Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 100
    The extensive Franchise Mode (which includes this year’s Houston Texans) is the best in any football game ever, and the Madden Cards once again hype the game’s replayability.
  2. 100
    If anything, character visuals look slightly sharper with brighter colors than the PS2 game's, and the post-play highlights are still cool.
  3. Simply a further refinement of last year’s excellent PS2 effort. [Jan 2002, p.36]
  4. The great AI, realistic QB decisions, incredible off season, and improved graphics makes this the football game of choice.
  5. Forget about hating the controller and you'll light 'em up. [Nov 2001, p.121]
  6. Control and sound issues aside, this is the best version of Madden 2002 available.
  7. There has never been a computer opponent that is this cunning. It even plays smarter than most of my buddies, and perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t whine after a loss. [Dec 2001, p.250]
  8. 90
    Simply the best action football game available for any system.
  9. With its bevy of options, realistic AI, and stellar presentation, Madden NFL 2002 wins the brass ring of football design for the second year in a row.
  10. 86
    A solid football game, but there's no hiding from the fact that it wasn't specifically built to take advantage of the Xbox's capabilities. Because of this, I can't shake the feeling that this game isn't all that it could've been.
  11. Slightly better-looking than its PS2 and GameCube counterparts, but that's it. Aside from a few graphical enhancements, the game is a virtual carbon copy of the PS2 and GameCube versions.
  12. What's missing is fun, while Madden plays the closest representation of football (still a ways to go), it needs to interject the passion of the NFL into the game.
  13. The visuals, although not up to the Xbox’s standards are good. The gameplay is only hindered by the button placement on the Xbox controller and that is not EA’s fault.
  14. Seems that the payers are a bit sluggish this time around..., and you never seem to be in quite as tight control as you’d like to be. [Jan 2002, p.84]
  15. [It] blow chunks. It's bland, it's repetitive, it's looked the same since it went to PS2 the first time around.

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