Being quarantined has given me free time. A LOT of free time. So I’ve compiled my top 5 list of football video games in the 2000s.
5. Madden 2005
Madden has been a staple if not the most notable name in football. The EA Sports franchise started back in 1996 and still continues to release games every year. Although Madden 2004 was great in its own right, mode on that later, 2005 was our introduction to the hit stick. Trucking ball carriers and QB’s, it made people want to play more than just Offense.
4. NCAA Football 2014
Some may argue NCAA Football 2006 was better, but I’ll go with 2014. Selling over 1 million copies and one of the last NCAA video games made due to the use of collegiate players’ likeness (2014 was the last year the game was released). The changes to Dynasty mode were what sold me on this game. The graphics left a little to be desired but the gameplay was second to none in the NCAA football series.
3. Madden 2004
I said I’d get to this later, mainly because it’s the best madden to date in my opinion. EA introduced the owner mode feature and is still a major part of Madden today. It allows you to control every aspect of the franchise, including players, coaches, stadium concession prices and relocation.
2. NFL Blitz 2000
If you were between the ages of 8-35 in the year 2000, chances are you played NFL Blitz. It was an NFL video game on steroids, literally, the players looked like they were on steroids. It started as an arcade game in 1997 but was released for major consoles in 2000. The gameplay was arguably the greatest part. You could truck players, pull off wrestling move tackles and even hit people after the whistle. It was fantastic.
1. ESPN NFL 2K5
Easily my favorite sports video game of all time (aside from MVP Baseball 2004). 2K5 was a huge competition for Madden. Until EA Sports reached an agreement for exclusive rights with the NFL, essentially leading to the game’s end. 2K5 introduced a first-person camera that allowed you to see the field from the players’ point of view. The gameplay has yet to be matched by Madden but fortunately for gamers, 2K and the NFL are teaming up again to release a new game in 2021.