Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. I hate to use a cliché, but the number of game modes in Madden 2003 are mind-boggling.
  2. While "NFL 2K3" still has slightly better graphics, Madden's updated controls, the excellent franchise features and its heavenly tactical play make it one of the best sports games ever to grace the PS2.
  3. 100
    The sheer size-factor of the game is overwhelming.
  4. Madden's gameplay amazes, but it's EA's delivery that throws the knockout punch. [Sept 2002, p.148]
  5. 100
    For hardcore football fans, Madden NFL 2003 is a must-own. From the assortment of modes to in-depth features like the playbook editor, this game was made for those who appreciate the intricacies of football.
  6. Madden's major changes have occurred on the defense to raise the learning curve and create more strategy. [Sept 2002, p.78]
  7. 100
    The most well-rounded, option-rich football game in history. [A+: Sept 2002, p.51]
  8. 90
    This game isn’t perfect, however, I found that the running game was a little too stingy for my tastes. I had a hard time breaking a run for more than 10 yards and more often than not, the gaps in the defense would close far too fast.
  9. 100
    Even beyond the football gameplay, you have to appreciate the wealth of extras and activities that make Madden NFL 2003 such an entertaining and complete package.
  10. Playing a friend is ace while the computer is frighteningly tricky. A goddamn crackerjack humdinger of a game.
  11. A lot of gameplay modes and some pretty darn good football to boot; you can't go wrong with Madden NFL 2003.
  12. The best iteration of Madden ever...The only possible gripe I can have is the lack of in-game chat and other online features, but that’s what next year is for.
  13. Has online play, a robust franchise mode, and plenty of secondary modes to keep you busy, but the minor issues with the running and passing game really prevent it from being the absolute best representation of professional football that's available.
  14. The addition of online play and Mini-camp are simply awesome.
  15. The game also includes a cool behind the scenes footage of the game and interviews with coverboy Marshall Faulk, John Madden, Al Michaels and Melissa Stark.
  16. 91
    A can't-miss because it accurately simulates NFL gameplay, NFL commentary, NFL uniforms, NFL stadiums and NFL players and that's what football gamers are looking for.
  17. A huge football game that fans of the genre should enjoy. There's lots here to do. In fact, the franchise mode alone should take you months to wear out.
  18. They loaded this year’s ultrarealistic game up with a slew of new features that include online play, a huge arcade-style training camp, and a nifty play creator that’s so versatile that you can have receivers run pass routes that spell your name.
  19. Madden has added so many goodies that Madden fans will be smiling ear to ear, and newcomers'll love it. [Sept 2002, p.116]
  20. Above all, a better feeling and playing game, boosted by subtleties that you may not even recognize until you've made it to the playoffs.[Sept 2002, p.72]
  21. Madden 2003 is not only the deepest football game ever made, but it may also be the deepest PS2 game ever made. [Sept 2002, p.20]
  22. Madden 2003 is the best overall football game ever made, period...Denying it the perfect score it so richly deserves just because "NFL 2K3" comes soooo close to unseating it would be a crime.
  23. 100
    A game that not only looks and plays better, but also fully realizes the dream of anyone looking to fully manage their own professional team.
  24. Michaels, probably the best voice in football, takes the microphone with gusto and professionalism. He's recorded his lines, and they do get repetitive, but his delivery is steady and easy on the ears.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 5 out of 31
  1. BryanM.
    May 18, 2007
    This game is the most overraded football game out there. madden 2004 is way better then this crap and 2k3 kick its butt in sales. Bad graphics, and still dumb commentary. Full Review »
  2. Wheelchair
    Apr 8, 2008
    I give this game a 7 out of 10, not due to its content, but the legacy associated with it. I do not even really like sports games, and I really enjoyed this. The reason it gets a 7: Why didn't they stop at 2003 and focus on making good sports games instead of patching up previous ones and slaping the year it is released onto it? Full Review »
  3. Mitch
    Dec 10, 2005
    its a great game, graphics still great, there are small changes through out the game... but it upset me when I found out you can not use a custom "created" playbook in franchise mode. Full Review »