The reviews are in for NCAA Football 13 and scores range from PlayStation: The Official Magazine's 90 to Destructoid's 55. The PlayStation 3 version of the game currently has a metacritic score of 82 with the X-Box 360 version scoring a 75.
The metacritic score for NCAA Football 13 likely does not sit well with EA, where the goal is a 90 rating or higher. In June, EA's senior VP of global eCommerce, David DeMartini stated "We have this bar that is set so high, so that whether it is any of our games or services, we want to be 90 plus Metacritic at everything." Here are the last three editions final metacritic average (for PS3 & 360): NCAA Football 10: 82, NCAA Football 11: 86, NCAA Football 12: 82
Continue on to see excerpts of NCAA Football 13 reviews and let us know which review(s) you feel are dead-on and any that are dead-wrong. Afterwards, vote in our poll to share your rating of NCAA Football 13.
PlayStation: The Official Magazine (US): 90 (Print only, no link available)
Still, EA Tiburon delivers a game that might finally challenge Madden for the gridiron crown.
Game Informer: 88
If youíve been waiting for the NCAA franchise to hit its stride and capitalize on the time developer EA Tiburon has had with the current generation of consoles, that moment has arrived. I donít think this applies to the casual fan, but if youíve been playing this series for as long as I have, youíre going to be heartened by some of the changes and additions in *NCAA *13.
NCAA games are always different from year to year, but this yearís additions are noticeable improvements. NCAA 13 doesnít take the kind of giant leap forward that will be noticed by the masses, but itís an installment that will be built upon and which we will look back at as a key moment in the franchiseís larger history.
Gaming Age: 83
NCAA Football 13 is just that perfect example of pride and commitment of not fixing what isnít broken. Sure this yearís game isnít the most innovative, ground breaking, game changer this company has ever produced. What it does do is deliver a rock solid game that from the minute you turn on your game to the time you turn it off, if you are a fan of NCAA football, there will be much to love about it. It plays great, looks great, sounds great, and while the new features delivered this year arenít huge, it is the little things that make for a satisfying experience for fans who just love the game of college football.
There are many other little touches here and there that are present in all game play modes that fans will enjoy, and would take far too long to point out, but letís just say that this yearís game can be summed up in one word, ďpolishedĒ. NCAA Football 13 isnít going to be forever remembered as the year EA shook up virtual college football by any means, but it may be the year that gamers look back to in the future when they realize that EA got everything right.
Digital Chumps: 82
So, with all of these tweaks, is the game worth your time and money? You won't find a giant leap from NCAA Football 12 to 13, but you might think the tweaks and upgrades in the overall gameplay is worth it. I'm a diehard fan of the series (and Madden), so it feels worth it especially when baseball is the only game to watch during this time of year. For the casual sports gamers out there, this might be a try before you buy situation. It's a $60 game, so it might be hard to justify the money without having a bit more bang for your buck. Again, NCAA Football 13 isn't bad, in fact it's quite good, but it isn't exactly completely new like NCAA Football 10 - 12. Personally, I think it's worth the money, but again I'm the hardcore gamer.
Game Trailers: 82
NCAA Football 13 is a bit of a disappointment as the franchise faces its inevitable confrontation with the law of diminishing returns. Significant advancements in design or gameplay are few, and the ones that are included are flawed in some way. With last year's game available on the cheap, spending 60 bucks on this will feel a lot like buying tickets from a scalper, but you'll ultimately feel fairly satisfied.
There is no denying that NCAA Football 13 is a small step forward for the franchise, especially in comparison to the past few years. However where NCAA Football 13 continues to succeed is in bringing the action we love on Saturdays to life. If you bought last yearís game there isnít a huge incentive to go out and pick this one up for full retail price, but if youíre looking to get a fix of college football, NCAA Football 13 is an amazing game of football.
NCAA Football has always struggled to find its own place on the pigskin pecking order. While EA Sports has continued its quantity-over-quality approach with this latest entry, the title still provides a solid college football experience. If youíve played previous games in the franchise, youíll know what to expect ó breakdancing mascots, deafening snare drums, and the pageantry only found on a sun-kissed Saturday afternoon.
Planet XBox 360: 80
NCAA Football 13 canít quite top the euphoric levels of what last yearís game approached, thanks to all its vast changes that were made for the better. That said, the minor tweaks and abundant features packed into this game make it worth the upgrade, at least for hardcore fans of the sport and those who canít live without seeing their beloved team take it all. The online functionality is still surprisingly vast, and the other modes, though mostly unchanged, will certainly keep you busy until Maddenís arrival, and maybe even beyond that.
Until the time comes for Tiburon to break down the game to its lowest level and rebuild from scratch, NCAA Football is going to keep on looking and feeling like it has for years now. While to us thatís not necessarily a bad thing Ė after all, the last thing anyone should want is a repeat of the NBA Elite debacle Ė some people will inevitably feel like the franchise is growing stale. There are those who see the major changes to the Madden franchise coming down the pike and will wait for that; while thatís understandable, as college football fans weíre just glad that this yearís NCAA football game is as huge and well put-together as it is. Because of that, weíll be playing it all summer, battling friends in online dynasties and capturing scads of Heisman Trophies.
NCAA Football 13 is definitely better than its predecessor, but amidst the upgrades, unfortunate legacy issues and inexcusable bugs prevent this college-pigskin sim from an undisputed championship.
NCAA Football 13 is a great game -- the changes to the core engine are welcome, challenging and exciting -- but the little stuff adds up. Similar modes, audio inaccuracies and visual missteps make a game that's better than last year's on the technical level but lesser as an overall product.
Canadian Online Gamers: 80
Once again, EA Sports has managed to pump out another NCAA Football game that truly shines; however, although the new additions to the franchise, including the Heisman Challenge, are nice, I really question whether the additions do enough to truly push the franchise forward. At the end of the day I still see plenty of room for improvement. Simply put, NCAA 13 still looks and feels awfully similar to NCAA 12. This being said, this is not a bad thing as NCAA 12 was very good game. So my advice would be if you own NCAA 12, there is a good chance you may just want to skip this year, but if you donít own last years game then feel free to purchase NCAA Football 13 with confidence as it is a rock solid gridiron game.
PlayStation Universe: 80
NCAA Football 13 is a strong entry now in the franchiseís 20th year. Itís probably one of the better NCAA games in recent history, but not a huge upgrade over last yearís edition. Online is strong and there is little delay or lag during gameplay. If EA Tiburon can make some tweaks to Heisman Challenges, improve load times, and fix some of the basic presentation glitches, we could be in a for a real champion next year.
NCAA Football 13 gets so many things right that it is impossible to fault it too much. The problem is that most of the things it fixes and addresses are not things a lot of people will notice. This leaves you feeling like you are paying essentially $60 for last yearís game. That is definitely not the case as this version offers many changes to those that use the things that have received attention. If you enjoy college football it is a no-brainer, you need to get this game. The subtle touches are fantastic and once you get used to the new mechanics, it will be impossible to go back.
Game Revolution: 80
At moments, though, NCAA Football 13 tries too hard and goes over the top with the additions: ďLook at the total control passing or check out the throwing animations. Hey, hey, donít forget about the recruiting enhancements!" All the shiny new trinkets are being forced upon us all at once. It hasnít quite made much sense why they have all been released so late with this edition. Iím sure the technology and ideas have been around. Well, at they're available now.
Whatever helps soothes your football fix, Iím sure NCAA Football 13 has it. The franchise is still great for hardcore enthusiasts and can be shared with beginners. The whole show, plus the production value, is what makes this one a keeper. Not a bad summer title to pick up if you ask me.
Total PlayStation: 80
Last year I was overwhelmed with all of the new additions and I believe my review was a testament to that. This year I was excited about the all new Heisman Mode, but even that left a lot to be desired. I should say that those of you who have been waiting on the sidelines for a while could find a lot of fun and excitement in things I thought were repetitive. With that being said, I guess this review will cater more to the hardcore fans that buy each year-to-year release hoping for some big time upgrades along with some neat bells and whistles.
With a game that includes so much itís forgivable that they miss some things. Locking things, especially from the flagship mode, is not. The series is far too popular and lucrative to ever suggest skipping a year, but itís disheartening to see so few upgrades to the actual game. Tacking on a mode, updating the rosters and introducing slow motion doesnít equate to an upgrade worth $60 in my eyes. I donít know if Iíll ever tire of NCAAís Dynasty modes, but I fully understand why critics say that the price of admission is just for roster updates.
Official XBox Magazine: 75
As in past years, NCAA 13 boasts a very strong simulation core: it plays well from start to finish and remains accessible to newcomers, with plenty to see and do, including mascot match-ups and online matches and dynasties. Nevertheless, the whole affair feels a bit dry, without the celebrated enthusiasm of college athletics. Itís menu-heavy throughout, and the Dynasty mode does little to build excitement around the actual games. Repeated player animations and generic ESPN studio updates are disappointing, too.
Between the playoffs and the inevitable cribbing of Madden 13ís bigger features (like Connected Careers), next year's NCAA Football will surely implement some bold changes. But NCAA Football 13 feels more like another effective iteration than a genuinely new, thrilling experience.
The Escapist: 70
So when the Madden devs talk about how much they improved on last year's terrible collision model or broadcast presentation, it's a sure bet that some of those problems are still front and center in the upcoming version of NCAA. But while this year's game suffers in comparison to Madden, the few new improvements to NCAA make for a more satisfying game overall.
The presentation of action on the field still tends to suffer from some of the series' usual pitfalls. The collisions aren't always believable, and you'll sometimes have a player go from flat-footed to full out sprint with virtually no hesitation. You don't notice most of this stuff while you're playing, but the gaffes really show up in the replays.
There is a stark divide between people who play sports video games and those who do not. Those who donít play sports games rarely understand why we will buy essentially the same game year after year. They have a point, really: itís like buying the same model of car every year. Sure, it may be a great car and there may be a few changes, but itís the same car, year after yearósave for every couple years when they overhaul the entire vehicle.
For NCAA Football 13 this rings especially true. While there are some awesome additions, it seems with much of the game as if EA Sports was simply going through the motions. While Reaction Time and Heisman Challenge bring new life to the series, low attention to detail leads to some eye-rolling moments and frustrations. On the whole, I felt like the title does the bare minimum to justify a purchase, but nothing more.
Looking at the list of changes from one year to the next, NCAA Football 13 offers little new for those who have played a recent entry in the series. The small improvements are welcome for those who have put up with issues for years, but they don't amount to much for casual participants, and many problems still remain. It's a shame there are so few noteworthy changes, because the core gameplay is still well done. But recycling the same content isn't enough to make this worth buying. NCAA Football 13 is another entry in a long-running franchise that desperately needs new ideas.
Cheat Code Central: 60
Like I said before, NCAA 13 is not a bad game, but that's just because NCAA 12 wasn't a bad game. It has everything you could expect from a college football title and then some, but it just doesn't have a whole lot more than NCAA 12 already had. NCAA 13 will obviously appeal to all the die-hard fans who absolutely need every new iteration of EA's sports franchises, and it will be a pretty decent buy for anyone who didn't pick up NCAA 12 in the past. However, more casual buyers of NCAA 12 probably won't be getting their money's worth out of NCAA 13, and newcomers can pick up NCAA 12 for a fraction of the price. This is just one of those situations where the new game just isn't different enough to warrant the price. The unfortunate question for EA to ask now is "what more can we possibly do with this franchise?"
But outside of these constraints, the game fails to make the leap from fun to spectacular. In fact, it is still prone to some of the same hardcore Madden/NCAA tactics, like constant streak patterns for tight ends and speedy slot receivers, as safeties play a very spotty game this year. This year's additions are only a small upgrade on last year's installment, making it paradoxically more fun, yet still aggravating for die-hard football fans.
Make no mistake, Matt Leinart is a Heisman Trophy winner, and USC retired his number for a reason. He was excellent in his college years. But he's not my first pick as an all-time great, and neither is NCAA Football 13.
I donít envy the Sisyphean task developers of these titles have. Sports games are not easy to make. The multiple AI characters attempting to work in unison canít hold a candle to skilled player input -- particularly in a football game in which each team has 11 different players -- so constant tweaks and refinements are perpetual, while players still find ways to exploit some formation or player combination or individual play. Still, other studios have managed to balance innovation and iteration in equally truncated development cycles. At its best, NCAA has caught up to Madden in the passing game.
Instead, what weíre left with is more of the same, wrapped with a really pretty bow, as its aging base framework fails to captivate despite all the glitz and glam and high marks for presentation. There are some cool things about NCAA 13, but itís hard to credit it when the actual footballing has seemingly fallen so far behind on the priority list. Familiarity breeds contempt.