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Top Ten Tuesday: NFL Street Players

Released in January 2004, NFL Street was the type of groundbreaking sports video game you don’t typically see in today’s world of pay-to-win schemes (EA makes billions of dollars on Ultimate Team, so there isn’t a ton of incentive to innovate in sports). But it’s fun to look back at a classic game. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday picks the best players in the original NFL Street. Please note that Legends are not included in the top ten.


10. Ray Lewis (LB)

The trio of top linebackers in the game included Brian Urlacher, who also could have been included in the top ten. For pure tackling and big hits, Lewis and his maxed-out Tackling attribute made him a force in the middle of defenses. Additionally, the Hall of Famer was someone you could somewhat confidently stick on the offensive line on the other side of the ball.


9. Derrick Brooks (LB)

Derrick Brooks was about as good as Lewis in the game but with not quite as good of a Tackling rating. However, the exceptional coverage skills paired with top speed for a linebacker helped users force turnovers and disrupt opposing passing offenses. The ability to make game-changing interceptions was huge with NFL Street’s gameplay.


8. Simeon Rice (DL)

Sticking with that loaded Tampa Bay defense from the early 2000s, Simeon Rice was one of the players in the game boasting a maxed-out attribute, with his D-Moves at the highest level. Rice was always in the mix as the top pick among defensive linemen, and his advantage in Speed and Tackling gives him the edge over Michael Strahan and others at the position.


7. Jonathan Ogdon (OL)

Standing at six-foot-eight, 340 pounds, Jonathan Ogdon was a wall with a maximum Blocking rating in NFL Street. He also had about two-thirds of his bar filled for Run Power, Tackling, and D-Moves as well, so he could even play a little running back if you wanted to get really creative with all-linemen games—but more importantly, Ogdon could make an impact on defense, too.


6. Orlando Pace (OL)

Orlando Pace and Ogdon basically had the same exact attributes in NFL Street, and both were awesome to use on both sides of the ball. Pace also had the highest possible Blocking rating, but his other skills were for the most part slightly higher than Ogdon’s.


5. Ricky Williams (RB)

You might remember that running back was a totally stacked position back in the 2000s. Shaun Alexander, Marshall Faulk, LaDainian Tomlinson, and several others all could have been included in the top ten depending on what you were looking for. However, it’s hard not to include the NFL Street cover star in the top ten. Williams was one little square away from maxed-out Run Power, and he had a bunch of other great attributes including excellent speed.


4. Michael Vick (QB)

If you wanted a pocket passer, you could have gone with someone like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady; and Donovan McNabb brought a little more balance. But Michael Vick was insanely fast in NFL Street, and that speed was an X-factor in the game—including as an option in the defensive backfield considering players had to play both ways. The passing wasn’t as consistent as other top quarterbacks, but if you used Vick’s legs and made smart decisions as a passer, it was tough to stop the dynamic quarterback.


3. Sam Madison (DB)

We’re now into what is arguably a clear elite top three in NFL Street—guys that could dominate on both sides of the ball in the fun seven-on-seven format. Sam Madison would make some amazing catches on offense, particularly deep down the field with his Speed and Jumping. When presumably looking for a No. 2 receiver among the defensive backs, you couldn’t do better than Madison.


2. Champ Bailey (DB)

Like Ogdon and Pace on the offensive line, Champ Bailey was very similar to Madison at defensive back, and you had to be thrilled with either one on your squad. Bailey was arguably slightly superior on defense, but he was also very good on offense given his athleticism. And in an All-NFL Pickup Game, getting both Madison and Bailey and having them lock things down at DB while also being impactful at WR was a cheat code duo.


1. Randy Moss (WR)

With full Speed paired with Agility and Catching that were just below the maximum level, Randy Moss in NFL Street was similar to how he was at his best in real life—an unstoppable deep threat that could score in a flash. The defense (his tackling was as low as possible) wasn’t always ideal against an opponent that would run a lot, but Moss’ speed at least made it very difficult for him to get beat deep on the other side of the ball.