The List: One Sports Game
I haven’t been much of a sports fan until recently, so my selection of sports games has been somewhat limited. But even since the beginning, I have always enjoyed a fun sports game. Ice Hockey on NES comes to mind as one of my earliest memories playing a sports themed game. Dad and I used to play each other back when I was like 6 or 8 years old and he would totally kick my butt every time. Mike Tyson’s Punchout was another phenomenal retro sports game that I love to revisit all the time. Having it on the Wii U virtual console and potable makes it even better!
A lot of the “sports” games I own tend to fall under the arcade sports genre. Games in the Mario Sports line and NBA Hangtime are great games, but they are certainly a stretch on the sports they are based on. So the decision had to be made, do I include these games to compete with more authentic sports games like PGA Tour Golf? I came to the conclusion that yes, I would include them, because they simply wouldn’t have a chance to win anywhere else. And given my meager sports game catalog it helps beef it out a bit.
Which sports game would I choose to play for the rest of time? Here’s “The List”:
Even though this is one of my less passionate genres, this is a really tough choice! I would hate to give up the nostalgia that the NES games provide. Games like Ice Hockey and Punch Out have aged well, and play so solidly. But could I play them all to the end of time, I don’t know. Definitely not Tecmo Bowl, it just gets too samey after a while. And I would get tired of Punch Out kicking my ass. Ice Hockey, though… I may be able to play that game forever.
I have probably had the most fun playing with friends, games like Mario Strikers, or NBA Hangtime. If I say, “A baseline leaner”, anybody who has played Hangtime can vividly hear the voice from the game in their head. Mario Golf & Tennis are just highly polished and fun games. I could see myself playing any of those games for a long time… if I had friends to play them with. Most of them haven’t been dusted off in a while, because they just aren’t as much fun to play solo.
I have to seriously consider Wii Sports. For a simple and free pack in game it was totally awesome. I still say one of the best parts was being able to play with all your Miis. Having Grandma Dee hit a home run on my baseball team, can not be beat. We also had some very competitive matches in that game that were so intense feelings were hurt. Now that’s a good game.
But then you have the realistic sports games like Madden, NCAA Football, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, you can not only roleplay as your favorite team or player, but you can really get down to the nitty gritty of the game.
And the decision is…
Replay-ability has a lot to do with this list. And when it comes down to it, Madden is always one of those games that I wish I had more time to spend with it. Franchise mode alone could be enough. But you can do complete fantasy drafts, different play modes, challenges, there’s just really a lot to do, and a lot to play that could last a long time. You can play your franchise out to the next quarter century if you want to. So if I could only take one sports game with me, I’d take Madden (whatever the latest version happens to be).