23. EA Sports’ “NFL Street” on PS2, Xbox (2004)
“NFL Street” is absolutely a niche game, not for the true diehard simulation folks yet absolutely gets the job done.
As a grown-up version of “NFL Blitz,” while mirroring its NBA Street brothers, Ricky Williams graced the cover of this rock ’em, sock ’em arcade-style football play.
22. EA Sports’ “Fight Night Round 4” on PS3, Xbox 360 (2009)
Admittedly, I never owned a copy of any of the EA Sports’ “Fight Night” titles. Therefore, I’ll have to roll with the experts and call the 2009 version as the best of an acclaimed series.
This should especially be the case with such an emphasis on the great Muhammad Ali.
21. Jaleco’s “Bases Loaded” on NES (1988)
I did own “Bases Loaded” and played all of the first three versions for NES. Fake teams, fake players—great game.
Bases loaded did a good job of keeping the home team colors correctly-aligned with the cities, New York and Boston specifically. It was a fun version of NES baseball that featured three different camera views (catcher, dugout, outfield) for each of the first three editions.
Making sure to start an on-field brawl was all the rage during the first copy.
20. THQ’s “WWF No Mercy” on N64 (2000)
Much like the Fight Night series, I did not own any but one WWE/WWF video game. “WWF No Mercy” wasn’t the one owned.
However, by all accounts, this is the greatest wrestling game of all time and must make the top 23.
19. EA Sports’ “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters” on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii (2011)
Of all of the EA Sports’ “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” games, the 2011 version featuring the long-awaited The Masters owns the all-time mantle.
It’s on me for not having owned any of the Tiger Woods games. If I had, perhaps one could have (or should have) snuck inside the top 10.
18. Konami’s “Blades of Steel” on NES (1988)
“Blades … of Steel.” It was the sound that’d get your heart pumping and stomach anxious each time that Nintendo was booted up (after blowing into the cartridge a few times).
Much like Bases Loaded, there were no real players or teams. Simply 8 teams all consisting of cities was the entirety of the hockey game yet it worked perfectly. Those who don’t know that passing the puck to score is the way to snag goals in this game is simply out of touch.
And, oh yeah, forget matching five-minute majors. The man who lost the fight is shipped off to the penalty box while the victor remains in the game. How ’bout that as an NHL rule change?
17. Midway’s “NFL Blitz” on Arcade, PlayStation, N64 (1997)
“NFL Blitz” is the granddaddy of all football arcades. The game’s become such a legend that cult followings remain today.
Similarly to NBA Jam in what it did for basketball, Blitz took the sport of football and turned it into a fun-loving arcade-style game.
16. EA Sports’ “NCAA Football 2004” on PlayStation (2003)
In a terrible twist of fate, no longer can collegiate games be created (thanks Ed O’Bannon). Though EA Sports only used numbers and positions to identify players, they were still shut out and eventually dropped both the “NCAA Football” and “March Madness” series.
The football version circa 2004 remains the holy grail of collegiate sports simulations. Carson Palmer graced the cover and this version introduced online play for the very first time in addition to adding over 150 more schools.