Madden NFL 13 is coming out this month and I can't wait to get my hands on it. In lieu of the release of the new Madden, I thought this would be a good time to list the top 10 NFL video games of all time.
Let's begin the debate. Here are the top 10 NFL video games of all time:
10: NFL Head Coach 09, Xbox360/PS3, 2008: This game may not have made everyone's list but it comes in at the ten spot on mine. Head Coach 09 is a different type of football game. Rather than control the players, you get to be the head coach of an NFL team. You can scout the other team, build play books and make game time adjustments. I was pleasantly surprised with this game.
9: NFL Street 2, PS2/Xbox/Gamecube, 2004: At the nine spot I have NFL Street 2. This game was all kinds of fun. It's not an NFL sim. It's more along the lines of NFL Blitz but more crazy. Your receivers can run up walls and you can make your quarterback run up buildings to change the passing lanes. Pretty much anything goes. The object of the game is to conquer as many neighborhoods until you are the best team on the streets.
8: Madden NFL Series, 1993-Present: For the Madden games I decided to group them all together and average them out. Madden comes in at the 8 spot. Are you surprised that it's not ranked higher? I am a huge fan of this series and have been since 1993. It's a great football sim. Eight may seem low but when you're ranking the best games of all time there are better ones out there.
7: NFL 2K3, Xbox/PS2/Gamecube, 2002: This game was one of the best football games I ever played. At the time it was the most realistic football game out there. In my opinion it was even better than Madden. This game had it all. Updated rosters, detailed stadiums, slow motion replays, stats, analysis, the whole nine yards.
6: NFL Blitz 2000, N64, 1999: You could play this game on other platforms but I had it on N64. This was ultimate fun back in the day. Blitz 2000 was a huge upgrade from the arcade version. Four people could play this game at once. (Two on offense and two on defense.) You could design your own plays and who didn't like the 'On Fire' mode with the unlimited turbo? I literally spent days on end playing this game.
5: ESPN NFL Football, Xbox/PS2, 2003: Of course this game belongs in the top five. Don't you think? This is about the time I started getting into online play and the online play mode for this game was super cool. I also liked how they integrated scores and highlights of other games while you were playing. It was just like an ESPN Sunday Night Football broadcast. This game was also pretty easy to learn so you didn't have to be an expert to pick up a controller and get after it.
4: Tecmo Bowl, NES, 1987: At the time there was nothing like it. It was easy to learn and it was one of the most addicting games I have ever played. You could only pick from a handful of teams but that didn't matter. It was the closest thing to real football action I had ever seen. Tecmo Bowl will always be one of the best football video games of all time.
3: ESPN NFL 2K5, Xbox, 2004: The coolest thing about this game was its online play and the V.I.P. system. The V.I.P. made it possible to keep track of a human opponents behavior and tendencies, then save it and re-load it allowing for serious competitive play. This game also featured Chris Berman, Suzy Kolber and other ESPN personalities as well.
2: Tecmo Super Bowl, NES, 1991: Tecmo Super Bowl was ten times the game that Tecmo Bowl was. This sequel had all of the NFL teams, all updated rosters, and much improved graphics. The players were bigger and even the stadiums had unique attributes attached to them. I really debated about putting this game in the one spot and maybe I should've. In any case Tecmo Super Bowl is one of those games that I will always look back at with fond memories.
1: NFL 2K1, Dreamcast, 2000: Man, what a game this was! I loved everything about this game. You could sign rookies, manage the salary cap and even participate in the draft. This was one of those games that you couldn't stop playing. If I still had my Dreamcast I would probably play this game today. Who cares that it's 12 years old? I know that football games have come a long way since 2000 but this game will go down as the best football video game of all time. Agree or disagree but that's where I come out.
Dylan Davis has been playing sports video games since he was old enough to hold a controller. He's logged countless hours gaming and is always in the know when it comes to sports video games. Trust him, he's a professional.