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The Video Game Critic
During one game the "chain gang" was called in after a third-down for a measurement, and the tip of the ball was clearly past the chain. You can imagine my dismay when my quarterback lined up for fourth and inches! I guess no football game is perfect, but on the Playstation, this is close enough. The GameDay series would continue through 2005.
In the end, GameDay 2002 does a decent job of delivering a fun and somewhat realistic game of football to the PlayStation. Fans of the series will either love it or hate it since it's fundamentally the same game they've been playing for the last two years. If you've never played a GameDay title before and are in the market for a PlayStation football game, then this is a pretty good choice--certainly a better choice than GameDay's first PlayStation 2 release was. The game offers solid gameplay, and although the playbook could use a few more plays, the game has a great deal of depth that'll keep you playing for a long time to come.
GameDay has many ways to play, but there's no two-minute drill or ability to create your own game situation as there is in Madden. Still, if you like football and aren't already sold on Madden, rent both games, you may like GameDay better.
While NFL GameDay 2002 isn't necessarily a bad game, it certainly doesn't do much to advance the series, either. With obvious devotion to its tried-and-true arcade game play, one thing is for sure -- it's still a lot of fun to play. If you're a fan of the series, you'll find a lot to like about this year's game. If not, there's nothing new here that'll likely convert you. To those of you who (for whatever reason) refuse to take the next-generation plunge, my advice is to rent it first and make your own comparisons. For everyone else, this reviewer suggests you save your beans and buy a PS2.
A few years ago, GameDay was as good as it got, but for some reason or another, the franchise has been slipping as the years go by. It still manages to be a decent game of football, and if you liked last year's version there's really no reason not to at least rent this year's, but for people picking up their first football game, you may want to check out what some of the other players have to offer before drafting this one.
If you absolutely must have two PSone football games this year, Gameday is a decent second, but Madden 2002 is much, much better. We suggest you rent it first, just to give it a look-see.
Game Informer Magazine
GameDay has some good animations and controls; my gripe is that it doesn't seem to all go together very well. Sometimes I don't even know if I've caught the ball or not. Speaking of detecting things, I also had a beef with how damn far away my "nearest player" always seemed to be. I'd have a linebacker right about to stuff a RB, but the computer would instead assign me to the safety 15 yards away. The best thing I can say about this PS-X GameDay is that I enjoyed playing it more than the PS2 version, but that's another system and another time my friends.
Yet in spite of its kaleidoscope of flaws, NFL Gameday 2002 actually offers a fair bit of fun. If this game could have been cleaned up a little more and had a wider variety of interesting modes, it might have matched Madden 2002 as the best last PSX football game ever. Instead, it serves as a fitting finale to a second banana series.
Game Informer Magazine
There are so many things wrong with this game I think I’ll just start and end with the same point. The starting quarterback for the Vikings (Culpepper) is wearing No. 12. Unfortunately, his jersey number is 11. From there, things just go from bad to worse. Why is it my players can’t change direction without stopping? This game sucks, that’s why.
Sports Gaming Network
As much as I would love to not believe it, I am beginning to think that gaming on the PSOne is dead. NFL Gameday 2002 doesn't help contradict that thought. The PSOne is a lame duck. I'm sure there are some great games that are going to come along in the coming months for PSOne gamers, but I feel that the days of any innovation or improvement are gone. "Been there, done that" may become PSOne's lasting words before it becomes extinct.