NCAA Football 09



Solid yet disappointing sequel to football series.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable

Players may encounter foul language online, but nowhere else in the game.


Several advertisers, including Old Spice, will sponsor particular plays or segments of the game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a college football game attempting to authentically replicate the NCAA atmosphere. The game contains a large dose of advertising from companies like Old Spice. It is playable online, a feature Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for kids under age 12.

What's it about?

In video games, the college football season starts a little earlier than in real life. Electronic Arts has just rolled out NCAA FOOTBALL 09, the latest and perhaps one of the most disappointing in the series. Players can choose to command a school to supremacy via recruiting and clutch gameplay, or propel an athlete to Heisman Trophy status in Campus Legend. There are also mini-games to choose from, including a variation on Horse.

Longtime fans of the series will find the controls very familiar, although they might be complicated for new players. You can control everything from play calling to individual pre-play adjustments as well as straightforward passing and catching. Presentation is much cleaner as well. Visuals look more polished, particularly with players. Animations are more varied. You'll see multiple celebrations after plays as well as players slowly returning to their feet after hard hits. New to the franchise is a Breakaway Engine, in which ballcarriers can juke, spin, or stiff-arm their way past opponents for big gains. While this feat can be gratifying, it sometimes leads to sloppy tackling by computer-controlled players attempting to bring you down from behind.

Is it any good?


In general, NCAA Football 09 is a decent football game, just not as good as earlier versions in the NCAA Football series. Instead of introducing interesting or groundbreaking features, NCAA Football 09 is more or less a prettier version of last year's game. Defensive pressure is mild. Computer-controlled offensive schemes are adequate, and yet they focus on slowly moving up field as opposed to mixing up plays. There are some quality additions, like the increased appearance of mascots and cheerleaders to bolster the college atmosphere and the enhanced online components including dynasty modes and roster sharing, but overall, the game lacks real innovation to separate it from its predecessors. While the quality of football portrayed is solid, fans of this series may feel like it's a step down.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the virtual game versus the real thing. How close does the game mirror the college football experience?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
Available online?Available online
Developer:EA Sports
Release date:July 15, 2008
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for Everyone

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old April 1, 2009

Good game

This game is pretty good for a football game I guess. I'm not really sure because this is my first NCAA football video game though. I think it could be a little more thought trough but it's good overall.
Teen, 17 years old Written byBigbillyboy August 18, 2012


Nuh-uh! This game is so much fun,SO MUCH FUN (from the Regular Show episode "Stick Hockey").I recommend this game to anyone!
Kid, 12 years old March 10, 2012


Nowhere near as good as previous games.


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