• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Aug 12, 2002

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
    With smart A.I., great controls, and a take-no-prisoners approach to football, it should earn All-Pro status again...a straight-ahead, hard-as-knuckles football game.
  2. Control is perfect and, once mastered, you get a sense of the timing.
  3. 100
    The best looking, most fluid portrayal of football you can find. [A: Sept 2002, p.50]
  4. With its in-depth franchise mode, online play, excellent running and passing gameplay, and detailed graphics, NFL 2K3 is one of the best football games to date.
  5. I suggest you do yourself a favor and get both NFL 2K3 and Madden this year, because this contest just went into overtime. [Sept 2002, p.79]
  6. With an in-depth franchise mode, advanced AI, ESPN style presentation, and online play, you can't find a better deal...on par if not better than "Madden 2003."
  7. 92
    If you take your football seriously, you owe yourself this game. It's now the deepest football game on the market.
  8. Overwhelmingly good. This game is one of the finest gridiron products on the market with great gameplay, smooth graphics and options that would take all day to describe. While perhaps not a perfect football game (if there is such a thing), NFL 2K3 definitely raises the bar.
  9. This might not be the year that Sega's series tops Madden in the sales charts, but we might look back at 2003 as the year Sega's NFL 2k3 became the better game.
  10. The ESPN presence makes the biggest difference...surprisingly, something as small as that goes a long way toward sucking you into the game.
  11. Features the best-looking player models, the most realistic-looking stadiums, and the smoothest animations of any PS2 football title. [Sept 2002, p.22]
  12. As of right now (9/10/2002) there isn’t a better-playing and more rewarding NFL football videogame experience on the console market than this one, on or off the net. “Madden” is soaked in more gravy (AKA gameplay modes), but I’d take a stab of NFL 2K3’s stylish ESPN-soaked raw meat anyday, anytime, anywhere.
  13. Unfortunately, I found NFL 2K3’s online mode to be somewhat disappointing.
  14. Between the vastly improved Franchise mode and the peppy online play , there's no reason why football fans shouldn't be playing this for the next 364 freakin' days. [Oct 2002, p.184]
  15. Sega added online play, a deeper Franchise Mode, and may have made the biggest acquisition of the off-season by reeling in ESPN to punch up their pigskin.
  16. This game plays with Warrick Dunn quickness, and the player models are the best in the business. But somehow the athletes feel sluggish, like they're chugging along with a slab of marble Velcroed to their backs. [Sept 2002, p.117]
  17. NFL 2k3 seems to be aimed at more for those who have a touch of arcade football within them while "Madden 2003" is for the hardcore simulation gamer. Overall I would choose Madden 2003 as the winner of the football crown for this season by just a hair.
  18. While there is no doubt in my mind that NFL 2k3 is the most realistic football game on the market, I am not sold that is the most fun. Madden does play at a faster pace, but it is much easier to pick up on and scoring is much easier.
  19. The main drawback though is simply the hardcore nature of the beast, the controls are as intuitively arcade based as Madden and so playing is made difficult if you really don’t know what a ‘screen pass to the wide out is’.
  20. There's nothing wrong with the video game as such, the sound and presentation are both exemplary and the graphics are crisp, but as the sport is inherently complicated it doesn't go out of it's way to make new friends.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. DougP.
    Apr 20, 2003
    I don't care what everybody else thinks, this was the best football game of 2002-2003. The only problem was that the players didn't run fast. Overall-great game. Full Review »
  2. N.J.
    Mar 14, 2003
    I think this game sucks. People who say this is better than madden NFL 2003 is on drugs. They don't know how to play real football. NFL 2K3 is the worst game ever. It is to arcade. The real game will always be Madden. NFL 2K3 graphics suck. The only thing good is the facial graphics. Rich L all the people who gave it a good score are Simpletons. And should see a doctor fast. I don't even know why I'm on this site. It's all about EA Sports. Full Review »
  3. JamesY.
    Jan 9, 2003
    Awesome game with great graphics!