The NFL is a lot of fun to watch, but unfortunately there are a few days that we as fans go without the game. In this absence, one of the best alternatives is grabbing the nearest controller and playing out great pro matchups in video game form.
Football video games serve as an easy way to introduce the non-interested parties into football, and they can be used as an early reference to educate future fans of strategy in the game (and no I'm not talking about you, online player who goes for it on fourth down every time).
With that in mind, a question remains: What is the best representation of the NFL game through a video game? The list has been whittled down to 10 entries.
Three quick notes before we begin:
1) To avoid getting bogged down in year-to-year minutiae, games in a series (like Madden) will be judged as a package deal, with more weight placed on their more recent entries. I'll take arguments on why Madden '08 is garbage compared to Madden '05 in the comment section below.
2) All games in the list must be NFL-licensed. Unfortunately, this takes away several great options, including Backbreaker, Mutant Football League, 10-Yard Fight, Two Minute 3D football (one of my personal favorites) and, most notably, the original Tecmo Bowl.
3) Since eight-year-old me didn't have access to unlimited video game funds, I have not played every game on this list. Games I haven't played will be noted.
With that out of the way, here's the list of the top NFL video games.