411 Games Top 5 09.14.13: Top 5 Arcade Sports Games
Posted by Sean Garmer on 09.14.2013
From NFL Blitz and NBA Jam to SEGA Soccer Slam, Blood Bowl and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 arcade sports games of all time!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, who loves being "on fire" and slamming people down with those late hits?
* This week the 411 staff was asked to come up with lists for the Top 5 Arcade Sports Games, which include any game that tries to imitate a real life sport, but is not a direct simulation game of that sport, such as: NFL Blitz, NBA Jam, and NHL Hitz *
Todd Vote (Games Zone Reviewer)
5.Basewars (NES) - One of my earliest memories with a traditional sports game played in a non-traditional manner was with Basewars. Baseball featuring robots playing against other robots. The thing that really made the game standout to me was the fact that certain robots had certain abilities to improve their game. Some robots had special pitches, others had the ability to make getting a hit easier. If you still own an NES, this one may be worth seeking out.
4.MLB Slugfest - Take the formula that Midway used for both NBA Jam, and NFL Blitz. Apply it to baseball and WHAMMY! You'll be knocking them out of the park all day!
3.SSX Tricky - This game still stands out as my favorite snow boarding game. A bright colorful world inhabited by a lot of larger than life personalities. Then building up that 'Tricky' meter to get Run DMC Rockin rhymes, ah good times.
2. NBA Jam - It was actually a toss up on putting this game as number one or number two. Both my top two stand out as my favorite sports games, either traditional or non traditional. Both offered hours of entertainment to me both in the arcades, and at home. Being able to play as MK characters was just icing on the cake. Over the top fast paced in your face dunks! Is it the shoes?
1. NFL Blitz - Blitz will always hold a spot because it is one of the few games I have actually been involved in a tournament for. Sure, I didn't win the thing, but I did take second, and won a bank full of about $30 worth of arcade tokens. Flea flicker for the win!
Randy Isbelle (Reader Voice, Former 411mania.com Sports Zone and Games Zone Writer)
HM Jordan vs. Bird: One on One (NES) Probably the first arcade style sports game I ever played. Most memorable for what I believe is the first slam dunk contest in video game history.
HM Hot Shots Golf I have this game on the Vita, and it is the perfect game to play when you have a little down time.
5. Mario Golf (Nintendo 64) Hot Shots Golf but with Mario characters! How can you go wrong with that?
4. NFL Blitz - I have to admit, every time I watch arena football these days, it reminds me of this game. If you want the real experience make sure you play the older games, and not the remake, so you can take enjoyment in killing your opponent after the play.
3. Mutant League Football (Genesis) What happens when you take a football simulation game (Madden 93) and give it a crazy new look? You get Mutant League Football. Not only was the field covered in such things as landmines, fire pits and toxic waste...but you could get jet packs, exploding footballs, or just bribe the ref.
2. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (NES) Confession time....I have never even made it to Mike Tyson (screw you Mr. Sandman). This game may be one of the most racist games you could ever play, but the simple controls mashed with the challenging patterns you had to learn made this a great game.
1. NBA Jam The king of arcade sports games. NBA Jam took what we all love about basketball and turned it up to ten. Crazy slam dunks, amazing alley-oops, a flaming basketball when one team gets on a run (wait, that isnt in the real game? Oh well). On top of the over the top game play, the commentary in this game is perfection. You can't get through an episode of Sportscenter during NBA season without hearing one of the anchors uttering one of the slam dunk calls from this game. Boom-shakalaka!!!
Daniel Anderson (Games Zone Reviewer, Regular Contributor to Cooperative Multiplayer 411 Games Podcast, Organizer of Games Fact or Fiction)
5.Mutant League Football - For simplicity sake I am combining both the games into one. I enjoyed this game (plus it let sports fans live out their life long desire to attack refs).
4.Mario Tenis -The one and only tennis game I have ever played. That being said it was a well made game that kept me entertained a lot longer than I thought it would.
3.Bloodbowl - I am not sure this game really fits, but I am going to use it anyway. Yes it was originally a miniature game, and yes it isn't quite football, but if NFL Blitz counts this should as well. Take football and get rid of downs and make it extremely violent (chainsaws can be used) and set it in the Warhammer fantasy universe and you have Bloodbowl. I would offer one piece of advice. If you decide to get it ignore the Xbox 360 version and pick it up on the PC.
2. NBA Jam - I played this game way back on the SNES. I loved playing it and, to this day, remains the basketball game I enjoy the most. I remember when it came out not being able to get enough of the game. It also sticks out in my mind as the first game in Blockbuster's nationwide tournament they had at one point. If I had a copy, I would still be playing it.
1. NFL Blitz - This gets the nod over NBA Jam because I am a football fan more than a basketball fan. Take a decent football game and add in over the top action and you get Blitz. I enjoyed sitting around playing the game with my friends and us going crazy seeing who could top who. Great fun and great memories.
Sean Garmer (Games Zone Reviewer, Regular Contributor to Cooperative Multiplayer 411 Games Podcast, Organizer of Games Top 5)
Honorable Mention: Blitz: The League Series,
5. NHL Hitz 2003 (PS2): Midway went crazy at one point basically deciding to have a version of NFL Blitz and NBA Jam for every sport, even Hockey and Soccer. When I got my PS2, I picked up SmackDown: Just Bring It and this game. I had grown up on NHL 94 and Wayne's Gretzky's hockey game, but this was just better. The 3 on 3 hockey was fun and allowed for anyone to pick it up and play the game. Then you had the element of fire and the great franchise mode. This was one of the first arcade games that actually allowed you to create a team and build them up with stats and equipment too, which made a great game to play with friends.
4. Mario Strikers Charged (Wii): This is the only sports game I ever bought for my Wii and boy did I play the crap out of it. The controls just worked so well with the Nunchuk and the Wii Remote. My family and I used to gather around and watch each of us play tourneys against each other. It was Mario Strikers and Karaoke people wanted to play at parties, the funniest thing was none of them liked soccer.
3. SEGA Soccer Slam (Xbox): This might be a game that a lot of people have never heard of, but let me tell you it was one of the best bargain purchases I ever made for the original Xbox. The game had a colorful cast of characters, including an awesome Luchador named "El Diablo." There was not only a ton of different modes to play in, but you could make your own team and face the main teams, and also go on a quest as well. Myself, I always loved making a team of Half-Pint, Angus, and El Diablo just beating everyone's ass all over the field.
NBA Street Vol. 2 (Xbox): This is still the best arcade Basketball game ever made. Just for the exhaustive amount of NBA Legends alone it should be on any Basketball fans list. However, the gameplay in this game has still not been surpassed and the fact that you got to go through a long story mode with your own team made it even more replayable. To this day I still play this game when I feel like playing some Street Ball because there's just nothing like it.
NFL Blitz (2012 EA Version): This had everything you loved about the Blitz arcade games, even the late hits. However, the mode that kept me playing was EA's inclusion of Blitz Ultimate Team. Not to mention, you had all the old plays, updated rosters, and online play just made for a complete package that Midway just was never able to pull off back then.
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