Are you in the market for a new football video game? What are the best football video games of all time according to sports gaming experts? This post unpacks the best football video games to add to your collection.
What are the Best Football Video Games?
#1 ESPN NFL 2K5
ESPN NFL 2K5 wins the title as the best in this review. It’s a visionary game that didn’t get enough credit from football fans and gamers alike. This title was the final installment in its series before the NFL and EA Sports signed an exclusivity agreement with the Madden series. Published by SEGA and developed by Visual Concepts, NFL 2k5 features Terrell Owens, then-Philadelphia Eagles wideout, on the cover.
Metacritic gave ESPN NFL 2K5 a 92-point rating, and every gamer who experienced it mourns its loss. ESPN NFL 2K5 truly was a juggernaut in its class, and we haven’t seen anything like it since. Its claim to fame came from being the first football game to use first-person player mode.
Gamers got a huge amount of customization options, and the final installment for the 2K series still gets game time from players around the globe. Be on the lookout for NFL 2k23 later this year.
Learn more: NFL 2K Series Return Gets Major Update from 2K Sports
#2 Madden 2005
The natural successor to the release of Madden 2004 came with Madden 2005. The cover starred Ray Lewis from the Baltimore Ravens, which makes sense since the game was the first in the Madden franchise to introduce the heralded defensive feature, the “hit stick”.
Metacritic awarded the game 91 points, with its biggest draw being that EA Sports finally made the defensive play in football video games fun. Using the “hit stick” gave the player more control over defensive moves and more risk if they weren’t up to the task.
#3 NCAA Football 2014
We’re not forgetting college ball fans in this review. NCAA Football 2014 was the final collegiate game in its franchise, developed by EA Tiburon, featuring Denard Robinson, the Michigan Wolverines quarterback, on its cover.
The game saw a masterful redesign of the dynasty mode. Despite Metacritic giving it a score of 77 points, sales showed it was a big hit with fans. The offensive-heavy gameplay and advanced recruiting system are something we haven’t seen in any football game since.
There’s nothing like the challenge and sensation of taking a 1-star ranked team to the title with NCAA Football 2014. The final release from the EA Sports college football franchise still maintains a dedicated online fanbase today, nearly a decade after its release.
The Classic Throwback – Mutant League Football
While there’s nothing like digging your thumbs and fingers into an NFL or Collegiate classic, real fans of football games will appreciate the Mortal-Kombat-style violence and fun gameplay from Mutant League Football.
While it’s a 1993 release and something of antiquity, it’s still a classic enjoyed by football video game fans around the globe. EA Sports released this monstrosity – excuse the pun, developing a cult-like following for the game.
The violence, unique characters, post-apocalyptic gameplay setting, and the hilarious ability to bribe refs made it a whole lot of fun.
While there were further releases of the game, the original stands head-and-shoulders above the rest, and for a good reason.
Additional Information: The 20 Best Madden Games, Ranked By Metacritic
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