NFL 2K is an American football video game series developed by Visual Concepts and published by Sega. The series was originally exclusive to Sega's Dreamcast video game console due to the absence of EA Sports's Madden NFL series on the system. As the foremost "2K" title, it marked the beginning of a running athletics series that eventually led to the spinning off of 2K's sports publishing business under the name of 2K Sports. Upon the Dreamcast's discontinuation, the series continued to be published for other sixth generation game systems and became the chief competitor of the Madden series.
After the competitively priced NFL 2K5 significantly reduced sales of that year's Madden release, EA signed an exclusivity deal with the NFL that made Madden NFL the only series allowed to use NFL team and player names. After losing the NFL license, Visual Concepts made a brief return to developing football games with the release of All-Pro Football 2K8, which featured former NFL players on fictional teams.