When it comes to remembering NCAA Football 06, it doesn’t get talked about quite as much now as something like NCAA Football 14. This makes sense because NCAA ’14 was the last version ever, and there’s still online dynasties, modding, etc. to keep it going in a way that doesn’t really exist for a PS2/Xbox title like NCAA ’06.
Still, that’s all the more reason it’s cool to see something like this NCAA Football 06 retrospective from SOFTDRINKTV that makes the case for NCAA Football 06 being the best college football game ever.
In a vacuum, this makes sense. Madden 04 and Madden 05 are considered the two best versions of Madden ever by a large portion of the community, and NCAA Football is built off the same gameplay engine. When you factor in NCAA Football would not have to make the transition to next-gen the same cycle like Madden would, and it did not have something divisive like the Madden 06 QB vision cone, this makes all the more sense. Instead, NCAA Football 06 just got to build off the terrific gameplay from the PS2 days, and add college flair and presentation that the NCAA series was better at showcasing than Madden was at the time.
Part of that college flair was a terrific dynasty mode — it gave franchise mode a run for its money in Madden (albeit Madden had some better presentation elements) — and the solo college career you could have. On top of that, you had a terrific presentation package that included an impressive pregame show, which was even more impressive considering EA has struggled to create this sort of presentation package throughout its history.
So basically what you had was top-tier gameplay, incredible single-player modes and enough presentation to keep you from instantly skipping everything just to get back to the next snap.
If you’re an online fan, I understand why you would still go with NCAA Football 14, but the AI and single-player depth of NCAA Football 06 is a good reason why SDTV’s case here is strong. If you want to see even more about PS2-era NCAA Football, we also posted a video recently talking about some under-the-radar features we still miss from that era of NCAA Football.