Soccer is arguably America’s most popular sport. Fans and gamers know the joy of winning the Super Bowl with your favorite team in Madden. Or crush the rival team’s quarterback with a giant defensive player. It’s just plain fun.
However, not all soccer games are direct simulations of real sports. While these games are the best, arcade-style football versions have also made their mark. Over the past few years, football fans have gone crazy for the many ways to virtually experience the pitch.
8 Tecmo Super Bowl
Tecmo Super Bowl is the first sports video game licensed by the NFL and NFLPA. This allowed for the use of real players, real teams, and other NFL assets.
It was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in December 1991 and, with success, several sequels were attempted.
Granted, the graphics and features don’t keep up with the modern era, but it was the best soccer game at the time of release. ESPN even called it the greatest sports game of all time.
7 NFL Street
The Madden series has been a popular soccer series for decades. NFL Street appeared in 2004 and brought a fresh and welcome change to the standard football simulation formula featuring 7v7 gameplay.
You can earn style points by jumping over walls, catching surprise balls, or taunting the opposing team. These points filled the Gamebreaker meter, which is basically the NFL Street equivalent of Mario’s Super Star.
Two sequels were created based on the success of this new style of football.
Mutant Football League was released on Windows in 2017 and soon after on consoles in early 2018. It contains the basic premise of American football and the rules of the NFL, but is incredibly violent and full of monsters.
This is as far as normal Madden gameplay can get you, but massive mutants take the scene. There are chainsaws and mines to dodge, bribe the referee, bomb the ball, and even use the chainsaw as part of your offensive strategy.
Funny but so much fun.
5 Madden 2005
Madden 2005 was released on the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube, but was also the last Madden game originally created for the PlayStation. It was also the first Madden to utilize Xbox Live.
It was truly a game changer, and not just because it was introduced in a modern gaming system at the time. The cover athlete was Hall of Fame defensive player Ray Lewis. Known for his heavy hits, which made Madden 2005 the perfect iteration to introduce the hit stick.
This was a new way to create different visual effects and more impactful hits. Since then, it has become one of the series’ most important features.
4 Madden 2004
Ask anyone who played Madden in the 2000s about Madden 2004. It will tell you all about cover model Michael Vick and how broken he is.
This version of Vick is considered the greatest Madden player of all time, with incredibly high stats that include a 95 speed rating.
Not only was the overpowered Michael Vick added, but a new owner mode came with Madden 2004. You can control the football franchise of your choice and complete operational tasks from setting the price of hot dogs to hiring a coaching staff.
three NFL Blitz 2000
NFL Blitz 2000 was an arcade title from 1999 but was soon ported to consoles. It was the third game in the NFL Blitz series and one of the most spectacular football games of all time.
It had most of the normal soccer rules, but with a quicker, more aggressive twist to the gameplay. You can over-celebrate, sabotage passes, and hit after the whistle without worrying about penalties.
Since it was developed by Midway, there were cheat codes to play as various Midway characters, such as Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Imagine catching a touchdown with Raiden.
NCAA Football 14 is the final installment in the NCAA Football series. Due to legal issues with the player’s likeness, no further versions were made.
The continuously played and updated roster is continuously built by hardcore fans who want to keep playing college football. The game received mixed reviews, but became the last NCAA Football to be the most highly regarded football game in the world.
There are dozens of colleges you can control, create your players and build your college football career. You can even create your own schools and make sure they have the qualities you need to win national championships.
One ESPN NFL 2K5
The last NFL 2K game to use an official NFL license was ESPN NFL 2K5. It featured the voices and likeness of real ESPN personalities and presented all games as if they were live on the network.
Some still think it’s unmatched in terms of gameplay, as you can create a team, control an existing team in franchise mode, or even play in first person. The addition of a first-person mode showing the field behind the player’s face mask was groundbreaking.
Next: The Most Realistic Sports Game