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NCAA 14 is on sale for $19 if you're jonesing for college football

Canceled, but not dead

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Perhaps in recognition that July once was the month for NCAA Football's launch, NCAA Football 14, the three-year-old, final edition of the series, is $19.99 on both the PlayStation Store and Xbox Marketplace. You can't find a new version cheaper at any major retailer.

Pre-owned copies on PlayStation 3 run $29.99 at GameStop, reflecting the demand (if not nostalgia) for EA Sports' college football series, which was canceled in 2013 after the publisher settled, for $40 million, a long-running lawsuit brought by former college players over the unauthorized, years-long use of their likenesses in the game's roster.

The NCAA later kicked in another $20 million for its role in countenancing this commercial use of its members' students, or at least not protecting them from the arrangement EA Sports and the NCAA's licensor had. Settlement checks recently went out to the players, amounting to about $1,600 per, on average.

Last year, the musician, entertainer and herbal medicine enthusiast Snoop Dogg fiercely advocated for making NCAA Football 14 backward compatible with the Xbox One, but it is unlikely this will ever happen, thanks to licensing. The only league-licensed sport made backward compatible so far is NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.

Nothing, however, prevents Electronic Arts from continuing to sell or support NCAA Football 14 on its original consoles, though the game's one-year-only Ultimate Team closed its marketplace in September 2014. (Players in this mode were current NFL professionals, appearing in their college uniforms.)

NCAA Football 14 is the only edition with real-time physics, introduced the year before in Madden NFL 13, in the gameplay. SB Nation's Dan Rubenstein reviewed it for us in 2013 and called NCAA Football 14 "the best, most polished entry yet in the series." Unfortunately, it is also the last one.

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