Top 10: Sports Video Games

Posted: March 28, 2012 by skrizznasty in Uncategorized

By Mike Skrzyniak

Let’s reminisce on our childhood for a bit. Or for some, what they do all the time  instead of talking to women or playing sports…you know who you are…but I digress. I’m here to discuss 10 of the best video games ever created.

I think anyone reading this post will enjoy it because there is a ton of room for debate.

These results aren’t based on any polls or anything, I’m just trying to think of some of the games that take up most of my time away from beer, broads and the occasional homework assignment…

Warning- the nostalgia on this list will bring many smiles to your face…

10. Sports Talk Baseball- Sega Genesis

For those who have played this game, you know exactly what I am talking about. You couldn’t make a throw from third without having the ball hit the ground first, Devon White was impossible to catch stealing and I triple-dog-dare ya to throw Ron Gant a fastball. The graphics weren’t very good, the commentary was worse, but it didn’t matter. This was one of the most entertaining games of my childhood. And for you Blue Jays fans, the lineup was:

1.Devo  2. Robbie Alomar  3. Joe Carter   4. Dave Winfield  5. Kelly Gruber  6. Johnny O  7. The Candy Man  8. Pat Borders  9. Manny Lee

Exactly.

9. NHL 94- Sega or Super Nintendo

Before there was Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Duncan Keith, there was Craig Janney, Cliff Ronning, and Ray Bourque. The game play was simple. A was pass, B was shoot. C was body check. Sometimes, less is more.  Anyways, before Xbox complicated things with the skill stick  (who really wants to do that when you’re inebriated, seriously) you used the D-pad and your entire game plan on defence focused on cutting your opponent off from crossing your goalie’s face, aka “The Cheat move.” The most satisfying way to score was to hammer one-timers and trust me, you never got tired of it. This was also the first game to let you play an entire season, create a player, and receive end-of-the-year awards. And to continue with appealing to Torontonians, you got to play with Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett, Jamie McCoun, Wendel Clark, Mike Gartner, Felix Potvin, and my boy Drake Berehowsky. Enough said. Just don’t let the opponent pick Pittsburgh….

8. The FIFA series.

I’m in no way a soccer guy. I know the basics, but if I try to argue with our futbol aficionado Matty Parker, I would embarrass myself beyond belief. However, to enjoy any of the FIFA games you don’t need to be a soccer guru. BUT you MUST know how to execute perfect through balls, how to move the ball around your net and you should try to understand basic formations. The 3-4-2-1 helps out your defence and you need players with tons of stamina to execute this game plan, for example. Now you can get by not knowing a single thing about soccer, but make sure your opponent knows equally, or less than you do. FIFA is not for the average gamer or sports fan. And don’t think for second that your coming off the pitch with a broken leg either….

7. WWF No Mercy- Nintendo 64

I know wrestling isn’t a sport, but I don’t care. This may be one of the most underrated video games of all time. Whether you watched wrestling or not, you know who Stone Cold, The Rock, The Undertaker and HHH are. No Mercy was the WWF’s version of the popular WCW Revenge video game, but the game play blows Revenge out of the water.You could participate in Ladder matches and beat the crap out of your friends with weapons such as garbage cans and broom sticks. You could also create your own wrestlers and pursue the dream of holding the Intercontinental title! Seriously though, this game was fun to play alone or with some buddies. Just try to avoid triple threat ladder matches with your boys, unless you are trying to kill two hours. I will take my record with The Deadman to the grave. If you challenge me, something like this will probably happen…

6. NFL Blitz- Nintendo 64

Roger Goodell must have nightmares about this game. This game encouraged hits after the whistle, body slamming quarterbacks, and it ALLOWED pass interference! Blitz may have been the only game you looked forward to playing defence. There really wasn’t any strategy involved. Half of the time, you would pick “Da Bomb” on offence, and blitzing was dangerous if you were facing mobile QBs like Kordell Stewart or Steve Young. I personally wasn’t a big fan of the  power ups, but you could unlock the option of having a big head or unlimited turbo. I was also a big fan of the 45 yard dropback by the quarterbacks…

This game came out around the same time I started watching the NFL, and I thank the creators of this game for enhancing my love of american football.

5. The Tiger Woods series.- Playstation and Xbox

You know why Tiger Woods games are so great? Because dads across the land are easily persuaded to play and always willing to share advice. The graphics were exquisite, and the effect the weather had on the game made the experience much more realistic. If you think playing golf in the real world is humbling, try attacking St.Andrews on a blustery day in Tiger Woods. By adding turbo or back spin on your shots, The Tiger Woods games are very user-friendly and a delight, as long as you are coordinated with your thumbs, of course. This is by far the closest you will ever get to being Tiger Woods. This game also shows you just how flexible and athletic Tiger really is…

I just can’t wait for the add-ons in the new game such as the obstacle course section where you have to back your Escalade out of the driveway while your wife, who just found out you are cheating on her, chases you with a driver.

4. NBA 2K games- Xbox/Playstation

The balance between realism and aesthetics sets the NBA 2K games apart from most sports games. For hardcore basketball fans, this series created by Visual Concepts got it right. The game play screams perfection. The “Season Mode” is very entertaining; there is so much to do in the off-season to make your team better that it’s hard to put down the controller. You can send your players to mini training camps and based on your performance, you can add to your player’s existing abilities. Basically, you can take Dwight Howard to free-throw camps until he becomes reliable enough that he won’t screw you over late in games. It may take until the 2019 season, but you get the point.  I believe this is one that every basketball fan, whether you’re a gamer or not, should at least try to play. You will regret it if you don’t. There is one glich in the realism of this game though, it has LeBron James in the dunk contest and not punking out like he does in real life…

3. Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey- Nintendo 64

My goodness, the hours my friends and I spent chirping each other about this game… This 3 vs. 3 adventure (you can play 5 on 5 but it wasn’t as fun) was more enjoyable when playing with friends. From turning your goalie into a brick wall, to an ambulance driving by after you obliterated an opponent with a power check or lighting the net on fire with a power slap shot, “Gretzky’s” was one of the most entertaining video games ever created. The fact that you can score with 0 seconds left on the clock left many broken hearts on the ice as well. This is one of those games where I didn’t prefer having women watch us play because I don’t think they could understand the intensity that this game brings out of the competitive gamer. I never sweat during video games, unless I’m playing Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey…

2. The Madden Series- post N64

For pigskin die-hards, is there anything more fun than running a fantasy draft with your buddies? How satisfying is it when you run your own personal draft and develop your team into a dynasty? Everyone always traded their first round draft pick for a top-tier receiver as well, and if you didn’t, well you just don’t know Madden! One reason why I love Madden is because you HAVE to know what you’re doing. Like Warren Sapp said, don’t bring the draw on third and long. What were you thinking Sonya? The graphics are phenomenal and the realism, holy crap, they brought back the double down?!?! Uh oh, my poor arteries…sorry about that, but yeah, Madden is amazing. The only thing I don’t like about the game is Cris Collinsworth. I don’t hate the man, I just find his voice very annoying. Madden is the only video game I purchase annually, unless I find a burned copy of course. This is also the only video game that actually affects people in real life. Just check out these two videos if you don’t believe me…

If you don’t know about the Madden Curse, see Vince Young, Shaun Alexander and Peyton Hillis.

1. NBA Jam- Sega/SNES/Xbox 360

All I need to say is, “Boomshakalaka” and “He’s on Fire.”

Enjoy.

Honorary mentions: Super Mario Strikers for Gamecube, Blades of Steel for OG Nintendo, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out/Super Punch Out, NCAA March Madness 2010 for Xbox 360 and MLB Slugfest.

Ken Griffey Jr’s Slugfest for Nintendo just missed the cut as well. Definitely #11

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Comments
  1. manu says:

    Notable omissions on the list:

    Mario Kart, MIKE TYSON’S PUNCH-OUT, 007 GoldenEye, Shinobi, Blades of Steel, GTA, EA Sports NHL,

  2. ovin' brosef says:

    I don’t even know how Griffey’s Slugfest isn’t on here — that’s blasphemous. The #1 pick is a lock though.

  3. beyondthedimples says:

    Talk about a trip down memory lane! Beauty post…just one add, ICE Hockey (Nintendo).

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