NFL Flashback: The Best Super Bowls Of All Time Ranked 1-to-10

As we head into Super Bowl LVIII, we take a look back at the event’s history and rank the top 10 best Super Bowls of all time.

As tough as it was to rank the 10 best Super Bowls in the event’s history, it hasn’t always lived up to its reputation. Be sure to also check out our list of the worst Super Bowls of all time.

10. Super Bowl LII (Feb 4, 2018)

Philadelphia Eagles 41-33 New England Patriots

Trick plays, upsets, and unexpected heroes – Super Bowl LII had it all. Well, maybe not defense.

Backup quarterback Nick Foles outgunned Tom Brady, delivering Philly its first ever Super Bowl after catching a one-yard touchdown pass on a trick play.

Foles’ touchdown catch later became known as the ‘Philly Special’ and joined NFL lore alongside his unexpected heroic performance, which earned him the game’s MVP.

The Eagles and the Patriots combined for the most yardage in Super Bowl history, while Brady threw for a record 505 yards in a losing effort.

The game was tight going down the stretch until a strip-sack courtesy of Brandon Graham sent the Pats packing.

9. Super Bowl XXIII (Jan 22, 1989)

San Francisco 49ers 20-16 Cincinnati Bengals

In a worthy repeat of Super Bowl XVI, Cincinnati and San Francisco provided even more theatrics in Super Bowl XXIII.

In his final game, 49ers coach Bill Walsh found himself staring defeat in the eyes; his team trailed with just three minutes left.

Instead, Joe Montana orchestrated the greatest drive in Super Bowl history. Aided by Jerry Rice, who tallied a Super Bowl record of 215 receiving yards, Montana marched the Niners to glory.

8. Super Bowl XXV (Jan 27, 1991)

New York Giants 20-19 Buffalo Bills

Two words: wide right.

In another showdown between the league’s top offense and top defense, Super Bowl XXV was about as tight as it gets. The game was truly a heavyweight fight, with sustained drama throughout.

Led by defensive coordinator Bill Belichick, New York’s game plan was to thwart Jim Kelly in the Buffalo k-gun offense – and they did just that.

New York possessed the ball for a record 40 minutes and 33 seconds and clung to a one-point lead as the Bills were down to one final play. However, Scott Norwood’s last-second field goal attempt went wide right of the uprights.

The game remains the only Super Bowl to be decided by a single point and the first in which neither team committed a turnover.

7. Super Bowl XXXVI (Feb 3, 2002)

New England Patriots 20-17 St. Louis Rams

Call it hyperbole, but the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVI likely shaped the history of 21st-century football. As one dynasty emerged, another failed to get off the runway.

The Rams climbed back from an early 17-3 haul, tying the game late before Adam Vinatieri booted New England into the history books.

The underdog Patriots toppled the “Greatest Show on Turf” as an unknown Tom Brady embarked on a two-decade era of dominance.

6. Super Bowl XXXIV (Jan 30, 2000)

St. Louis Rams 23-16 Tennessee Titans

Quite literally, this was the closest finish in Super Bowl history. In an unlikely duel between two resurgent franchises, Super Bowl XXXIV came down to the final yard.

Trailing by 16 to Kurt Warner in the league’s top offense, Tennessee stormed back only to see the 1999 MVP work more magic on a 73-yard go-ahead touchdown.

With the game on the line, Steve McNair drove the Titans down the field at the Rams’ 10-yard line, and there was time for one last play.

However, linebacker Mike Jones tackled wide receiver Kevin Dyson one yard short of the goal line to prevent a game-tying touchdown.

5. Super Bowl XLIII (Feb 1, 2009)

Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23 Arizona Cardinals

Warner returned to the Super Bowl spotlight with Ken Whisenhunt’s Cardinals team for Super Bowl XLIII, and the game was truly a wild tilt.

James Harrison huffed and puffed for a record 100-yard pick-six to put the Steelers up 10 at the half. But Larry Fitzgerald propelled the Cardinals ahead with just three minutes left, setting up one of football’s most iconic catches.

Santiago Holmes caught a pass in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown, managing to land with his toes inbounds before falling out of bounds.

The Steelers became the first franchise to earn six Vince Lombardi Trophies.

4. Super Bowl XIII (Jan 21, 1979)

Pittsburgh Steelers 35-31 Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl XIII was a legend-packed rematch to decide the team of the decade.

You want star power? The Steelers and Cowboys boasted a combined 21 future Hall of Famers between coaches and players.

And the game itself lived up to the hype. Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach went toe-to-toe in a high-scoring affair.

Bradshaw won MVP, passing for a then-Super Bowl record of 318 yards and four touchdowns. Pittsburgh scored 14 points in just 19 seconds to take a commanding lead.

Staubach’s late rally came up short, clinching back-to-back titles and the Steelers’ third Lombardi Trophy of the decade.

3. Super Bowl LI (Feb 5, 2017)

New England Patriots 34-28 Atlanta Falcons

Where do you begin with Super Bowl 51? A dream for Patriots fans, a nightmare for the Falcons faithful.

Atlanta poured it on early. To that point, no team had come back from more than 10 points in a Super Bowl. Down 28-3, Tom Brady did the unthinkable.

The record-setting MVP’s clutch gene kicked in, helping him break then-Super Bowl records with 43 completions, 62 attempts, and 466 passing yards.

Brady led a two-minute drill, and the Pats tied the game with less than a minute remaining in regulation.

The Patriots won the overtime coin toss, marched down the field, and James White (who also had a strong claim to win MVP) scored his third TD of the game.

It’s the only Super Bowl to date to be decided in overtime.

So, why isn’t the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history higher on the list? Yes, the last quarter-and-a-half were absolutely nuts, but does that 2016 Falcons team stand the test of time? Not so much.

2. Super Bowl XLII (Feb 3, 2008)

New York Giants 17-14 New England Patriots

We all love a good David and Goliath story, and there are few better than Super Bowl XLII.

The undefeated Patriots, looking for their fourth title in seven years, faced the wildcard Giants as heavy favourites, and there was enduring drama from start to finish.

In a clean, well-played contest, the G-man pressured Brady throughout. It took a late fourth-quarter score to put New England ahead.

The next drive, on a crucial third-and-five, Eli Manning and David Tyree etched their names into history.

Manning wriggled out of trouble before re-orienting himself and launching the ball deep down the middle of the field, where Tyree made the “Helmet Catch”, a leaping one-handed catch, pinning the football with his right hand to the crown of his helmet for a 32-yard first down conversion.

Manning threw this second touchdown pass of the game, the winning drive that culminated with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining.

In the most improbable fashion, the Giants completed one of football’s greatest upsets.

1. Super Bowl XLIX (Feb 1, 2015)

New England Patriots 28-24 Seattle Seahawks

There are shocking endings, and then there is Super Bowl XLIX. Until Super Bowl LVII in 2023, it was the most-viewed television program of all time.

Seattle were defending champs coming up against a Patriots squad looking for its first title in a decade. With two great coaches and superstars all over the field, the game bounced back-and-forth all night.

Brady and company erased a 10-point deficit, scoring 14 straight in the fourth quarter – but that was just the appetizer.

Jermaine Kearse secured a truly miraculous catch on the final drive, tipping the ball to himself as he fell to the ground, latching onto a Russell Wilson throw, and catching it whilst lying on his back.

No Super Bowl has ever ended the way this one did. Seattle had the clock—just a few yards to secure back-to-back titles; they had one of the best short-yardage running backs in history; and they had momentum on their side—or so it seemed.

As the Seahawks threatened to score a winning touchdown from New England’s 1-yard line, the ball was intercepted by cornerback Martin Butler in the final seconds, clinching the championship for the Patriots.

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