Review by Keckyocu

Reviewed: 02/23/03 | Updated: 02/23/03

Get onto the pitch in this FIFA!

First off it is my contention that this is the best FIFA game to date. The players look and move in the most realistic fashion yet, the stadiums look real and best of all the fans do not look cardboard. The graphics are as sharp as ever, but it is in the details that I think the game shines. The crowd still waves the teams flag, but now there are signs hanging around the stadium to the home team. When I played as Manchester United, whose home stadium is called Old Trafford, the camera pans over the name of the stadium. The little touches like this make the game more of a really enveloping experience. The menus are slick and easy to navigate and the addition of a Hall of Kits (all the teams jerseys) is nice.

The controls in this game are spot on, but there is no real change from the other games. The only thing that I found lacking was that there is no longer an easy way to jump/dodge when you have the ball. The player must now out maneuver the defenders to score, which to me is more realistic.

The sound in FIFA 2003 is quite realistic and gives you the feel of being on the pitch. The commentary by John Motson and Alley McCoist is entertaining and is average; there is nothing new here but it is not that bad. The music in the menus is very techno and is, in my opinion, very well done for this game.

FIFA 2003 really shines with the AI. Teams that are above average, such as Real Madrid, are much more difficult to beat than a team at the caliber of the Columbus Crew. The discrepancy of skill makes playing in a more difficult league a much more realistic and enjoyable experience since you have to stay on your toes to beat the defense and stop the strikers. When you make the perfect play and take down the defense, you get the feeling of a real accomplishment.

The replay value of FIFA 2003 is enormous, but then so is almost every FIFA game. With seventeen world leagues like the English, German, Spanish and French there is always a new and challenging opponent to face off against. FIFA 2003 is also so much more than FIFA World Cup 2002. While World Cup was an incredible experience, 2003 has so much more depth that a true soccer fan must own this title.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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