All-Pro Football 2K8 turned 11-years-old this season and the final football game ever released by 2K (for now) is still in the hearts of many, including one man who created a social media page dedicated to it.
All-Pro Football 2K8 released way back in 2007 and was the first and only game by 2K Sports without the NFL license. In APF, players were able to select from over 200 NFL legends and create their own teams.
After choosing your players, selecting the colors of your team’s uniform and picking a stadium, you were able to compete in games in the fictional APF league. You were able to play exhibition games as well as season mode among other things.
Arguably the most interesting aspect of the game was that there were no attributes for the legends. Players simply had badges or abilities that was most fitting for each player, and this approach seems more relevant now than ever with NBA 2K offering badges.
Also, there is a tier system as a way to separate each player. Gold tier players include players such as Jerry Rice and Walter Payton while silver tier players feature guys like Randall Cunningham and Icky Woods. Finally, you have the bronze tier which has a slew of legends and include players such as Jim Harbaugh (yes, that Jim Harbaugh) and Dwight Clark.
Andrew Zemple, an advocate for All-Pro Football 2K8 and the 2K football series in general, created an entire Twitter page dedicated to telling others about the game’s gameplay. Zemple regularly shares clips, highlighting different aspects that made APF shine compared to football games that are out today.
"“I just wanted to show people how special this game was and to show what it was capable of”, Zemple said. ” I know there are issues, but there is nothing that comes close to it when you’re trying to replicate what you see on Sunday’s.”"
All-Pro Football 2K8 was a way for 2K to release a game without the NFL license since EA Sports took it over completely in 2004. NFL 2K5 looked to be the final game of the series until they decided to go with the concept of using former stars to create APF giving the previous generation of consoles, a 2K pigskin game.
Not only were there already a ton of legends to choose from, but you were also able to create players, whether current or from yesteryear (example: I created Mitchell Trubisky and Jim McMahon). Although creating a player is a common feature in most sports games, having it APF 2K8 gives players a chance to get creative with their roster building.
Among the numerous gameplay elements Zemple showcases, include motion and agility on offense while pulling off juke moves. Awareness on the field was also covered on Zemple’s page. Even mid-play injuries are part of Zemple’s analysis. This video is pretty remarkable.
One of my personal favorite aspects of All-Pro Football 2K8, and it may get overlooked, is the kicking whether it be for punting or field goals. There are no meters for either, as it is all about timing and how you follow through.
Firing up a game recently, I managed to boot a 57-yard field goal with my created, gold tier kicker which gave our squad the lead on the road as the home crowd collectively let out a huge “aw!” in disgust. It was one of the most satisfying feelings I had playing a football game, and although I played the game when it initially came out, you sometimes forget how polished it is.
Another one of Zemple’s more detailed videos showcases the play of the quarterback and the ability to shuffle in and around the pocket. There are badges/abilities that can help improve a QB’s ability to throw on the run effectively or while moving in the pocket.
"“Really, (the Twitter page) was just trying to show people how I see APF 2K8,” Zemple said. “I think it’s the greatest football game we have to date.”"
Although it has been over a decade now since the gridiron game came out, fans of the series still wonder if it will make a return. It’s certainly not the only series that 2K has discontinued, as their MLB, NHL, and college games have all been long gone now.
The only sports games 2K has now are NBA 2K, WWE and The Golf Club 2019 featuring the PGA Tour. They have also added another hoops game, the arcade style street basketball game, NBA 2K Playgrounds 2.
The XFL, which was re-introduced last January and is scheduled to kick-off its first season in 2020, teased the idea of having a video game a couple of months ago. A tweet from the official XFL account popped the question to fans.
The XFL, which had only one season (2001) prior to the reboot announcement, is owned by WWE Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon. 2K, as mentioned, currently has the WWE license which was acquired from THQ back in 2013.
When reaching out about the possibility of a game, the XFL simply told App Trigger that they would “keep us posted.” This isn’t denial nor does it mean that it will happen, it is just a short way of saying that it might be possible, but no guarantees.
"“I don’t know if 2K will ever make a new football game,” Zemple said. “Maybe someday. It’s all if they’re willing to make the investment or if somehow they get the NFL license back.”"
One thing’s for certain; much like other sports series’ in the past (EA Sports’ NCAA football and MVP Baseball for example), there are fans out there who wonder when the game will return or if it will come back at all, Zemple being one of them.
"“I plan to continue for the foreseeable future and I have no plans to stop,” Zemple said. “I enjoying making the content and it makes me want to play the game even more to be able to share these highlights.”"
Despite the uncertain future of a return, Zemple still plans on continuing his work of sharing All-Pro Football 2K8 videos with others on both Twitter and on YouTube.