Itching Your Sports Needs During Coronavirus Lockdown
It has been a weird couple of weeks without sports. I don’t think that is any secret for my fellow sports fans right now.
NBA Fans should be prepping for the playoffs. NFL fans should be prepping for the Draft. MLB fans should be embarking in opening day and opening week glory. Wrestling fans should be ready for the fallout from AEW Blood and Guts (postponed) and prepping for Wrestlemania (now a 2-day shit show with no crowd Lol they’re the worst).
It’s weird not having sports. But it allowed me to sit down and finally watch Jack Ryan which was awesome. Now, I am engulfing in Boy Meets World and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The only solace I have in sports is through old sports video games. When I am not playing Modern Warfare, I am dusting off the N64, PS2 and 360 for some of my favorite titles on those. Although, I have not played some of them recently, these are some of the titles I love. I like some of the newer titles, but there is too much fuckery with micro-transactions and loopholes in gameplay. So I figured I would share some of my favorites with you.
- WWF No Mercy
This was the mecca of the generation as far as wrestling games go. WCW/NWO Revenge was the catalyst. However, WWF took it and ran leaving WCW in the dust in terms of video games. The story mode for each title is fantastic and non repetitive plus it featured a variety of matches.
- Ken Griffey Jr. Major League Baseball
Hi. This is Ken Griffey Jr. Let’s play Major League Baseball. Complete with a good franchise mode and adequate gameplay, it is loads of fun. Plus you can play with a star studded Mariners roster with Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez and of course, Ken Griffey Jr.
- Blitz 2000
It’s hardcore arcade style football. What’s not to love? I was playing recently and scrolling through selecting my team. I wondered why Peyton Manning was black. Then I realized, every starting QB was black. It was pretty funny.
- WWF Wrestlemania 2000
Although it is not as in depth or good as No Mercy, I love the roster on this game. The Road to Wrestlemania is adequate if you want to fast forward through storylines and get right into the action.
- Madden 2008
This is probably my favorite Madden game ever made. They introduced the hit stick 2.0 where up flick means your defender went for the headshot and a down flick meant the defender went for the feet. The franchise mode is great and it also has a solid superstar mode.
- MVP Baseball 2005
THE. BEST. BASEBALL. GAME. EVER. MADE. The dynasty mode is gloriously fun. The rosters are loaded. The gameplay engine is great. This is one of the best directional hitting systems. It was also one of the first I believe. It was also one of the first games to introduce manager ejections. Argue a call and fill your meter too much, rage and toss ensues. Plus, the hitting mini game is one of the most fun side modes in sports games. Also, freaking amazing soundtrack.
- Tony Hawk’s Underground
I am super into character creation story modes. This game has one of my favorite sports story modes to date. The story is some low level skater in Jersey who eventually makes it to the big time and also getting screwed by his “best friend” Eric Sparrow along the way. This Eric gives Eric from Billy Madison a run for being the worst Eric of all-time.
- ESPN NFL 2K5
2005 was a great year for sports games. I play 2k5 annually. The presentation and gameplay are both amazing. The gameplay still holds water to current gen games. I always enjoyed watching the Chris Berman weekly recaps. They also have the inside the helmet first person view which makes for a nice change of pace if you’re looking for one. Being a stat head, I love that I can play four quarters in under 35-40 minutes and the stats are comparable to a real NFL game.
- Smackdown Here Comes the Pain
Speaking of customization and stories, best story based wrestling mode ever in this one. The season is influenced by your decisions and you can do it with a customized wrestler. It was the first smackdown game that introduced blood and the Elimination Chamber. The backstage fighting is plenty of fun. You could take your fight to Times Square which is cool.
- Smackdown Shut Your Mouth
Although it is a downgrade from HCTP, it is still fun nonetheless. This game uses more real life storylines in the season mode for example, Edge v Kurt Angle in hair v hair. Win with Edge and you shave Angle’s head thus unlocking bald angle. Another great one is Vince bringing back NWO to kill WWE and you get to take on Hulk Hogan.
- Def Jam Fight For New York
Using the same engine like the N64 games like No Mercy, Wrestlemania 2000 and Revenge, this involved some of Hip Hop’s stars. The gameplay, fighting arenas and story are fun every single time you play it. Again, create your guy and carry through a story. Love it.
- NFL Head Coach
If you’re a sim junkie like me who likes to create and build, you’ll enjoy this underrated gem. If you like playing through every game in Madden and don’t care as much about the off-season, avoid it like Coronavirus. You take over as a head coach of any NFL team and begin your building and vetting picking up FA’s and Drafting. You call the plays to put your team in the best position to win.
- Blitz The League
Full customization rosters in your story as you build your team through multiple divisions. You can choose to roid up your guys for quicker progression, gamble on games and intentionally injury opponents with brutal hits. It’s everything the real football world hates.
- NFL Street
Customization for players and defeating NFL squads and completing challenges to build your team. Although, I haven’t done it since it came out. If you have someone to play with, the pickup mode is dope. Unlock all the fields with “travel” as one ID and unlock the legends with the id “legend.” You’re welcome.
- NBA Street Vol. 2
The original was great. But Vol. 2 was on steroids as far as NBA Street is concerned. Take one player around the world dropping everything in your path and unlocking all the players and venues. It’s arcade sports at it’s finest.
- NBA 2k12
The franchise mode is great like usual and the my player mode is great if you love simplicity. No crazy micro transactions. No stupid Grand Theft Auto open world bullshit of running to the park, clothing shop and all that dumb shit. Play your games, answer questions to the press and ball out.
- MLB 2k11
I am not sure why 2k11 is the game I gravitate toward as far as 360 baseball goes, but it is. I find the gameplay easy to pick up on. I find it’s a good combination of difficulty. You’re not getting murdered for every mistake, but you’re not capitalizing on everything blowing your opponent out the water each game. One of my favorite things to do is fantasy draft a dope hitting roster and try to beat my horrible pitching simulating the defensive portion of games. You can run 4-5 games in an hour and it’s fun as hell, but difficult. Better pick a hitter’s park.
- All Pro Football 2k8
Choose between legends or customize your own legends (create yourself and friends or fictional footballers). I love creating myself and the guys I play flag with and beating the football legends of yesteryear in season mode.
- Smackdown v Raw 2010
I like the gameplay and new moves of this one. It is also the best of both worlds. You can run Road to Wrestlemania if you’re looking for storylines or you can run arcade style in career mode where you choose the match types in your quest for winning all the titles or defending them.
- NCAA Football 2014
The last college football game made. I love it because you can still download updated rosters from 6 years. The playbooks are extensive and they did a great job with their engine for running read option. Plus, college football video game dude! I just wish the Team Builder was still available.
- Madden 25
You need a game to import your dynasty draft class right? This is it. Upload your draft classes from NCAA 14. Madden 25 gameplay is fairly smooth and they re-introduced franchise relocation which is cool. If you want to be the Jags and get them out of Jacksonville, you can. For those who hate Colin Kaepernick, he’s on the game. You have been warned.
No FIFA games because I didn’t start playing it until the newer generation. If you have a recommendation, feel free to comment. I am sure I missed some solid ones. Keep in mind, these are games I have and play.