The Baltimore Ravens edged out a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers to win the 2013 Super Bowl in a thrilling game that belongs on the list with the greatest games we have ever seen on the giant stage of the Super Bowl.
Final Score of the 2013 Super Bowl: Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31
Cracking the list of greatest Super Bowls is no easy task. Since we hit the 2000's we've had almost nothing but amazing games. Despite that, the 2013 Super Bowl was epic enough to earn a spot in the top five.
No. 5: 1969 Super Bowl, New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7
There have been games with far more compelling finishes—like the 49ers win over the Bengals in 1989, the Patriots win over the Panthers in 2003 or when Scott Norwood's kick sailed wide right to give the Giants a 20-19 win over the Bills in 1991.
However, this game was the most important in making the Super Bowl the massive event it is now.
This was the first time the game was actually called the Super Bowl, and it was the first time that the AFC showed it belonged.
With Joe Namath creating headlines before the Super Bowl by guaranteeing his huge underdog Jets would beat the Colts, the hype for this game was on the rise, and it did not disappoint. The Jets followed through on that guarantee, and the Super Bowl was catapulted into the national consciousness.
No. 4: 2013 Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 31
On to the game of the moment. The Ravens opened up a big lead early, and when Jacoby Jones started the second half with a kickoff return for a touchdown to give the Ravens a 28-6 lead, it seemed safe to write this game off.
After all, the biggest come-from-behind victory in the Super Bowl is 10 points.
However, that is when things started getting really interesting. On the 49ers' ensuing possession, a power outage caused a lengthy delay, resulting in a definite momentum switch. The 49ers took control of this game, and they were trailing by just five at the end of the third quarter.
The teams traded scores in the fourth, and when this play happened on 4th-and-goal, the game was all but over.
That could have easily been called a holding penalty. It wasn't, and the Ravens went on to win.
While the fact that the signature last-minute play was a stop, with a questionable no-call instead of a score, holds this game back a bit, it is bolstered by the epic comeback by the 49ers.
No. 3: 2009 Super Bowl, Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
This is another game where it felt safe to write it off at halftime. James Harrison picked off the Cardinals Kurt Warner and rambled 100 yards for a pick-six to bring the half to a close.
The play changed what could have been a four-point Cardinals lead into a 10-point edge for the Steelers.
However, Warner was unfazed. He and Larry Fitzgerald led the Cardinals all the way back to take a late 23-30 lead.
That is when Santonio Holmes took over. He and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hooked up four times in the game's final drive, and that included this unforgettable score:
This game had a wild finish, a spectacular signature play and heroics turned in by both teams.
No. 2: 2000 Super Bowl, St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16
When Kurt Warner played in a Super Bowl, it was a classic. His first appearance takes the cake.
The Rams had a comfortable 16-0 lead in the third quarter. Then, Steve McNair, one of the NFL's all-time great competitors, battled back.
McNair helped the Titans tie the game at 16 with just 2:12 left in the game, but Warner was there for the answer as he launched a TD bomb to Isaac Bruce on the Rams' next play from scrimmage.
This almost left enough time for the Titans...almost. McNair led the Titans down the field, but they came up just one agonizing half-yard short as time expired.
The shot of Kevin Dyson extending with all of his being for the goal line is one of the most iconic images in sports.
No. 1: 2008 Super Bowl, New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14
After the 2000 Super Bowl, I was convinced we'd never see a game that could top it. Of course, that was only because I could never envision a game like the 2008 Super Bowl unfolding.
The New England Patriots rolled into this game off an undefeated season, and they were taking on a Giants team that barely made the playoffs. Needless to say, the Patriots were huge favorites.
When Tom Brady helped the Patriots take a late 14-10 lead, it looked like the Patriots were going to survive a much closer game than almost anyone anticipated.
However, Eli Manning had a different plan. He led the Giants on a 12-play, 83-yard drive to seal the win. This wasn't just any drive either—it contained one of the most memorable plays in the history of the sport:
This game had the late drive, an amazing signature play and a Cinderella story, and now it is the game I can't envision any other Super Bowl topping.