Quick question: why would anyone want to play even the best sega genesis sports games in 2022? All of the official listings are long outdated, the graphics look like rock drawings, and let’s face it, not many of us have a Genesis under our TVs anymore. Right?
Well, to answer that question, you might first consider what a strange predicament modern sports games find themselves in. EA Sports’ Fifa The series parted ways with the FIFA organization after decades of association. PES became eFootball then I forgot to release an actual game to go along with the new name. EA NHL and mad franchises have been looking for ideas for 10 years, and there’s a sense of diminishing returns from all licensed franchises on an annualized basis.
Roll back the years to the 90s, and you find the seductive powers of retro lists that include the Jordans, Gretzkys, Samprases (?) et al of which we had posters on our bedroom walls. The simplicity and accessibility of it all. Pure sense of fun – the developers knew they weren’t going to come close to an accurate simulation of their chosen sport on a 16-bit cartridge, so they didn’t try. Instead, they made their games fun. Imagine that.
Those dusty old sports games make a pretty good point for themselves, don’t they? Here are our picks for the best to ever release on the Sega Genesis, presented in no particular order.
NHL ’94 (1993)
movie star Swingerstimeless touchstone of the sports game, NHL ’94Pop culture’s staying power surpasses even Madonna’s. Modern NHL reverted to it by adding the Genesis title control scheme as an input method, or including a full-fledged emulation via Rewind of NHL 94.
That must have been pretty good then, right? Not just because his roster includes Lindros, Bure, Lemieux, Roy and other all-time players, but because he cuts out all the nonsense and focuses on the fun parts: hits, dekes and mean slappers. .
NBA Jam: Tournament Edition (1993)
Whether NBA jam has nothing in common with its frostier kind stablemate NHL ’94, it is the liberal attitude that he adopts to recreate the sport. This boils down basketball to a cartoonish 2v2 game where it’s common to get around 20 feet of vertical jump, and therefore every game is just a race to see who can score the most outlandish dunks the most. rapidly.
Yes, there is genuine fun boxing opponents in modern NBA 2K, but not in the same genre as NBA jamis sold. It also perfectly captures the league’s swagger at the time – outlandish personalities, tense rivalries, larger-than-life action.
WWF Royal Rumble (1993)
Honestly we’re still not sure we got the controls 29 years later but it was 16 bit wrestling games for you and the fact that we’re still having so much fun with it WWF Royal Rumble says a lot about his talent for the theater and recreating the flair and personalities of the superstars of the era. The eternal debate is which version had the better listing – SNES or Genesis?
Pete Sampras Tennis (1994)
Pete’s serve could penetrate a garage door, and his Grand Slams throughout the 90s made him a big name in the sport. Its licensed Genesis title took the basics of the sport and made them all inherently enjoyable – and that was enough. No complicated, rigid controls like you’ll regularly find elsewhere. Just a smart return system and smooth movement. And, of course, those brands that Pistol Pete serves.
PGA Tour 3 (1994)
They say golf is a good wasted ride, so we’re guessing that makes playing its virtual counterpart on a Genesis… well, less than that. While PGA Tour 3 lacked fresh air, it was amply compensated for in courses and licensed golfers, visuals that really had us all gasping at the time, and a control method that let you sweep with at least some degree of agency about where he ended up. These things were not to be taken for granted in 1994.
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (1990)
Official licenses have been the running theme of this list so far. speed ball 2 did not need a license, because it was not a question of recreating a sport, but rather of inventing one. Inspired by the dystopian film Rollerhe dreamed up a hybrid of handball, roller derby, and gladiatorial combat, then turned that bizarre concept into one of the most enjoyable video game sports you could play in the 90s.
FIFA Football ’95 (1994)
It’s not the very first football game from EA to carry the name, but the first to achieve high ratings and attract mass market interest. The isometric view looks clunky in retrospect, but before that we were used to a top-down approach in Sensible Football, and this new sense of space felt like progress. Also, the bullet felt like it had weight and the shot was more accurate than anything we had experienced before.
Sports Talk Baseball (1991)
Sometimes it’s the simplest changes that breathe new life into a sport. Football + cars = rocket league. Cricket + shorter = T20 cricket. Hockey + several seasonal lockouts, several collective agreements, revised salary cap and contract systems, safety protocols and drafting mechanisms = modern NHL. And in the case of Genesis’ favorite baseball game Sports Talk Baseballbaseball + first to 10 runs instead of 9 innings = better.
Madden NFL ’95 (1994)
Your results may vary – in truth, the first fools on the Genesis were all pretty awesome. It’s not easy to translate something as complex as this sport into a 16-bit cartridge, but Madden NFL ’95 found a way that worked so well that the series still uses the same basic approach today. The collision physics, animations, and visuals aren’t even comparable, but the basic gameplay loop of picking a play from a set of menu tiles, making the pass, and then running it an unlikely amount are all there.
The Greatest Heavyweights (1994)
A.k.a Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing 2. While apparently a very similar sequel to the aforementioned game, the addition of legendary boxers like Muhammad Ali and full use of the Genesis controller’s six-button thumbstick gave this pugilism game a status that is fondly remembered. I still can’t beat Mike Dixon.
Written by Phil Iwaniuk on behalf of GLHF.