The football season is over and we will have to wait until September until we can watch the thrills and spills of the National Football League again. There are no podcasts to listen to on your morning commute, no articles to read on the toilet at the kitchen table, and no NFL lines to pore over every Friday morning.
In the meantime, the only way to get your football fix is to fire up your console or power up your PC and live out your on-field dreams through your favorite football video game. What are the best games to play though? Which ones provide the most immersive and engaging gaming experience?
Read on to find out about the five greatest NFL games of all time. If we’ve missed out on your favorite game, let us know about it in the comments section below.
In the early noughties, some game developer working for Electronic Arts had the crazy idea, “what if everyone’s favorite sport was played on the street!?” That developer must have burst into the boardroom full of excitement and equal parts trepidation to share the idea with the EA big-wigs.
They needn’t have worried because the EA hierarchy bought into that idea in a big, big way commissioning street versions of FIFA, NBA, and NFL. The latter of which is an absolute classic of the football video game genre.
As the name suggests, the game was played on the street but in a seven v seven format and featured a number of great features, movement mechanics, and point systems. The streets will, as they say, remember NFL Street.
(Despite being nearly two decades old, NFL Street is still well worth playing today.)
Mutant League Football
There has been a tendency in recent years where the vast majority of sports games have followed the exact same template year after year. It’s one of the biggest criticism of FIFA, the soccer game franchise, and unfortunately, Madden.
In the 1990s there was no chance of a game producer thinking inside the box and sticking to the same tried and tested methods. In 1993 EA took that out-of-the-box thinking to the next level when they released Mutant League Football.
Using the same mechanics and style as Madden ’93, the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where radiation has devastated the human race causing us to mutate in weird and wonderful ways, oh, and the dead have risen from their graves… Oh, and there’s aliens and landmines and barbecue sauce…
Okay, it’s kinda hard to explain but just trust us, it was one hell of a game.
NCAA Football 2014
There is a world beyond the NFL and it is a world with plenty of high-quality players, coaches, and of course, intense drama. It’s sad that there hasn’t been a college football game since this one was released almost a decade ago.
Not just because college football deserves the coverage but because this video game was an absolute banger. Chief amongst its positives was the game’s focus on offensive play and the deep recruiting system which allowed you to take a 1-star program to the title game. In short, NCAA Football 2014 was a football geek’s paradise.
Rumour has it there’s a revamp in the offing…
(NCAA Football 2014 was an absolute classic.)
Tecmo Super Bowl
The football games on the market today are there thanks to those early trailblazing games like Tecmo Super Bowl which was released by Tecmo in 1991. It was the first video game to be officially licensed by the NFL, featuring real players, real teams, and real games.
Whilst graphically it doesn’t pass muster with today’s games, it still has a cult following with fans regularly updating the database so that they can play with today’s players. If you get the chance, we’d definitely recommend giving this classic a try.
EPSN NFL 2K5
If you are of a certain age and love football this game will hold a special place in your heart. The final installment in the series was graphically ground-breaking for the time.
In addition to that it had a whole host of features that made it one of the most fun and addictive games to play at the time. It holds a rating of 92 out of 100 on Metacritic and we’d say that it perhaps deserves more…
(Prepare yourself for a full-blown nostalgia bomb.)