Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. 83
    Priced at a frugal $29.99, Arena Football is a fantastic way to cure those post-Super Bowl blues thanks to the numerous spectacular plays you will witness every game. This game is really, really fun.
  2. It won't blow your mind, but it has enough style and playability to make it quite fun, whether you care about the league or not, which is a far cry from "Madden" which is practically designed to run off anyone who doesn't enjoy football in some form.
  3. It might be tough to pinpoint one single aspect of the game that shines above the rest, but it's an overall functional package that will help the pain until the big show comes back in town next season.
  4. 80
    The tackles in the game-some of which can literally send players flying into the bleachers-are the most vertebrae-jangling hits we've seen this side of a roller derby.
  5. A technically solid game overall, and its only major stumbling point is simply its subject matter. Arena Football – the sport – may be perfectly designed to emphasize high scoring and high action in real life, but on the gaming consoles it comes across as cramped and chaotic, yet strangely regimented.
  6. 50
    While the overall control scheme works well enough, kicking long range field goals through the notoriously tight uprights is far too simple. The limited playbook also gives the game a stale feeling and the half baked telemetry system fails to save the gameplay with largely unimportant statistical minutia delivered in eye-straining small fonts and obnoxious menus.
  7. 50
    Online play is the best aspect of Arena Football, particularly if you've been turned off by the rampant use of cheats in Madden.
  8. Fans will find plenty to enjoy, as the frenetic, pounding action of the sport seems to be intact, but many might find themselves left out by the tacked-on presentation and season mode.
  9. 40
    Arena Football may be an engaging sport to watch in real life, with the excitement of packed arenas and the promise of frenzied action on the shortened field, but the developers did a poor job in conveying that sense of atmosphere in the game.
  10. Arena Football may be a little rough around the edges, but it has the potential to grow. [Mar 2006, p.77]
  11. All I want do is throw or run with the ball and mash as many players as humanly possible in as many ways as possible. EA's Arena Football does all of that quite nicely.
  12. But the actual gameplay feels like too much of a nebulous gray area between arcade and simulation, and both the presentation and the features set are lacking.
  13. I have no idea why this title was even made. [Apr 2006, p.118]
  14. 60
    The all-new telemetry system and be-the-receiver feature are interesting additions that enhance the fun derived from Arena Football, but they are not enough to push the game over the top.
  15. If I only owned this game, I'd watch more television. [Mar 2006, p.102]
  16. Sure, Arena Football may look and play almost as good as the pros (featuring all of the teams, players, and fast-paced fury of alternative smash-mouth), but time out here: who cares about the AFL? Oh, that's right-no one.
  17. Despite the fact that the game has a franchise mode of sorts (you sign free agents in the off season rather than holding a draft), this isn't the kind of game that you'll most likely play multiple seasons as you would Madden or NCAA unless you're simply a die-hard Arena League fan. The game simply doesn't have the legs for it.

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