Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 92
    When you take these two factors together -- great single player and great multiplayer game -- what you get is a football fan's wet dream and one of the greatest sports titles that have ever graced a videogame console.
  2. It is a bit disappointing. Even still, the game manages to one-up last year's Madden in most categories.
  3. It's a game that's so feature-rich, so extremely customizable, and so realistic that I'd recommend this one even if you're not a football buff.
  4. Madden is even deeper this year with the return of the Create-a-Team and the Two-Minute Drill, but that's not why my jock is still on the field. Tiburon could have merely made these additions, but it went the remaining nine yards to make a football game that is that much closer to perfection, if it hasn't already got there.
  5. 91
    Time and time again when the AI is down late in the game and needs a touchdown to win or tie, it refuses to call for a deep pass play...Complaints aside, Madden 2002 delivers the best arcade football experience to date.
  6. 100
    This year's real highlight for Madden madmen is the buffed out A.I.: On defense, the game reacts more rapidly than ever to your offensive tendencies and in particular makes tough half time adjustments.
  7. Encompasses just about everything a pigskin fan could want in a football game, from the outstanding presentation to the solid mechanics. Though it isn't perfect, it's very good.
  8. 100
    Even though the competition has weakened in recent years, the "Madden" series is at the top of its game, and this is close to perfection.
  9. The overall movements of the players are much more fluid and they don't look as stiff as in 2001.
  10. Once you get past gameplay which is deeper than a black hole, you’ll find an endless list of options and features. [Oct 2001, p.146]
  11. Damn them… why could they not have implemented the fantastic Player Editor last time? Why couldn’t they have made it easier to get into last time? Why now a better interface, sideline players, cheerleaders and cool boxes?
  12. With the lone exception of the commentary, Madden 2002 represents a substantial upgrade from last year’s version and a worthy purchase for football fanatics everywhere, with beefed-up graphics and improved gameplay in several key areas.
  13. The USA's going ape over this latest version, but over here in Britain few of us really care for this most American of sports, and although the latest Madden's the most accomplished yet, it lacks the emotional appeal of something like "Pro Evolution Soccer."
  14. New modes, better AI and less of the floaty artificial feeling from 2001 makes Madden 2002 a football game for the ages. It's going to be hard for anyone to make a better pigskin game than this.
  15. The defensive AI has been cleaned up and perfected. I do mean perfected.
  16. With gameplay oozing off of this disk like gravy out of Refrigerator Perry's hot beef sandwich, fans of the gridiron will lose themselves in hours of rapture and may very well forget to eat or sleep.
  17. 100
    Once again, Madden leads the field in video game football, and as of right now, there’s no one near him in coverage.
  18. Superior technical capability coupled with the seemingly hundreds of little things that make a football game enthralling and entertaining allows Madden 2002 to reign supreme yet again.
  19. EA must have been hanging out in newsgroups, forums, and review sites listening to consumers complain about the passing game as the secondary AI has definitely improved for the better.
  20. From player ratings, to defensive-back AI, to ball physics, they've made a lot of smart adjustments to the game that may go unnoticed by many gamers, but are a joy to discover for savvy football gamers.
  21. 90
    It's the most realistic football game on a console, guaranteed to make you sweat puddles at its highest difficulty setting.
  22. The gameplay still feels as fluid and tight as it always has, right down to the execution of some excellent running plays, defensive stops, sack opportunities and the ability to switch players on the fly with ease.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. WesB.
    Aug 17, 2002
    Dude, this game kills. Maybe best game I ever played.
  2. GabrielJ.
    Apr 5, 2002
    Best game ever.
  3. T.W.
    Mar 6, 2002
    I was a loyal Gameday holdout until I tried this. I can't stand Madden and Summeral, but this game is so close to controlling live action, it's amazing. I'd love to see them add a "design your own plays" feature, and beef up the closing speed for ceratin defensers... otherwise, it's as good as it gets! Full Review »