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EA Sports NASCAR Thunder 2003 - PC Version

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


EA Sports NASCAR Thunder 2003 pc racing game box shot

EA Sports NASCAR Thunder 2003

The Bottom Line

If you love the modern "Hollywood Hotel" NASCAR-for-the-masses then you'll like EA Sports' NASCAR Thunder 2003. It's a dumbed-down but more accessible PC NASCAR racing game.
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  • Easy to jump right in and have fun
  • Accurately represents NASCAR as televised
  • Most extensive garage options in PC NASCAR sim


  • Feels more like NASCAR on FOX than hardcore sim
  • Many options buried in config files
  • Still trying to get my controller to "feel" right


  • "Complete control" promises the most realistic vehicle dynamics ever modeled in a PC racing game.
  • Incredibly complete garage has more setup options than any previous NASCAR sim.
  • Compete with up to 15 other real racers online via LAN or internet.
  • Many controller setup options. In fact, too many. I still don't have my wheel feeling quite right.
  • Features all 23 Winston Cup tracks plus the old Daytona beach course.
  • 69 different real and retired drivers, many with multiple paint-schemes to choose from.
  • Surf the net and you can find additional drivers, cars and even tracks to download.

Guide Review - EA Sports NASCAR Thunder 2003 - PC Version

NASCAR Thunder 2003 is a racing game that hardcore Papyrus sim racers may quickly dismiss but look a little further under the covers and you'll find a promising physics engine, the most advanced setup options ever offered, and a development staff dedicated to creating the perfect NASCAR sim.

Out of the box the game has too many "helpers" for the hardcore sim racer and the physics engine is turned down but a few easy config tweaks and this game really comes to life. This is a solid NASCAR racing game that, with another year or two of maturity, could become everything that sim-racing fans are looking for.

If you love NASCAR sim racing, you should give this game a try. Yes, it's different than the Papyrus sims, but different doesn't mean bad.

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