When it comes down to America’s favorite pastime, the synonym that comes to most people’s minds is the NFL. Sometimes, however, waiting for the next game day may feel like ages away, so many fans have turned to the game to help satisfy the craving. So, what are the best American football games on PC?
5 Best American football games on PC:
- Madden (Best overall)
- Blood Bowl (Best turn-based game)
- Bowl Bound: College Edition (Best simulator game)
- NFL Blitz (Best arcade game)
- ESPN NFL 2K (Best retro game)
1. Madden NFL 2023
In the gaming industry, when we talk about NFL, the first game that comes to most people’s minds is Madden.
The Madden franchise has dominated the American Football gaming scene since 1989 when John Madden Football was released on the Apple II. Madden then released a new game each year following the football season.
Madden is the best overall game on this list for various reasons, such as:
- Licensing agreements allow the game to use the player’s likenesses and names.
- The license allows the game to use current NFL teams.
- Up-to-date team sheets and is currently still supported.
The accessibility of Madden is also what makes it our choice as the best-supported football game. The game is one of the most popular and well-known NFL franchises and has a solid player base. This is a significant consideration to make, especially if you want to showcase your skills in online multiplayer.
- Continuous support and updates
- Easily accessible
- Strong player base
- Great gameplay and mechanical feel
2. Blood Bowl 3
When looking at football games that shed new light and comedic elements, none do it better than Blood Bowl 3. Two other games precede this upcoming turn-based sports game in the franchise, Blood Bowl 1 (released in 2009) and Blood Bowl 2 (released in 2015).
From January to February of this year, an open beta for Blood Bowl 3 went live pending its upcoming release later this year. This beta, unfortunately, did not live up to the legacy of the previous games and the expectations of players.
Many returning players in the community agreed that the beta made a poor first impression. Issues such as unnecessary tutorials, a slow start to the game, a complicated explanation of mechanics, and the reuse of match commentary from Blood Bowl 2, made a very disappointing start to the year.
However, despite starting with the negatives, Blood Bowl 3 still makes our top 5 list. Players need to remember that the beta ran for a month at the beginning of the year, meaning that the game itself will be more polished for its upcoming release and hopefully live up to all of the hype and legacy of the first two games.
- It provides a unique and comedic experience
- Improved AI system
- More variety in the game
- Busy UI interface
- Bug issues
- Unable to skip tutorial for returning players
3. Bowl Bound: College Edition
Time for a game that aims to please the hardcore fans, who aren’t satisfied by the simplicities of other Football games. The simple answer to the need for more detail is simulator gaming.
If you like the sound of taking complete control of your season and being responsible for every decision you make, then Bowl Bound: College Edition comes highly recommended. The amount of attention to detail and in-depth information is second to none.
With the number of features offered in Bowl Bound: College Edition, there is room for hours of detailed entertainment. However, we only recommend this for knowledgeable fans looking for complex experiences, as a newbie to the sport might become very overwhelmed and lose interest in the game.
- In-depth options and information
- Over 100 college football programs
- Customizable playbook
- Very complex to understand
- Not for beginners
4. Gridiron (Best arcade game)
Gridiron is a free-to-play American football game that provides a simple arcade-like feel that keeps you coming back. Their exaggerated gameplay and easy-to-learn mechanics gave them an edge over other games in the sporting genre
In essence, Gridiron is a compressed and summarised version of American Football, where you control a single player rather than the whole team. In addition, there are smaller teams with the options of 7v7, 4v4, 2v2, and 1v1. Finally, it offers both a casual mode and a ranked game mode.
For a game that provides a more arcade-like feel, Gridiron hits the nail on the head. Gridiron football is a game that doesn’t take itself seriously but can still offer fans fun and entertainment.
It is worth a try for a free-to-play game, but the game should be taken with a pinch of salt and not be held to the same standards as a triple-A title.
- High energy
- Arcade feel
- Matchmaking can take some time
5. NFL 2K5
Arguably one the best American football games ever made, is an oldie. NFL 2K5 is still highly regarded amongst the gaming community, even though it was released in 2004. This is because the game still holds up against other current triple-A titles.
NFL 2K5 still boasts an average rating of over 90%. This alone speaks for itself, especially in today’s climate of unfinished games being released to the public. However, the high rating amongst fans has kept this game alive and players coming back since its release.
With features that were well before their time and incredible gameplay that is smooth and flows so well, it is easy to see why NFL 2K5 is still one of the best American Football games available today.
- Incredible player ratings
- Great graphics that still hold up today
- Solid online mode
- No new releases on the horizon
- The game has to be downloaded from the internet, mostly from untrusted sources
For the best American football games on other platforms, check out one of these posts: