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The 10 Best Football Video Games Ever, According To Reddit

Madden 23 is among many of the video games that have dropped recently, and is sure to be popular among football fans and the gaming community alike, after the passing of the iconic John Madden.


Because the Madden franchise has dominated the football video game market, fans have become frustrated with its lackluster effort to add new features and fix the glitches. Redditors have listed their favorite football video games of all time, and it’s not surprising to see that they didn’t list any recent Madden games.

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10/10 NFL Street

PS2 / GameCube / Xbox

NFL Street is one of the more unique entries on this list, which is most likely why Redditor pernero suggested it. They enjoyed that the “sheer randomness of each pass and fumble gave the game a pretty insane feeling.”

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This is exactly what sets the game apart from traditional football games. For one, it’s 7 on 7 rather than 11, and showboating after scoring a touchdown is highly encouraged. The player can earn “style points” by performing style moves, like generating a big play or taunting the opposing team. While it is played on the streets, the game does include NFL rosters from 2003, as well as many NFL legends.

9/10 NFL Blitz 2000

PlayStation / Nintendo 64 / Dreamcast / Windows / Game Boy Color

“Any fans of NFL Blitz?” asks Redditor arichi. They, along with fellow Redditors, agree that this game was a blast to play. NFL Blitz appears to be a hidden gem, as it’s among the many great sports video games that time forgot.

What started as an arcade game, NFL Blitz is similar to NFL Street in its deviation from standard NFL rules. Everything is designed to increase the speed and aggressiveness of the game, thus making it more appealing to players. For example, there is no pass interference or timeouts, and much shorter quarters. The style was theatrical and over the top, as the quarterback could throw the ball nearly the length of the field itself, and tackles being inspired by wrestling moves.

8/10 Tecmo Super Bowl

NES / PlayStation

A deleted Reddit user points out that Tecmo Super Bowl “was revolutionary for a 1991 NES game” and there are many reasons for this.

The game was the first to include real NFL teams and players, which has become a staple in contemporary games. It expanded on its predecessor, Tecmo Bowl, in that it contained larger playbooks and kept statistics and records. The game was so popular, that it landed at 53 in a ranking of “Top 100 NES Games Of All Time” (according to IGN). Bo Jackson was almost impossible to stop, which made him a joy to play with and terror to play against.

7/10 Madden NFL 08

GameCube / Wii / PS2 / PS3 / Xbox 360

Redditor skepticismissurvival feels that Madden 08 is the best out of all the Madden games, labeling it their favorite. Because the game was primarily released on next-gen consoles, it had improved graphics, more realistic gameplay, and an impressive presentation.

It was the first time that a player could have a 100 attribute rating. The game added a “Weapons” feature that was found in subsequent Madden games. This feature utilized a player’s best abilities. For instance, Vince Young had the “Speed QB” weapon, which excited players as they could use Young much like they used Michael Vick in earlier Madden editions. This made the Tennessee Titans one of the best teams to play as, much like they are in Madden 23.

PSP / PS2 / Xbox / Xbox 360

A deleted Reddit user boasts their win-loss record while playing NCAA Football 07. This is a testament to how much they loved the game. The gameplay and graphics were very similar to the Madden games of the same year.

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However, it emphasized momentum, which acted much like it does in a real football game. The most beloved feature was Campus Legend (the NCAA version of Superstar Mode) but unfortunately wasn’t available on the Xbox 360 version. It gave players the complete college experience, from picking a school to keeping grades up. It was also an incentive to own Madden 07, as players could transfer their player over to the NFL after graduation.

5/10 Madden NFL 2005

Game Boy Advance / GameCube / PlayStation / PS2 / Xbox / Nintendo DS / Windows

In Madden 2005, Redditor gyman122 loved that players could create a playbook and take it into Franchise Mode, the last Madden to do so. However, it contained things that are found in later editions.

Fellow Redditor lightning87 raves about the “best owner mode to date,” where a player can control pricing, from tickets to concessions. The introduction of “The Tony Bruno Show” gave the game a grounded feeling, as the radio show would often reference decisions players made in their franchise. With Ray Lewis on the cover, there was a new added feature (this time to the defense). Players could now use the Hit Stick in order to create more fumbles.

4/10 Madden NFL 06

Game Boy Advance / GameCube / PS2 / Xbox / Xbox 360 / Nintendo DS / Windows

PoopMachin3 cited “the Colts offense, Vick, Pats, ridiculous running backs like LT and Bettis” among the things that they enjoyed in Madden 06. “I remember that I would spend days playing that game” recalls iammas13.

Both Redditors listed new features of the game that really sucked them in. For one, the truck stick was introduced, which now allowed players use these “ridiculous running backs” to run over wannabe tacklers. It was also the inception of the fan favorite Superstar Mode, where a player could live the life of an NFL player. One of the more unique features was the Vision Cone, which helped players hit their receivers. The better the quarterback awareness, the wider the cone. Aside from Peyton Manning, Tom Brady was among the best players in the game, much like he is in Madden 23 – 17 seasons later.

PS3 / Xbox 360

BeYourHucklebbery11 suggests NCAA Football 14, yet the only downside seems to be its exclusivity – because “you’ll need a PS3 and Xbox 360.” The biggest appeal of the game was its presentation.

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While playing, gamers felt like they were watching an actual college football game on ESPN, complete with score updates, commentary from the classic Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, and a halftime show highlighted by Rece Davis and David Pollack. Recruiting was much more in-depth, complete with coaching contracts and new fight songs which gave the game the true college feel. Due to licensing issues, it’s the last NCAA football game that EA made, making it extremely valuable and expensive. However, a new college football game is on the way, per Screen Rant.

2/10 Madden NFL 2004

Game Boy Advance / GameCube / PlayStation / PS2 / Xbox / Windows

Madden 2004 is among the ​​​​​​best Madden games. In fact, it even beat out fellow games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for “Game of the Year.”

Mention Madden 2004 to anyone and the first word they will say is “Vick”. Players, like ac91, love playing as the Atlanta Falcons quarterback. He was basically a cheat code in using his legs to make other players look foolish. Because of his superiority, future Madden games had to intact features just to even the playing field. In addition, the game added a Training Camp before the preseason, where gamers could put their players through drills to raise their attributes and overall rating.

1/10 ESPN NFL 2K5

PS2 / Xbox

Many Redditors listed ESPN 2K5 as the greatest football game of all time. The only drawback seemed to be the players faces. Both hawkissimo and ResidentJabroni agreed that there are numerous aspects that not only make this a great game but even better than the rival Madden series.

These aspects include the fluid gameplay and intelligent AI. While Madden had the iconic Al Michaels and John Madden commentating games, ESPN 2K5 had a better presentation set up. The famous Chris Berman would appear for the players pregame and halftime shows in a Sportscenter-like broadcast. The personal feeling that players get with this is something that Madden has yet to achieve.

Next: 10 Best Sports Video Games With RPG Elements

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