If you love sports and video games, there might have been plenty of titles that you must’ve tried your hands on. Although sports games have changed drastically from their goofy yet aspiring beginnings in Pong and various track and field games seen during the early days of the NES console. But we have certainly come far from these primitive titles, which loosely portrayed the thrill of the actual sporting event. But even if these old school games couldn’t actually deliver the real-time excitement, doesn’t mean they weren’t fun. There are plenty of underrated sports games that are actually a lot more fun and entertaining than the true-to-life titles. To save your time and effort, we’ve already prepared a list for you
- Mario Golf
It cannot be a bad game especially when it features one of the biggest pop culture icons in gaming industry. While there are a handful of Mario Golf titles across various platforms, our pick would be Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the Nintendo GameCube. The game not only looked beautiful with 3d backgrounds and digital models, but also adds a variety of characters in the game with their signature move set to make it far more entertaining and visually stunning as compared to the drab real life golfing.
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- Captain Tsubasa Vol. 2: Super Striker
Ninja Gaiden series on the NES was notable for successfully implementing cinematics and cut scenes to make gameplay more interesting. But the game that perfected the formula and used it to near perfection was certainly Captain Tsubasa Vol. 2: Super Striker. Released on Famicom 1990, Super Striker is a major departure of conventional soccer games. The gameplay mostly involved cinematic results of players in game decision, with a different cut scene for each move including, shooting, dribbling, passing, tackling and special shots. A spiritual successor did come out in 1994 on the Sega CD, but it was the NES version that is considered as a groundbreaking classic.
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- FIFA Street
The experimental cinematic style gameplay in the above title doesn’t satisfy your soccer loving soul? Do not worry as you can pretty much do the same and a lot more with Electronic Arts FIFA Street series. Although there are a couple of titles in the game series, the one you’re guaranteed to enjoy is certainly the PS2 original. We’ve already talked how NBA Street Vol 2 was one of the most adept basketball game of the era, but FIFA Street also manages to pour new life in the tried and tested formula of most soccer simulators. Players can literally walk on the surrounding walls and kick the ball inside the goalpost along with a variety of other tricks. The high-octane and catchy background music also makes this a memorable PS2 era title.
- WWF: WrestleMania Arcade and in Your House
Modern gamers might never be able to understand the epicenes of Acclaim Entertainment based on the WWF franchise. Both titles featured a gameplay that was more akin the one-on-one fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct, with all the cheesiness you can expect from a WWF(WWE) title. WrestleMania was originally released for Sega and SNES and featured a rag tag group of WWE Superstars such as the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Bam Bam Bigelow, Yokozuna, Brett Hitman Hart, Lex Luger etc. In Your House was the follow up to this game and expanded its roster with character like Triple H, Vader, the Ultimate Warrior and British Bulldog etc.
- Nekketsu! Street Basket: Ganbare Dunk Heroes
It’s definitely sad how games in the 90s were way more experimental than what we’re seeing today. And the best example of such experiments can be found in the Famicom library. Nekketsu! Street Basket: Ganbare Dunk Heroes was another off-beat basketball game with 2 on 2 player freestyle basketball. You can literally attack the opponents with special moves to steal the ball and use various objects from the environment to score points. Each team has 3 baskets to shoot in making this an extremely funny yet fast paced game you can enjoy for hours with your friends.
- Blood Bowl
Most football players consider them akin to monsters and barbaric demons of the fantasy world. The 2009 game Blood Bowl attempts to literally create a football game set in a fantasy world. While the game’s rules are similar to Madden and NFL titles, the playable characters and factions comprise of various races from the fantasy genre with each faction having their respective strengths and weaknesses. The gameplay is fluid and is visually stunning making it one of the most off-beat yet addictive American football games ever.
- MLB: Slugfest 2004
Baseball might be one of the most prized American sports ever, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be more fun. The 2004 game MLB: Slugfest does exactly that and provides a game that is actually meant to take out all your gaming frustrations in a violently fun way. It involves street style rules where players are allowed to attack each other, urban environments and powered hits and throws. This makes the game much more likable for its non-serious attitude along with some extremely hilarious moments.
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- Crash Nitro Kart
Who doesn’t love Mario Kart? While a lot of people might also raise your voices for Crash Team Racing, not a lot of people might have tried their hands on Crash Nitro Kart, which is definitely one of the most entertaining yet relatively unknown video games of the PS2 era. The game not only expands the character roster from Crash Team Racing, but also features FMVs to explain various plots in the story. It is a fun filled kart racing game where you can use various weapons and powerups to slow down your opponents and win the race.
The above list might not sound really impressive to the serious gamers. However, once you get into these, you’ll realize that it’s a video game at the end and there’s no point in being serious and losing out on countless hours of fun. If you think you can add to this list, please put your suggestions in the comments section below.