Football 2002 was a cancelled American football game from Retro Studios for the Nintendo GameCube. Early planning for the game began in summer 1999, and the project entered into full development in mid-2000, around six months later. The game would have been a realistic football simulation intended to directly compete with the Madden titles on other consoles, using motion-captured professionals for the in-game players' movements, the first game from Retro to be developed using their motion capture equipment.
The game was initially slated for release later in 2001, listed as a launch title for the system. However, in February 2001, Retro Studios announced that both this game and Thunder Rally had been cancelled and the development teams for both projects had been dissolved to instead focus all resources on Raven Blade and Metroid Prime. Factors contributing to the game's cancellation include lack of development progress, friction within the company, the console's launch being pushed back to months after the start of the football season, and EA and SEGA agreeing to release installments of Madden NFL and NFL 2K on the Nintendo GameCube. Before cancellation, the developers tried to retool the game into a more semi-serious title with animations similar to NFL Blitz titles to make the game more distinct.
According to programmer Jason C. Hughes, Retro wanted to acquire the license from Nintendo to develop an arcade-style Super Mario football game, but Nintendo, seeking to target an older demographic with the Nintendo GameCube, wanted the game to be a realistic simulation with licensed NFL teams and players.