NFL 2K3 (PS2)

Review

posted 10/16/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2

Dreamcast owners were no doubt excited when SEGA decided to port over their beloved football game to the PS2 and with good cause, NFL2K redefined what a football should be. Before Madden hit it big on the PS2, there was only one true football game in town and it resided on the SEGA Dreamcast. PS2 owners weren’t allowed to experience the excellence, however, as last year’s version was well below par, especially in comparison to its main competition. Showing their commitment to their fans, SEGA Sports has decided to work out the kinks from last year’s version and in the end, they have an excellent football title that belongs n any gridiron fan’s collection.

This year’s game features a tie-in with ESPN and its impact is noticeable right from the start. The game begins with a small portion of the video package that was shown at this year’s E3, you’ll see Dan Patrick sitting at the Sportscenter desk, reporting on the recent deal inked between SEGA and ESPN. The entire game is plastered with the ESPN logo as opposed to the SEGA Sports logo and for the most part, it fits in quite nicely. All of the music and color schemes have been changed to correspond to the new licensing and chances are, if you watch ESPN you’ll instantly recognize this as a licensed property.

It’s inevitable, you can’t mention NFL2K without mentioning Madden somewhere in the conversation. The two have been competing for football supremacy in the recent years and though 2K3 still lingers behind, it’s doing an admirable job of catching up. It’s not only the presentation that has received an upgrade, but the whole entire package. The graphics are much crisper, the animations are much more fluid and the gameplay is painstakingly realistic.

After the ESPN tie-in, you’ll probably notice the visual facelift that the title has received. SEGA’s artists are some of the best in the biz and it’s time they’ve garnered some recognition. NFL2K3 features, without a doubt, the best player faces to ever appear in a sports game. They are so heavily detailed and realistic that you’ll swear you’re watching the game on TV, especially during the close-ups. The faces in Madden 2003 don’t even come close to touching those of 2K3’s. The animation in NFL2k3 is also unparalleled, there are so many different animations that you’ll probably see at least a couple of new ones every game. I was still seeing new animations during the 12th game of my season, talk about variety.
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