• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2004
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. I daresay that many of the Brits reading this will be as baffled as I was with ESPN NFL 2K5, but there's a whole shed-load of quality present in both the gameplay and presentation.
  2. The few rare problems in this game are able to go unnoticed without a second thought. For any true football fan that doesn’t own this game, you should feel very empty inside...very, very empty.
  3. My jaw dropped when I saw the Raiders white road jerseys, the shadows and player models and even the animation. This game looks absolutely stunning and is the best looking football game have ever seen.
  4. NFL 2K5 not only has the best gameplay, both in accuracy and pure fun factor, but the entire game is wrapped up in an ESPN presentation that is worthy of being watched on Sunday with a group of friends.
  5. Don't just get this game because it's 20 bucks, buy it becuase it's the best football title there is and the only one that's a must have. [Sept 2004, p.100]
  6. Deep, customizable gameplay along with a number of innovative features go a long way to giving "Madden" a run for its money.
  7. 100
    This year, the design guys as Visual Concepts have turned ESPN NFL 2K5 into the most entertaining show in video-game football. [Sept 2004, p.98]
  8. For all of its excellent modes and gameplay, however, ESPN NFL 2K5's greatest asset comes in the form of its graphics. Hands down, flat out, undeniably, inarguably, this is the best-looking football game ever made.
  9. 90
    It has great graphics, exciting gameplay, and a solid online mode. If you can skip over the slightly gimmicky modes and stick to the excellent Franchise mode, you'll be happy that you whipped Mr. Jackson out at the game store.
  10. Visual Concepts has done an awesome job of squeezing every ounce of power that the PlayStation 2 has to offer while developing this game. The player’s faces look like their real life counter parts, and everything is smoothly animated.
  11. Not only do you have a game that you can play with friends, but one that can be played solo with goals that make the game last a long time.
  12. 93
    Are you kidding me? This game rivals "Madden" in every way and surpasses it in feature set. Plus it's only twenty dollars.
  13. But the graphics and game play have been juiced up, too, with improved passing, a slightly tougher running game, and lots of combo-move action via manipulation of the right analog stick.
  14. 89
    We may be stuck with this edition for the next five years, but it’s an outstanding little sports gem to be stuck with, and for a price tag that can’t be beat.
  15. I have found almost NOTHING wrong or flawed in NFL 2K5. It is what I would consider right now the perfect Football game. It is a must have game.
  16. An addictive football game with awesome gameplay, although the practice mode should have been more detailed. The franchise mode is very close to the real thing. [Apr. 05]
  17. For a mere $20, Sega's game is every bit as deep, feature-rich and addictive as EA's powerhouse. I'm not saying that 2K5 is better than "Madden"...but it's just as good - no joke. [Sept 2004, p.84]
  18. "Madden" fans will be awed by ESPN's superior presentation....All in all, ESPN Football 2K5 is more ambitious, polished and enjoyable than this year's "Madden."[Sept 2004, p.14]
  19. While the majority of the gameplay is above average, the game’s bevy of technical issues kill any hopes that a hardcore fan would be satisfied with this game in the long term.
  20. With better graphics, deeper gameplay, a polished ESPN interface to die for and an outrageously low price ESPN NFL 2K5 offers the most bang for your gaming dollar, period.
  21. Challenging, smooth, plays incredibly well and is as accurate as you would like.
  22. The additions of the VIP, online seasons and tournaments, and weekly schedules make this game hard to pass up.
  23. 100
    The biggest advancement is the VIP system, which studies your habits on the field and develops a profile based on how you play the game.
  24. Whilst I prefer the simplicity of EA Big's title, ESPN has got me hooked on the professional side of football, if not only to fill up my virtual house full of football clobber.
  25. Sega's best football game to date.
  26. With unparalleled visuals, a deep franchise mode, and tons of new and improved features, "Madden" is facing a 4th and very, very long this year.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 57
  2. Negative: 6 out of 57
  1. Apr 22, 2011
    10
    This game defined my LIFE from 2005-2009. Yes, 4 years and this game was my most played game. The controls are excellent (the first and only football game that makes it humanly possible to kick/punt, play defense, or call a **** play), the graphics while far from state of the art don't hinder the game's fun. The mini-games found in the "crib" are fun as hell, and the teams and players were APPROPRIATELY rated (3rd string QBs do NOT get an 80 rating, Madden.) I never downgrade to madden after this masterpiece of sports gaming. The only flaw that I found was having to play within punching distance of my older brother. Full Review »
  2. Mar 27, 2011
    10
    Even after all these years, this stands the time as one of the best football games ever made. The presentation is unparalleled and the game is so packed with features that it still has life nearly 7 years after its initial release. ESPN NFL 2K5 is our generation's Tecmo Bowl. Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    For the time it was the best FB game of all time. Graphically and mechanics have faded away with the times but the presentation is HANDS DOWN the best I have every experienced in a video game and I still wish 2K Sports would bring out another FB game to put Madden in it's place. Come on NFL 2K14! Full Review »