Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Codies made too many changes from CMR2 (the front end and in-service menus) and not enough (the graphics!) at the same time.
  2. A very good rally racer. It looks good and plays even better. For those interested in this style of racing, this title is one worth looking into.
  3. That, combined with the absorbing way the game draws you into the season, through neat animations and an impossibly stylish menu system, makes this the motor sport title to own - for purists and weekend drivers alike.
  4. There are less modes, tracks and cars but the engine has been rebuilt and offers incredible handling and realistic graphics. If you want to focus on rally racing without all the distractions, this is the game.
  5. 80
    Niggling inconsistencies and slightly bland between-race presentation aside, Colin McRae Rally 3 is a beautiful, realistic, and smooth translation of rally racing. The tracks are gorgeous, challenging, and addictive.
  6. Definitely a niche game targeted to a specific group of racing fans, mainly hardcore rally racers. With its ultra-realistic driving and damage model combined with a distinct lack of game modes and content, this may not be the game for everyone.
  7. Although the game's career mode is a little dry (compared to "V-Rally 3") and the damage is forgiving, Colin McRae Rally 3 contains some stunning graphics and is a powerful, mesmerizing experience. [May 2003, p.83]
  8. That you can only tweak the Ford Focus and drive only as McRae in the Championship mode is a little silly, but the game still kicks ass and is a lot of fun to play. And that's what really counts in my video game drawer.
  9. 90
    The feel of the driving is what earned the McRae series its reputation, and the controls remain impeccable in this PS2 edition.
  10. Due to its paltry length and lack of decent multiplayer options, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this game. It is, however, a solid offering.
  11. The most realistic rally game released for the PlayStation 2 to date, but it offers very little in the way of gameplay options and can occasionally prove frustrating because it makes you overly dependent on the instructions of codriver Nicky Grist.
  12. 84
    Only graphical impoverishments, a terrible secret-unlock method, and a lack of features prevent perfection.
  13. Stylish and amazingly realistic, Colin McRae Rally 3 does a brilliant job of capturing the essence of rally racing while keeping it delightfully fun.
  14. As far as realism, physics, and attention to detail, Colin blows away the competition.
  15. A good game hindered by lack of options and other cars to drive in the Championship mode.
  16. Has a lot going for it. But it goes wrong in one key area: The Championship mode. It’s much too limited. We get to drive one car throughout our career, and we don’t get to make our own repairs when we damage it; the computer does it for us.
  17. If Codies opened up the format and provided more variety in the Championship mode, it would be a king. [May 2003, p.68]
  18. 89
    The physics, sense of speed, handling and graphics are dazzling, top-notch effects that rocket this game to the top of the heap. On the other hand, the sheer lack of game modes is disturbing.
  19. The game IS gorgeous. The graphics are beautiful the sound effects are spectacular, and the overall presentation is extremely stylish. [May 2003, p.92]
  20. From the superb modeling of the interior and exterior of the vehicles, the realism of its courses, and the precision of its control, McRae looks and feels just like the real thing. [Jan 2003, p.75]
  21. One exceptionally notable aspect of the game is the sound. Even on a simple stereo setup, the sounds of the engine and the environment were crystal clear. [June 2003, p.32]
  22. The eye-candy quota is attractive enough to make this a must-own for rally racing nuts (like yours truly), but “V-Rally 3” still holds on to its title as the best racing game of its kind on PS2 (and XBox as well).
  23. Everything you could have wished for and more.
  24. In what has to be a first for rally titles, much of the scenery, which should be breakable... is! No more bouncing off seemingly solid tape barriers - they now snap and even flap in the wind.
  25. A simple joy to play. There's little about it that isn't excellent, polished, authentic rallying of the highest standard, with the graphics, sound, and above all handling to back up its well-respected license.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. JohnM.
    Jun 23, 2005
    I think this entire series is overrated. The cars handle as if there is a single pivot point in the center. Not realistic, and not fun I think this entire series is overrated. The cars handle as if there is a single pivot point in the center. Not realistic, and not fun compared to many other rally racers where the cars behave in a more believable manner. As Gran Turismo proved almost a decade ago, handling is of the utmost importance. Full Review »
  2. NeilW.
    Aug 27, 2004
    Good game, Don't think its the best.. WRC is probably better.. its hard to comare the two.. thought they were very similar..
  3. LG
    Oct 25, 2003
    Codemasters really dropped the ball on this one. While the game features gorgeous graphics, it is brought down by a depth of features that Codemasters really dropped the ball on this one. While the game features gorgeous graphics, it is brought down by a depth of features that comes close to free magazine demo disks. No multiplayer rallies, the ability to be only McRae and ONLY drive the Focus really make this game a rental-only, as you won't have anything to do once you complete it. Shame, Codemasters. Full Review »