The Best of College Football (sans smuggling Bourbon in your pants)

NCAA Football 11

Depending in part on how and where you spent your formative years, you should understand the following statement: nothing in the sporting world compares to the excitement of college football. Of course, you’re entitled to disagree or to blow your vuvuzela in protest, but you’d be just plain wrong. That’s why today we salute EA Sports and the yearly release of their collegiate gridiron simulator; that’s right, NCAA Football 11 is in stores today, a precursor to the upcoming college season.

We’ve been devotees of this franchise for years, and, unlike other annually-appearing games, NCAA Football rarely missteps; instead, each year’s game builds on previous successes and adds solid features to its already refined gameplay. This time out, each team’s playbook has been optimized to mirror their real-life play style (you’ll get the chance to perfect the spread, the triple option, the wishbone, and more), and realistic stadium features, coaching tendencies, and school traditions feature more prominently than ever. The big addition to gameplay comes in the form of locomotion running mechanics which rely on dual stick control to affect a 1-to-1 movement animation on your controlled player. Translation: it’s up to you to control the severity of your ball carrier’s juke or lean, as well as to independently manipulate both his upper and lower body. NCAA 11 looks better than every, sounds better than ever, and has the deepest set of online play and league options you’ll find anywhere. If this can’t get you through to week 1 this fall, nothing will.

Buy Now: PS3 ($60) | Xbox 360 ($60)