No. 1: 1982 NFC Championship vs. Dallas Cowboys
“The Catch” game. A moment that was the best in Candlestick Park history. Not only was this the best 49ers playoff game ever, it goes down as one of the NFL’s greatest games ever.
This game began the incredible legacy of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana. The 49ers, as a franchise, had only played in four playoff games prior to 1981. Three of those four playoff games were losses to the Cowboys in the early 1970s. It seemed like the Niners just could not beat Dallas.
This win proved that they could beat Dallas head coach Tom Landry and “America’s Team”.
This game started the period of excellence that the 49ers were going to be known for and become one of the most revered franchises in the NFL.
All on a 3rd-and-three play, with Montana throwing a high ball to the back of the end zone with several Cowboys defenders in his face, and with only 51 seconds left on the clock. Though he threw three interceptions in the game (and the Niners had six turnovers total), Montana proved he was “Joe Cool” and the franchise took a major step forward to the elite.
This game was easily the most memorable and important game in the history of the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers became excellent.
You can’t ask for more than this.