Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Visually dated, but they are arguably two of the deepest 2D fighters that SNK has ever released.
  2. 85
    But while King of Fighters 2002's old-school 2D graphics and 2003's 3D backgrounds may not win any visual awards, their fast-moving, hard-hitting gameplay more than makes up for it. Few games muster up the same sort of thrills that the KOF roster does.
  3. So what these games may lack in graphical prowess, they more than make up for in spirit and underlying quality.
  4. "King of Fighters 2003" is a great addition to anyone's PS2 library. Just try to pretend it's the only game in its case.
  5. A fantastic distillation of the series' classic gameplay and KOF 2003 does a wonderful job of trying to update the formula without breaking things too much, but this is after all a classic collection, and should be taken as such.
  6. King of Fighters 2003 is a step in the right direction and the inclusion of King of Fighters 2002 kind of sweetens the deal, though I’d say it soils an otherwise slightly above average fighting game compilation.
  7. 60
    $40 is a lot to pay for these games--even if they originally cost $300 each on the original Neo-Geo system.
  8. If nothing else, it beats spending around $200 to $300 on a NeoGeo cartridge the size of a small rodent... Worthwhile for the hardcore crowd. [Jan 2005, p.109]
  9. 2003 is definitely a step in the right direction for the series and escapes being marked down as another recycled game; if they keep it up with 2004 then KoF may just become the king of 2D fighters after all.
  10. It still feels so right.. Sketchy music and coconut-sized pixels are a small price to pay for the chance to dabble with one of the finest two-dimensional beat-‘em-ups ever made. [Aug 2005, p.107]
  11. But no matter how many features they throw at it, there's little doubt that KOF is ready for the knacker's yard. [Mar 2006, p.106]
  12. There's enough variation between the two games to keep you coming back to both versions, and plenty of characters and moves to keep you thoroughly occupied.
  13. The best thing about this release, though, is that the gameplay for both titles is some of the best the King of Fighters series has seen since "King of Fighters ’98." Both games are exceptionally fast paced and offer a wide variety of characters.
  14. In terms of sound, you’ll get plenty of typical arcade fighting game punches and grunts, but you’ll also hear a load of nice voice samples for each character and the music is pretty solid stuff as well.
  15. The great gameplay, good graphics and inclusion of both games is enough to make this a must-have for fighting-game fans.
  16. These games will remain as the last examples of one of the longest-running 2D fighting game series ever created, and fine examples at that.
  17. Old-school 2D fighting at its best.
  18. You get both games in one case for just $40US. Fans of fighting games cannot pass on such a great deal.
  19. This double-pack contains SNK's best work to date, warts and all.
  20. If you really want to get into the KoF series, but can’t deal with the low grade graphics, then pick up "KoF: Maximum Impact," but if you want a solid, fun, high-quality fighting game that delivers masses of playtime, then King of Fighters 2002/2003 is well worth the investment.
  21. It's not the kind of innovation that's required to mete out a stellar score. But for gamers who are interested in the KoF series but haven't collected all of the installments, this represents the best value in years.
  22. The graphics aren't particularly impressive - the game looks slightly better than prior efforts - but it's perhaps the best KOF roster yet, and it's a great history lesson for newbies. [Feb 2005, p.80]
  23. An interesting study of a series in transition, but ultimately not a compelling purchase. KoF 2002 is a failed attempt to recall "KoF '98 Dream Match," and 2003 is, while more accessible to new fans, lacks the eye-candy if not necessarily the depth of newer games like "Guilty Gear X2."
  24. 70
    I must admit that the lack of online play really took away from what could have been a great game.
  25. It’s a nice change of pace and fights feel very nice now, but the super bosses are still impossible.
  26. With one simple change, everything old in KOF is new again, and that change is an actual tag system that allows players to swap characters at almost any time. [Jan 2004, p.66]
  27. 2002/2003 will please the hardcore brawler in you.
  28. While we’re generally pretty suspicious of anthologies and collections of this sort, King of Fighters 02/03 is a good combination of two complementary games for a reasonable price. If you’ve been looking for a decent fight, look no further.
User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. RockKroc
    Mar 20, 2009
    10
    Even though the game is visually dated (which doesn't even matter except to graphics-lovers), these two games are among the best Even though the game is visually dated (which doesn't even matter except to graphics-lovers), these two games are among the best fighting games ever released on the PS2. Do not miss it! Full Review »
  2. MarinM.
    Aug 29, 2005
    10
    The best game.
  3. KamranM.
    Feb 9, 2005
    10
    KOF 2002 is probably the best 2D fighting game to date. If not the best, then certainly among top 3. Anyone who claims to be a fan of 2 D KOF 2002 is probably the best 2D fighting game to date. If not the best, then certainly among top 3. Anyone who claims to be a fan of 2 D fighting games or fighting games in general should have this game in their collection. Vs Mode will have you addicted. KOF 2003 boasts engine tweaks from the Neo Geo version, THANK GOD! which makes the game much more playable and enjoyable. Great extras also in both games, definately a GREAT buy for all fighting fans. Full Review »