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Football Games Holiday Season

Non Madden Football Games To Try This Holiday Season…and Beyond

Each and every year, football fans look for games to play to get their gaming fix. Usually, though, the only option when it comes to football games is Madden. At least, that’s what a lot of people think.

Now, this isn’t want you might hope it to be. This isn’t some “screw Madden, everyone boycott forever post”. There are plenty of people that enjoy Madden for what it is and want to play it. Admittedly, I still play it with friends just to have a casual online matchup. However, there are others that want something else to play. A Madden alternative, if you will.

So let’s take a look at some other football games that are available now that you might want to give a shot this holiday season, or after. If you don’t see a specific game on this list, let us know in the comment section below.

Legend Bowl

A pixel art game that borders on arcade and simulation, Legend Bowl gives an old school feel with new school mechanics. The game features exhibition, season, tournament, and training camp modes to dive into depending on your mood. There’s also customization options to customize the players, coaches, and teams within the game. The game is currently available via Steam with console release hopeful in 2022.

From the developer:

“Legend Bowl is a game made by a hardcore fan of football games who was tired of the lackluster options on the market. The game is fun to play, rewarding to master, and feels fresh and new. At its core, Legend Bowl is all about the gameplay and customization options you get out of the box. It’s cheap and loads of fun! No brainer if you’re a football fan!”


Axis Football 2021

Axis Football 21 gameplay
(credit: Axis Games)

A series that has been around for six years, Axis Football is a game made by a small part-time team at Axis Games. The game has made its goal to become the deepest franchise mode in all of sports, and continues to push towards that with changes to it’s customization and gameplay offerings as well.

The game even offers a twist to the traditional franchise mode with the option for relegation. With a number of mods to bring the NFL into the game, Axis Football 21 could be the game to scratch that franchise mode itch.

From the developer:

“Axis Football is an American football sim founded on three pillars: realistic gameplay, extensive customization, and a deep franchise mode. Our franchise mode and customization are already at the top of the industry, and our gameplay is set to make huge strides in 2022.”


Draft Day Sports Pro Football 2022

If the management side of things is more your style, Draft Day Sports Pro Football 2022 from Wolverine Studios could be what you’d like. Akin to the likes of Out of the Park Baseball, DDS Pro Football 2022 gives you full control of a football franchise. You can use either the default ones available in the game, or make it a custom NFL experience and build your organization to a championship contender.

From the developer:

“Are you tired of Franchise Mode being an afterthought? Tired of AI teams who make ridiculously awful decisions in the draft and when constructing a roster? If you want a TRUE Franchise Mode experience where strategy, smart roster building and long term planning are required to win then check out Draft Day Sports: Pro Football 22.”



The only free-to-play option on this list, Gridiron is unlike any other football game. A full PvP experience, the game sees you take control of a player on the field, and go up against opponents from around the world. For those concerned about a pay-to-win system, all microtransactions within the game are cosmetic in nature only. There’s a standard 7v7 option and a more fast-paced 3v3 option for those who want to throw normal football rules out the window.

From the developer:

“Gridiron is a fast-paced 7v7 multiplayer arcade football game with a sci-fi theme. Every player on the field is controlled by a real person. No AI, no RNG, all football. Our primary focus is to make Gridiron the best multiplayer football game ever.”


Sunday Rivals

Sunday Rivals is what happens if Roblox and football had a child. The game features a unique art style and combines it with an arcade gameplay style that’s fast and easily learned. Sunday Rivals gives players a number of modes including exhibition, season, and a headhunter mode that combines a tournament with fantasy football scoring.

From the developer:

“Sunday Rivals channels the unique spirit and fun of early 90’s sports games and supercharges it into an easy to pickup, high impact, arcade football adrenaline shot! Whether leading your team on a deep championship run or calling in plays from the sideline in Coaching Mode, you’ll fall in love with the type of endlessly replayable, helmet rattling gameplay the world’s been missing. Take total control over your game experience with fully customizable teams, leagues, strategies, and gameplay sliders. Grab a second controller and battle a friend on the couch. It’s time to start enjoying football games again! Sunday Rivals is only $15 and available today on Steam Early Access.”


Retro Bowl

Retro Bowl

SGO’s Best Mobile Game in 2020, Retro Bowl has continued to grow since it’s initial release. The game allows you to not only control players on the field but manage them as well. You have to juggle events that come up, make decisions on how to handle a player’s behavior, and even decide on taking a job with a new team or not. It’s one of those games that becomes tougher to put down the more you play it.

You can get Retro Bowl today on Android, iOS, and in your web browser. The game is also coming to the Nintendo Switch in the near future.

DOWNLOAD/BUY: Retro Bowl (

*NOTE: SGO in no way benefits from the sales or downloads of any of the aforementioned games. This post was done solely as a collection of football games to try out this holiday season.*

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