8 sports video games that need to be on the SNES Classic – SB Nation

The NES Classic was the must-have holiday item of 2016. A mix of nostalgia and being just plain cool caused retailers to sell out immediately after receiving their shipments. Months later people are still looking to get their hands on one.

Now Eurogamer is reporting that a “SNES mini” is on the way from Nintendo — a small version of the Super Nintendo that will include Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and more. The final list of games hasn’t been released, but here are eight sports games we hope make the final version.

NBA Jam: Tournament Edition

There are going to be some arguments on whether you go with original NBA Jam or Tournament Edition here, but I think you have to go with TE. Either way you’re dealing with old rosters, but TE added the following players:

  • Charles Barkley
  • Gary Payton
  • Penny Hardaway
  • Chris Webber
  • Toni Kukoc

The AI is better, too, including being more aggressive on defense. It’s got to be this version.

Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball

This is THE baseball game. It’s timeless, it’s perfection. Over the years so many baseball games have been released, but none come close to Griffey. This game is so good that MLB The Show tried to replicate its style in 2017 just because people love it so much.

It’s that mixture of arcade and simulation that makes it sublime. Also the fictitious players in the game are incredible and worth reading.

True Golf Classics: Waialae Country Club

This was the quintessential “rent from the video store and get frustrated” game. It was a incredibly good recreation of golf on the SNES and this is absolutely the game dads played on the SNES.

The only weird thing about True Golf Classics: Waialae Country Club was the utter silence you played golf in, until you finished a hole. Well, that and the “select a caddy” screen.

WWF Royal Rumble

Oh man this game was so friggin’ good. Wrestling games might not have reached their zenith until the N64 with WCW vs. nWo and WWF No Mercy but for its day nothing was better than WWF Royal Rumble. Its roster is pure nostalgia, it’s still a pretty decent looking game, and I need to play this again.

Fun fact: The SNES and Genesis versions of this game were different. The SNES version had Ric Flair, Mr. Perfect, Ted DiBiase, Yokozuna, and Tatanka in it, while Genesis got Hulk Hogan, IRS, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, “The Model” Rick Martel, and Papa Shango.

We know who came out ahead.

NBA Live ‘95

I can’t begin to tell you how many hours of NBA Live ‘95 I played. The game was so dang right. I always played as the Bulls where a mysterious played called “No.23” was the best dude in the game by a mile. Michael Jordan didn’t license himself out to video games, but Live ‘95 was the first time I can remember being able to edit players and make him actual Michael Jordan and it felt like magic.

Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour

Called simply Pro Tennis Tour in Japan, the game was branded with Jimmy Connors for the US — otherwise we wouldn’t like it or something. This was a purely perfect pick-up-and-play tennis game that was so great to play.

Also it makes me realize it’s been entirely too long since we had a good tennis video game.

NHL Stanley Cup

The EA Sports NHL series are definitely better games, but this thing felt like wizardry the first time you saw it. 3D graphics were a pretty new thing in 1993 when it was released, and the close-up ice view was so good.

Madden ‘94

Finally we’ve got to get a football game in here and we’ll go with the most nostalgic one possible. Madden ‘94 is the game where Bills fans can kick your ass, and they’ve waited too long for that in video games.

Plus you get this intro with John Madden making the weirdest dang faces in the world.

He’s like one of those singing big-mouth bass things you stick on the wall.

* * *

Yes, I know none of these will ever happen. There are too many developers and licenses involved for this to be a reality — but we can dream anyway.

In 2016 we celebrated the SNES’ 25th birthday by appreciating these sports games, some of which didn’t make the cut here today. Are there any sports games you absolutely think need to be on this list?


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