The Campfire

Madden misses the cut in our Top 10 Sports Video Games of all-time

Madden football, among other trendy favorites, hit the cutting room floor; in our Top 10 Sports Video Games of all-time.

By: Jonathan Goad

I love sports video games. They are, by far, the games I play the most. I’ve spent countless hours trying to build a Dynasty in every sporting game you could think of, MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL, FIFA, even UFC games and NASCAR games.

Usually, my favorite mode to play is the Franchise or Dynasty mode. There’s just something about building a program from the ground up that makes me smile.

After taking a trip down memory lane, I compiled my Top 10 sports video games of all time.

There are multiple years of multiple games, so I’ll keep it simple.

For example, the Madden franchise has put out a football game (annually) for close to 30 years. For my rankings, it will merely be Madden, not Madden 2004 — etc.

10. MLB Slugfest

This game was hysterical. From the commenting to trying to knock each other out so you could take an extra base, this game was a blast to play. As you can see in the video, you could play as different characters.

This specific one is Sub Zero from Mortal Kombat. The one downfall of this game was that it got somewhat repetitive. Eventually, the commentating was something you’ve heard already, and the gameplay was just as repetitive.

However, if I could get my hands on a copy today, I’d fire it up and start throwing haymakers.

9. NBA Street Vol. 2

I played NBA Street Vol. 2 until I couldn’t hold the controller anymore. This game mixed the And One Mixtape Tour with the NBA. It was streetball at its finest.

Not to brag, but my baller made it to Legend status. You could play as NBA legends like Michael Jordan and Dr. J. You could even play as Nelly and the St. Lunatics! This game took the greatness of NBA Jam to the streets.

8. RBI Baseball

This game (along with another on this list) is for nostalgic purposes. My older brother, Tony, and I would play this game on the classic NES.

We spent hours trying to perfect the knuckleball or putting in Dennis Eckersley, whose throwing motion seemed like a cheat code.

They have released newer versions of this game, but I’ll stick with the classic on the original Nintendo.

This game brings back so many good memories.

7. NFL Blitz

NFL Blitz was a football game with no rules. Nothing made me more frustrated that when my opponent would tackle my receiver before the ball could get to him. And it was perfectly legal.

Late hits were also legal. So after bringing a man to the ground, you could continuously body slam him until the next play.

Sometimes playing with no rules is exceptionally entertaining. This was one of those times.

6. Tiger Woods PGA Tour

This is one of the best golf games ever. It was fun to play on any gaming system, but there was something special about playing Tiger Woods when it came out on the Nintendo Wii.

If I’m not mistaken, the 2006 version of this game was super easy. It wasn’t uncommon to shoot 18 under rounds, or better.

In a game that is so frustrating to play in real life, it was nice to be able to dominate in the gaming world.

The guy in the video apparently didn’t know what he was doing. No power boost and no spin? It must be amateur hour.

5. Tecmo Bowl

The other nostalgic pick on this list. This game was enjoyable to play unless you were playing against Bo Jackson. That dude was a cheat code in himself.

I’m pretty sure he ran for over 1,000 yards just on that play.

I mostly played the Tecmo Super Bowl edition, but they were mainly the same game. This is the game that introduced me to blowing into the cartridge to get it to work. It was well worth it, however — Tecmo Bowl never disappointed.

Once again, newer versions have been made for more modern consoles. I’ll take it on the NES. That’s what I grew up on and for this game, that’s how I want to play it.


This was a game that I got into with some of my old roommates. I’ve never been a huge soccer fan, but this game helped. FIFA was another game that had a great franchise mode.

It was very in depth, and honestly, helped me understand how professional soccer works off the pitch. I’ll still play FIFA every once-in-a-while, and it always reminds me how much fun soccer can be.



Photo Credit:

ESPN NFL 2K5 is still the best NFL game out there. It was very realistic and probably ahead of its time. The graphics were by far the best to come out at the time.

And it was just a fun game to play. It also had a mode that I had never even thought of before. You could have the camera view of inside the helmet.


Photo Credit: MegaGames

For me, this was pretty tough. Seeing if your receivers were open and having any ball carrier vision was out of the question. You just had to hope you were running the right way or throwing to the open man.

It was innovative and a bold move by the designers. I wish this series would have continued because, in my opinion, it blows Madden out of the water.

2. EA Sports NHL

Once I seriously got into the NHL, I couldn’t get enough of hockey video games.

I’ve played some of the older hockey games on, the older consoles, but NHL on PS4 has been my go-to for quite some time. The franchise mode is my favorite, as with just about any sports game.

This was another game that two of my best friends and old roommates — let’s call them Austin and Bubba — would play for hours.

1. NCAA Football

Nothing broke my heart more than when EA Sports stopped making the NCAA Football franchise. This game is number one probably because of what my former roommates and I accomplished with it.

Austin, Bubba, and I played about 25 seasons of the dynasty mode. We created a school and turned an Average Joe program into a national powerhouse.

This was and still is the most epic thing I’ve accomplished in my video gaming history. We reminisce about it often, always wondering when they’ll bring this series back to life.

However, that’s not the only reason this game gets the top spot. The gameplay was so realistic. I have always thought the NCAA Football games were better than the Madden series. They just felt better.

Please, NCAA, EA Sports, bring it back.

Honorable Mention:


Naturally, I’ve left the Madden franchise off of this list. I’ve played a lot of Madden games and nothing has ever really stood out to me.

They’re decent games and there’s nothing really wrong with them. But the football games I have on my list are memorable for one reason or another.

MLB The Show

I’ve also left MLB The Show off of my top ten. While these games are pretty decent, I feel the same way about them as I do with Madden. They don’t really stand out.

NASCAR Dirt to Daytona

This is another game I wish they would remaster. The concept was awesome! You’d start out as a small dirt track racer and try to work your way up to the highest level of NASCAR (probably still Winston Cup when this game came out).

Next Post: The Space Jam Effect: NHL-Style

This list could go on and on. If you don’t agree with my list or think I’ve missed anything else. Let me know. I’d love to hear your top ten sports video games of all time.