The NFL draft is over, the best players have been taken out of free agency, and the season is still months away. It's the time of year where we play sports games to scratch that itch while waiting for kickoff.  Here are five games we consider to be the best NFL games ever created.

5. Madden NFL 16

Madden NFL 16's gameplay was easily accessible for casual sports gamers. The game's major improvement is with it's passing game. Quarterbacks have more control with their throws, and receivers can now make some spectacular catches with just one hand (thanks to Odell Beckham Jr's miraculous catch against the Cowboys in 2015.)

Madden NFL 16 also retained certain features like the social media page, where you can check updates around the league, as well as Analyst and Reporter opinions. In terms of pure gameplay this title is a must-have.

4. Madden NFL 09

What makes Madden NFL 09 great is both visual and gameplay improvements to the game. The rewind feature, which allows you to restart a play from the beginning, is nice in case you accidentally started a play, or had to leave your seat mid-play to do something important.

John Madden himself also talks to you via headset in-game to give you tips on what plays you should call next. It's a nice way to keep the gamer immersed in the experience

Fun Fact: The game had a reversible cover: One with Brett Favre in a Packers jersey, the other with him in a Jets jersey.

3. Madden NFL 07

Madden NFL 07 was a landmark game in terms of control. For hardcore NFL fans who want an experience that closely resembles the real thing, look no further. The content-rich franchise mode alone is worth getting this game. From scouting players in college, to hiring retired players onto your coaching staff, this title does the best it can to make you feel like you're part of an NFL organization.

This Madden title's presentation is incredible too. For the third installment in a row, Tony Bruno hosts a radio show that you can listen to as you prep for Sunday's matchup. This show includes guest appearances from other coaches, retired players, and fan calls who will bash or praise their favorite team. There's also a league wide newspaper, as well as local papers you can reach for all 32 teams.

2. NFL 2K5

NFL 2K5 was what propelled football games to be even greater. One can argue that this was the game that caused EA to sign an exclusive deal with the NFL to be the sole publishers for NFL games. With it's $19.99 retail price and ESPN-style presentation starring Chris Berman, the look and feel is phenomenal. The Crib is also a feature that needs to come back if 2K returns to the football scene, as it allowed the player to view all their accomplishments. You can also get phone calls from celebrities to play them in real football games, or something simple like flick-football.

1. Madden NFL 10

Not many NFL games have halftime shows as well as weekly wrap up shows with real people. You're also able to see the scores of other games as you're playing, which is a nice way to keep track of important matchups. In-game, players and coaches can be seen talking to each other on the side lines, and fans can be seen attending concession stands.

In terms of gameplay, this title improved upon its predecessors by improving most of the offensive mechanics. Both offense and defense are much easier to manage than previous titles. Perhaps we can thanks players like Larry Fitzgerald and Santonio Holmes for that.

Until Madden NFL 2024's release, we hope you enjoy these titles the way we did!