Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
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  1. Madden 2003 is the best overall football game ever made, period...Denying it the perfect score it so richly deserves just because "NFL 2K3" comes soooo close to unseating it would be a crime.
  2. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Madden has added so many goodies that Madden fans will be smiling ear to ear, and newcomers'll love it. [Sept 2002, p.116]
  3. They loaded this year’s ultrarealistic game up with a slew of new features that include online play, a huge arcade-style training camp, and a nifty play creator that’s so versatile that you can have receivers run pass routes that spell your name.
  4. Play Magazine
    Above all, a better feeling and playing game, boosted by subtleties that you may not even recognize until you've made it to the playoffs.[Sept 2002, p.72]
  5. GameNow
    The most well-rounded, option-rich football game in history. [A+: Sept 2002, p.51]
  6. 100
    A game that not only looks and plays better, but also fully realizes the dream of anyone looking to fully manage their own professional team.
  7. A huge football game that fans of the genre should enjoy. There's lots here to do. In fact, the franchise mode alone should take you months to wear out.
  8. 100
    For hardcore football fans, Madden NFL 2003 is a must-own. From the assortment of modes to in-depth features like the playbook editor, this game was made for those who appreciate the intricacies of football.
  9. 100
    The sheer size-factor of the game is overwhelming.
  10. 100
    Even beyond the football gameplay, you have to appreciate the wealth of extras and activities that make Madden NFL 2003 such an entertaining and complete package.
  11. Game Informer
    Madden's major changes have occurred on the defense to raise the learning curve and create more strategy. [Sept 2002, p.78]
  12. The best iteration of Madden ever...The only possible gripe I can have is the lack of in-game chat and other online features, but that’s what next year is for.
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Madden's gameplay amazes, but it's EA's delivery that throws the knockout punch. [Sept 2002, p.148]
  14. The game also includes a cool behind the scenes footage of the game and interviews with coverboy Marshall Faulk, John Madden, Al Michaels and Melissa Stark.
  15. Playing a friend is ace while the computer is frighteningly tricky. A goddamn crackerjack humdinger of a game.
  16. 91
    A can't-miss because it accurately simulates NFL gameplay, NFL commentary, NFL uniforms, NFL stadiums and NFL players and that's what football gamers are looking for.
  17. I hate to use a cliché, but the number of game modes in Madden 2003 are mind-boggling.
  18. 90
    This game isn’t perfect, however, I found that the running game was a little too stingy for my tastes. I had a hard time breaking a run for more than 10 yards and more often than not, the gaps in the defense would close far too fast.
  19. PSM Magazine
    Madden 2003 is not only the deepest football game ever made, but it may also be the deepest PS2 game ever made. [Sept 2002, p.20]
  20. The addition of online play and Mini-camp are simply awesome.
  21. A lot of gameplay modes and some pretty darn good football to boot; you can't go wrong with Madden NFL 2003.
  22. 90
    Michaels, probably the best voice in football, takes the microphone with gusto and professionalism. He's recorded his lines, and they do get repetitive, but his delivery is steady and easy on the ears.
  23. Has online play, a robust franchise mode, and plenty of secondary modes to keep you busy, but the minor issues with the running and passing game really prevent it from being the absolute best representation of professional football that's available.
  24. While "NFL 2K3" still has slightly better graphics, Madden's updated controls, the excellent franchise features and its heavenly tactical play make it one of the best sports games ever to grace the PS2.
  25. Madden has always been the king of the hill and this year is no exception.

Awards & Rankings

#29 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2002
#1 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 74
  2. Negative: 17 out of 74
  1. BryanM.
    May 18, 2007
    This game is the most overraded football game out there. madden 2004 is way better then this crap and 2k3 kick its butt in sales. Bad This game is the most overraded football game out there. madden 2004 is way better then this crap and 2k3 kick its butt in sales. Bad graphics, and still dumb commentary. Full Review »
  2. Aug 11, 2022
    Look,, The Madden GOLDEN ERA starts with 2004..fact.
    But 2003 has HANDS DOWN the #1 soundtrack..
    **i play PS2 Madden a lot..2003-2012 and
    Look,, The Madden GOLDEN ERA starts with 2004..fact.
    But 2003 has HANDS DOWN the #1 soundtrack..

    **i play PS2 Madden a lot..2003-2012 and
    They really upgraded the graphics in 2004..
    Sucks, cause 2003 was a great year for all teams.
    The rosters and franchise were EPIC...

    Madden was REALLY REALLY BAD on XBOX360 until 2013..

    ***90% of Madden gamers weren’t still playing Madden on PS2 after next gen came out..
    So I went back and my god 2008-2012 on PS2 and the gameplay is soooo crisp compared to PS3/Xbox360.. unbelievable.

    —until EA/Madden sells us DLC for retro season/rosters= I will stick with my favorite era,,
    Same with NHL,,SSX,,MLB,,NASCAR ETC.....
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 21, 2019
    Perfect perfect game much good very beautiful best game 2019? Yes yes yes good