What better way to spend some time during the quarantine than video games?! What’s your favorite sports video game … “Madden,” “FIFA,” “Punch-Out”? A new gem, maybe an old classic? Readers of The Beverly Review and its staff sounded off about the best games.
Tim O’Brien: “I was a Nintendo 64 kid growing up (anyone want to race on Mario Kart?), but I had two favorite sports games.
“The first was NBA Live 2000. I did countless team seasons, even rebuilding the ’98 Bulls. You’ve just got to beat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one battle to unlock him as a player. Cheat code? Use Glen Rice to bomb away from three.
“My second favorite game was All-Star Baseball 2001, also on N64. Good game play, some great teams to compete against and the ability to play at the Field of Dreams against all-time greats. Also, Pedro Martinez’s screwball was an Eighth Wonder of the World.”
“NHLPA Hockey ’93. It’s what got me into hockey. It was fast paced and not overly complicated like sports games are today. Playing with your friends and getting into fights in the game was almost more important than winning. It was a great snapshot of the ’90s.”
—Vincent J. from Bronzeville
“My favorites were always EA Sports’ college football games. NCAA ’08 was the best because Mizzou was loaded. I loved the college atmosphere, running the option or slinging the ball all over the place.”
—Steve M. from Tinley Park
“WWE SmackDown! “Here Comes the Pain” was my favorite. It came from that Golden Age team-up of THQ and Yuke’s, and it played incredibly well for the time as a fighter. Awesome for a group multiplayer.
“It hit peak absurdity for the SmackDown series in the backstage battles by letting you battle out into Times Square and drop onto your opponent from a helicopter. It was a great blend of good mechanics and wild video game antics that led to a lot of replay-ability.
“My other favorite is NCAA Football ’12. It was around this game that I strayed from Madden/NFL for the college games until they stopped making the former.
“A huge part of why is that while on-field play still delivered, the recruiting system of the NCAA game grabbed me in a way none before or since have. I’ve never been into the management/franchise side of games, but there was something about the way the system worked that grabbed me. Figuring out whether to take a gamble on a top prospect who didn’t have my school on top of his list, the personal angles of appealing to potential players through phone calls, the all-important campus visits and ratings. I was hooked.”
—Bill J. from Northwest Indiana
Here is next week’s “What’s Your Favorite.” I’m officially missing baseball. It’s bad, guys. Like real bad. So, what’s your favorite baseball movie? E-mail email@example.com with your answer, a short explanation and where you’re from.
Stay safe and may sports return soon!