1. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe is the sequel to the quirky sci-fi sports title developed by The Bitmap Brothers. Released in 1990, players are put in charge of the worst Speedball team ever. As their manager, the player's goal is to whip the near-hopeless group into shape in order for them to emerge as champions. The league system consists of a pair of 8-team divisions and five game modes to enjoy, namely, Cup, League, Knockout, Multiplayer mode and Practice.
There are a number of challenges as well as two cup tourneys. The latter includes one which is played in two parts wherein player with the best tally progresses to the next level. Of course, players may also participate in regular matches. These are made up of two 90-second, action-packed periods in which the goal is to hinder the opposition with some strategic tackling.
For some added advantage, tokens and power-ups will pop up on the pitch. These allow the characters to become tougher or give them the ability to freeze the opposing team. Bonus points may be earned by hitting special targets found on the walls and floors. Scoring a goal with score multipliers in play will give 15 or 20 points instead of the default 10. Additionally, injuring opponents gives the same number of points as successfully scoring a goal.
Injured players are replaced by a substitute. Once all three available subs are injured, the order resets and the injured team member returns to play once more. The money earned from matches may either be used to improve existing team players to max their stats or to hire better ones to replace them.
2. TV Sports Football
Published and developed by Cinemaware Corporation, TV Sports: Football is a game which started a whole line of arcade-style sports offerings from the company. True to its title, a TV-style intro precedes every single match, while cut scenes highlight its most thrilling moments. This action-packed title allows players to choose plays prior to their execution. All runs and passes get executed on the actual pitch itself.
Players are given the option to go for full leagues or even single matches using any of the available NFL teams. With its in-depth personalization options, this sports title is in a league of its own. Players can create their own custom team. These options even extend to 28 slots so players can experience how it is to enjoy a real-time league with friends. If it's preferred, however, fans can go straight to the action by using one of the default squads.
Aside from being able to play in every available position, players will also have their hands full with coaching duties. To help players with tough decisions, each character has ratings in Strength, Speed, Hands and Ability. Coaches can then allocate points between the team to divide the quota per character. Player position can change the effect of a rating. For instance, the Ability stat of a quarterback will dictate the accuracy of his passes.
TV Sports Football offers both solo and multiplayer modes. In addition to going head-to-head against each other, two human participants can enjoy co-op play against the AI. In this mode, one is assigned to offense and one to defense.
Released in 1988, Speedball is a sports title which incorporates futuristic elements alongside core sports sim elements. In this title, matches are played on a smaller court instead of a large football pitch. There are five members on each team, this makes matches more frantic than the ones in the sequel.
The aim here is to hit a goal on the opponent's side of the court. There are no penalties to worry about when it comes to physical contact and players can also throw out the rule book when it comes to getting a goal. Being violent actually pays off as additional points are awarded for injuring the competition.
Referees can be bribed into giving the player's team a head start or giving a boost to player abilities. Aside from a knockout cup tourney, there's also an option to play with a friend in the game's competitive 2-player mode.
4. Brutal Sports Series Football
Developed by Teque London, Brutal Sports Series Football shares a few similarities with the Speedball series. As hinted at by its title, violence isn't just allowed in this game, it's actually encouraged. Each match lasts just over 5 minutes with the main objective being to score more goals than the opposition. In order to do this, players may kick and throw the ball as well as to stomp, punch, use weapons and even decapitate their rivals.
There are eleven teams in all and these are made up of seven characters. Characters may either be human or alien and a few of these have special skills. Optionally, victory may be achieved by decapitating enough players so that only one is left alive.
Bonus items will appear on the pitch. These range from rabbits which lend speed to the active player to bombs which may be used against opponents. To make things more exciting, duds (such as tortoises to slow players down) may also pop up from time to time. fans may enjoy playing a knockout cup, a single match or in leagues.
5. John Madden Football
In John Madden Football, field performance and not in-depth strategy is the name of the game. Published by Electronic Arts and released back in 1990, the game offers several modes of play. This includes playoffs, a regular season and even sudden death matches. There are a total of 16 standard teams as well as an all-Madden squad.
Each character has their own stats and specialties. Moves are grouped to allow for faster selections. There are a variety of them available, with play action including dives, block tackles, passing to specific team members and sackings. Aside from character-specific strengths and weaknesses, their performance is affected by a variety of weather conditions (muddy, wet or snowy).
Additionally, the game offers audibles as well as password-based saved games.
So there you have it. These American football titles are sure to keep your heart racing. Be it because of the thrill of playing an all-Madden team in John Madden Football or the immersive nature of TV Sports Football, true blue fans of the sport have something to look forward to. On the other hand, both Speedballs and Brutal Sports cater to those who are looking for a bit of sci-fi to spice things up -- surely not for the faint-hearted. Regardless what you're looking for, there's sure to be something in our list to satisfy the football fan in you.