By Scotty Mincher
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve turned back the clock and looked at some of my brightest sports memories and pastimes from my youth. I’ve written a lot about how much of a sports nut I am and recently also talked about my times playing sports as a kid with a disability. A lot of people know about the impact that sports have had on me and quickly realize the level of passion I have for them. But what most people don’t know is that I was just as passionate about video games for much of my life. It was safe to call me a video game junkie and because of that, I think it’s more than fitting for me to take a look at what I feel are the ten greatest sports video games of all time. This is probably the hardest list I’ve had to do. But with that being said, It could be my most credible because of my ten or so years of experience playing sports games. It brings me great delight to present my top ten to all of the sports and video game addicts out there. Buckle up, folks!
10. Backyard Baseball-Released in 1997 on PC, Backyard Baseball was one of the first baseball video games that I played. A lot of people who remember and have played the game might consider Pablo Sanchez The Goat. But Kenny Kawaguchi is a nightmare on wheels for opposing batters with his superb pitching skills. He also has very good speed and never lets his wheelchair slow him down. His can do it attitude stuck with me, A big reason why Backyard Baseball is on my list.
9.MVP Baseball 2005-First off, Manny Ramirez is on the cover and even though he played for the Red Sox at the time, He’s still to this day one of my favorite Indians ever. Plus the game features Single-A rosters which is super cool! It even let you travel back in time. You can’t beat that. This game had to be in my top ten!
8.Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater– It was released in 1999. My favorite part about this game was the career mode and having to complete objectives to increase a character’s attributes. I also really like that it takes place in a third-person view with a fixed camera. I could never skate in real life. But that didn’t stop me from doing a ton of flips and ollies as Tony Hawk. If you’re curious about skateboarding games I’d recommend this one to anybody!
7.NCAA Football 14-This game is sick! You wouldn’t think it could be great with former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson on the cover. But this more than passes the college football test. In case there’s someone out there that doubts the effect of the game’s popularity, just take into consideration the fact that used game site Lukie recently had it in stock for as high as 160$. I really like the game’s combo/juke system and dynasty mode. The helmet rocking hits give the game a nice old school football feel. All of this elevates the game into top ten status.
6.NFL Street-It delivers for fans of fast-paced hard-hitting football. It gives you a different type of football that’s heavy on showmanship and light on rules, which is a nice changeup if you’re looking to play a game that’s a little different from NCAA and Madden. Not having to worry about penalties and the ability to force turnovers more frequently, make this game a millennial gamer’s dream!
5.NBA Street Vol. 2-Almost 20 years later, It is hard for somebody to argue that this game’s sense of style and spirit, along with its soundtrack has been matched. It pays homage to basketball as a spectacle, as art, and as a cultural cornerstone. The gameplay is fluid, dynamic, and fast-paced. It is also fun as hell. That’s why it’s in my top five!
4.NCAA Football 2004-It is groundbreaking in the sense that it was the first college football game that featured online play. Not to mention it was the first NCAA football game to feature and give a weekly look at key teams and players as well as events that happen throughout the season, thanks to a Sports Illustrated feature. I love the college classics mode too, As it allows you to relive some of College Football’s best moments. Just like the mode, this one is a College Football classic!
3. Madden NFL 2004-For people that have played or own the game, they’ll remember that playing as the Falcons and Vick was basically a cheat code. When it comes to the game as a whole, the Playmaker Control is an exceptional feature. Owner mode, Where you could hire your own staff, set your team’s ticket prices, as well as have the ability to build your own stadium, Is another thing I find super neat. I also remember that for it’s time the game had many trick plays in the playbooks. Add that all up and that’s good enough for this game to land in my top three!
2.Triple Play 96-This is an excellent game. Especially when you consider it was released over 20 years ago. With this game, you could have fun for hours on end. The graphics are very smooth for a game of its time that is played on Genisis. The best thing about this game is that like all Genisis games the controls make it very easy for anyone to play and that’s important for someone like me that doesn’t have the best dexterity. It even has a classic organ that plays a few songs. Yes, this game is a home run!
1.NBA Jam-This game became a legend in its own time and is still remembered fondly today. The soundtrack is upbeat and catchy. The gameplay is fast and furious. Matches play like a race to rack up the highest score because of the 2 on 2 instead of the 5 on 5, giving people just what they want out of an arcade game. The best part about NBA Jam is it has impossible jumps, basketballs catching on fire, and players punching each other in the back of the head without any consequence. Oh my, It’s number 1!
There you have it. The 10 best sports video games from my view. For more on this check out my video breakdown on ysnlive.com Peace out people!