Most Influential Sports Video Games of All Time

Madden NFL 19 was recently released, and opinions differ significantly whether the latest installment is better than its predecessor. However, no one can deny the influence the franchise has had in the video gaming world. All sports games are considered the best that they have ever been to. However, there were plenty of ground-breaking efforts that allowed sports games to get to this point. Let’s take a look at the most influential video games in the sports category of all time.

EA Sports – Madden NFL – 1988

Initially released as John Madden Football. A sports video game managed to get licensing agreements from both the AFL and NFL in 1993 which allowed the franchise to change the game’s name to Madden NFL. The rest is mostly history. Madden NFL became the most influential sports video game in the world, setting the stage for all other sports games.

Nintendo – Wii Sports – 2006

Wii Sports was initially included into the package with the newly released Nintendo Wii. Players had the opportunity to test their skills in sports like tennis, golf, boxing, bowling, and baseball without a traditional controller. Once they experienced the possibilities of Wii Sports, they quickly rushed to stores around the world to buy more Wii games.

Sony Computer Entertainment – MLB: The Show – 2006

There were tons of baseball video games on the market before the franchise it the market. However, MLB: The Show managed to take the sports genre to a brand-new level thanks to its realism and functionality. It’s a worldwide success also forced other baseball video game developers to enhance their products to stay relevant over the years.

Tecmo – Tecmo Super Bowl – 1991

While there will always be a soft spot for the Tecmo Bowl original game. It’s successor was more revolutionary as it was the first American-football game that had licensing agreements with the NFLPA as well as the NFL. This allowed Nintendo owners to enjoy a 16-match season with actual players and teams from the NFL which also kept records and stats. The game is so popular that players still compete in tournaments around the world.

Nintendo – Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out – 1987

Minoru Arakawa, the founder of Nintendo, attended a fight that featured Mike Tyson and decided to include him in Punch-Out, the newly developed boxing game at the time. Tyson managed to sign a 3-year licensing deal where he featured alongside other fighters like Bald Bull and Glass Joe. When the game was initially released, Tyson was at the peak of his fighting career which meant the game was a significant success.

EA Sports – PGA Tour – 1990

The PGA Tour has always been considered the gold standard when it comes to golf video games. Especially during the Sega Genesis days when it was more popularly known as Tiger Woods PGA Tour. The same has since changed to Rory Mcllroy PGA Tour. Apart from The Godfather: Black Hand, there was no other video game on the Nintendo Wii at the time that was better suited for the console.


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