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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
GamePro (US) (Sep 09, 2003)
ESPN NFL Football comes roaring out of the tunnel and onto the videogame football field with a vengeance. The game-formerly-known-as-NFL-2K has attitude, energy, and more than a few cool new features. Along with big-time infusion of ESPN Sportscenter personality, you get first-person-view gameplay, a jumbo-jet-load of features, a little bling-bling?oh yes, and great football action, too.
Game Chronicles (Nov 07, 2003)
Move over Madden. Step aside Fever. We have a new reigning champion for football this year. Of course I am talking about ESPN NFL Football, the next installment in the ongoing series of sports titles from Sega.
Diehard GameFan (Sep 09, 2003)
I think it goes without saying at this point that this is the finest football game ever created. It looks, feels and plays like football from a television standpoint, as well as a realistic standpoint. The First Person Football and The Crib are two innovative ideas that were pulled off flawlessly, and you can bet that someone else is going to try to copy them. If you like football games, and you don’t own this one, then you’re missing out. If you haven’t played a football game in a while, then this is the perfect time to start again. You won’t regret it.
GameZone (Sep 11, 2003)
Emmitt Smith takes the hand-off three yards deep in the end zone and heads for a hole between the guard and tackle. Just as he is about to sprint through, the gap is filled by the 6'-5", 295 lbs. frame of Denver’s Trevor Pryce. There is no friendly shake of the hand, no love tap. Pryce pounds Smith backwards and into the ground.
GameSpot (Sep 04, 2003)
Sega's NFL 2K series is back--and better than ever--with a new name and some seemingly large additions. But while most of the prerelease information and advertising has been focused on these additions--specifically the crib and first-person football--ESPN NFL Football's number one strength is still its incredibly responsive gameplay, which has also seen some significant changes that may, at first, throw longtime fans off. Ultimately, though, the changes made to the tackling and running balance go a long way in helping to make ESPN NFL Football Sega's best football game ever.
IGN (Sep 04, 2003)
Let's get all of the most important stuff out of the way right off the bat. ESPN NFL Football, the latest installment in the series formerly known as NFL 2K, is even better than last year's game--and that's a feat. A whole lot has been added to the overall experience--from full ESPN integration, to tightened AI, better graphics, and even more solid online play. The game's entire look is inundated with ESPN branding, which is a good thing. If you squint, you might just think you're watching the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
4Players.de (Dec 27, 2003)
Respekt! Angefangen von der guten KI, über die nahezu zahllosen Gimmicks und Goodies, die man freispielen kann, bis hin zum First-Person-Football finden Football-Fans genügend Gründe, sich ESPN NFL Football zuzulegen und die Madden-Serie für dieses Jahr in Rente zu schicken. Sämtliche Spielmodi machen einen Heidenspaß und locken immer wieder für ein Spielchen ans Pad. Einzig der Franchise-Modus kann nicht ganz mit dem Owner-Modus der letzten Madden-Inkarnation mithalten, ist aber deutlich aufgeräumter und damit auch für Einsteiger mehr als einen Blick wert. Grafisch und akustisch eine Pracht, und bei kurzem Hinsehen durchaus mit einer Fernsehübertragung zu verwechseln, hat Visual Concepts es endlich geschafft, EAs Vorzeige-Football Paroli zu bieten. Spielraum für Verbesserungen ist trotz allem gegeben, was gespannt auf nächstes Jahr hoffen lässt und Electronic Arts schon jetzt gewaltig unter Zugzwang setzt.
All and all, ESPN is worth the money for its budget price of $20. Those with online play can squeeze out much joy from this title. It will own your soul.
Lawrence (Sep 05, 2003)
The online features improve upon last year's cheat fest, so you can assure a fair game online. The first-person mode is boring, despite the polished gameplay. It's nothing more than a novelty. Luckily the solid football series you come to expect from Sega still shines despite being in the shadow of EA's depth with the Madden franchise.
Jeuxvideo.com (Nov 28, 2003)
Encore un très bon jeu de foot US pour votre console. Le choix est difficile, je sais, mais mieux vaut ça que le contraire. Quel que soit le titre sur lequel votre choix se porte, vous ne serez de toute façon pas déçu. Entre ESPN et Madden, entre l'action et la tactique, mon coeur balance.
The Video Game Critic (Sep 20, 2003)
ESPN Football makes an outstanding first impression, but repeated plays reveal some imperfections. The passing game is much weaker than Madden. Passes that seem uncatchable somehow get pulled in, and many good passes get dropped inexplicably. Also, the AI (artificial intelligence) will often leave you bewildered - Madden definitely has a smarter CPU. If you compare ESPN to Madden, it's really a toss-up. ESPN is definitely flashier, but Madden is slightly more realistic.
Game Revolution (Sep, 2003)
Ultimately ESPN Football is a very good game, but not good enough this season to beat Madden…unless you own an Xbox and are dying to play online. If ESPN wants to compete with an EA Franchise that has made some serious leaps and bounds this year, they’re going to have to buckle down in the off-season, tighten up their offense and maybe learn some new plays on defense.
Lack of a college game companion mars the big step up Sega has taken, but all the pieces are in place for next year's ESPN NFL Football to really make Madden lose ground.
Brilliant, and the first-person mode means it is different enough from Madden to make that matter.
GameSpy (Sep 22, 2003)
This is one of best-looking games of any genre I have played for a while. It really does look that good. I never thought that another football game would come between me and my beloved Madden. And, while I am not going to toss out my copy of Madden just yet, this game will get a lot of time in the rotation. Which game should you spend your hard earned cash on? It is really too close to call. My advice -- middle of the road as it is -- is to rent both and see which one fits your style of play the best. You can't really go wrong with either.

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