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The fact that NBA 2K3 lords over its competition in terms of pure simulation quality is clear, and it’s been well documented in past issues of GamePro. NCAA College Basketball 2K3 is a complete school-ball experience that’s both fun and feature-rich. The freshman debut of this series has quickly moved to the head of the class, but it has to share the seat of honor with March Madness.
One of the best college basketballs to come out this year, NCAA 2K3 is at the head of its class and will surely be enjoyed by true basketball gamers. As far as basketball games are concerned, this is, by far, the finest college basketball game ever to grace the console so don’t miss out on this one.
NCAA College Basketball 2K3 is my favorite basketball game this year. Though the final score isn't higher than NBA 2K3, it's only because there are so many nagging little problems. However, those problems don't cancel out a great experience. If Kush and Visual Concepts can iron out these troubles and focus more on the Legacy Mode next year, this could be among the elite sports games of 2003.
NCAA College Basketball 2K3 comes with all the usual modes of play, including basic exhibition and season modes. The 2 biggest parts of the game, naturally, come in the form of a highly polished Legacy mode, and full online support through Xbox Live. NCAA also contains the Sega Sports Challenge, which lets you input codes to track your skills against others online, without the need for XBL.
Overall, Sega's NCAA Basketball 2K3 is one of the best college hoops games around, but it doesn't really have enough competition for that to mean much. The gameplay, which is based on last year's NBA 2K2 engine, is easily the game's biggest asset. Plenty of options and a deep legacy mode will also please hoops fans. The lack of freedom in editing players is a serious flaw with the game and means truly accurate rosters cannot be reproduced. This and the sub-par commentary are the game's biggest issues, but hopefully they will be addressed in NCAA Basketball 2K4. College b-ball fanatics will certainly find much to enjoy with this game, but mainstream sports fans (or even mainstream basketball fans) may be better off purchasing NBA 2K3.
NCAA Basketball 2K3 is currently available for all three consoles. The PlayStation 2 version does have online play, but the GameCube version, almost inexcusably, doesn't have network capabilities. If I had to choose between the three, I'd go with the Xbox version, purely because of the broadband Xbox Live technology. This game is pretty much wonderful on any of the systems and highly recommended for any and all fans of great college basketball.
NCAA College Basketball 2K3 is a solid game with plenty of modes to choose from, but it ultimately falls short of being an accurate simulation of college basketball. The passing system is far too slow and imprecise to break down the zone defenses effectively, even when running plays. This also affects the post-up game, which is almost rendered useless for anything but a pull-up jumper. Casual fans probably won't notice such problems, but the hard-core college basketball fan will more than likely be frustrated with them.