I’m looking for something along the lines of OOTP Baseball, but for football. Actually I’d like the players football simulation to have more ratings to distinguish the players better, I’d like to play a franchise type game where I either do an initial draft with all the players in the league, or just take over a team and progress from there. When I finish the season, I’d liek to either perform the rookie draft or have the players go to their real life teams.
During the season I’d like to perform trades where the AI either accepts or rejects the trades, and offers trades of their own. I’d like to be able to call my offensive and defensive plays. I’d like the results to be very believable based on their ratings.
What games do you have opinions on - Front Office Football, Second and Ten, Football Mogul, Action PC Football, others?
I haven’t played the absolute latest iteration, but the Pro Strategy Football series was strong, I thought. I bet a lot of improvements have been made since I played it a bunch on iOS. I wasn’t sure if there were drafts, but it looks like 2021’s got 'em.
Second and Ten is superb at a season replay and gives a better decision space in-game than anything else. Action PC Football is closest, but not as good. Second and Ten also has a draft feature I’ve used to create all-time matchups. Very good for a single season. No AI trades, however.
For multi-year games or dynasties, Front Office Football is still the best. Shame to hear that the OOTP folks aren’t publishing with the developer anymore, but it is still the game to beat, in my opinion. If you can get past the eccentric UI (graphics mods can help), it’s a blast! I have tales of tanking for the franchise QB who leads us to glory…and tales of tanking for the QB who’s a bust.
Also, FOF has the ability to import historical draft files, so your rookie drafts will be of the correct players. Not sure about players going to real life teams.
When looking at season replay type games, the typical top (3) are ActionPC, Second and Ten, and Strat-O-Matic. But none of these games will do the things you desire from a franchise/career perspective. If that wasn’t a requirement and you were focused on in-game coaching, to me ActionPC provides the most depth in providing the player countless options to manage a game, both on offense and defense. Although I like second and 10 as well, the game is more designed based on a board game, with fewer coaching decisions. Neither are bad, it really is just a matter of what you like. Second and 10 has a limited demo, while ActionPC provides a full 30 day money back guarantee…so if these interest you, then I would try them first. You notice I didn’t mention Strat, although a decent game, the prices are higher, not much in advancement over the years, etc.
For franchise, most people have mentioned the big ones. Front Office is still probably the best, football mogul is dated and seems to lack any kind of support. Another one you can look into is Draft Days Sports: Pro Football (also college game available). It is still maturing and not as detailed as FOF but is the only one of these that seems to be in active development and growing each year.
Sorry for the negativity but I seem to look into this myself every few years hoping there’s something, anything, remotely approaching OOTP or even Football Manager for American football. Unfortunately, there never is. Every game I’ve ever tried—I think I’ve either demoed, seriously researched, or purchased all of the games mentioned released in the past decade—either has atrocious UI, poor design, a bad sim engine, a dearth of gameplay/customization options, or (most often) all the above.
You’re probably better off playing Madden’s franchise mode while simming all the games, although even it seems much worse than it used to be based on my experience with last year’s Madden.
One other that just hit me, if you have any interest in the (somewhat different) college game, is Bowl Bound College Football. It’s easier to come to grips with than FOF, but FOF is definitely the deeper option, especially if you want a true years-long franchise game.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. It sounds like there are several contenders Pro Strategy Football looks like it might have the best presentation, I’ll have to learn more about it. Front Office Football gets a lot of mentions in different places. I’ll have to try the 2nd and Ten demo, because why not? Not sure I can get into college football games, I kinda need the names that I know to get into it more.
OK so it’s not on PC just yet (the dev has suggested they might port it at some point, though it’s definitely designed for mobile so I dunno how that’ll pan out) I got a tonne of mileage out of this during lockdown:
a season replay game models a particular season and tries to produce results based on the actual real life outcome. for example, stats of the players will be in the ballpark of real life and teams that were really bad likely won’t have much of a chance to be much different in the game. plus, it doesn’t have career and multiple season type functionality, you mainly just replay that single season.
If it is like the rest of Wolverine’s games, you will find a slow, performance heavy UI with a good game behind it. The best of their offerings, in my view, is the college basketball game with its attendant recruiting. Not certain about the pro football game.