Top 5 NCAA Football Games We Can’t Live Without

We’re still over a year away from the launch of EA Sports College Football. However, fans are so excited that they are already discussing who should be on the cover and what modes they would like to see return. While we can’t wait for the series’ revival, we’d like to take a look back. Here’s a list of the top 5 NCAA football games we can’t live without.

5. 2001 NCAA Football

Surprisingly, the Playstation 1 NCAA game holds up very well to this day. Sure the gameplay and animations may be outdated, but there’s a lot to be done.

NCAA Football 2001 made the list simply because of its wide variety of content. You can create a player, create a school, or create a custom league or tournament. Season and Dynasty schedules can also be fully customized. If you wanted to have a schedule to face the toughest teams, the choice was yours.

It was also the last NCAA football game to have a playoff mode in its Dynasty Mode. Up to 24 teams could play each other at the end of the season. What made this fun was that it wouldn’t just be the no. Teams 1 and 2 will already play each other at the end. Now they had to prove themselves against the other teams that fought hard during the season.

Gameplay-wise, NCAA 2001 introduced a couple of mechanics that were fun. One was to be able to play as any player on both sides of the ball. Do you want to just be the WR and let the CPU make the pass? Forward! He wants to be the running back before the quarterback takes snap, the world is his.

It was also nice to be able to edit player names, as NCAA regulations at the time prevented real player names from being in the game. It was a good solution. Does the NCAA not let you play with real player names? It’s ok, you can change it yourself.

Fun fact: Shaun Alexander, the cover athlete for this game, is also the cover athlete for Madden NFL 07, another great sports game.

4. 2004 NCAA Football

Another great NCAA game in one of the greatest days of console gaming. NCAA Football 2004 had a lot of similarities to 2003. Gameplay-wise, there’s not much to talk about. It’s still a fantastic college football simulation game that comes with what you expect.

However, what makes this game stand out is the new features implemented in the title. Creating a school gave access to a complete set of logos with customizable colors. You can also edit the team mascot, playbook, playing style, opponent and all kinds of stadium details. The result was an extremely immersive college football game with a ton of things you could do.

The game also had updated presentation features. You could see the players coming out of the locker room and running onto the field. Touchdown celebrations could now cause unsportsmanlike penalties, making the experience more real. Dynasty Mode gave you access to a Sports Illustrated page highlighting everything going on in the league. From there, you can see things like the preseason polls and the Heisman watch list.

NCAA 2004 must also be credited as the first game in the series with online play. But if you’re looking to play alone, don’t worry. You can still play Dynasty Mode, Mascot Game and relive historical moments in College Football moments.

3. 2008 NCAA Football

NCAA 07 was great, but its Xbox 360 edition lacked some of the game modes its predecessors had. Then NCAA Football 2008 came a year later, and everything was good again. It introduced the next-gen enhancements fans have come to expect in 07. It’s understandable that the transition to a new console might cause some hiccups, but it’s nice to see the series back on track.

The game introduced new features that were great for the time. Player motivation was a big factor and it made sense. Is your starting quarterback having trouble? That can affect your game in general. But if he makes up for it with a run of good performances, he’ll get better. Recruitment also became much deeper. It allowed recruiting visits and was the first NCAA game that was able to make promises.

Is a highly valued prospect thinking of coming to your school? You can sweeten the pot by promising a certain amount of playing time, offering a starting position on day one, or other things.

Creating a player was still as fun as ever, although it was a shame you no longer controlled the entire team. Regardless, the gaming experience was still great. There were more animations and more stadiums, which meant you could play longer without getting bored.

2. NCAA Soccer 11

One of the last NCAA football games ever made, and still one of the best. It’s important to take a step back and appreciate everything that NCAA 11 did as a game. The new engine created more realistic movements. Referees were finally on the field, auto saves were convenient, a deep team building mode was implemented, and more.

It was also the first NCAA game to be presented by ESPN. Even the little details were great, like the numbers on players’ helmets, better detailed gear, and team-specific game tickets. And the gameplay was phenomenal. Both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball were much easier to control. It all made for a great experience, whether you were just playing an exhibition match or playing Dynasty Mode.

Speaking of Dynasty, there was a whole new addition to the mode that we’re sure a lot of fans are missing a lot. Dynasty Wire was amazing at the time and it was sad to see it go away. In Dynasties Online, you can view a web-generated report covering all the important events in your league. So, she could brag to his friends when his team climbs to No. 1 in the standings, or if he breaks a league-wide record.

It may not be the best NCAA football game, but it’s close to perfect. In terms of gameplay and presentation, it stands as one of the best soccer games of all time.

1. NCAA Soccer 14

EA Sports’ latest NCAA game is by far the best of the series. It expanded on the gameplay and presentation we all love with the NCAA series. It also introduced a whole new set of gameplay features. Stumble recovery, power drafting, trainer skills and contracts, neutral site games, more chants and fight songs, the list goes on and on.

Gameplay-wise, it also stands out as the best in the series. There are more animations, which means that most tackles don’t look the same. Dynasty Mode was bigger and better than ever, and you could customize the league however you wanted. Do you want to move Oregon State to the Big Ten Conference and Ohio State to the FBS? Go ahead, it’s your game. With 126 schools to choose from, it was hard to get bored with all the variety.

That crisp ESPN Style presentation was incredible and immersed the player even more in the experience. There was even a halftime show with Rece Davis and David Pollack. The menus were simple and easy to understand, and you didn’t feel intimidated.

To this day, people still play NCAA 14, and for good reason. Good luck trying to get your hands on a physical copy today, as prices have skyrocketed to over $300 (USD). If you kept your copy, treasure it. Who knows if we will have such a good game again.

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