Below you’ll find our list for the 10 best football video games that will make you want to get off the couch and toss the pigskin using a controller and some buttons.

Football has overshadowed baseball in the US as the sport of choice. Thousands of fans pack stadiums to watch huge men beat the crap out of one another in an effort to march a ball down a field into the end zone. It is brutal, competitive, and unforgiving. Thankfully, all of that violence and competition translates well over to video games.
Check out our picks for the 10 best football video games.

  • 10

    Madden 2010

    Madden is the absolute juggernaut within the football video game area. It is the immoveable linebacker that all other football games have to get past to become a success. There is a reason that each year a new one is release, slowly polishing and honing the franchise. But, recently Madden has made a few missteps and some of the more recent games aren’t quite up to snuff. Madden 2010 is about as far as you want to venture in the newer Madden games if you want to enjoy a taut and well-put-together game. It has the same spectacular graphics and features of the newer games, but You’ll just have to imagine all the trades that happened in recent years in your head.

  • 9

    Joe Montana 2 Sports Talk Football

    The Sports Talk video games were the first to feature live commentary throughout the games. It was a whole different ball game once you had commentary narrating what was happening on screen. Sure it sounded tinny and robotic, but it was just like watching a real game. Plus, for the time, the graphics were quite charming. It was fun to watch your little players get tackled and sprawl out onto the field. For its innovative commentary system, Joe Montana 2 Sports Talk Football earns a place on our list of the 10 Best Football Games Ever.

  • 8

    Pigskin Footbrawl

    Daring to be different, Pigskin Footbrawl for the Sega Genesis shunned aspirations of reality and instead went for the silly. It also throws most of the rigid rules of football out the window as well. Taking place in the quite distant past, Pigskin Footbrawl looks like no other football game before it or since. Your teams are clad in steel armor or cloth, there are barrels and trees on the field, and the rules allow for slugging each other in the jaw. You punch, kick, and tussle your way to the end zone with no referee in sight. It resembles no football you’ve seen on tv, but eerily reminiscent of slapdash games you played as a kid.

  • 7

    Madden '95

    The first Madden game might have been released in 1988 for the Apple II, but the Madden you all know and love debuted in it’s true form in 1995. This first real version of Madden brought together the winning gameplay, downfield view, play choices, and, of course, the NFL theme from Fox. From the moment you popped that cartridge in and heard that fanfare, you knew your were in for something special. If time has proven anything, Madden has cemented itself as the greatest football video game franchise of all time.

  • 6

    Prime Time NFL

    Prime Time NFL remains one of the most pure football games from the 16-bit era. It didn’t mess around when it came to commentary or cartoony graphics. It pushed the boundaries of what the console could do with graphics and controls. Even the sound effects were intriguingly realistic. It made you feel like someone had taken a mic down onto the field. More than likely someone was paid to grunt into a microphone inside a padded studio. Either way, Prime Time NFL remains one of the 10 Best Football Games Ever.

  • 5

    NCAA Football '07

    College football is one of the most intense sporting scenes around. The fans are young die-hards willing to paint up their bodies with their schools colors and drink dangerous amounts of tasteless lite beer in worship of their team. It is only fitting that there would be a video game for such fans where they could control the outcomes of the games and not have to tear up the streets and stadiums when they lose... or win. NCAA Football ‘07 is the quintessential college football game that takes all the great gameplay from years of refining the football game format and squeezes in all your favorite college teams and their mascots. Subsequently, it is the cure for College Bowl Blues.

  • 4

    NFL Blitz

    Where other games are concerned with stats, scanning in player’s faces, accurately representing the gut on each coach, and making sure the physics engine is up to par, the NFL Blitz series has been loosening the buckles on its straight jacket. NFL Blitz is the welcome shot of bonkers into the football game world. Where Madden gives you up to the minute stats, NFL Blitz gives you a team of Bigfoots, er, Bigfeet? You get players with oversized heads, superhuman agility, and the ability to light themselves up like the Human Torch. It is a welcome shot of silly to break up the mix of football games that are all starting to look the same.

  • 3

    Madden 2004

    Madden 2004 was the last Madden game to make any leaps and bounds in evolution. It is quite honestly the pinnacle that Madden has achieved. Features have actually been subtracted from subsequent games. For what reason, who knows? But, one thing is for sure, Madden NFL 2004 belongs on our list of the 10 Best Football Games Ever. So what if the graphics were not bleeding edge or that the physics engine wasn’t exactly like real life? It didn’t matter because Madden 2004 was a game that got you as close to playing the game as you’ll ever want to be.

  • 2

    Tecmo Super Bowl

    Surprised to find a vintage game this high up on the list? So were we, but the simple fact of it is Tecmo Super Bowl is one of the 10 Best Football Games Ever. There is something about the simple charm of it. When you subtract all the stats, online play, motion capture animation, and live commentary, you’re left with the purest form of football you can get in pixels. Tecmo Super Bowl is a classic by any stretch of the word and is one of the best ways for you spend a Super Bowl Sunday if none of your teams are playing.

  • 1

    ESPN NFL 2k2

    Here you we have the ultimate form of the ultimate football game. ESPN knows sports and when they lend their name to a game, you know it is going to be good. The ESPN 2k series was the the culmination of every football game. It took everything great about each game and tossed out the bad. It threw out over complicated systems and focuses on fast and fluid gameplay. It had the live commentary. It had the fantastic graphics. But most importantly, it was fun as hell. The games were exciting and even the computer AI provided you with a harsh opponent to exploit every flaw in your game plan. You were a general with your favorite troops and the endzone was where you did your triumphant victory dance. No other game came close to that feeling and for that, ESPN NFL 2k2 wins the Super Bowl of football games and the top spot on our list of the 10 Best Football Games Ever.