Colin McRae Rally 3 is the third installment in the series. This was the first Colin McRae game released for the PlayStation 2, as well as the Xbox. A GameCube version was announced but it was cancelled. It uses an autosave feature.
Each Rally takes place during two days with three Special Stages each, and a final Super Special Stage at the end of the second day. There are service areas between the two days (meaning 3 special stages, then a service area, other 3 special stages, last service area, and then super special stage 7 (night)). It is not possible to manually repair the damage of the car. It is calculated and repaired automatically. Also the setup of the car is most of the times already adjusted to the stages conditions.
The championship takes place over three years (2002, 2003, 2004), with the difficulty increasing each year, as you race to try and become the Sparco Rally Champion in Colin McRae's Ford Focus RS WRC '02. Six rallies take place each season.
- Ford Focus RS WRC 02 - 300bhp
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII - 290bhp
- Citroën Xsara Kit Car - 290bhp
- Subaru Impreza WRX (44S) - 288bhp
- Citroën Saxo Kit Car - 210bhp
- MG ZR Rally Car - 204bhp
- Ford Puma Rally Car - 200bhp
- Fiat Punto Rally Car - 215bhp
- Ford Focus RS WRC '01 - 300bhp
- Citroën Xsara Road Car (FWD) - 285bhp
- Mitsubishi Pajero (4WD) - 191bhp
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII Road Car
- Subaru Impreza WRX 44S Road Car
- Subaru Impreza 22B STI
- Ford Focus RS Road Car
- Ford Transit Replica Rally Van
- Citroen Saxo Road Car
- Ford Puma Road Car
- Fiat Punto Road Car
- MG ZR EX258
- Peugeot 206 WRC
Winning each rally during the championship unlocks the following: In Normal Difficulty, Spain Rally 1st place - Citroën Saxo Kit Car, Finland 1st place - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VII RS II; Japan 1st place - Subaru Impreza 22B STI.
There are eight countries:
- Sweden (snow)
- Japan (wet tarmac)
- UK (wet tarmac/gravel and mud)
- Finland (gravel)
- Spain (dry concrete/tarmac)
- Australia (dry loose pea gravel)
- USA (gravel and dusty tarmac)
- Greece (dry rough gravel)
- Notably, this is the first game in which the Peugeot 206 is completely absent.
- The Subaru Impreza WRX was modelled, including the license plate, from the car belonging to John Griffin, who helped with some of the research for the game. He still owns the car as of 2008.
- The car featured on the front cover of the game was the Ford Focus WRC '02 (EK 51 HXZ) from the 2002 Rallye de Catalunya.