Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 0 out of 23
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  1. From player ratings, to defensive-back AI, to ball physics, they've made a lot of smart adjustments to the game that may go unnoticed by many gamers, but are a joy to discover for savvy football gamers.
  2. 100
    Once again, Madden leads the field in video game football, and as of right now, there’s no one near him in coverage.
  3. 100
    Even though the competition has weakened in recent years, the "Madden" series is at the top of its game, and this is close to perfection.
  4. With gameplay oozing off of this disk like gravy out of Refrigerator Perry's hot beef sandwich, fans of the gridiron will lose themselves in hours of rapture and may very well forget to eat or sleep.
  5. 100
    This year's real highlight for Madden madmen is the buffed out A.I.: On defense, the game reacts more rapidly than ever to your offensive tendencies and in particular makes tough half time adjustments.
  6. The defensive AI has been cleaned up and perfected. I do mean perfected.
  7. Madden is even deeper this year with the return of the Create-a-Team and the Two-Minute Drill, but that's not why my jock is still on the field. Tiburon could have merely made these additions, but it went the remaining nine yards to make a football game that is that much closer to perfection, if it hasn't already got there.
  8. Superior technical capability coupled with the seemingly hundreds of little things that make a football game enthralling and entertaining allows Madden 2002 to reign supreme yet again.
  9. EA must have been hanging out in newsgroups, forums, and review sites listening to consumers complain about the passing game as the secondary AI has definitely improved for the better.
  10. The overall movements of the players are much more fluid and they don't look as stiff as in 2001.
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Once you get past gameplay which is deeper than a black hole, you’ll find an endless list of options and features. [Oct 2001, p.146]
  12. It is a bit disappointing. Even still, the game manages to one-up last year's Madden in most categories.
  13. 92
    When you take these two factors together -- great single player and great multiplayer game -- what you get is a football fan's wet dream and one of the greatest sports titles that have ever graced a videogame console.
  14. With the lone exception of the commentary, Madden 2002 represents a substantial upgrade from last year’s version and a worthy purchase for football fanatics everywhere, with beefed-up graphics and improved gameplay in several key areas.
  15. 91
    Time and time again when the AI is down late in the game and needs a touchdown to win or tie, it refuses to call for a deep pass play...Complaints aside, Madden 2002 delivers the best arcade football experience to date.
  16. Encompasses just about everything a pigskin fan could want in a football game, from the outstanding presentation to the solid mechanics. Though it isn't perfect, it's very good.
  17. Damn them… why could they not have implemented the fantastic Player Editor last time? Why couldn’t they have made it easier to get into last time? Why now a better interface, sideline players, cheerleaders and cool boxes?
  18. The gameplay still feels as fluid and tight as it always has, right down to the execution of some excellent running plays, defensive stops, sack opportunities and the ability to switch players on the fly with ease.
  19. New modes, better AI and less of the floaty artificial feeling from 2001 makes Madden 2002 a football game for the ages. It's going to be hard for anyone to make a better pigskin game than this.
  20. 90
    It's the most realistic football game on a console, guaranteed to make you sweat puddles at its highest difficulty setting.
  21. It's a game that's so feature-rich, so extremely customizable, and so realistic that I'd recommend this one even if you're not a football buff.
  22. Games Radar
    The USA's going ape over this latest version, but over here in Britain few of us really care for this most American of sports, and although the latest Madden's the most accomplished yet, it lacks the emotional appeal of something like "Pro Evolution Soccer."
  23. It's Madden's inherently deep replay value that makes the game a real value for the dollar. Couple that with excellent pass execution, solid football strategies and integration with rosters from the graduates of NCAA 2002 and you have very deep, solid, although somewhat aged game of professional football.

Awards & Rankings

#34 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#75 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 50
  2. Negative: 11 out of 50
  1. Aug 30, 2020
    The best madden game ever!!!! The game is so fun!!! I wish EA did games like this again!!!
  2. Oct 30, 2019
    My first Madden I have ever played and definitely one of my favorite ones. The only problem I have with this game is the QB accuracy and theMy first Madden I have ever played and definitely one of my favorite ones. The only problem I have with this game is the QB accuracy and the amount the deep balls that you connect constantly with DB not being as in coverage as in future Madden's. But other than that I no problems with this game. Definitely a classic to keep playing over and over again. Full Review »
  3. WesB.
    Aug 17, 2002
    Dude, this game kills. Maybe best game I ever played.