'Bloodbowl' and Beyond: The Most Absurdly Violent Football Games of All Time

Six ultra-violent, post-apocalyptic reinterpretations of football with killer robots and exploding balls

'Blood Bowl' from Games Workshop

Blood Bowl

Blood Bowl "the game of fantasy football" is ground zero for the ultraviolent, low-fantasy send-ups of American football. First released as a miniatures game by Games Workshop in 1986, teams of orcs, elves, and dwarves chucked dice and maimed each other on a grim, muddy playing field. Yeah, occasionally you’d try to score a touchdown, but we both know what this game was really about. In league play you could actually accumulate experience points to spend on cheerleaders, coaches, and apothecaries – which added a sense of grand strategy to a deeply silly game. There were two video game adaptations: one in 1995 by Strategic Simulations Inc. for PC and another 2009 by Cyanide working in partnership with Games Workshop, but Blood Bowl’s tabletop version is still the way to play – and it a new fifth edition was announced last year!