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NFL 2K5 is still the best NFL video game ever made

16 years later and ESPN’s NFL simulation remains firmly supplanted on top of the Iron Throne

As you probably already know, this week is SB Nation’s video game week. Here at The Phinsider we are going to write a few articles inspired by some of our favorite video games of all-time. More specifically, football video games.

Yes, there’s Madden, NFL Blitz, and my personal favorite, NFL Street, but nothing compares to the greatest NFL game ever. Not even the classic Tecmo Super Bowl or the unique Mutant League Football can hold a candle to ESPN’s NFL 2K5.

For those old enough to remember, the game released a week earlier than Madden ‘05 and cost only $20. That’s right when every game on the market was $50, ESPN released their football simulation for $19.99. And until this very day, it remains the most excellent NFL video game of all-time.

(Editor’s Note: The reason I don’t call it the greatest football game of all-time is because of NCAA ‘14. To me, that is a coin-flip and a discussion for another time.)

Unfortunately, with EA renewing their exclusive license, 2K is going to have to stick to the arcade market. But that doesn’t mean someday we won’t have the opportunity to play a new NFL 2K game, and when we do, it will be glorious.

And that someday is now, kind of.

Thanks to a few Youtube videos, TDMavens updated rosters, and the help of my tech-savvy brother in law, I now can play NFL 2K5 with updated rosters and it is beautiful.

Here’s a look at Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailoa throwing a dime to Allen Hurns for 6.

The great gameplay, exceptionally well-done presentation and all of the little things continue to make NFL 2K5 the premier NFL video game. And thanks to a couple of users in the 2K community, we are now able to enjoy this masterpiece 16 years later.

Oh, and who can forget the first-person game mode that was both fun and nauseating.

There was so much to like about NFL 2K5 and the fact it remains at the top of the video game totem pole to this day, is a testament to how great the game truly is.

Many will buy Madden 21 this year because it’s the only football video game on the market, myself included. But if you want to experience the best NFL video game of all time in all of it’s updated glory, this is the way.

This article was written by Josh Houtz. If you need help trying to get this to work, feel free to reach out.