If you love the idea of playing football, but you don’t fancy the burning muscles and painful accidents so much, why not consider playing an exciting and exhilarating NFL video game instead? Indeed, there are numerous great NFL games you could consider playing to get your football fix (without the bruises), and with this in mind, we’ve come up with a great list of the best football video games of all time. So, whether you’re a casual gamer or an avid video game fan, today’s excellent list might be a great option to consider!

The 6 Best NFL Games You Should Know About

What are the best NFL games you should know about? If you love the NFL and want to get involved with the fast-paced, adrenaline-filled action in your own way, then the following six NFL titles could be good options to consider!

They’re not all new games – but these are, in our opinion at least, some of the six best and most ground-breaking NFL titles of all time to be released for video game players! So, casual gamer or not, why not give one a try? You might just discover a new favorite game to add to your collection!


For our first pick, we would be remiss to go for anything other than ESPN NFL 2K5 – a game that’s achieved an overall score of 92 on Metacritic (which is notoriously harsh on sports games) and offers an excellent balance between gameplay and aesthetics. Indeed, although the game was released in 2004, it can still stack up to this day – and, with a sequel expected to be released for 2022 as well, now’s definitely the time to mention this excellent title.

#2 Madden NFL 19

Coming in at a very close second, Madden NFL 19 took great strides in terms of improving the realism of NFL football matches, combining unique and visually stunning graphics with realistic movements such as blocking and up-field cuts. The game also achieved a relatively impressive 80% score on Metacritic, which is well worth considering as part of your decision. 

#3 NCAA Football 14

As a college football recreator, this excellent title, released by Electronic Arts (better known as EA) back in 2014, is an excellent contender for one of the best NFL games of all time. 

Despite being the best part of a decade old at this point, it’s fair to say that the graphics still stack up pretty well, and the players’ movements are realistic and generally quite impressive. Plus, the game offers the option to recruit great talent to build your own, unstoppable team of football powerhouses, so it’s well worth considering.

#4 Retro Bowl

Released for the Nintendo Switch and on the iOS and Android platforms, Retro Bowl likely won’t appeal to everyone, owing to its incredibly pixellated design. Of course, that’s just part of the game’s charm – and, after exposure on TikTok, the game spiked in popularity very recently, making it well worth a mention on today’s list.

#5 NFL 2009

Released on the Nintendo DS (a console that will likely bring back fond memories for many of us), the NFL 2009 game was a decent contributor to the overall collection of NFL games. While the game achieved poorer critical acclaim from critics, owing to the clunky AI, the overall graphics and controls are impressive for a game of its age and certainly offered developers plenty of opportunities to improve the quality of their NFL games.

#6 NFL 2K1

Released in 2000, NFL 2K1 is over two decades old now – but its incredible rating deserves it a space on this list. Indeed, the game achieved a massive 97% rating on Metacritic, which is almost unheard of – so, while it might not look as pretty as games from today, it’s definitely worth a try for any fans of NFL football games.

A Notable Mention: 10 Yard Fight

At this point, we’ve mentioned our top six picks for the best NFL games of all time. However, we would be remiss not to mention 10 Yard Fight – the earliest NFL-inspired game that was available on arcades and, later, the classic Nintendo Entertainment System. The game isn’t much to shout about by today’s standards, and it’s not likely to hook you like the other titles – but we still need to give it credit for being the founding father of NFL video games overall.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been wondering about the different options available to you for the best football games, then we hope that today’s guide may have given you some great ideas! After all, there have been many incredible NFL titles released since the creation of video games, and even some of the older games can still absolutely hold their own to this day. 

As such, we hope that you’ll have found an excellent title to add to your gameplay options today – and, if you’re still not sure, there are still tens, if not hundreds, of other incredible NFL games you could try. So, you don’t have to miss out for all of your gaming needs; there’ll be an excellent NFL title out there that’s perfect for you!

Let’s us know if you are a casual gamer or an avid video game fan and if you ever try those games.