Top 10 American Football Games
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Looks like we may have NFL football to watch in 2011, yet . . .

If not, we always have these to pull out and play . . .

Below is my Top 10 list of American football games. These are games that meet all of the following criteria: (1) American rules football (college or pro); (2) focusing on simulation of the sport (not too abstract); and (3) fun to play. This is a list of the BEST! As always, your mileage may vary and some entries may be "controversial." As such, please feel free to comment, debate, or just express your own point of view. Feel free to thumbsup this list (to draw attention and more comments) or any pleasing, interesting or thought provoking entries. If I missed one that you feel is essential or I am "insane for not listing" (trust me, it has been said before), then by all means let the comments fly . . . just be civil. FYI - I am a sucker for comments and discussion and usually thumbsup most if not all of them.

I find that these lists sometimes are helpful for others seeking similar games and the more rich the discussion for more useful the list.

As always, thanks for reading and participating!
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1. Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Pro Football [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:3097]
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#1

From BGGer: Robert Hawkins (Goshawk)

"No better football boardgame exists! Skip the basic game and go straight to advanced (it's not really too "advanced"). Statistical results are somewhat realistic, and yes, there are a lot of dice involved. A full-length advanced game is playable in about an hour after you get a good feel for the game (say 2 -3 games)."

From BGGer: Jay Thomas (JuggernautJ)

"The very BEST Football Game I have ever played (except the real thing, of course).

I LOVE Football. I LOVE this Game!
This might not be the most objective review...

The ability to recreate any game/season or possible match-up with teams who perform as their historic counterparts make this the perfect game for me."
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2. Board Game: Pizza Box Football [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2799]
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#2

From BGGer: brian (ColtsFan76)

"At first glance, it doesn't seem to be very much to it. But once in the game, it does a great job of creating the tension and frustration of a real football game.

Though influenced by the luck of the dice, it seems to accurately reflect the ease some teams have of driving down the field in one series and then going 3 and out in the next.

The game really shines with the expansions that tweak the teams just enough to make it feel like you are playing the Colts or the Bears. My only complaint with the expansions is they come out so late in the season and reflect the previous year.

However, I also admire the designer's support of this game. I particularly enjoy playing the Super Bowl challenge each year and helping predict the winner."
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3. Board Game: Statis Pro Football [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:4369]
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#3

From BGGer: Geoff Brown (DrPhibes)

"Own it....and ALL the years they released teams. Play it still...
Ahhh! You can STILL see Ronnie Lott try to take off Boomers head! How can you miss things like that!

This game was how I learnt the American Football rules. We played the game before we had ever seen a match on tv!"
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4. Board Game: Paydirt [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:3039]
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#4

From BGGer: Paul Schulzetenberg (Unitoch)

"This game is perfect for me. I love football, and I really love it when simulated in a board game. This isn't going to be for everybody, particularly people who dislike sports, but this is one of the best games in the genre of simulation games that use the mechanic of cross-referencing two guesses and looking up the result on a chart. This is clearly the best football strategy sim I've played, and I've played a lot. The decisions are fresh with every new matchup, even if you only have one season. This game perfectly balances playability with depth, so it's not as deep as some other football sims, notably Strat-o-Matic Football, but it is more intuitive and faster. The mechanics behind it use common sense and football rules to make the game flow very cleanly. The description included on every team is also good to allow a quick high-level assessment of a team's strengths, which is invaluable for a new player. The defensive play-calling is satisfying, with a correct defensive call likely to shut down the offense. Great replayability. Am working on playing a full season of this beaut with a friend of mine, and really looking forward to saying that we finished it. Playoffs, here I come!"
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5. Board Game: Bowl Bound [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:4450]
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#5

From BGGer: Allen Wiles (atlcribber)

"The best simulation of college football I have every played! I'm sorry that my beloved wolfpack isn't represented :-\, but give me the 1945 ARMY team with that AWESOME wishbone rushing attack!"
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6. Board Game: Football Strategy [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:4098]
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#6

From BGGer: Leo Zappa (desertfox2004)

"Best two-player football strategy game period! Played in numerous leagues with anywhere from 4 to 12 people. Real pressure-cooker type game (think, counter-think, counter-counter think!). We kept copious statistics and records. My God - how much time we spent with this - would do it again if only we could find the time!"
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7. Board Game: NFL Strategy [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:4710]
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#7

From BGGer: Joe Perez (joeperez)

"Simply the greatest football game ever designed, period.

Owned the original version with the result determined by the ball-on-spring-pole, and now have the newer version that uses dice, and has updated plays to account for man-in-motion, and more aggressively mobile quarterbacks."
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8. Board Game: APBA Pro Football [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:9437]
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#8

From BGGer: 60th Regiment O'Foote (Slabcity)

"I gave this such a high rating because I have such fond memories of it from the 70's when I played it a LOT. I would go so far as keep statistics and I found them to be very accurate. Oh how I recall Swann or Stallworth making a deep grab when needed (most of the time)."
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9. Board Game: Fran Tarkenton's Pro Football [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
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#9

From BGGer: Robert Carroll (Nap16)

"This was my first love of sports games (soon to be pushed aside by Strat-O-Matic Baseball). I remember the play cards being felt backed. My brother and I used to play for hours . . . game after game . . . until he got tired of losing to his 7 years younger brother, who at the age of 11, was lucky rather than the next Lombardi. Actually, I didn't beat him that much, he just didn't like to lose. Remind me to tell you about the time my 1962 Mets beat his 1961 Reds in a best of 7 series and how I had to save the poor Reds from being consumed in fire and thrown into a waste basket. But I digress. Actually, this was a good, albeit basic, football game. Building on the common "one side picks offense the other a defense" mechanics, this game added a good clock management component as well as rating teams. I wish I still had my brother's copy, however, in a fit of rage, he tore up the board and crumpled the cards. Ah, such a competitor . . . I miss that game . . ."
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10. Board Game: NFL Showdown [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:14854]
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#10

From BGGer: Marston Crumpler (marstonmoor)

"It's too bad WOTC put out such a bad effort for the first edition. The second edition (2003, I believe) added 1 yard increments and a card reader that could read all of the cards. Unfortunately, the change to 1 yard increments made several of the previous edition's cards somewhat suspect with regard to play balance. Moreover, the different point systems used for the players meant you couldn't mix players from different years. That was unfortunate because lack of variety in player abilities meant that nearly all teams had some of the same players. The final misstep was not printing enough players so that fans could play their favorite teams. Still, the best non-electronic football strategy/fantasy game."
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