• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Sep 3, 2003

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 100
    The potential replay value for the game is enormous. Of course, until ESPN has had a full season under its belt, the jury’s out as to whether first-person view is major revolution or a nifty diversion...but it’s very cool.
  2. First Person Football is the monster addition though. With everything in the gameplay that was updated for 2K4, I don’t know how they found the time to add this big of an addition. First Person Football is a game unto itself, and you get it for free.
  3. A near-flawless gameplay experience that not only rivals "Madden" and "Fever" but storms past these two former contenders and into the end zone for a clear and decisive victory.
  4. The game animation is some of the best around and the commentary is spot-on, not to mention the fact that you get the no-holds-barred studio analysis.
  5. A superb football game. The graphics and level of realism are just unbelievable, although the Xbox version is a hair better and framerates seem a tad smoother.
  6. 93
    This is the tightest offering of the series to date, with improved AI--especially in the passing game-- and loads of features.
  7. I love both games, with ESPN being a better gameplay game and Madden holding the edge with game modes and options. But, graphically, the two are similar and so is the replay value.
  8. While "Madden" is the most realistic-playing football game on the market, ESPN NFL Football is simply the most exciting football game on the planet.
  9. Simly put, playing in the optional first-person mode is a revolution you must be a part of. [Sept 2003, p.106]
  10. Visually, ESPN NFL Football is top notch, especially the tackle and running animations. No other football game comes close in this area. Coupled with tight controls and great online play, ESPN NFL Football is a fine success. [Sept 2003, p.86]
  11. If you aren't a fan of "Madden's" massive arsenal of extra modes, bells, and whistles, this game stands right beside the long-time champ in terms of quality and fun. And for hardcore fans simply looking for the most realistic representation of football, ESPN is the better choice. [Sept 2003, p.28]
  12. The complete and total lack of a buddy list in any shape or form, simply reinforces how amazing this year's Madden is in that respect. Lobbies are simple to navigate, but without a list to assist you, tracking down your friends is essentially an impossible task.
  13. The competition may have a few small details and features over Sega, but no one can touch this gameplay. With subtle but effective tweaks made to all areas of the offensive and defensive games, ESPN NFL is certainly the toughest and most satisfying simulation currently available.
  14. It lacks a certain "oomph" I get out of EA football. [Sept 2003, p.98]
  15. The PS2 gets points for tighter controls and easier to see play selections of where your players are going on plays.
  16. One brave new inclusion is a first-person mode. Step inside the helmet of the quarterback and attempt to play the game through his eyes. There's a realistic claustrophobic sensation as the linemen pile through attempting that sack before you can launch the perfect pass to an open wide receiver.

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