Hockey - NHL ' 94 (SNES) of course. I feel like in games before this game (and even many made after it) scoring in hockey games felt semi-arbitrary. Just get close and shoot and hope for the best. But this game made you earn it! One-timers, dekes, wrap-a-rounds, you name it. So much control!
Football - Tecmo Super Bowl (SNES) obviously. Used to play the F out of this. We would do seasons with my brother and cousins. I got really into the stats as well.
Soccer - If we get a bit lax with how we define things, Rocket League (Switch) for sure, I've put like 200 hours into this game! But if we stick to a more strict definition, International Superstar Soccer 64 (N64) is my pick. Soccer is a bit of a slower paced game but this one felt so sweet and polished. Much like NHL '94, I felt like I really earned every goal.
Baseball - I'm not super big on baseball, but I'd have to go with Dusty Diamond's All-star Softball (NES). It was this baseball game on the NES where you got to pick your entire team out of this huge and varied cast of characters and each one had their own little special things going on. That amount of customization in an NES game was rare!
/EDIT I had to edit this because I remembered Rusty's Real Deal Baseball (3DS) exists! It's a tight little package that pares baseball down into its various elements and everything feels great! EASILY my favorite baseball game! GET LOST DUSTY DIAMOND'S.
Basketball - Another one I never played many games from. Probably Double Dribble (NES)? Was pretty fun.
Volleyball - Hmm. Can't think of many others besides Super Spike V'Ball (NES), but that one was pretty good!
Golf - I'm going to cheat here and pick two. First, obvious pick is Kirby's Dream Course (SNES), pretty much one of my favorite games of all-time. But it's only loosely a golf game. So if we stick to something that more resembles golf... Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GC). We played a ton of it, so addicting.
Tennis - There were probably better games since, but Mario Tennis (N64) is the first one I really got into and of course my cousins and brother and I played it a bunch.
Table Tennis - I also want to give Wii Sports Resort - Table Tennis (Wii) a mention. So much fun!
Track & Field - Did anyone else play Capcom's Gold Medal Challenge '92 (NES)? I used to love this game, felt like each event was pretty well made and I'd go through and play them all!
Bowling - Wii Sports - Bowling (Wii), duh. Could there be any other? Well, Super Monkey Ball's bowling is good too, but yeah, gotta give it to Wii Sports.
Boxing - The series is easy to pick, but which game... tougher. I have to go with the original Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES) though. One of the best NES games! Even though I never beat it!
I probably forgot a few sports. Maybe I'll add some later.
Fun thread idea! I'm going to have to wrack my brain, though, it's been a long while since I played most sports games!
Hockey - ICE HOCKEY (NES) Mostly I just tried to get them to fight. :P I also remember playing a bit of a hockey game on the N64 (Wayne Gretzky maybe?) and I enjoyed that a bunch.
Football - NFL Blitz I used to play Blitz CONSTANTLY. So much fun.
Soccer - Mario Strikers I enjoyed this one so much. Still sad we never got any more.
Baseball - Many, many games I love baseball, and I used to play baseball games all the time. So much so that I don't remember their names! Basically if it was available, I played it. :P
I tried to play MLB the Show on the PS3 (at Best Buy) once, because it felt like it was super super high quality. But it was... really complicated. Like... it's baseball. I should be able to pick up and play! But I couldn't figure out how to do anything, so my player just kept stepping out of the batter's box over and over and over and then I quit.
Basketball - I think I played some NBA Jam once.
Volleyball - DoA Beach Volleyball. Such a fun game, full of... fun gameplay. Of volleyball. There was totally gameplay and you played a game. It was a legitimate video game game.
Girls and collecting outfits? I don't know what you're talking about.
Golf - The Mario Golf games on the GBA by Camelot. The RPG elements made them an absolute joy to play through over and over. Even the latest Mario Golf couldn't compete with those old titles.
Tennis - Same as above, the old Camelot Mario Tennis games with the RPG elements! I adore them to this day.
Track & Field - There is only one legitimate Track and Field game and it uses the Power Pad. All others need not apply. ;)
Bowling - Monkey Bowling in Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2. The follow ups were not as good. Those ones were outstanding.
Ooo, never seen a thread like this in my twenty+ year history of internetting about videogames. Nice Job, sir.
I'll preface the event by saying I'm not a huge sports guy, so some of these will be my favorites by default as the only one I played or because they are whacky videogamey renditions of the sport.
Hockey - NHL 95 on the Sega Genesis. They all say NHL 94 is the best, but this is the one I had, and my brother and I played the hell out of it. Hockey is the only sport I've ever been into enough to watch on TV and want to go to live games. Helps that I have lived in two cities now with good teams. Detroit when this game was relevant and now Las Vegas has a not too shabby team. I wish we'd get a good hockey game on Switch!
Football - Okay, not my sport. We'll have to give it to whatever Madden game we owned on Sega Genesis. I guess I also had NFL 2K because it came bundled in with my Sega Dreamcast Costco package I got for my birthday that year and NFL2K5 since I bought it to see what all the hype was about for $20, but... yeah, not my sport. Touchback!
Soccer - Rocket League. Can I choose Rocket League, please? That's become my favorite online multiplayer game of all time. Not close enough? Only soccer game I've ever owned is Fifa International Soccer on the 3DO. It was actually a quality game. Quite a showcase for the hardware at the time. I liked it.
Baseball - Haven't played many baseball games. Had one of the RBI games on NES that I liked quite a lot and also the Tiger Electronics Baseball was a good time sink as a kid. This sport is super boring. I was dragged to a Detroit Tigers game as a kid and the only part I enjoyed was doing the wave, hitting around a volleyball in the bleacher seats, and eating a soft pretzel (I was a fat kid, so now I am a calorie counting adult). "Is this over yet?" "It's the bottom of the ninth." "So... Can we go yet?"
Basketball - Easy! NBA Jam. Childhood mainstay. The hidden characters! The rumors of hidden characters! Sal Divita, whoever that was! A developer? Good old Sal. I still don't know if I actually saw Reptile playing basketball in the arcade or if I dreamt it. I've enjoyed some of the simulation type games along the way as well. Basketball translates well to videogames. Good sport.
Volleyball - Beach Spikers on GameCube by default. I think it's the only Volleyball game I've ever owned. Decent fun. Similar to Virtua Tennis. I too considered getting DOA Xtreme when it came out because Team Ninja was amazing at the time and I thought I could use that to justify the purchase to my family, but in the end my shame won out.
Golf - *Snore* Not into it. Can I choose Golf Story on Switch? Or Kirby's Dreamcourse if that is allowed as a zany take on golf. Yeah, I choose the latter if Zero did.
Tennis - Virtua Tennis on Dreamcast.
Table Tennis - Racket Fury on Oculus Quest. I think this is another default winner as the only table tennis game I've owned. VR does make this one pretty fun, but I'm terrible at it. Too ashamed to play online with people, and I don't want to talk to them, dammit. Why does voice chat have to be a thing that people do? Eww, I don't want to talk to strangers with voice on the internet.
Track & Field - My sister didn't choose too many videogames when we were young or play them much at all, but when she did, she loved these kinds of games. I'll give a shout to World Class Track Meet with the Powerpad and Olympic Gold Barcelona '92 on Genesis.
Bowling - Wii Sports - Bowling (Wii), duh. Could there be any other?
Boxing - Punch-Out!! on Wii if we're going the silly fun route (sequel, please!) Thrill of the Fight on the Oculus Quest for simulation. It's really rad boxing in VR and a super workout (my heartbeat gets over 200bpm when playing). I had an unfortunate incident last week where the Guardian System derped out on my headset, resulting in my punching of a wall and bleeding a bit from this game. It's my only videogame related injury ever, with the exception of my brother punching me in the arm when he lost a shit-talk filled game as kids, which is noteworthy. I also really liked Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing on Genesis.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series. Love it and am really damn good at it. Who knows how many hours I've put into these games. Weirdly enough, I just had a dream last night that somebody topped my world record and I was devastated. I don't actually have a world record in real life, but that's okay. I wish Activision didn't milk it dry so quickly and then totally screw it up. THPS2 if we're picking the best.
California Games on Atari 2600. This is one of the first videogames I ever played in my life on my parents' Atari. I liked the hackey sack game so much that I recreated it in highschool, and the theme song comes into my head at least once a week as I brush my teeth or what have you. In fact, it would make a rad ringtone.
Ooo, good thread idea! Sports sims bore the life out of me, but I love a good arcade sports title!
Hockey - Gotta go with Ice Hockey. Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who like... and so on.
Football - NFL Blitz (Arcade), natch. It's all about the elbow drops.
Olympics/multi-event - Hmm... that computer game used to be fun, because you could break your buddy's keyboard... Decathlon? But I'll have to go with Winter Games. Biathlon, baby! Shooting and skiing are like peanut butter and ... comic books! And the Nutcracker Suite is still stuck in my head from Figure Skating.
Soccer - Not my most beloved sport. Mario Strikers, maybe. Or nothing, I dunno. I hate FIFA.
Baseball - Now we're talkin'! Tons of good ones here: Super Mega Baseball, Baseball Stars 2... I'll go for the nostalgia pick and say Street Sports Baseball on C64. So fun, and I can still hum the title theme.
Basketball - Lots of decent ones here, too. But it's hard to beat NBA Jam!
Volleyball - Technos always wins. Super Spike V'Ball!
Golf - Hmm. Mario Golf on... 3DS, maybe? Actually, it's probably Tiger Woods 2003 on Gamecube. What a great multiplayer game. All downhill from there. You can always count on EA to break the few things they have that already work.
Tennis - Mario Tennis. Power Tour has finally been dethroned by Aces. They finally realized the way to bring video tennis to the next level: completely ignore the rules of the sport! Honorable mention to Wii Sports Tennis. Amazingly accessible and fun.
Bowling - Screw bowling. (In real-life, too.)
Boxing - Punch Out!!, but it isn't really boxing. So I'll say Fight Night. An absolutely amazing enabler for multiplayer trash-talking. Watching blood and spit fly out of your opponent's mouth as it deforms in slow motion never gets old.
Billiards - Lunar Pool on NES was kind of amazing. Friction = 0, baby!
Football - NCAA Football '05, with my boy Larry Fitz on the cover.
Baseball - Hardball 5. I've never been a big baseball game fan, but we had this one for the PC as kids and played the hell out of it.
Hockey - NHL Hitz '03. Something about a guy named Satan being on fire really stuck with me.
Golf - Tiger Woods '03. This probably isn't the best one, but it's the one I played for hours and hours and hours. Real easy to spam the Z-button and add enough spin to the ball to get holes-in-one all the time. And hitting a 500+ yard drive in the Scottish Highlands was cool!
Basketball - NBA Street. This was one we picked up during the infamous GameCube drought of early '02. Fun game all around.
Bowling - Wii Sports. The only game I could ever get my mom and dad to play. Back in college, I took my Wiimote to parties for this game. Lot's of people did, actually. This was a phenomenon if there ever was one.
Pro Wrestling - WWF Wrestlemania 2000 or WWF No Mercy, depending on the day. No Mercy was the more fully-featured game by far, but I have more nostalgia for WM2000 and that era of wrestling (and it's superior frame rate!)
Extreme Sports - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. This was peak Hawk. Amazing levels and soundtrack. This and Melee were two of the games I got with the GameCube at Christmas 2001, and despite logging hundreds of hours in SSBM, THPS3 wasn't too far behind.
Hockey - Blades of Steel on NES/Game Boy! I've enjoyed many a hockey game since, but this one is so nostalgic and fun to play. It wins by default. Plus that fighting mechanic is just genius, the "penalty shot" sequence was unique and kind of a graphical showpiece for the time. And hey, you can even play a short bit of Gradius sometimes between periods! So cool!
Football - Madden NFL 2005 on Gamecube. Why? Because this is pretty much the only football game I put a ton of time into. Why only this one? It was my last year in college and my roommate and I put a bunch of time into it. So it's kind of nostalgic, so it wins.
Soccer - SEGA Soccer Slam. I played it on Gamecube. It was basically the predecessor to Super Mario Strikers and had tons of personality and was a unique take on the sport. Basically no rules, just get the ball in the net! So much fun...the thrill of the air! The crowd! The pitch! The feel of soccer!
Baseball - Baseball Stars on NES. This is SNK's arcadey take on the sport, and it's pretty decent. Fast-paced and easy to learn. Makes a somewhat boring sport like baseball and makes it fun enough to play with a buddy.
Basketball - Arch Rivals. In the arcade. Crazy, simple, brutal fun. I haven't played many other basketball games since, so I guess this one wins by default. I remember NBA Jam being a big deal back in the day, but I'll admit I never put much time into it.
Volleyball - Beach Spikers on GameCube! Surprisingly deep and addictive. It's good times, and one of the better sports games on the old 'Cube. Check it out if you get a chance!
Golf - Mario Golf: World Tour on 3DS. It's really the only golf game I've put much time into, besides True Swing Golf on the original DS. I really enjoy the touch-screen controls of the older game, but the 3DS game wins out due to so much more to do, and being able to play online with friends and compete in tournaments. Honorable mention to Golden Tee in the arcades.
Tennis - Mario Tennis Open on 3DS! Much like golf, this is the game I put the most amount of time into. It was fun, lots to do, and being able to play with friends online is a blast. You could say I....LOVE this game! Hahahaha what a great tennis joke I'm sure no one has heard before!
Table Tennis - Wii Play wins by default because I'm pretty sure this is the only version of the game I've ever played. Kinda wanted to try out that table tennis game made by Rockstar, but I never got around to it.
Track & Field - World Class Track Meet with the Powerpad on NES. Special shout-out to NEW International Track & Field on DS. Great little game, but the powerpad makes everything kinda....REAL (since you're actually doing all the running and whatnot).
Bowling - Wii Sports - Bowling (Wii), duh. Could there be any other?
Boxing - Punch-Out!! on NES. Because what else could beat this? Not the SNES sequel. Maaaaaybe the Wii game? It might be technically the better game, but nostalgia wins out on this one.
Pro Wrestling - WWF 2000 on N64. Easily. Got a lot of mileage out of this one with my college roommates. The create-a-wrestler was so good.
Billiards - Clubhouse Games on DS. They did a great job with all the various games within this release, and billiards was no exception. I actually played this while on an airplane with my dad, who never plays video games. But he played this with me, which is likely why it sticks in my mind so much.
Skeet Shooting - Duck Hunt on NES. Not sure if this counts as a sport or not, but I don't know what else to call it. And I got a lot of playtime out of this game back in the day, so I want to give it an honorable mention at least!
NASCAR - NASCAR Unleashed on 3DS. This is kind of a shout out to our esteemed Mr. Mustache, as I remember him being a fan of NASCAR. He probably wouldn't approve of the fact that I'm nominating a 3DS game however, haha. But it wins by default because it's literally the only NASCAR game I've ever played.
Extreme Sports - SSX3 on Gamecube. I played the snot out of this game back in the day. Solo, multiplayer, alternating turns with my roommate...good times. Amazing soundtrack. Phenomenal presentation. And just pure fun to play. "SUH-SUH-SUH-SUUUUPPPPEERRR UUUUUBBBEEEERRRR.....!"
Hockey - NHL Hitz. My brother and I had fun with this one. If you've never heard of it, it was basically NFL Blitz but hockey. Super arcadey and over the top.
Football - I'd have to give it to Tecmo Bowl (NES), but my bro and I also played the crap out of some NCAA football game for Genesis, as well as PRIME TIME starring Dion Sanders, lol. That game let you talk trash at the line of scrimmage - so good.
Soccer - We didn't play many soccer games, but I loved the silliness of Mega Man Soccer. I also liked what I briefly played of Mario Strikers on Gamecube.
Baseball - Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run. Sure, the game didn't have the license to all the players, but it was fun spotting the analogous fictional ballplayers.
Basketball - Has to be NBA Jam. Just a classic. None of its sequels or predecessors ever really did it for me. ALTHOUGH we did play NBA All Star Challenge, which had great sound bites. "Goal tending!"
Volleyball - We played a little Beach Spikers on Gamecube, but it got repetitive pretty quickly.
Golf - So many to pick from. My favorite has to be Mario Golf on N64. The 3DS one was fun, but it's the kind of game you want to have on a big screen so you can share the experience with others. We played a bunch of golf games on Sega Genesis, but I can't remember which version of PGA Tour we had. Also loved Tiger Woods on Gamecube, but I never liked how you could spin the ball WHILE it was in midair. The Wii one was really novel, but it kind of lacked the precision of just using the buttons IMO. It was at least cool to use the Wii Motion Plus for something.
Tennis - Yeah, I don't think anything can really top Mario Tennis on N64. The later games are kind of just better looking versions of this game with a bunch of overpowered abilities that kind of break the game. I guess you could say any Mario Tennis then, as long as you turn off all the super powers. IMO, the Mario Sports games were never good because of all the fantastical elements. They were good because they boiled the realistic mechanics down into something fun and easy to understand.
Table Tennis - I didn't give Wii Sports Resort enough time to weigh in on this one.
Track & Field - Don't think I can chime in on this one. Idk...I guess I'll say Bart Vs. The Juggernauts, lol.
Bowling - Wii Sports bowling, definitely. ALTHOUGH, we did dabble in some Playstation PBA game, I think. Also shout outs to Tin Pan Alley and Elf Bowling.
Boxing - I'd have to go Punch Out for Wii. Just a great version of that game. I also really loved the Rocky game for Gamecube, even though it was pretty janky. It was just crazy to get an official Rocky game in like...2003 or whatever.
Pro Wrestling - Wrestlemania 2000 for me. Tried playing the Playstation/PS2 wrestling games and thought they were just awful. I also really liked Day of Reckoning 2, but it didn't quite have the same great gameplay as the N64 games. Also, by that point, I had no one to play with, so the appeal just wasn't there. Great graphics for Gamecube though. A big leap even from Wrestlemania X9 and other wrestling games that came before it.
Snowboarding - I'm giving snowboarding its own category just because there are so many snowboarding games. SSX Tricky was just so good. Hearing the Tricky remix in every track was super cool. It's such a shame what happened to this franchise. I would still play it if we had it on XBox or PC. Remember when they had the Wii version and you had to do the motion controls to do the tricks?? Ugh, just...no. And then they did the single player only SSX on XBox 360. What a fucking disappointment, because it DID look really good.
Hockey - NHL ' 95 (Genesis) I was a Genesis guy back then. Played the heck out of this one. Made up my own players. And tried to keep the rosters current.
Football - Mutant League Football (Genesis) I loved the living Hell out of this game. It was on the old Madden engine, but that arcade-y feel worked so much better with the monsters and aliens and undead of MLF. I recently got its spiritual successor Mutant Football League on the Switch and am getting acquainted with it. So far so good.
Soccer - Rocket League (Switch) Other people are including, so I guess I will too. A crazy awesome fun game. Probably my favorite multiplayer online experience on the Switch.
Baseball - Bases Loaded (NES) Wins by default. I love baseball, but Iíve never found a baseball game I particularly love. I just spent more time with Bases Loaded than any other. Super Mega Baseball 2 got great reviews for the Switch. Because this thread got me researching Switch sports games, Iím downloading it right now
Basketball - NBA Jam (Wii) You can probably tell that I lean toward the more arcade-y experience than the hard core simulation. NBA Jam on the Wii matches my sensibilities perfectly.
Golf - Wii Sports Resort (Wii) The Wii Sports golf was pretty great. Wii Sports Resort made it even better.
Tennis - Wii Sports (Wii) I wouldnít say I love it. It was tech demo-y. But we played it quite a bit. And I canít think of any other tennis game I ever played.
Table Tennis - Wii Sports Resort (Wii) Just amazing! Killed hours with this thing. Wii Sports Resort was such a fantastic game. In addition to golf and table tennis, also loved the sword fighting and airplane games.
Bowling - Wii Sports (Wii) Unlike tennis, witch is there by default, Wii Sportsí bowling was nearly perfect. The only thing I would have added was something that kept track of your average score.
Boxing - Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES) I mean, duh! The first is still the best. The Wii Punch Out was also pretty spectacular.