The 9 Greatest Sports Video Game Teams Ever
The issue of the greatest sports video game teams of all time is one that is often overlooked. How overlooked, you ask? Woefully overlooked.
We’re always debating the greatest actual teams in sports, or the greatest sports video games. Not nearly enough is made of the greatest sports video game teams. And this is a very important subject. So let’s open a dialogue. And by “dialogue,” I mean that I’m going to tell you who I think the greatest sports video game teams of all time are, and you’re going to politely read, and not offer any feedback.
Ok. Fine. Feedback in comments. Let’s get going.
The USC Trojans were a force to be reckoned with during this period of college football, and it showed disproportionately in NCAA 2006. You had Leinart, who was great, but not transcendent, and then you had Reggie Bush, who was definitely transcendent. His skills could be leveraged in special teams, out of the backfield, and out of a receiver. They were a killer team in the 2006 season mode, but they really stood out in dynasty, where the computer made the mistake that Pete Carroll would be around forever. Simpler times. Simpler…times.
9. USC Trojans – NCAA 2006
Sure, Tecmo Bo Jackson gets all the credit, but the Bears had a running back in WALTER PAYTON that was just a step slower, and a hair easier to tackle. However, the Bears also had Dennis Gentry returning punts and kicks who was even faster than Bo in my estimation, and Willie Gault catching passes. Then on D you had Mike Singletary (second only to LT in the game) and Richard Dent, who was able to bust through the line even when you didn’t guess the play.
8. Chicago Bears – Tecmo Bowl
I’m declaring Tiger Woods a team for the purposes of this entry. He has a caddie. And two people technically make a team. To Tiger’s credit, he was the best player in the game for most of the history of this franchise. So he deserved to be the best, but it was clear that EA and Tiger’s vanity made him a little better than he actually was. Right? RIGHT?
7. Tiger Woods – Tiger Woods Golf
Roenick’s wraparound. Eddie Eagle in the net. Chris Chelios as your last line of defense. The Blackhawks weren’t everyone’s favorite, and Americans were just coming around to hockey in newer markets, but these guys ruled the roost. People often favored the Wings and New York, but it wasn’t even a contest.
6. Chicago Blackhawks – NHLPA ‘93
Ok. There was a LOT of parity in Hockey for NES. The only thing that was different was the color of the uniforms. And you got to pick your style of play by selecting players that were either fat, medium or skinny. An army of fat Russian players may not be quick down the ice, but shit, during the Cold War, the intimidation factor for that team was through the roof. There were two types of kids: USA kids, and Russia kids. The Russia kids were generally the ones with the edge, and the ones that one. So I’m putting Russia on this list.
5. Russia – Hockey
The cover of this video game featured John Madden on the cover, as well as Cowboys tackle Erik Williams. This is before the cover of Madden was a whole thing, so I doubt too much can be read into that. What can be read into is that the 1995 Cowboys were a Super Bowl champion team that were even better on paper. This is one of instances where the team on this list actually lived up to the video game hype. Russell Maryland, Charles Haley, and Leon Lett on defense. Darrin Smith, Charles Woodson, Deion Sanders, and Larry Brown as LBs and DBs. Emmit Smith, Aikman, Michael Irvin, Jay Novacek taking snaps. They were just a great team that was accurately reflected in Madden ’95. Sorry this entry isn’t more fun.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Madden ‘95
Michael Vick in Madden 2004 was pretty much unstoppable. This was before the mainstreaming of the wildcat offense in the NFL, but was very much during its prime in Madden. With Vick, your offense could be a passing offense that turned into a running game whenever your QB dropped the passing windows and turned up the field. Vick was the greatest player in Madden history, and he buoyed the 2004 Falcons into the greatest team in Madden history.
3. Atlanta Falcons – Madden 2004
This was another overlooked game, but served as the entrée for many into the world of soccer, and as such, gave the impression to many that France was a very good team. Don’t get me wrong, France WAS a good team. A great team that actually won the World Cup that year, but they shined in that game in every facet. But most notably, the team was really, really, really fast. And if you’ve played soccer, you know that all the running involved isn’t to lower your risk of heart disease. Gameplay being what it was, the faster your team was, the better it was, and there was no one faster than France in that game.
2. France – World Cup ‘98
This may be a surprising #1 in that many readers won’t be familiar with this game (there were a lot of Major League Baseball games in the 90’s, few of which really stood out), but it’s probably a surprise to no one that this game favored the Mariners. Sure, Griffey’s Mariners were good because they were Griffey’s Mariners, but mostly, they were good because they had Griffey. He was like a giant among men in that game. And as such, it sure seemed engineered that NO ONE BEATS Griffey’s Mariners. Pitchers that wouldn’t find themselves on half the starting rotations in the league could throw heat that would make Nolan Ryan blush, and the arm of Jay Buhner, formidable in real life, was like a t-shirt cannon strapped to a Patriot missile.