When it comes to modern football video games, nothing compares in popularity with the Madden series produced by EA Sports. Each year, the company sells million of copies each year. The Madden games feature realistic graphics and fun gameplay, but some football enthusiasts prefer games that focus more on simulating actual NFL football games.

The best simulations do not focus on graphics at all. These are known generally as text-based simulations. Some are purchased and downloaded, while others are played online. The list below features five of the best simulation games.

Second and Ten


This game features both a professional version and a college version. One purchased, users can download an extensive amount of content, including files to cover past seasons. Players can simulate individual games as well as entire seasons or multiple seasons. Strategy focuses on the gamer calling formations and various plays. The results are based on actual NFL stats, so the results are accurate from a statistical standpoint.

Second and Ten

Front Office Football


Solecismic Software first produced Front Office Football in the 1990s as one of the first simulations to focus on management aspects of football rather than actual gameplay itself. Later editions added the ability to call plays, but the game’s main focus has been on the front office aspects (hence, the name).

Front Office Football

Football Mogul


Although the related Baseball Mogul has been more popular, Football Mogul has been around for an entire decade. The game has gone through many enhancements focusing in both general management aspects of gameplay as well as the simulation part of the football games themselves. Older versions of the game tended to get hampered by flaws in the interface, but the newer versions of the game have improved these flaws and shortcomings.

Football Mogul

Action! PC Football


This simulation has been around since the days of DOS, and gameplay is largely the same as it was 20 years ago. Action! PC Football focuses more heavily on the game simulation and is widely regarded for the designer’s thoroughness in creating the game.

Barcode Games: Professional Football Simulator


This is the newest game on the list, and it has promise. The game features a number of options that allows players to simulate seasons and more. The database of players dates back to the 1950s, so players can also simulate historical seasons.

The video below demonstrates what gameplay looks like:

Other Simulations

There are several other simulations available, including the following:

SportsSims: http://www.sportsims.net/

Goal Line Blitz: http://goallineblitz.com/

Strat-O-Matic: http://www.somworld.com/