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If you're a 2K fan, there's no question this is the game for you. Even though the overall presence of the game's big-name license is light this time out, NCAA College Football 2K3 is the best ESPN game ever, except for maybe NFL 2K3.
Overall, NCAA Football 2K3 is definitely a good football game, and in fact, its gameplay stacks up quite well against that of EA Sports' NCAA 2003. But it just doesn't compare as well in the other categories. However, if you prefer the Sega Sports style of football gameplay over the EA Sports style based on your past experiences, and extras like the career mode aren't as important to you, then NCAA 2K3 is definitely worth looking into.
With cheerleaders, official mascots, and fight songs galore, NCAA Football 2K3 is thick on the collegiate atmosphere and succeeds at being highly playable and fun. But if you're going to pick up one college football game this season, it's hard to recommend it over EA's stellar NCAA Football 2003. The legacy mode is rewarding and the gameplay is predominantly solid, but a plethora of bugs and some AI issues ensure it won't supplant EA's game as the reigning champ this season.
Visual Concepts wasn't able to completely squeeze the NFL gameplay out of its "NFL 2K2" engine when designing "NCAA 2K3". As a result Sega's got a good-looking college football title that, despite being high on gameplay modes and playbook strategies, isn't quite as fine tuned to the sport it portrays as "NCAA Football 2003". It's an amazing rental and a safe purchase for college pigskin connoisseurs, but it's still a few tweaks shy of the greatness that's been bestowed upon EA Sports' opus this season.
All in all, Visual Concepts has still managed to assemble a viable alternative for college football fans that can't get enough of the digital glory. A guaranteed good time for frequent renters and casual gridiron visitors who aren't as discerning as the die hard sports fans out there, NCAA College Football 2K3 isn't a bad choice. But for those of us who only buy one game per sport per year, NCAA 2K3 is still playing second fiddle to the pioneer of the genre, courtesy of EA Sports. Sega fans take heed however; next year is going to be one hell of a battle. See you then.
If NCAA2k3 was the only college football game out I would suggest that people buy it. The problem is that EA’s NCAA Football 2003 is a MUCH better game then NCAA2k3. EA’s game makes 2k3 pale in comparison. What Sega needs to do is design this game at the same time its creating its new NFL game. They should use their newest game engine and add the college football atmosphere and AI. Until they do this, the NCAA series will always feel like it’s a year behind.
So only buy this game if you have already bought EA’s game and you want a change of pace or if you want to use the draft classes in NFL2k3.
And that's pretty much how it feels to play NCAA 2k3. Let's move on to the next season and hope they do better, because while this year's game is entertaining enough to play, it's simply not as good as it should be and not as good as the your other options.