NASCAR Thunder 2002

NASCAR Thunder 2002

NASCAR Thunder 2002

NASCAR 2002 cover art

Developer(s) EA Tiburon
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Series NASCAR Thunder
Engine enhanced NASCAR Thunder engine
Platform(s) Xbox, PlayStation, PlayStation 2
Release date(s) PlayStation
  • NA October 2, 2001
PlayStation 2
  • NA October 15, 2001
  • NA November 15, 2001
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

NASCAR Thunder 2002 is a racing simulator video game developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA Sports that came out for the Sony PlayStation, Sony PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The theme song for the game is "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It is the fifth game in the NASCAR series of video games, and is the first of the series to have a new title (the other games simply read "NASCAR", followed by the year). Notably, it is the first NASCAR game to feature alternate paint schemes on the cars. It featured the 2001 Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon on its cover and 2000 Cup Series Champion Bobby Labonte on the disc.

NASCAR Thunder 2002 was the first NASCAR game released for the Xbox and the second released for the PlayStation 2. Game modes consist of Create-a-car, Quick race, Season mode, Career mode, and practice. Before every race, the player has the option to qualify for a position at the start of the race, get to know the track in practice, or 'race' other cars in Happy Hour. The game has 35 drivers from the 2001 Winston Cup season (minus Dale Earnhardt due to his death, but the game has many tributes to him including a black No. 3 screen on start-up) and several then-Busch Series and fantasy drivers that can be unlocked.[1]

The PlayStation 1 edition was separate from the rest, included only 36 drivers, and included an instant-replay feature, fantasy tracks, and only 18 drivers per race, and all of the alternate paint schemes were removed. A system of power-up/cheat cards and challenges, similar to Chase/Thunder plates and Lightning/Dodge Challenges in later editions, was a major game mode in this version.


Aggregate scores
Publication Score
PS PS2 Xbox
GameRankings 76%[2] 86%[3] 82%[4]
Metacritic 69/100[5] 85/100[6] 82/100[7]

NASCAR Thunder 2002 received a mostly positive response from critics upon release. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized ratings in the 0–100 range, calculated an average of 85 out of 100, indicating "Generally favorable reviews", based on seventeen reviews for the PlayStation 2 version,[6] 82 out of 100 for the Xbox version, based on seventeen reviews for the Xbox version,[7] and 69 out of 100 based on eight reviews for the PlayStation version.[5] GameRankings assigned it an average review score of 86% based on twenty-three reviews for the PlayStation 2 version,[3] 82% based on twenty-two reviews for the Xbox version,[4] and 76% based on nine reviews for the PlayStation version.[2]


  1. ^ NASCAR Thunder 2002 Profile. Accessed June 2, 2012.
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External links