The top five sports games of the past 25 years

One student shares his favorite sports-related video games

Sports games have been around as long as computerized video gaming has. Most have been simple adaptations of old backyard games you can play with your friends, while others have been extremely elaborate. Below are my top five sports video games of the past 25 years.

1. Madden NFL 25 (2013)
This release was made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Madden NFL franchise that started all the way back in the early 1990s. The gameplay is typical for the franchise itself, and adds some new wrinkles to the game. Online play is functional and you can play with friends from all over the country via the console’s online services.

2. NBA Jam (2010)
The latest version of the arcade classic has all the perks you would expect from the NBA Jam franchise, which had its last release in 1997 called NBA Hangtime. The original commentator, Tim Kitzrow, who popularized the phrase “Boomshakalaka!,” makes a welcome return to the game. During the production of the game, fans of the original could make up phrases for Kitzrow to say and they would be put to a popularity contest. One of the winning phrases that Kitzrow says is “And the survey says, DENIED!” That phrase is uttered when a player blocks a shot.

3. NFL Blitz (2012)
The 2012 remake of the original 1996 game has all of the familiar aspects that defined the original. Kitzrow does commentary for this game as well (he was the commentator for the original, just like NBA Jam). The only difference between the original and the remake is a simple aspect: late hits were included in the original game, but after the whole concussion protocol that the NFL implemented a few years ago, they wanted the late hits removed (which diminishes the gameplay somewhat, but not by much).

4.  Tecmo Super Bowl (1991)
The cult classic has arcade-style football play, but not nearly the same amount of brutality or high scoring as NFL Blitz. It plays like a typical football game, with an accelerated clock (for arcade-style gameplay) and the classic music is classic to play to. The game had a 2010 remake for download in which you can switch interchangeably to the 16-bit era (similar to the game made for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System), or use the current graphics.

5.  MLB 2K11 (2011)
This baseball simulator game is accurate and a lot of fun. You can also create a player and you can join any team’s minor league affiliates and rise up through the ranks, eventually making your major league debut. Other than that, you can have a lot of fun in franchise mode doing an entire 162-game season as your favorite team, and you can take them all the way to the 2011 World Series.

Photo: CC BY-SA 2.0 by eliduke

Wes Huntington

Wes Huntington is a senior mass media student. He is also the senior host of Radio a La Carte on KMSU-FM, which airs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday. You can reach him by emailing him at wes.huntington@mnsu.edu.

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