in NHL 2003. The crowd is also much better looking than EA's. I love the ESPN consept. ESPN score board, ESPN style menus, etc.

Sound 9/10
No this is basically the only problem in the game, even though it's not that bad. The announcers just down right suck! They pronounce names wrong and sometimes don't even mention names, they say things like ''passes to left wing''. If only EA's announcers were in this game, it would be close to perfect. Also the ESPN theme song is in the game menus (the ones in the beginning where you select Exhibition, Season, Options, etc.). It's kind of nice in the beginning, but after a while it gets kind of annoying. There's a couple of other songs, but you don't hear them as the ESPN theme. All the sound effects during gameplay, I would give them a perfect 10, but because of the announcers, the sound all together gets a 9.

Replay - 10/10
This game is so good you'll want to play again and again. Multi-player is great of course, why wouldn't it be? And there's tons of Modes to choose from, including Season, Play-offs, Franchise, Tournament, etc. There's no online support, but who cares (well I don't, but some people do).

Overall - 9.9/10 (rounded off for GameFAQs - 10/10)
Want an NHL game? This game's for you. So much better than the NHL series by EA sports. The announcers suck, but that's not enough for this game to suck.

''Now that the series has moved on to all platforms, no one will have an excuse not to play what has become the best hockey game series on the market.'' - GameSpot's Craig Beers

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/12/03, Updated 03/12/03

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