After a three-year absence, 2K Sports has returned to the gridiron with its first effort since the NFL signed an exclusivity contract with EA's Madden franchise.\nBut with more than 200 former NFL stars on board and a ton of options to customize your teams, if you really miss the things the NFL license brings to the table, they're not that hard to recreate.\n"All-Pro Football 2K8" begins with you naming your team, stadium and selecting 11 legends that will make up your roster. \nThere's a ton of stuff to do here, and hard-core football fans will have a field day building the ultimate dream team, but it's unfortunate that there's such a limited number of players to choose from.\nThough missing the ESPN license from the highly-regarded "NFL 2K5," "All-Pro Football 2K8" hardly misses a beat with an excellent TV-style presentation. \nAnd though the commentary from Dan Stevens and Peter O'Keefe is solid (and much less senile than Madden's rants), all too often it can't keep up with the action, and several of the lines have been ripped from the three-year-old spiritual prequel, making the commentary stale from the very first game for 2K vets.\nFor some reason, the developers also decided to take a near-perfect control system and needlessly complicate it. Running now involves either holding the A button to charge it, or tapping it to sprint, which is downright annoying during long runs.\nKicking has also been complicated with a system similar to Madden's "Kick Stick," but with much trickier timing.\nOverall, the controls feel much stiffer, which has also resulted in a much more difficult passing game. Some might argue that's realistic, but when John Elway is throwing two or three interceptions per game, something is seriously wrong.\nThen there's the season mode itself, which lasts exactly one season. That might not be so bad if there were as many unlockables as in past 2K football games, but that feature which added so much replay value to those other titles, has been stripped down a few trophies and achievements.\n"2K8" is not a horrible football game, but like most athletes to come out of retirement, it's a mere shadow of its former glory. I would recommend this one for the hard-core football fan only.