Don’t miss out on the top 10 games to play featuring games across all sports
Whenever you discuss a top 10 list, it’s crucial that you have experience and background in order for your opinion to be valid. Here’s my pitch: I grew up in Colorado where it snows a lot during the winter, so staying indoors was the norm. I’ve played video games throughout winters since I was six-years-old when my neighbor gave me his old Nintendo 64.
In my opinion, the consoles I used growing up are the proper way of evaluating evolution for gamers growing up in the 2000s. I went from the Nintendo 64 to a Gamecube to an Xbox 360 and finally to a PS4. I still have my Xbox 360 (I’ll tell you why if you keep reading). Here’s my top 10 list.
Disclaimer: most of the “Honorable Mentions” are games older than me and I didn’t feel like I could include them since I have never played them.
Honorable Mentions: Wii Sports, NHL ‘94, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Pong, Tecmo Bowl, Madden ‘04, FIFA ‘08, NHL ‘04.
10. NCAA Football ‘07
Let’s first start with the cover. Reggie Bush will always be considered one of the most electrifying college football players ever. So naturally, with his face on the cover, it’s off to a good start. Despite career mode beginning in ‘06, the reason ‘07 is better is because it gives a more authentic college experience. It gives you the option to study in your free time and you have to take tests sometimes, need I say more? They actually had me taking tests on a video game at eight-years-old.
9. NBA 2K11
Anytime you have a video game that reintroduces the G.O.A.T, you are going to have a hit. That’s just a fact. NBA 2K11 added Michael Jordan back into the game for the first time since his playing days. This might be the best NBA 2K game ever because of the updated career mode and the exciting extra game mode of starting out as rookie MJ. Trying to live up to the hype isn’t as easy as it sounds, well maybe it is because you are playing as “his airness” himself.
8. NHL ‘12
I had to include an NHL game because these games are some of the most underrated amongst all sports games. Who doesn’t like big hits and fights in a video game? The ‘12 version also has an updated career mode that is maybe the best in the game’s history. Sign me up.
7. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 or 2
If you were born in the ‘90s you understand this one. The first two Tony Hawk games were some of the most popular among all video games at the time. Who knew trying a kickflip and pop shuvit would be so fun when you can’t injure yourself? This game is one of my favorites just because you can have no idea what you are doing and still make it look cool. Just push every button on the controller and hope something happens, what could be more enjoyable?
6. NBA Jam
Whether you played this on your phone or console, NBA Jam is one of the best sports video games ever. There was nothing more fun than dunking all over people and watching the net catch fire. In addition, it’s two-on-two made it so you could play with some of the best duos to ever step on the court. Which duo was your favorite?
5. NFL Blitz
This was the first video game I ever played, and I was immediately hooked. One of the big reasons it caught my immediate attention is because it had quarterback Kordell Stewart on the cover, the Steelers signal caller at the time. Stewart spent his collegiate career at the University of Colorado (Boulder), which I am a die hard fan of.
Most people probably don’t even know who he is and why he was on the cover, and rightfully so. But, the gameplay supersedes the cover because of the it’s physicality. It’s the only video game (to my knowledge) where you can actually body slam someone after the play is over. For that, it’s in my top five.
4. FIFA ‘07
The FIFA franchise, just like NHL, doesn’t get enough love either. I had a hard time leaving out ‘08 and many others from this list, but when I look back, I might’ve played this one more than any other. It wasn’t the most realistic game, but man it sure was fun pulling up from 40 yards going upper 90.
Also, Arjen Robben, Didier Drogba (my all-time favorite soccer player) and Frank Lampard were an unstoppable trio with insane finishing skills. This is one of the reasons Chelsea is my favorite football club to this day. But maybe the most unstoppable Fifa team ever assembled was this Barcelona squad that featured Ronaldinho, Xavi, Iniesta and of course a young Lionel Messi.
3. Backyard Football/Baseball
Between the amazing commentating of Sunny Day and Chuck Downfield in Backyard Football, or the play from the G.O.A.T Pablo Sanchez in Backyard Baseball, this franchise had the privilege of entertaining countless kids throughout the years. Whether you played it on the computer or on a console, these games featured each of the NFL and MLB’s supreme athletes, including Ken Griffey Jr. and Albert Pujols in their primes.
If you don’t like that, how about Jerry Rice and Brett Favre teaming up in the early years of Backyard Football. Who wouldn’t want to draft a lineup full of superstars to beat up neighborhood kids in the backyard?
2. MVP Baseball ‘05
I may be a bit biased here with this ranking because I am a big baseball fan, but the more I thought about this game, the more I realized how much time I spent playing it on my Gamecube. It’s no doubt the best MLB video game ever because of its intense hands-on GM mode.
You can do everything from a “fantasy draft” to perfect your squad all the way down to changing your team’s single-A lineup and rotation. How insane is that? For the true baseball fans, we ate this up. It also came at a time where baseball’s biggest rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees was at an all-time high, with the Red Sox having the most stacked team in the game.
The sleeper team in this game, however, was the Oakland Athletics featuring its Moneyball squad with Scott Hatteburg at first base. It also had a never before seen feature of allowing your manager to argue with the umpire and get tossed out of the game. I almost gave it the top ranking, and if you disagree, it’s probably because you have never played it.
1. NCAA Football 14
NCAA Football 14, is the only reason I still have my Xbox 360. It’s the only reason that I love this quarantine so much. It’s the only game that you can’t find anywhere on the market for less than $60-$70 at this very moment. It’s the highest priced game on the Xbox 360 market and it’s not particularly close. It’s also one of the most expensive sports games regardless of console, right now. This game is the best sports video game of all time, hands down.
I love its unbeatable “Road to Glory” game mode that features a high school season with your created player before choosing which school you want to attend for the next four years. It’s position battles to win the starting job before becoming the starter and then going after the Heisman Trophy are also great. If that doesn’t satisfy you, the new-and-improved Dynasty mode should do the trick. For those true fans out there, the game includes a recruiting mode unlike any other.
And it’s not easy building your team up from the bottom. In order to be the best you have to recruit the best, which also can be fun because you can recreate or create some insane College Football stars as recruits. Just don’t let them go to another team or else they will haunt your dreams. During this quarantine I’ll be up late in year three of my dynasty with the Colorado University Buffs.