published Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

5-at-10: What are the top 5 best sports video games of all-time?

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    The cover of Madden NFL 09 features Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre on the cover. Players can download new rosters that feature Favre as a Jets quarterback.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Morning gang. From the Disney Studios 5-at-10 satellite office, let's make some Magic (Kingdom).

We have been blissfully/bashfully unattached to the sports world this week. So it goes in the land of the Mouse. Vegas and Disney are amazingly similar in that each operates in its own little world. Five-overtime historic basketball games, State of the Unions, you name it and unless it has ears or an appointment from brunch with the Princesses, well, it is just background noise.

For Friday, we want to try to pull off five quick top-fives, so send them below or at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com, and we'll make the magic happen.

Today, our top five reaches way back into our generation. After FE to the C mentioned Tecmo Bowl on Tuesday, that got us thinking about the best sports video games of all-time. We have long been an avid sports video game fan/junkie. Since we became a father, though, our video game habits have all but vanished. So it goes.

Here's our top five, feel free to share your favorites:

5) Baseball Stars - The Sir Isaac Newton of the field Baseball Stars was the first to allow you improve players' skills. Officially this is the Tim Duncan all-underrated all-star of sports video games.

4) Tecmo Bowl/RBI Baseball - Great fun to play and ahead of their time in that these were the first to use real player ratings and names/likenesses. Still very playable today, which is a great compliment considering the advancements in the field. These are the "Die Hard" of the genre.

3) EA sports college football - The yearly advancements on this franchise have become amazing. The recruiting aspect added a few years back was so cool, that the offseason stuff was more fun than the actual games. if you think back to the Bill Walsh College Football game on Sega, the comparisons and connection are almost unrecognizable.

2) Mike Tyson's punch out - The summer of 1988 was when we developed our sports video game habit/dependency. And Glass Joe and The Bull and the rest of the fighters to get to Tyson were the reason. We can remember the day we beat Tyson. It was awesome and awful, if that makes sense.

1) Modern-day Madden - Gang, what they are capable of doing with ratings, and drafts and franchise modes is awesome in its awesomeness. The capacity to improve players in training camp a few years ago was amazing. To compare where video games started with Pitfall and Space Invaders and see where they are is crazy.

We feel pretty sure we have left one or six off the list. Whatcha' got, and what top five do you want to see Friday?

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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orangeguy said...

That top 4 is impenetrable. One of my personal favorites was Bases Loaded 2 for Nintendo. First Nintendo game I ever owned. Fresh with generic teams, random fictitious names, and the ping of aluminum bats, my dad & I played this game for hours.

Dad enjoyed the game so much that he bought an old school Nintendo a few years back, found the game at a yard sale, and began playing it again. Not only was he playing, he kept a notebook with all his stats. I told him they actually make games/systems that do that for ya now. Fun times with Bases Loaded 2.

Some f the NASCAR games are pretty fun to play these days. Honorable mention to Ken Griffey Jr Baseball for Supes NES. Generic names other than Griff, real teams though. Viper Ramirez was my personal favorite. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane today!

February 13, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.
chas9 said...

Did you forget about the vibrating electric football games Spy, fec and I played when we were pups?

Going into the game we all knew Florida was better than Kentucky, but it would be a good measuring stick for how well The Cats were coming along. The game went as expected, with the well-coached and experienced Gators schooling the wet-behind-the-ears Cats.

Florida's guards were The Globetrotters to Kentucky's high school guards. Harrow's performance was harrowing. He's as weak as we feared. UK looked like a team that wouldn't make it out of the first weekend of The Dance, and UF looked like a solid final four squad, with Prather's play an unexpected bonus dimension.

Big Blue nation was cheered a bit thinking most of this year's squad would come back next year to help the incoming wave of saviors win it all next year. And it was comforting to know The Cats played a better second half than first, when the near-doubling score by Florida could have demoralized The Blue.

And to put a good face on the mismatch, Kentucky was being trounced no worse than Arkansas had trounced Florida just last week. Maybe this was UK's bad night and a growth opportunity.

Then all the air went out of the squishy blue balloon when the odds caught up with Nerlens. When you hustle hard and dive for balls, sooner or later you'll be injured. UK under Cal has had short benches and they were playing on borrowed time in being free of serious injuries.

If N squared is hurt as badly as it appears, Kentucky will fall off the bubble, but be strong in the NIT. And we will all pray for a full recovery for a great talent who deserves a shot at a great career.

And it will be a serious miscarriage of justice if Donovan's Dandies don't dominate the post-season all-SEC team.

February 13, 2013 at 10:57 a.m.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf for PS2.

February 13, 2013 at 11:28 a.m.
chas9 said...

Will Harvey Updyke wear a bullet-proof vest when he appears in court today? Will they have to move the trial out of the state to get an impartial jury pool?

In SEC play The Razorbacks are perfect at home and perfectly dreadful on the road. I guess Bud Walton Arena must be the biggest home-court advantage in the league.

Patrick's tribute to Stokes today is well-deserved. But I hate to see an implication that Jarnell's success has anything to do with officiating changes or Cuonzo's conversation. I think focus on the zebras detracts from the players themselves. What does Johnny Volsfan think?

If Noel is out or gimpy Saturday, Vols win.

February 13, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, glad you and the family are having a great time. Just mention my name for 10% off all Cotton Candy purchases.

What is sorely missing in the gaming world is a top flight production of the LPGA Tour with an all foreigners must speak English option. As a bonus, you pick your favorite players current to ancient for your Solheim Cup Team.

Yards of fun for guys unable drive it as far as the LPGA Tour Average. Instead of the normal hectoring about how waste all your time hunkered in front of your big screen transfixed. Buy the LPGA Tour, a game sure to bring hours of friendly competition for husband and wife at the X Box.

February 13, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.
chas9 said...

Back in the week when we were discussing our final four picks, I opined that The Spartans don't score enough points, but Izzo's boys hurt their cross-state rivals. Bad.

February 13, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

One of my early favorites was football on the Atari, it was more than just blips but not much more...you could actually go left, off screen, and end up on the right side of the screen to make the tackle.

How about the 2 on 2 NBA game with all-star types from each franchise? I can't remember the name, or the basketball game where you could stop a player from going to the hoop with a punch to the side of the head, lol..

February 13, 2013 at 3:10 p.m.
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