Best Superbowls in History, Ranked

HomeSportsBest Superbowls in History, Ranked

The Super Bowl has a half a century history with some of the Super Bowls being the most boring thing you have ever witnessed and some being the best thing you have seen in your life.

Of course, at the end of the day, it is only one team that makes it out with the Lombardi Trophy. However, it is not always that the Super Bowl stays in the memory of people around the world for the winner. Sometimes quite the opposite. Even the time and place of the Super Bowl can have a huge impact. As you will see, some of them were played after huge catastrophes that shook the nation to its core. Those are the types of Super Bowls that will stay in the heart of true fans forever, regardless of the outcome.

Speaking of the outcome, some exceptional battles have been fought over the years and the favorites are not always the winners. There have been numerous occasions where the underdogs took the spotlight and won all the glory. Some of them, of course, made it on our list as well.

We made a list of the top thirty Super Bowls in the history that kept the spectators on the edge of their seats. We have also listed a few memorable moments for each of the Super Bowls on the list in order to give you a better insight why and, most importantly, who carried the whole team on their own shoulders and thus receive the MVP award.

Let’s tackle the list, shall we?

30. DOLPHINS VS REDSKINS, 1973

The Dolphins and Redskins faced each other at the 1973 Super Bowl VII. The game took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 14, 1973. It was only the second time that the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted a Super Bowl match. It was a very hot day with the temperatures at kick off measured at 84°F or 29 °C. This still makes it the warmest Super Bowl to this day.

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The Dolphins went into the match undefeated and by defeating the Redskins they became the first and the only team in the NFL history to go undefeated for the whole season. Not only that, but they are also the first and the only team that got shut out in the second half of the match and still win.

29. Broncos VS falcons, 1999

The Super Bowl XXXIII took place at the Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida on January 31, 1999.

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The Denver Broncos went into the match defending their Super Bowl title from the last season. This was also the final game for John Elway, who was later introduced into the Hall of Fame. He led by example and carried his team to their first back-to-back Super Bowl title. Not only that, but he also passed 336 yards and scored a touchdown. That also earned him the Super Bowl MVP award.

28. COLTS VS BEARS, 2007

The Indianapolis Colts took on the Chicago Bears at the Super Bowl XLI. The game took place at the Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on February 4, 2007. Both the Colts and the Bears managed to end their Super Bowl appearance droughts. The Colts last appeared in a Super Bowl match back in the Super Bowl V, when they won the 1970 season. For the Bears, their last Super Bowl match was back in the 1985 season when they appeared and won the Super Bowl XX.

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For the first time in the history of the Super Bowl, both the Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and the Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith became the first African-American head coaches to coach in the Super Bowl. By winning the match, Tony Dungy also became the first African-American head coach in the history of the competition to win the Super Bowl. The game saw many turnovers. Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears started a good game for his team with an opening kickoff return for a touchdown. However, that was not enough to stop the Colts who eventually took things into their own hands and won the game. Their defense was super band forced five turnovers. Manning won his first Super Bowl match and became the Super Bowl MVP.   

27. STEELERS VS SEAHAWKS, 2006

The Super Bowl XL was held at the Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on February 5, 2006. The Seattle Seahawks faced the Pittsburgh Steelers who defeated their opponents 21-10. Even though the odds were heavily stacked against their favor they managed to pull the upset and win the Super Bowl.

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This was the fifth Super Bowl win for the Steelers which tied the team with the San Franciso 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys with the then- record of five Super Bowl wins. The Steelers won their last Super Bowl back in 1980, and by winning this one they became the first ever sixth-seeded team to win the Super Bowl.

26. PACKERS VS PATRIOTS, 1997

The Super Bowl XXXI took place at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 26, 1997. The game saw the New England Patriots face the Green Bay Packers with the Packers defeating the Patriots 35-21. This was their third time winning the Super Bowl in the team’s history, making it the first Super Bowl win since the Super Bowl II.

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Desmond Howard was the man responsible for a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. This impressive play earned him the title of Super Bowl MVP and thus became the first ever special teams player to win this prestigious award.

25. REDSKINS VS BILLS, 1992

The Super Bowl XXVI took place at the Hubert H. Humprey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 26, 1992. The Buffalo Bills faced the Washington Redskins who won the game 37-24. By doing so, they were the fourth team in the history to win three Super Bowls, right after the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oakland Raider, and the San Franciso 49ers. Unfortunately for the Buffalo Bills, they were also placed on the record list, but not the one they hoped for. They became the third team in the history of the Super Bowl to lose back-to-back Super Bowls. The teams who won this title before the Buffalo Bills were the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos.

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It was a great day for the Washington coach Joe Gibbs, who managed to bag his third Super Bowl win. Not only that, but he also managed to win all three titles with a different starting QB.

24. COLTS VS COWBOYS, 1971

Moving on we have the Super Bowl V or the “Blunder Bowl.” The game took place at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida on January 17, 1971. It was the first ever Super Bowl match to be played on artificial turf. It was also the first-generation Poly-Turf. The Super Bowl V was also the first ever Super Bowl played after the AFL and the NFL merged.

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It is referred to as the Blunder Bowl because both teams performed subpar to what would be expected of teams fighting for the title. The combined score of the turnovers by both teams was 11. To make things even weird, the team that committed the most turnovers, which was the Colts, actually managed to win the title.

23. REDSKINS VS DOLPHINS, 1983

The Super Bowl XVII took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on January 30, 1983. The AFC champions Miami Dolphins faced the NFC champions Washington Redskins in what was a 27-17 title win for the Redskins. It was also the first time in the history of the team that they have won this glorious title. The season was drastically shorter due to a players’ strike. There were only nine games played in the regular season and the league eventually constructed a four-round tournament for the title where the division was ignored.

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Washington was down four points when the Super Bowl MVP, John Riggins, took the matters into his own hands. He rumbled 43 yards for a TD and Washington took the lead that would eventually win them the game.

22. SAINTS VS COLTS, 2010

The Super Bowl XLIV took place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on February 7, 2010. The New Orleans Saints faced the Indianapolis Colts and defeated them with the score of 31-17. This was the first title win for the Indianapolis Colts in the team’s history.

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The Saints were heavy underdogs, but that did not stop them from causing an upset against a much-experienced team. The most memorable moment of the match is absolutely Tracy Porter’s 74-yard pick six, which also clinched the game.

21. COWBOYS VS STEELERS, 1996

The Super Bowl XXX, which took place at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on January 28, 1996, saw the Dallas Cowboys claim the title for the fifth time in their history. They played against the Pittsburgh Steelers and won the match 27-17. Both teams went into the match with four titles won, and both were trying to tie themselves with the San Francisco 40ers at five Super Bowl’s won.

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After two second-half interceptions, Larry Brown has honored the title of the MVP of the Super Bowl. He was also the first cornerback in the history of the competition to win the title. To make things even better, he was a 12th round pick and surprised everyone with his performance.

20. STEELERS VS RAMS, 1980

The Super Bowl XIV took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on January 20, 1980. The matchup was between the Los Angeles Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won the game 31-19. Surprisingly enough, the Rams were the first team in the history of the competition to have nine or fewer wins in the regular season and still make it to the Super Bowl.

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It was an awful late-game display by the Rams, who were basically playing on home ground. They managed to keep the game close for three whole quarters before the Steelers eventually pulled away with the help of John Stallworth’s TD. 

19. PATRIOTS VS EAGLES, 2005

The Super Bowl XXXIX took place at the Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005. The New England Patriots faced the Philadelphia Eagles in what was a 24-21 win for the Patriots. Philadelphia struggled for three years in the NFC Championship Games, before eventually making it to the Super Bowl.

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However, they had to face the Patriots and a superb Tom Brady. The Patriots became the first and the most recent team since the Denver Broncos to win consecutive Super Bowls. They also became only the second team after the Dallas Cowboys to win the Super Bowl three times in four seasons.

18. PACKERS VS STEELERS, 2011

The Super Bowl XLV was played at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. It was the first ever Super Bowl to be played at the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The Pittsburgh Steelers went against the Green Bay Packers and lost 31-25.

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There was already a 21-3 deficit in the game, but the Steelers still somehow managed to get closer to their opponents. In the long run, however, they were unable to defend themselves and lost the game despite their best efforts.

17. BRONCOS VS PACKERS, 1998

The Super Bowl XXXII took place at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on January 25, 1998. The Qualcomm Stadium became the only stadium in the history to host the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year. In this title shot, the Green Bay Packers took on the Denver Broncos, who defeated them with the score of 31-24.

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Even though Terrell Davis had some health issues during the game, he managed to lead his team to victory. He was later named the Super Bowl MVP.

16. 49ERS VS BENGALS, 1982

The Super Bowl XVI was played at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan on January 24, 1982. This was the first time ever that the Super Bowl was held in a cold-weather city. Even though the dome saved the crowd from the snowy weather on the match day, it could not save the traffic. Despite the serious logistical issues due to the weather, this particular Super Bowl became one of the most watched broadcasts in the whole American television history. More than 85 million viewers watched the match between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals.

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The 49ers won the game 26-21, and even lead 20-0 coming into the halftime, after Cincinnati’s three first-half turnovers. Cincinnati managed to somehow climb back up and catch up with the 49ers but was eventually stopped by the goal-line stand in the third quarter. This also marks the first ever Super Bowl win for the San Francisco 49ers.  

15. GIANTS VS PATRIOTS, 2012

The Super Bowl XLVI was played at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, on February 5, 2012. It was the first ever Super Bowl played in Indiana. New York Giants faced New England Patriots in a 21-17 win for the Giants. Not only did the Giants win the title for the fourth time in their history, but they also set a record for becoming the champions after setting the lowest ever regular season record, which stood at 9-7, with a win percentage of only 56.4%.

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Both teams faced each other five years ago, and the Giants defeated the Patriots yet again, despite being regarded as the underdogs. The most memorable moment was definitely Ahmad Bradshaw’s game-winning touchdown.

14. STEELERS VS COWBOYS, 1976

The Super Bowl X was held at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida on January 18, 1976. It was one of the first in a series of major national events of the United States Bicentennial year. The Bicentennial year was also honored by the players of both teams who wore special patches on their jerseys to commemorate the occasion. The Dallas Cowboys faced the Pittsburgh Steelers and lost with the score of 21-17. It was a back-to-back Super Bowl win for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They became only the third team in the history to achieve such a feat, trailing behind the Miami Dolphins and the Green Bay Packers.

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Dallas lost the game after managing to surrender 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. The game-clinching moment was definitely the interception by Glen Edwards as time ran out.

13. STEELERS VS COWBOYS, 1979

The Super Bowl XIII was played at the Orange Bowl, Miami on January 21, 1979. The Pittsburgh Steelers face the Dallas Cowboys and won the game with the score of 35-31. This was the first title match in the history that saw a rematch of the previous one. At the same time, both teams were also competing to win their third Super Bowl.

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The Steelers managed to hold off a late fourth-quarter charge from Cowboys, which eventually won them their third title.

12. JETS VS COLTS, 1969

The Super Bowl III, which was played at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida on January 12, 1969, is the reason that the game turned out as big as it is today. It is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in sports ever.

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The New York Jets were considered heavy underdogs when going against the Baltimore Colts but managed to pull off an upset and win the game with the score of 16-9. This was not only an upset, but it also marked the first ever win for the AFL team in the Super Bowl. Until this point, all the AFL teams were considered less talented and less professional than the NFL clubs. 

11. RAVENS VS 49ERS, 2013

The Super Bowl XLVII took place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 3, 2013. It was the first Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. It is also referred to as the “Harbaugh Bowl”. It was the first time in the history of the competition that two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, faced each other as the head coaches for their respective teams. The game saw San Francisco 49ers face against the Baltimore Ravens in a 34-31 win for the Ravens. This was also the first time that the 49ers lost in a title match.

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The Ravens took the lead and got to the score of 28-6 when a blackout happened after a performance from Beyoncé during the halftime show. After the electricity came back, the 49ers managed to get back into the game and were just within yards of a game-winning touchdown.

10. PATRIOTS VS RAMS, 2002

The Super Bowl XXXVI was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on February 3, 2002. The schedule was pushed back a week, following the September 11 attacks. The original date for the Super Bowl was set at January 27, but after being pushed back for a week, it became the first Super Bowl in the history of the competition to be played in February. The pregame and halftime show honored the victims of the attacks. This became the first Super Bowl designated as a National Special Security Event or the NSSE. It was designated so by the Office of Homeland Security. The Office of Homeland Security later started announcing every subsequent Super Bowl as an NSSE, and they have been under constant protection ever since. It was also the last Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina came along and destroyed the city.

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The game was played between St. Louis Rams and the New England Patriots. The Patriots won the game with the score of 20-17. They were in the lead for the whole game, and actually even stormed to a 17-3 lead. However, Rams were trailing along and eventually caught up with the Patriots. Only 90 seconds remained in the match and it was then when Brady led the Patriots into the field-goal range. Adam Vinatieri took the opportunity and won the game for his team with a 48-yard field goal just as time expired.  

9. RAMS VS TITANS, 2000

The Super Bowl XXXIV took place at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta on January 30, 2000. The St. Louis Rams took on the Tennessee Titans and won the game with the score of 23-16. This was the first Super Bowl title for the rams after years of drought. Their last, and first title came back in 1951.

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Only one yard was the decisive factor in this match. As time was expiring, Mike Jones of the St. Louis Rams managed to tackle Kevin Dyson of the Tennessee Titans. It all happened just a single yard short of the goal line. The MVP was however won by Kurt Warner, who was a QB for the Rams.

8. 49ERS VS BENGALS, 1989

The Super Bowl XXIII was played at the Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami on January 22, 1989. The Cincinnati Bengals faced the San Francisco 49ers, who won the title with the score of 20-16. This was their third Super Bowl title. Both teams have already met in a Super Bowl match seven years prior. Even though the Bengals had massive plans to get one back at the 49ers, the 49er managed to win the game, even though it was a close one.

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The 49ers were trailing by three, and that is when Montana took the lead and led them into a 92-yard game-winning drive. It was all capped off by a beautiful touchdown catch by John Taylor.

7. PATRIOTS VS PANTHERS, 2004

The Super Bowl XXXVIII took place at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 1, 2004. After many years, the Super Bowl finally broke the record, and with 144.4 million viewers around the world, it became the most watched Super Bowl at the time. The game saw the Carolina Panthers face against the New England Patriots in what would later be a 32-29 win for the Patriots.

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It all could have gone down a lot different, however. Jake Delhomme and his teammates almost managed to beat Brady in this Super Bowl title. Once again, it all came down to a last-minute game-winning 41-yard field goal, performed by Vinatieri. This win earned the Patriots their second title in a three years’ time.  

6. GIANTS VS BILLS, 1991

The Super Bowl XXV was played at the Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida on January 27, 1991. The game took place during the Gulf War and is still remembered to this day partly due to the exceptional performance by Whitney Houston who performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the pre-game ceremony. The American Broadcast Company (ABC), who was responsible for the broadcast of the Super Bowl XXV stopped the broadcast before the half-time show started. They televised a report by Peter Jenning on the progress of the war in its place. After the report, they aired the whole halftime show after the game.

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The game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants is still regarded as one of the closest Super Bowl matched in the history. The Giants managed to defeat the Bills with the score of 20-19. It all came down to a Scott Norwood, who had the game-winning goal at his feet. Unfortunately for him and his team, he missed the field goal wide right, which became one of the most famous misses in history.  

5. GIANTS VS PATRIOTS, 2008

The Super Bowl XLII took place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 3, 2008. The New York Giants faced against the New England Patriots and with the score of 17-14, the Giants managed to pull off one of the biggest upsets not only in the history of the Super Bowl but also in the history of professional sports. The New England Patriots were heavy favorites, coming into the match with a perfect regular season. This means that they were the first team after the 1972 Miami Dolphins to not lose a single game during their regular season. To put it into perspective, The New York Giants were coming into this game with the regular season score record of 10-6.

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Eli Manning performed a true Houdini act, and the Giants QB managed to escape pressure and find David Tyree. This particular catch was probably one of the most important receptions of all time and eventually won the game for the Giants.  

4. STEELERS VS CARDINALS, 2009

The Super Bowl XLIII took place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 1, 2009. The match saw Pittsburgh Steelers face against the Arizona Cardinals in what would become a 27-23 win for the Steelers. With this victory, the Steelers became the first team in the history to win six Super Bowl titles. The Cardinals, on the other hand, went into the match seeking the first title since 1947, which is regarded as the longest drought in history.

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The Steelers took the first half with a 10-point lead with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by James Harrison. The lead was quickly dissolved, however, as Larry Fitzgerald’s 64-yard touchdown gave the Cardinals a late lead. Ben Roethlisberger had other plans, and with an impressive dash back, he hit Santonio Holmes for a toe-tapping touchdown catch.

3. PATRIOTS VS SEAHAWKS, 2014

The Super Bowl XLIX took place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 1, 2015. The New England Patriots faced the Seattle Seahawks in a 28-24 win for the Patriots. The loss for the Seahawks was a record itself, as they became only the fourth team in the history to lose the title in the next season.

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In hindsight, what eventually buried the Seahawks’ in their attempt to win the title was the refusal to run the ball from the goal line. Malcolm Butler became a Super Bowl hero with his interception of Russell Wilson. 

2. EAGLES VS PATRIOTS, 2018

The Super Bowl LII was held at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018. This was only the second time that a Super Bowl was held in Minneapolis, and it was only the sixth time that it was held in a cold-weather city. The Philadelphia Eagles faced the New England Patriots in a 41-33 win for the Eagles. It is an important milestone for the team. Not only did they win their first title, but they also ended a drought that lasted since 1960.

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The Patriots were heavy favorites for the match. Even though The Eagles even came into the match without their star QB and left tackle they performed exceptionally well on offense. Their backup QB, Nick Foles, surprised them all with four touchdowns.

1. PATRIOTS VS FALCONS, 2017

The Super Bowl LI took place at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 5, 2017. It was a clash between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. The final score was 34-28 in overtime. At one point in the match, the New England Patriots were trailing behind the Falcons by 25 points.

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By overcoming the deficit and winning the title, they set a record for the largest comeback in the Super Bowl history. Not only that, but the Super Bowl LI was also the first Super Bowl to be decided in the overtime. The Patriots could only thank the experienced and the four Super Bowl MVP-winning Tommy Terrific, who led them to a 25-point comeback.

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