• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Sep 3, 2003
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 3 out of 23

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  1. RyanC.
    Jul 22, 2004
    10
    Best football game period, Madden has got too much competition this year cuz this is the best football game i have ever played. there is even a "crib" that you can deck out with cool stuff u earn its a sweet game and even better only $20 so screw madden.
  2. RyanT.
    Dec 16, 2003
    10
    Even though the first person mode needs work, it's one of the coolest ideas in football video games. So I give it a 10. And it's not like you have to use it, but it's fun on kick returns! Has anybody listened to Madden lately? It's a difficult task. I don't care for the announcing on video games as it is, but to have to deal w/ Madden!? Come on, shame on allEven though the first person mode needs work, it's one of the coolest ideas in football video games. So I give it a 10. And it's not like you have to use it, but it's fun on kick returns! Has anybody listened to Madden lately? It's a difficult task. I don't care for the announcing on video games as it is, but to have to deal w/ Madden!? Come on, shame on all that buy Madden. Expand
  3. KeithF.
    Nov 21, 2003
    10
    I used to be a madden fan, but after playing this game and comparing how sloppy the gameplay physics really are in the EA sports game, I wonder how I thought it could have been better. The ESPN animations are incrdible, the only bad one is the cheerleaders. Static bodies + Bouncy boobs does not = good looking animation.
  4. BigRevD
    Nov 5, 2003
    3
    Andrew and John C. each of you should be sh#@% for saying that this poor man's version of Madden is better. I find this game to borish and if being able to put up 10,000 total yards makes a game good then you suck. With this game I am unstopable I score at will on all-pro if I dont score it because I want more yards to pad my stats. The Ai does not compensate and once a teams Andrew and John C. each of you should be sh#@% for saying that this poor man's version of Madden is better. I find this game to borish and if being able to put up 10,000 total yards makes a game good then you suck. With this game I am unstopable I score at will on all-pro if I dont score it because I want more yards to pad my stats. The Ai does not compensate and once a teams weakness has been exploited they will never recover. I like the first person even though the controls need a little work and the Crib where you earn things, but I have never played a game where the defensive ends can not be blocked by ant team. If you rush using 5 down lineman from the end position you should have at least 5 sacks at the end of the game. Sega it's a little better, but keep trying. Collapse
  5. BikoG.
    Oct 20, 2003
    9
    The reality is... this game is real. I have yet to see any football game's gameplay compare to Espn football, and the AI and defenses are truly more challenging. The only major setback is the first person mode. There are too many minor inconsistencies within this mode to make it a plus for the game, but the game makes up for this mistake by including an all-star franchise mode which The reality is... this game is real. I have yet to see any football game's gameplay compare to Espn football, and the AI and defenses are truly more challenging. The only major setback is the first person mode. There are too many minor inconsistencies within this mode to make it a plus for the game, but the game makes up for this mistake by including an all-star franchise mode which lets the player truly control every coaching aspect from email to gameplans to scouting reports. It also includes an all new Crib mode which records all records and unlocks cheats, as oppoosed to the Madden cards feature which wasn't too good. overall, this game is truly the trademark of all Visual Concepts 2K football games. Expand
  6. G.H.
    Sep 26, 2003
    10
    If franchise mode is all you care about.....get Madden. If you can live with the fact that ESPN's franchise is very good, but not as good as Madden's....then get ESPN 2k4. ESPN 2k4 kills Madden in every other catagory. The AI for offense, defense, and special teams are more intelligent and react more like they do in real life compared to Madden which means you better bring a If franchise mode is all you care about.....get Madden. If you can live with the fact that ESPN's franchise is very good, but not as good as Madden's....then get ESPN 2k4. ESPN 2k4 kills Madden in every other catagory. The AI for offense, defense, and special teams are more intelligent and react more like they do in real life compared to Madden which means you better bring a gameplan and also be prepared to change your gameplan....like chess. Sometimes (not always) it's better to play the safe move than the aggressive move....use strategy....pick your spots. Don't plan on picking up the controller and throwing to your superstar in triple coverage too much and expect to win....because you will lose badly and break a few controllers. Another good thing about 2k4 is player ratings. A player rated in his 90's doesn't make them unbeatable. At the same time, a player rated in their 70's or lower doesn't mean they suck. Certain stats are more important depending on the role or position the player plays. A CB with an overall rating in his 70's could have better coverage skills than another CB with an overall rating in his 80's or 90's. Don't judge players based on overall stats because they will kill you if you underestimate their abilities. My point is, some players are more rounded than others, but anybody can make a play and anything can happen....just like the real NFL. The gameplay of 2k4 just flat out rules and I haven't even mentioned the graphics and presentation yet. Simming a realtime game (cpu vs. cpu), just looks so real and believable. If you want the best franchise mode, get madden. If you want the best, get ESPN 2k4. This game is an absolute 10 and the best football game ever made. Expand
  7. B.D.
    Sep 25, 2003
    10
    This game is SWEET! Nice change of pace from Madden!
  8. Alex
    Sep 18, 2003
    10
    Great.
  9. RyanT.
    Sep 13, 2003
    10
    The best football ever made. As great as Madden is it delivers much more on presentation and has fun minigames like paper football and air hockey.
  10. CoreyD.
    Sep 12, 2003
    9
    It's a good game, and the crib and first-person playing modes are very cool, but it's not as good as madden.
  11. MartinF.
    Sep 8, 2003
    10
    Absolutely the hottest NFL game for the year. XBOX owners will love it even more with the Crib jukebox, where you can copy your own music to the harddrive and listen to you tunes in the crib while you are looking around. Finally the First-Person view is the SH*T. Smooth with the "Bullet Time" slowing down time to plan your shakedown move for big plays. HOT, HOT, HOT!!!
  12. AndrewC.
    Sep 7, 2003
    9
    SOOOOOO much better than Madden, which got a 6 from me. First-person could use some tinkering, but all in all, it's the best of the NFL 2K series.
  13. MarcosN.
    Sep 6, 2003
    10
    It's like your watching a Sunday Night Football Game and playing in the NFL simultaneously.
  14. DavidM.
    Sep 5, 2003
    10
    This is easily the best NFL game ever made. It might be hard to believe (especially if you're like me and didn't care for the other 2K games)...but Madden has now been crushed. This game outshines madden in every category of the game. Who cares that Madden lets you price the peanuts...that has nothing to do with actually playing football. If you want a true NFL experience that This is easily the best NFL game ever made. It might be hard to believe (especially if you're like me and didn't care for the other 2K games)...but Madden has now been crushed. This game outshines madden in every category of the game. Who cares that Madden lets you price the peanuts...that has nothing to do with actually playing football. If you want a true NFL experience that feels like you're controlling Sunday-Night Football...you MUST get this game. Expand
  15. JordanT.
    Aug 31, 2003
    10
    Flawless. Die Madden!
  16. Alex
    Aug 31, 2003
    10
    Great.
  17. DougE.
    Aug 16, 2003
    10
    espn nfl football is by far the best football game made today....way better then madden 04 where the guys get tackled and just fall over....the best of the best 2k sports player around......deely
  18. ShellyJ.
    Aug 7, 2003
    8
    It's ok but madden top it. i will give madden 10 playa.
Metascore
91

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. 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.
  2. 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]
  3. 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.