NHL 2003

Sport 2002 Windows Electronic Arts Hockey

Ice cream! Ice cream!

Although many of EA's sports updates seem like little more than window dressing which don't really warrant the price of admission, this version of its hockey franchise is well worth a look for any fans of the high speed sport. It adds in enough new elements to keep things interesting, while the gameplay is as slick and entertaining as ever. As ever, it's an ice hockey simulator which presents you with a number of options to play through. You can choose just to get into a quick game, try out an international match, play through an entire season or even attempt to forge your own ice hockey franchise right from the beginning. This is the most interesting mode for the serious fan, as it takes you through a ten year period and allows you to either play through each game or take a managerial role to focus on the backseat aspect of the sport, picking playing, sorting out training and sponsorship and so on. For the real fan, you've also got access to detailed stats for study, making this the perfect choice for any real hockey lover. As far as serious sims go, this is perhaps one of the best on the market. It's got a huge range of options to play around with, whether you're in it for the short or the long haul, while the visuals are slick, sharp and well animated. There's a great sense of atmosphere to the whole thing, thanks to the top notch presentation, and the controls are super responsive and highly intuitive, making this the go to choice for anyone interested in the sport. For a less serious alternative, try Backyard Hockey.

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