Farewell Madden, this rival game breaks away

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Farewell Madden, this rival game breaks away

It's Super Bowl season, reminding me of when I played John Madden Football and set up leagues with my friends. I have been playing Madden since 1992, but I always wished there was a better game out there. And there was: NFL 2K3.

To start off, NFL 2K3's artificial intelligence is really smart. Remember how in Madden you could use your favorite play 10 times a game and never get burned? Forget it here. The AI of 2K3 remembers frequent plays.

If you keep running them, well, don't be surprised if Charles Woodson snatches the ball for an interception and a touchdown. No more insurance plays. You have to think like a crafty coach and do some creative play calling, otherwise you'll end up getting pounded as badly as the Cincinnati Bengals.

The verdict: NFL 2K3 is the football game to own. The blocking scheme is unreal. The yardage that a runner like Marshall Faulk compiles is realistic. The graphics are crisp and very solid. A franchise mode lets you set up a league and draft teams like a real owner. My only gripe is the lack of involvement on defense ?you feel like the machine is doing it all for you.

Am I ready to quit on Madden? No, but when it's time to set up a new league with my friends, I'll back the switch to 2K3.

by Brian Lee

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