|Release date:||4 October 2002|
The title says it all, really - this is football. Literally hundreds of teams, tens of thousands of players and numerous competitions, leagues and divisions have all been squeezed onto one disc to give you the most complete console football experience ever.
If you consider yourself to be a true fan of the sport also known as 'the beautiful game', this title should be as indispensable to you as Ronaldo is to the Brazilian squad.
It's the sheer amount of variety on offer that sends TIF2003 skyrocketing to the top of the premier leagues and leaves its competitors eating its goal. 80 international squads and a mind-blowing 500 club teams are available for selection, with the latter spread across 15 leagues incorporating a total of 24 divisions, so even if your team of choice isn't in the upper echelons of their nation's league, there's a good chance that they'll still be available for selection. You're not even restricted to professionals either, as a number of schoolboy teams are also there for the choosing.
Speaking of amateurs, one of TIF 2003's greatest innovations is the excellent Career mode. Here you must select from one of the aforementioned teen-filled teams and take them on quest for glory. Fortunately, if you don't want to lead a bunch of fictional youths to the top, it's possible to fully edit and customise the teams to your liking. And if that means leading you and your family, friends and pets to international stardom, then that's entirely up to you. Obviously, a team of fame-hungry wannabes isn't going to be the greatest squad of all-time straight away, but as you progress with your boys as they mature and develop, their skills will gradually improve as they would in real life.
Naturally, all of the usual modes and options are available, so if you fancy indulging in a quick exhibition match against friends or participating in full-blown cup and league competition, TIF 2003 caters for all your needs. However, if you'd really prefer proving your worth against the rest of the world, then the Challenge mode is exactly what you're looking for. An addictive high score challenge, Challenge places you in the capable boots of the South American All-Star team and gives you the task of performing to the best of your ability against the mighty European All-Stars. After the match, your performance is analysed, scored and converted into a password that can be entered into an online league, with top prizes awarded for the best players.
TIF 2003 encompasses everything required to make a great football game. Myriad players and teams? Check. Modes and multiplayer options that will last you for seasons? Check. Stunning visuals, atmospheric audio and fluid controls? Check, check and check. If games were goals, This Is Football 2003 would be an overhead scissor kick from the edge of the 30-yard box - stylish, technically awesome and immensely satisfying.
- Over 13,500 customisable players distributed between 80 international squads and 500 club teams
- Highly involving and fully customisable Career mode
- The most realistic graphics yet seen in a football title
- Recreate major cup competitions and participate in 15 international leagues