Back in 2005, EA Sports wasn’t the only company producing official NFL games. In fact, many would argue that 2K Sports was doing it better. ESPN NFL 2K5 is still widely regarded as the best football game ever made for good reason. An official licensing deal with ESPN allowed for SportsCenter cutscenes and commentary from Chris Berman. Players had accurate face scans, an almost unheard of attention to detail in the PS2 era of graphics. It felt that much closer to what you’d watch on Sundays. The ability to play games from an in-helmet first person camera angle, while not perfect, was also unlike anything we had ever seen before. You could fill “The Crib” with unlockable mini games and memorabilia, and Carmen Electra challenged you to games for prizes. The whole thing was over the top nonsense in the best way possible. All the extras aside, the game was just a fun football simulation. Oh, and it was also only $19.99. 2K5 would end up being the last installment in the series as EA would acquire exclusive rights to the NFL license in years that followed. But there is a reason news of an NFL 2K comeback had people talking. It’s because this game was that damn good. —MD