NHL 2003 GameCube


Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
Buy On
  1. 90
    You know this gameplay: There’s been a lot of excellent tuning but no mammoth overhauls.
  2. What accounts for the less-than-perfect score is the extreme amount of tweaking it takes to get everything just the way you like it.
  3. 87
    Just maintains at the status quo level. True, that's a high level, but it isn't the marked improvement we were hoping for.
  4. With sports games, it all comes down to control, and EA’s NHL 2003 is one of the best in the business.
  5. The only downside to the visual experience is the terrible crowd – but the game is so fast your eye is on the puck at all times so you won’t notice it too much unless you’re into watching replays a lot.
  6. 84
    A no-brainer for hockey fans. The gameplay is completely customizable, the controls are tight, and the franchise mode is fairly deep.
  7. There are only a few improvements to help distinguish it from NHL 2002, but these changes further increase the realism of what is considered the best hockey simulation on the market.
  8. netjak
    I daresay that NHL 2003 is a step down from last year’s installment in terms of fun and playability. All told, while it might be comparing apples and oranges to a degree, I enjoyed playing the PC version of NHL 2002 much more.
  9. There’s a lot crammed in that small GCN disc, so if you get the game, don’t forget to browse around and find the neat additions.
  10. Nintendo Power
    Deke moves and a new Game Breaker feature put the focus on finesse. [Dec 2002, p.216]
  11. It’s not sim enough to match up with Sega’s offering, and Midway has a faster, more fun arcade hockey game in NHL Hitz.
  12. Play Magazine
    As always, the graphics in NHL 2003 are exceptional... There were times when I thought I was watching an actual hockey game. [Nov 2002, p.88]
  13. An uninspiring, tedious, dull game unworthy of your money, unless deeply into Ice Hockey.

Awards & Rankings

#89 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2002
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. ZiggyStardust
    Feb 19, 2003
    if you want real hockey i suggest nhl 2k3. if you want arcade action, i suggest nhl hitz 20-03. both are far better games. nhl 2003 is is if you want real hockey i suggest nhl 2k3. if you want arcade action, i suggest nhl hitz 20-03. both are far better games. nhl 2003 is is somewhere in between arcade and simulation. there's a few improvements over 2002, but there's also a few things that got worse. overall it's a highly disappointing title. Full Review »