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The Best Video Game Sports Teams: From NHL 94 to FIFA 12

Deesing
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Posted October 7, 2011 - By Jonathan Deesing







  • Videos
    (5)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs



  • Videos
    (21)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs


There have been so many video game sports teams, that choosing the best can be a very difficult process. But. we've managed to do it. From Super Tecmo Bowl, to NHL 94, to FIFA 12, to Hardball!, we've selected the very best sports teams, and here they are for you to enjoy.

Best Video Game Sports Teams

Los Angeles Raiders – Tecmo Super Bowl

The original sports game rig still remains the greatest. Back when LA had two NFL teams instead of zero, Bo Jackson, or as he came to be known, “Tecmo Bo” reigned supreme. His video game counterpart in 1991’s Tecmo Super Bowl was so unbelievably talented that it’s possible with minimum effort to rack up 500 yards rushing or run an entire quarter off the clock in one play. Playing as the Raiders meant you could simply use Bo Jackson to trounce opponents with laughable ease. It wasn’t just a good team; it was a joke.  

Warning: Video contains NSFW language!


Los Angeles Kings – NHL ’94

Still hailed as one of the best sports games of all time, NHL ’94 also featured the greatest hockey player of all time; Wayne Gretzky. Or at least EA seemed to think so, as his team at the time, the LA Kings was an unstoppable powerhouse. A friend of mine who happens to be a NHL ’94 fan in the vein of those who create fan sites for the game told me that when he plays the game, playing as LA is strictly forbidden. With an all-star cast of Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille and Tomas Sandstrom, the Kings are so unbalanced when compared with other teams; EA probably removed fighting to prevent super fan 99 from watching Gretzky’s head bleed.

Best Video Game Sports Teams

Minnesota Vikings – NFL 2K

Back in 2000, the NFL was nowhere near the level of passing team it is today. Teams that passed frequently were an anomaly and this was reflected in video games. However, the running mechanics in NFL 2K on the Sega Dreamcast made playing a running game nigh impossible. Instead, if you wanted to win games you turned to two men: Dante Culpepper, and (more importantly) Randy Moss.

The Minnesota Vikings, not a spectacular team coming out of the 1999 season a pedestrian 10-6 and a loss in the NFC Divisional Round, still managed to be unbelievably dominant in 2K’s first foray into football games. In fact, unless you were playing with the All Pro team, the Vikings and the deep threat offered by Moss were guaranteed to merit some serious frustration for opponents.

Best Video Game Sports Teams 

Hanover Cougars – Thrashball 1 B.E.

One year before E-Day, August Cole, or “Cole Train” left his previous team, the Eagles to sign with the Hanover Cougars. Now, Cole’s appearance in Thrashball video games has always been unbalanced as no one can counter his defensive attacks. Even playing with the Sharks’ offense on the easiest setting wasn’t a guarantee that the Cole Train wasn’t going to barrel over the top and cut anyone with the ball in half. But Thrashball 1 B.E. took it much further as Chairman Tomas Dalyell encouraged developer sErA Games to boost Cole's stats to help recruitment. The result? A total train wreck for anyone in the Cougar's way. 

 


Tennessee Titans – Madden 2001

The Titans may not have won Super Bowl XXXIV, but they were pretty clear cut winners of Madden 2001. Titan running back Eddie George was given the honor of being the first football player to grace the cover of a Madden game other than its chubby previous occupant and was one of the better running backs the game had to offer. Toss in Steve McNair and the Dyson brothers and you had yourself a team whose only real competition was the St. Louis Rams.

Best Video Game Sports Teams

Atlanta Falcons – Madden 2004

There isn’t really all that much that needs to be said here, but I’ll say it anyway.

Michael Vick. There. Done.

Okay fine. In 2004, Mike Vick was an untarnished, incredibly talented (if a bit lazy) quarterback, and his video game incarnation reflected this, if perhaps a bit unfairly. Vick could hit any receiver in any situation with a simple flick of the button. If you felt the game was getting too easy, however, you could always scramble with Vick, whose speed rivaled some of the best running backs. A combined run/pass attack all encompassed in one player made playing as the Falcons beyond unfair.


Los Angeles Lakers – NBA Live 2003

Coming off their third consecutive national title, the 2003 Lakers were hotter than hell. With Kobe, Shaq and Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen, it didn’t seem like they could be stopped. In 2003, new competition from 2K forced EA to actually concentrate on making a good basketball game. The game came in the form of NBA Live 2003, fully revolutionized from the top down. However, it was the new freestyle controls and the myriad moves they offered that really made the Lakers shine.


Manchester United – FIFA 12

If you’ve gotten your hands on FIFA 12, you probably already hate Manchester United. There is a reason the world hates Man U. Because they’re good. Like the Yankees, Lakers or Patriots; any team that finds constant success leaves a wake of beaten and bitter fans in its wake. The feeling remains for anyone matched up against them in this year’s FIFA. There have been unbalanced teams in FIFA before, but the speed and talent offered by Man U this year makes them an easy choice for someone looking for a quick win.

 


Miami Heat – NBA 2K11

This one doesn’t even merit mention for anyone who played a game of 2K online last year. On average, half of online opponents chose the Heat, with a smattering choosing a combination of the Lakers, Knicks, or a random opponent. I can’t say I blame them; with three Heat players obviously top ten and probably two top five in the NBA, “stacked” doesn’t quite explain it. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade make for a shockingly good team on paper and, apparently, in video games. But that doesn’t ever stop my roommate from kicking the shit out of them with the Utah Jazz.

 


Playing as Fred Savage Playing HardBall! 
 The Princess Bride

Everyone knows there’s a clear advantage to being Fred Savage when you play HardBall! on the Commodore 64. He may not be all that great at opening his heart to love and all that kissy stuff, but when it comes to baseball, Savage is married to the game. Whether it’s his dedication to faking sick in order to practice the game or his willingness to rest his hand while an old man babbles mindlessly, Fred Savage is basically the John Lennon of baseball sims.  

Nationally unacclaimed freelance writer Jonathan Deesing has been writing about video games for dozens of weeks. His professional knowledge ranges from skiing to Peruvian history and of course, anything with buttons. If you can't get enough of his musings, check out his Twitter feed.

The Best Video Game Sports Teams: From NHL 94 to FIFA 12
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