One of the most beloved football video games in history was released 25 years ago today.
Tecmo Super Bowl, developed and published by Tecmo, was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan on December 13th, 1991. It came out in North America on the same month, although an exact date is not known.
The game was an historic first, with the licenses for both the real players and teams from the previous National Football League season.
The game offers a sideline-oriented view of the action, which is fast-paced and quick. A variety of plays can be called and the player then snaps the ball and controls who has the ball—whether they pass, run, or kick. The play is interspersed with animated cutscenes, which are a popular staple of the game. There are cutscenes for a variety of plays and other events—from touchdowns to injuries to halftime and more.
Aside from single games that can be played against another human opponent or computer player, there’s also a season mode and the option to play the Pro Bowl as well.
The original Tecmo Super Bowl had an enhanced port on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, as well as two 16-bit sequels.
Although the game has its origin in the 8-bit era, it still has a passionate and dedicated following to this day. There are tournaments held, hacks of the game that edit the players and teams, and it often tops the lists of best football or even sports games overall.