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James Chheng

  • NBA Live 2003 (PS2,Xbox) : A great game to play with family and friends who are into basketball. The AI is not as polished as it needs to be, but is definitely still a game gamers can enjoy. (buy from amazon)
  • Mad Catz MicroCON Xbox Controller : If you are in the market for a Xbox controller and have average-sized hands, this controller is the way to go. I even prefer this to the Microsoft Xbox Controller S. (our review here)
  • Rocky (Xbox) : Not a realistic game, but a fun one that uses the Rocky storyline. Expect your hands to be sore after a few fights as with most boxing games. (buy from amazon)
  • NBA Inside Drive 2003 (Xbox) : Not as polished as some of the other titles, but still fun to play. The create-a-player feature allows you to power up by performing well in games. (buy from amazon)
  • Xbox Live : If you have broadband available in your area, look into the Xbox Live, especially if you enjoy the Sega Sports games. Expect to run into some 13-year old kid going the wrong way on MotoGP, or someone to put up 60 3-point shots a game with Paul Pierce. So, how much you enjoy the Xbox Live will depend on whom you play.
  • Madden 2003/NFL 2K3 : Both these games are great stocking suffers. Might want to research which type of game you prefer. Note that Madden 2003 PS2 offers online play, while the Xbox version does not. The PS2 and Xbox versions of NFL 2k3 both offer online play. (buy from amazon)
  • NCAA 2003 : The best college football game out this year. Not perfect, but has a good amount of features to keep the NCAA fans happy. (buy from amazon)

Games You Should Be Weary Of:

  • Anything 989 Sports : Ever since 1998 or 1999, anything 989 Sports has put out has been sub-par and painful to play.

James Smith

  • NBA 2K3 (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) - If you want a realistic basketball game, look no further than NBA 2K3 from Sega. The great franchise mode and incredible AI makes this a hoops game for the ages. (buy from amazon)
  • NBA Live 2003 (EA Sports for PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC) - It may not be the sim that NBA 2K3 is, but it is addictive and fun to play. This is a "pick up and play" game has tons of great moves and improved control. (buy from amazon)


  • NHL 2K3 (Sega for PS2, Xbox) - If you are tired of pinball-style hockey, Sega has the answer. This game has it all - realistic checking, pucks frozen against the boards, and fantastic presentation. (buy from amazon)


  • NCAA 2003 (EA Sports for PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) - The latest edition of this franchise has improved AI. What was already a pretty good football game got better. The game boasts an excellent running game; complete with the triple option makes for addictive play. (buy from amazon)
  • NFL 2K3 (Sega for PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) - For professional football, Sega shows it's a major contender. Sure, Madden may be the sales king, but you're missing out on one great football game if you don't pick this one up. The AI is superb and the franchise mode is on par with Madden. (buy from amazon)


  • Need for Speed 2 (EA for PS2, skip the Xbox and Gamecube versions) - EA devoted plenty of development time to the PS2 version of the game and it shows. This beautiful arcade racer will take hours to complete and is completely entertaining in the process. (buy from amazon)
  • NASCAR Dirt to Daytona (Infogrames for PS2 and Gamecube) - If you are looking for the most realistic NASCAR console sim, Infogrames will fit the bill. Dirt to Daytona extends last year's excellent NASCAR Heat 2002 with even more tracks and classes of racing. (buy from amazon)


  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Rockstar for PS2) - Sure it's a sports game. There's marksmanship involved (that's an Olympic event), running, and racing. Plus it's loads of fun. There's too much to say about this game. Just get it. (buy from amazon)

Tim Martin
I understand this holiday season not everyone has an unlimited supply of funds to spend on video games for Christmas, so I will specialize in a plethora of bargain sports games.

Gary DeRoy (PC Racing Recommendations)
Racing games are more wholesome than "shoot-em-up" games and a little more in line with the Christmas Spirit. For Dad or Mom, I'd recommend Nascar Racing 2002 Season by Papyrus or F1 2002 by EA Sports.

For the kids (or less serious drivers), I recommend Midtown Madness 2 or Monster Truck Madness 2, both by Microsoft. They are older titles, but are still easy to find and quite inexpensive. Both offer online racing and all-world driving (which means you can drive anywhere and don't have to stay on the track). Kids can explore the countryside and find little hidden places. Monster Truck Madness 2 is the older of the two games but has hundreds of free tracks available on line. Midtown Madness 2 Allows you to drive in either San Francisco or London. There are plenty of scenarios you can run, a regular race; go for the gold; and training modes. If you have two computers at home, Mom and Dad can race with the kids or just play tag. Kids can go over jumps, sometimes several hundred feet, in both games. They'll show you how to make a jump in San Francisco and land on top of buildings, and they'll also find all the little hidden areas Mom or Dad will never find.

Chris Johnson

Cliff O'Neill
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (PS2, Xbox, GC) THPS4 deserves a spot near the top of every wish list for its deep, addictive gameplay and robust options. What's more, the PS2 version offers online play, while the Xbox version supports system link. (buy from amazon)
  • Aggressive Inline (PS2, Xbox, GC) This surprise hit from Dave Mirra developer Z-Axis rivals the latest Tony Hawk game and makes inline skating fun for everyone. Plus, its innovative and the enjoyable Career mode has helped set a new standard for action-sports games. (buy from amazon)
  • MX Superfly (PS2, GC, Xbox) Blending racing with extreme stunts, MX Superfly is perfect for those who prefer a moto-cross game with a mix of realism and outrageousness. The game features several professional riders, real and fictitious tracks, sick tricks, and plentiful options. (buy from amazon)
  • Freekstyle (PS2, GC) Essentially SSX on dirt, Freekstyle has all the right ingredients to form an exhilarating racing game. Fantastical courses, insane speed and tricks, and riders with plenty of attitude make this extreme moto-cross racer stand out. (buy from amazon)
  • TransWorld Snowboarding (Xbox) If you enjoy snowboarding games, TransWorld Snowboarding will likely interest you with its solid gameplay, unique controls, and beautiful graphics. It may not top Amped in every area, but it's a fun game with sim and arcade characteristics. (buy from amazon)
  • Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer (PS2, Xbox, GC) Pro Surfer is one of the more entertaining and accessible surfing games available, largely due to its Tony Hawk-like feel. The game includes a tight lineup of pros, tasty waves, and wild tricks, as well as competitive multiplayer modes. (buy from amazon)
  • Splashdown (Xbox) An exciting Jet Ski racer, Splashdown combines lap-based racing with wicked stunts and has a nice selection of courses and racers. While it debuted on the PS2 last year, the more recent Xbox version boasts extra courses, sharper graphics, and Dolby Digital surround sound. (buy from amazon)
  • BMX XXX (PS2, Xbox, GC) BMX XXX is pure madness, thanks to its M-rated antics, which include foul language, naughty humor, and female nudity (of the human and polygonal variety). Beneath all this, however, is a very playable BMX game from the creators of the Dave Mirra series--though you won't find Dave or any of his chums here. (buy from amazon)
  • Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 (PS2, Xbox, GC) Although Hoffman 2 is a step behind the latest action-sports game due to its archaic and repetitive Career mode, it is the most realistic BMX game released this year. Professional riders, varied environments, and a great assortment of tricks make this one worth owning if BMX XXX is too mature. (buy from amazon)

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