Most sports fans have spent many an hour sat in front of a television gaming away in an attempt to bridge the chasm between supporter and sporting pro.
We know it’s a far cry from the real thing but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Here we look at the five best sporting video games ever made.
Number 5. Wii Sports
Okay, I’ll admit it. Wii Sports is lacking in realism. It was ground breaking when Nintendo released it in 2006 though. It gave you the chance to compete in numerous events that combined competitiveness and fun to maximum effect.
The fact that it brought the entire family – regardless of age – together is an almighty plus point. It was genuinely good for your physical health too, which can’t be said for most games. Who can remember the amazing cow racing feature? We might be tempted to say that some of those cows had speed enough to rival some Kentucky Derby winners!
Number 4. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
Here’s a choice to rile fans of FIFA. It’s a hotly contested debate whether FIFA or PES is the game to play when it comes to soccer. A lot opt for FIFA with its licensing arrangements a big tick in the plus column. That said, when you’re talking about gaming, only one thing should matter – the gameplay.
Where that is concerned, PES wipes the floor with EA’s offering. Konami churn out quality – and the most nostalgic minds might choose PES6 and Adriano 99 shot power – but we’ve opted for the 2013 version.
The reason being that it was here when Konami truly nailed a smooth style of play alongside a wider ability to control your team shape and tactics. If you liked playing Master League (the Career Mode version of PES), 2013 was definitely the best year. Why KONAMI removed all the amazing features in the following games? We will never know.
Number 3. WWF Warzone
Warzone was the game where wrestling arrived on consoles. The game play was decent but, truth be known, it was the detail and extensive options underneath it all that made it such a big hit. You could compete in a wide variety of match types ranging from a single, good old fashion wrestling match to hardcore weapon matches.
If you played on the N64 then a Royal Rumble option was also available. For many, the main love was creating your own wrestler. Do you make yourself? A celebrity? An old wrestler? Whatever your choice, the range of choice meant you could make anyone you wanted. It was ahead of its time in that regard. Then, you could take your creation to the top in story mode.
Number 2. Madden 2007
If EA felt shafted by the choice to include PES earlier in the list, then maybe putting Madden in at second will keep us in their good books. Madden has long been the boss of NFL games and it just so happens that the 07 version saw the introduction of ultimate gamer control. No longer were you reliant on computer assistance. EA developed their game in such a manner that the player could operate both the offensive and defensive lines and whilst it took a fair bit of practice to nail, once you got to grips with it, the game was transformed.
Number 1. Football Manager
To be honest, you could take your pick of what game release you choose here hence we haven’t nailed one down. The game has a network of researchers on the ground ensuring it is as realistic as possible. Manager games had come before and a lot of people would vouch for Championship Manager but, for us, when it comes to the intricate details and tactical input it is one of the most lopsided rivalries.
Where CM is famed for failed wonder kids, such as Cherno Samba and crazy stories like the one from ‘To Madeira’, Football Manager has much more credibility. The game even served as a stepping stone to management in the real world for some: just ask Vugar Huseynzade.
There you have it, five sporting video games that have shaped the way we love to interact with our much-loved hobbies.