While NASCAR Heat 2002 isn’t the kind of game that will appeal to everyone (if you absolutely hate oval-track racing, you probably won’t like this game either), its diverse feature set, pleasing graphics and entertaining gameplay should satisfy hard-core NASCAR fans and casual gamers alike. The Championship and Beat the Heat modes alone provide an extraordinary level of replay. Yes, there’s still of room for improvement -- hopefully next year’s version will come complete with a more accurate damage model and a create-a-car option. With the magnificent GT3: A-Spec looking over its shoulders, it could become even easier to pass this game up. But as far as this reviewer is concerned, that would be a huge mistake.