Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Best Sports Video Games

I was trying to think of things to put in the SportsMatters poll today, and my mind somehow stumbled upon the question of sports video games. I was pleased with my mind, and congratulated it. Nothing overdone, mind you. More like a Phil Jackson head nod and quick hand clap, as if to say, "good work, but there is still lots of game to play." I then went back to meditating and chewing my gum.

Actually, what I did next was try and think of a few games off the top of my head, then go for the requisite Google search for help. I am not ashamed to admit that I can't remember every sports game ever created. Kimmis knows that stuff, not me. I fully expected to find a bunch of pages with lists or stories, including a ten page expose on either ESPN 2or 3. But I only found one page on the question of the greatest sports game ever, and it was through the Boston Globe. The Globe story and I shared about six games. It had a couple more that I added to my list, and a bunch--like Duck Hunt and Fight Night--that would never make my cut. Abboud then suggested that I add one more game to my list, as well as punch out a post in addition to the poll.

I have heeded Abboud's advice, although I do not think I can write a full fledged blurb about each game. I just don't have it in me right now. Rather, I will throw up my Top Ten list, as well as some honourable mentions, and let the people do the talking. For the most part, we have been thoroughly unsuccessful in getting people to bite on the interactive posts. Let's hope we can tip things with this one.

For most of the games that are now franchises, I have not put up a specific year. I really can't judge between MVP 2005 and 2004, so I am not going to bother trying. The only exception to this is NHL 94, which I love because of Jeremy Roenick and Trent Walker. You will also note that I am a EA Sports whore. And so, without further adieu:

10) Karate Champ

9) Blades of Steel

8) EA FIFA Soccer

7) RBI Baseball

6) NBA Jam

5) EA MVP Baseball

4) Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

3) EA NHL 94

2) EA Madden NFL Football

1) Tecmo Bowl

Honourable Mentions: EA NBA Live, Double Dribble, NFL Blitz

Soon To Be Classic: NFL Head Coach

Probable Worst Sports Game Of All Time: Arena Football


At 4:13 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...


Who is it that is going to make the football game that is like Sin City? Is it Take-2?

At 9:44 AM, Blogger sacamano said...

Hey man, where's the Track & Field?

At 9:45 AM, Blogger sacamano said...

And no golf?

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Alex said...

A few more classics:

Joe Montana Football
Baseball Mogul
California Games

And one of my favorites of all time, which I can't believe I didn't mention in our conversation yesterday:

Bill Walsh College Football

At 10:34 AM, Blogger sacamano said...

Hey, I just noticed you do have polls.

The problem is that I usually just come directly to the new posts using an RSS feed, and the polls don't show up on those pages (it is only on your front page).

I thought I was going crazy for a minute.

In any case, since T&F isn't an option, I've got to go with the Big Heads on NBA JAM.

He's on Fire!

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Is it the shoes? Slam Jam baby!

The Track & Field is a good one. I remember playing the arcade version when I was in junior high, and using my student id card to make the runner goes as fast as possible.

Two more that I really loved were the Coleco Baseball and the Intellivision Football. I can actually still remember what my favorite play on the football, and what buttons to push for it.

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

BTW, the football game I was thinking of is Blitz: The League. You actually have to enter your date of birth to access the page.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger stephen said...

Never been a huge video fanatic, but have to put my vote in for Karate Champ (from someone who thinks all the best games were from the early '80s). Doesn't the ref in that game bear a striking resemblance to Ron Jeremy...

I would also add Double Dragon to your list, to complete the martial arts repertoire.

And finally, I would like to point out an oversight. There are no car racing games on your list - probably some of the best sports games around. In this particular genre, my vote for all-time favourite would go to Super Sprint (again, cheers to the '80s graphics!).


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