Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. From the first few notes of Steppenwolf's “Magic Carpet Ride” to the victory lap at the end of the season, NASCAR Thunder 2003 proves to be the most enjoyable NASCAR racing game yet on any console.
  2. It still manages to finish as the best stock car racer you're likely to find on a home console. [Dec 2002, p.46]
  3. The experience of NASCAR Thunder 2003 can be summed up in four words...replayability, challenge, realism, and FUN!
  4. Off the track, the game is a revelation. [Oct 2002, p.82]
  5. A deep and gameplay-packed treat for fans of racing whether they are looking for casual play or a more serious racing sim.
  6. Blows the doors off anything that came before it. [Nov 2002, p.283]
  7. 85
    The user-friendly controls and interface along with an absolutely splendid presentation really helped draw me in.
  8. 85
    The balance between pleasing hardcore gamers while pleasing Joe Gamer is astounding.
  9. The most important aspect of playing this game is the technique – just driving in the correct lines is dreadfully difficult not to mention maintaining a straight line is dicey at best.
  10. Even someone like me, a NASCAR illiterate, has to profess amazement at how much fun running around in circles trying to beat 43 other drivers can be.
  11. 80
    The create a driver mode is well executed, and is yet another way in which you can expand the replay value. The best NASCAR game available on the PS2, and one of the best racing games overall.
  12. It does pretty much everything a yearly sports update needs to do to be a success: It improves on features that previously were lacking, and it brings some new additions into the mix as well.
  13. 90
    The most remarkable new feature, though, is the cavernous Career mode.
  14. Truly the best NASCAR package for console racing fans. Regardless of your console, NASCAR gamers need look no further.
  15. Thunder 2003 takes last year's game and blows the doors off it. [Nov 2002, p.184]
  16. Packed with nuances that, for aspiring fans and drivers must really float their Skoal. Drafting, line selection, pitting...this is a great simulation covering 20 seasons. Not for me. [Oct 2002, p.84]
User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Aug 24, 2013
    10
    I have had this game for a long time, and I can say it is one of the best racing games in the ps2 library. the graphics are great for 2002. the music is good, albeit limited. the AI is solid, it has possibly the best career mode in a Nascar game, and most importantly, it's very fun! it is a fantastic game that succeeds in all categories. Full Review »