Video gaming is big business, and a multibillion-dollar industry continues to perform well in testing times. Among the many titles that fall into this sector, those with a sports theme will always be up with the top sellers.

New technology, along with exceptional sound and graphics, means that sports games of today are more realistic than ever before. Of the overall revenue that sports titles produce, those that are designed for the console are especially popular.

Consoles Defined

A console game is one which is operated by a hand-held control. The game itself is displayed on a screen, either via a television or a PC. Before the action can begin, a disk is inserted into the drive, and the title will load.

There are usually two sets of players representing each team. Those players are in control of the action, and their operation of the hand-held device defines what happens on the pitch. It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that helps sports console games replicate the thrilling entertainment of a real-life event. Within that genre, here are some of the best titles available today.

Madden NFL

The realism element attached to Madden NFL starts before the action on the pitch gets underway. The ranking system that sorts the teams ahead of the regular season is as close to the real thing as it’s possible to get.

Other independent sources, such as fantasy sports companies, will use a similar system, as will the sports betting industry when it comes to compiling their NFL odds. By doing this, the Madden game leaves room for surprise outcomes, but it’s unlikely to deliver ridiculous results.

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Madden was originally released as John Madden Football back in 1988. It continues to honor this famous name, with the 2023 edition promising better sound and a more enhanced overall player experience.


The 2K franchise performs well across all of its sports, and there are very good reasons for that.

The realism is there, and anyone casually looking at the screen might be forgiven for thinking that they’re watching an actual NFL game.

The latest release in the series is NFL 2K5, and there are many who feel this is the best American Football game of all time. During the in-game presentation scores highly, it’s all about that realistic gameplay that other titles simply cannot match.

Tecmo Super Bowl

It’s fair to say that Tecmo Super Bowl went big, focusing on the most important game in American football. The sense of realism filtered through to the field of play, where attention to detail helped to replicate some of the most iconic stadiums in the sport.

This was the first console game to be endorsed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, so that’s clear support of its quality, and undoubtedly this has helped to boost sales. The developers backed up that position with some winning features.

Reviews of Tecmo Super Bowl focused on the fact that players were allowed to perform as real athletes and teams for the first time. The coaching mode was realistic, while the game also focused on the little things, such as injuries. The graphics may have been basic by today’s standards, but retro is in, and Tecmo Super Bowl continues to sell in good numbers.

NFL Street

It’s difficult to bring anything truly different to NFL games without moving away from the very essence of the sport. Among those who have tried to veer away from the regular gameplay, NFL

Street has enjoyed the most positive critical acclaim.

As the name suggests, this EA series takes American football away from the traditional arenas and into a more urban setting. Amateurs who have taken part in the parks and playgrounds will therefore be very receptive to this title.


Along with the unique backdrops, NFL Street comes with a number of great features, including a randomness of pass and fumble for true amateur realism.

Joe Montana SportsTalk Football

Those who buy new sports games are likely to take the expert commentary for granted. The views of top summarise and former players are a must for anyone entering this competitive market.

It couldn’t have been done, however, without the advent of Joe Montana SportsTalk Football.

Expert views were now a part of the genre, as play-by-play commentary finally started to correspond with what was happening on the screen. This is another vintage title that still has a place on the modern player’s shelf.

There are a host of NFL console games on the market, with more titles hitting the shops on a regular basis. All players will have their own favorites, but the sales show that those listed here are the most popular.

Those titles are likely to dominate the listings for many years to come, while the challenge is for new console games to break into the market in the near future.