To the average American, baseball, basketball, and especially football are the most popular sports of all time. You can tell how much they are in love with this game from the hype of the Super Bowl. It’s also a popular sport wagered on by punters supplied with tips from Erik King, an expert in the iGaming world in the sportsbooks you can find Erik King’s most recent expert guide BetterBonus.
But something that you might not have known about football is the NFL video games. It’s understandable if you didn’t, as most gamers are busy with FIFA and NBA games. But today, we want to introduce you to some of the best video games for this sport. Let’s start!
ESPN NFL 2K
Developed by 2k Games, the popular developers behind the NBA games, the ESPN NFL 2k series was one of the best things to happen regarding NFL gaming. It had a VIP system that would water down the player-play calling tendencies. Besides this, the games had a presentation style that games released today can’t stand up to.
It also had some revolutionary features, such as the first-person gameplay. But as 2k Games lost the license to make NFL games back in 2005, the ESPN NFL 2k5 was the last game on the series. But even after 18 years, it remains a fan favorite.
Madden NFL Football
However, if you want to enjoy something that’s latest and fun, then the only option that you have right now is Madden NFL Football. It’s a series that’s been around since 1988.
Although it was always made primarily for consoles, since 2019, the games have been supported for PC gaming. The game's latest iteration, Madden NFL 24, was released on August 15, 2023, and featured a few improvements over its predecessors.
The lack of changes is one of the main reasons why players have such a bone to pick with the series. Ever since EA acquired the license in 2013, they have made very few updates in terms of improvement. According to the gamers, every year, EA just slaps on a fresh coat of paint and calls it a “new game.”
But that being said, it’s not all bad news. The game is still fun to play if you want to enjoy the thrill of football with the latest-gen graphics. And seeing as it’s the only licensed option out there right now, there aren’t any alternatives.
This was one of the more fun NFL game series from EA that died down after the company got the exclusive license. But while the series was active, it was among the top 3 NFL games on anyone’s list.
The game wasn’t fun because it looked good. If anything, it looked far from it. The graphics were goofy, and the play-calling was fun and weird as well. But if you ask any player about the gameplay experience, you will hear nothing but praises.
In our personal opinion, one of the best features and also its most controversial one was the violent late hits. If you ask anyone who played the game, they will agree, saying it was the funniest thing about it. But as it didn’t portray a good image for the sport, EA didn’t include it in any of their Madden NFL games.
After the series was officially shut down, the original developers Midway tried releasing sequels in hopes of continuing the series. Games like NFL Blitz: The League and NFL Blitz: The League II kept the same features that made the original titles so popular. And while the reception from the fans was good, the sales were not enough.
NFL Quarterback Club
Another fan-favorite NFL video game was the NFL Quarterback Club series. Originally released for handheld consoles like the Gameboy, these quickly caught the attention of the fans by delivering an arcade-like experience.
The series was highly praised for its attention to detail. Player models were accurate for the time, enhancing the gameplay experience even more. But the most noteworthy thing was the weather system. The developers were able to tweak the gameplay to respond according to the climate in the game.
Tecmo Super Bowl
If you’re a fan of NES games and you also love the NFL, then the Tecmo Super Bowl is perfect for you. The series had an official license from the NFL, meaning they had the right to use the players' names as they saw fit.
Being released in 1991, the game looked fantastic for its time. And although the developers tried coming out with sequels for newer hardware like the Super Nintendo, those failed to capture the same attention as the original. In terms of classic sports games, Tecmo Super Bowl is up there with the best of them.
In case you’re interested in trying out these games, it might be a little tricky, especially for the older games. As they’re not available on the market, you’ll need to look for collectors who might still have the game in their possession if you want to try it out.