Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Last year's Thunder was a great game, but 2003 leaves it in its dust. [Nov 2002, p.144]
  2. It provides plenty of challenge for sim fans, and does a great job of giving racing rookies a chance to gain racing skills without the need for countless hours of frustration.
  3. I can't recommend this game enough. [Nov 2002, p.300]
  4. 90
    Its hearty NASCAR personality will hugely appeal to fans, while its innovative and deep approach will reel in plenty of racing gamers.
  5. 88
    Gives gamers more tracks, more stuff to do, and better graphics.
  6. 85
    The user-friendly controls and interface along with an absolutely splendid presentation really helped draw me in.
  7. While its heavy-on-the-realism feature can be too realistically demanding the game’s racing fun does not slow down very much.
  8. If you love Nascar, but don’t have the time to play a game for a week before you can even compete, then this is your cup of tea...It’s fun, it’s easy, and it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to succeed in.
  9. The core gameplay remains solid and is perhaps a bit more focused.
  10. 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.
  11. Ups the ante from its predecessor by a country mile. [Nov 2002, p.120]
  12. 80
    Its sense of speed, tight controls, and terribly addictive career mode will appeal to just about anyone.
  13. 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]

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