What made Rugby 08 so successful?

One could probably argue that EA Sport’s Rugby 08 was probably the most successful rugby games of all time. To this day, I still find myself playing a 15 year old video game. Here are a list of features that made Rugby 08 such a successful game in my opinion:

  1. Impact players (Starred players)

Having unique impact players running around the field was awesome. Everyone wants to see their rugby heroes getting the recognition they deserve, even if it’s in a video game.

  1. World League (Franchise mode)

Every rugby 08 player probably remembers the notorious C.Heffler. Taking a rugby team from depths of 3rd Division rugby all that to the Elite division was always one hell of a ride.

  1. Challenges (Classic matches)

Probably one of the most underrated features of the game was the classic world cup matches that you could play. I would love to replay some of those games and pay tribute to the absolute legends of the game from 1987-2023.

  1. Gameplay

First let’s start with the rucks. Most new games include a very annoying mini game at every single ruck. It honestly gets super repetitive and annoying. I Rugby 08 players didn’t have to worry as much about the rucks. There has to be a better approach to rucks in future rugby games. Also, the back line players will always in formation and never out of position. If I wanted my 12 to run a crash ball, it was easy to feed the ball to him. In a lot of newer rugby games I can barely get to my fly half with all the forwards roaming in the back line.

Rugby 08 is not without its faults but it’s a game of the ages. However, it’s a fantastic game that had a significant impact within the rugby community. It is my hope that BigAnt studios will be able to flow and even surpass the legendary status of Rugby 08. As a rugby community, we really need a quality video game to help grow the sport. Let me know if there are some other features you enjoyed from Rugby 08 and/or wish to see in future games.


Biggest thing that made rugby 08 successful was a lack of a viable alternative, game was bang average when compared to other sporting titles at the time, but because rugby fans have had so many subpar games it is put on a pedestal. Pretty much all the rugby games we have had since have been guilty of lacking development in sequals (the initial rugby challenge game was a solid base, the follow ups were watered down with minimal additions and improvements) or were outright terrible rugby 18 19 20 etc.


I totally agree, need more training