Friday, October 15, 2010

Countdown Friday: Top 5 Football Video Games

Last week, I (finally) played Madden '11 for the first time. I certainly enjoyed it, but it got me thinking...where, if anywhere, does this game rank amongst the greatest football video games ever? After extensive investigative research into my younger days, I bring you the Top 5 Football Video Games of all time.

5. Madden '09 - My favorite version of Madden during the "XBox 360 Era." Gameplay was simple enough - it wasn't Madden '08, where the middle linebacker made that ridiculous over-the-head catch every time you threw a pass over the middle. And I certainly enjoyed the fact that you could actually tackle running backs, unlike '10 and '11. The graphics were great too. I only wish Brett Favre wasn't on the cover.

4. NCAA Football '97 - A Sega Genesis classic. Graphics were terrible, gameplay was difficult...but it was just so much fun. It's hard to believe how far video games have come in less than 2 decades, but it's very important that we don't forget our roots.

3. Backyard Football - Perhaps the "most played" football game in my gaming career. This was the very first "Backyard Sports" game in which kid likenesses of professional players were incorporated. Chuck Downfield peppers the game with witty commentary. And the Super Colossal Cereal Bowl? Hysterical. That's a gem. There's a distinct possibility that one of us bloggers got it for his 9th birthday and that both of us stayed up all night during a sleepover to beat the game. Go Wombats.

2. Madden '07 - My favorite Madden ever. This was the last Madden that was unique to the old XBox ('08 got released for XBox and for 360). This game wasn't very realistic, but it was incredibly fun to play. PA Streaks to a fast wide receiver went for 80 yards, and running backs frequently broke off absurd runs. But defense wasn't impossible - some skill could lead to a pick or a fumble. Just an all-around good time.

1. NFL Blitz 2000 - What a fantastic game this was. Whether you played it in an arcade or on an N64, you were in for a treat. The game threw the rules of football out the window: 1st and 10 changed to 1st and 30, pass interference went out the window, and late hits were not only allowed, they were encouraged. One of the best and most underrated features of this game was the "Free" extrapoint. Seriously, who wants to waste time kicking that in a video game? Turbo, spin moves, big hits, and smack talk all added to the atmosphere, helping to make NFL Blitz 2000 the greatest football video game of all time.

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