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NCAA Football 2003 (Microsoft Xbox, 2002)

NCAA Football 2003 (Microsoft Xbox, 2002)

EA SPORTS attempts to re-create the atmosphere, distinct play style, and program depth college football is known for with the release of... Read More
EA SPORTS attempts to re-create the atmosphere, distinct play style, and program depth college football is known for with the release of NCAA Football 2003. In addition to all 117 Division I-A and 27 Division I-AA teams, players can create their own alma mater and lead it to glory through any of the game modes. Players can also participate in an enhanced Dynasty Mode with custom schedules for non-conference games and greater coaching options in the areas of recruitment and roster management.<br><br>How teams perform on the field will influence the chances of recruiting a top high-school athlete, contribute to the program's overall prestige, and determine the number of people who show up for games. As players build their program from the ground up, selecting the team's name, mascot, fight song, logo, and colors, they will be able to compete in one of 28 bowl games, challenge an archrival, and earn pennants to unlock various teams, stadiums, and cheats.<br><br>The atmosphere is heightened with the inclusion of 3D cheerleaders, 200 chants and fight songs, school-specific entrances, and commentary from the broadcasting trio of Kirk Herbstreit, Brad Nessler, and Lee Corso. Among the new animations featured are stiff arms, standing catches, broken tackles, and swatting the ball. Team playbooks offer more choices on offense, including WR splits, option variations, and more. As a special bonus, players who also purchase Madden NFL 2003 will be able to unlock secret Madden Cards. Minimize
Author's Rating: Rating: 4/5 stars
6 Reviews from

By:   british_viking
May 3, 2004
NCAA Football 2003 (Microsoft Xbox, 2002)

Hut! Hut! HIKE!!!

Author's Rating: Rating: 4/5 stars

Pros: -Great Bowl Ranking System

Cons: -Theres now a sequel

The Bottom Line: 
This is a great title for any fan of the genre.

Author's Review
NCAA 2003 is a great football game for anyone looking for an action football game on console. NCAA 2003 (which is not available on PC) is one of the best football games that I have ever played. Since the college bowl system (as messed up as it is) is included, you never know where your team will end up. Many gameplay options vary the games enough to the point where you can play season after season, and still get the thrill of the action as if it was the first.


This game includes many options for up to 4 players to play. All of these make for a bundle of fun that is well worth the low price tag that comes with this game. There are 4 difficulty levels to choose from so you can progress in skill slowly and not be ashamed of your record. One thing to note on is that one good season does not always mean a good trophy. When I play my hometown hero team Fresno State, and go undefeated, I still barely get ranked 20th in the nation and get a crappy bowl to play in. Although I believe that the system is bugged, it allows for a thrilling season/dynasty mode that makes you want to play again since your team now has more prestige. Lets review the different options shall we?

Season Mode
Season Mode is quite simple and is included on every football game I have ever played. You pick one of a hundred teams to choose from and start your season. You can choose some of the no names such as Idaho State and Harvard and try to make them go all the way for a challenge, or lean back in your chair and beat the game with Oklahoma with ease. Before you start your season, you choose some of the open slots for games. Your season’s schedule is made up of one game against all of your in-conference games and then opens for you to choose from. One disappointment about this is that when you go to choose an open, every team without a game is willing to play you. In real life, no high ranked team wants to play an unknown team, as it will only hurt them in that darned BCS formula that will be in charge of their destiny. It would be much better if you could only play teams equal or below your prestige mark, a mark that shows how respected your school is.

Dynasty Mode
A more complex version of the season mode is the Dynasty Mode. In it, you do the exact same thing as you would in season mode except you play as many seasons as you want. Since some of your players will graduate or leave for the NFL early as they sometimes do, you get to go through a recruitment schedule to bring in top high school standouts to your school. Many fun things come into part when doing this. For one, location is a big key. You can go undefeated for 5 years straight in Alaska and nobody will still want to go there. This brings upon another great option that Dynasty brings about, Create-A-Team. Although I will talk about this feature later, the only way you can play these created teams is to bring them in through Dynasty mode. Back to the topic of more Dynasty related things, you have a coach contract. Depending on the starting prestige of the team you coach is how difficult it is to fulfill the requirements given in your contract. One example of this is to: Win conference title 2 out of 3 years, Win National title 1 out of 3 years, and have winning season 2 out of 3 years. This is one of the more difficult ones, but you get the picture.

Mascot Game

Here you take a team’s mascot (every team has one) and you duke it out against another teams mascot. I have only played one of them, which I won, but it was pretty fun. Every player on your team is dressed as the mascot, its not one vs. one, and you play the normal 4 quarter game. Every player has full stats too, meaning they are super fast, great catching ability, etc. Basically, they excel at every aspect no matter what player on the team it is. It was fun to see the Florida Gator (me) fun and stomp all over the Alabama mascot (an elephant?).

Rivalry Game
In this one, you take one of the most intimidating match-ups like say for instance Florida vs. Florida State and get to duke it out. The other team always plays harder when it’s a rivalry game no matter what the difficulty. If you win, you get to take home a trophy on some occasions, something that can easily be saved on a profile. Trophy Rooms get full fast if you play a lot of these as well as Dynasty Mode since there are other things to get trophies from too. Such trophies include Heisman Trophy, Coach of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year. Every real life trophy is in the game and given to a player who is the standout of that category.

Custom Mode
Custom Mode is where you can create your own things. Teams, rosters, and players can all be created or edited from this mode. There are an assortment of custom logos that you can pick from that were designed specifically for creating your own team. You can be anything you want. I was even able to make a logo that looked almost exactly like my High School’s logo, and then I made the roster for that team exactly like how it was that year. Playing with them was a blast. You create what their stadium looks like, their field type, and even their mascot. Want a dome? It is as easy as a click of a button between a Dome, an AstroTurf field, or a football/track field. Create a Player is also fun to do. You can make your player great, as well as super strong. Want a running back? Pump up the break tackle and ball handling ability of your player and he will rule the backfield. You can make your players be tall, skinny, fat, short, or even wear a wristband or gloves. Think a visor looks cool? Then pick your color and put it on him.


The graphics that this game uses is exactly like Madden 2003. They are wonderful. Each player walks with his helmet shinning and his muscles bulging. You play in a setback position above the field. You get a good glimpse of the defense and your players from here, allowing the ability to see what plays will work since you can see where the defenders are. After you make a dazzling play, an instant replay follows that shows the players close up, where they are just as beautiful from there than they are when you are zoomed out. Watching diving catches and hard hit quarterbacks only makes you want to play for longer and try to do it again.

Animations in the game are great as well. You will see a whole bunch of different tackle animations as well as break tackle animations. Only problem is, with as much as you will play this game, there are not enough of them. I would much rather see A LOT of different animations making my tackles less boring than mascots dancing on the sidelines. Gang tackles would be amusing to watch as well as flipping ball handlers. There are flying helmets in the game though, which is a plus.


Like most EA games, there is a interesting soundtrack. They even hired a rapper to sing a theme song for the game, although his voice is not one I recognize. The music in the game is not annoying elevator music like many other games that I have played. The sound effects of this game are great too. The hard-hitting grunts and screams of pain are always welcome to come out of my speakers. This is one of the areas of the game that cannot be improved upon because not much more could be done. One thing that I wish this game had though is the ability to import my own soundtracks like I can in other XBOX titles.


This is a great, action packed football title that is calling your name. If you love college football, then you will love this game. It is far superior to any other college football game on the market and I would recommend it over Madden 2003. Due to the interesting bowl ranking system, it is set apart form any other game. I would recommend this game to anyone who has been wanting a hard hitting game without the lose of gameplay like in Blitz. For those who have been wanting a football game, this is the one you want.

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