Old-School Sports Video Games


It is fair to say that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to sports video games in 2018, as gameplay and graphics have gone to another level.

However as hard as the like of EA Sports may try, they have still been unable to top a number of the sports video games that were released in the 1990s!

This list will not only have you feeling old and nostalgic, but will get you dusting off the old Playstation for a massive old-school gaming session tonight!

Jonah Lomu Rugby

Many have tried and failed, but Jonah Lomu Rugby remains the best Rugby game that has ever been released.

Not only did the game offer players a realistic rugby experience, but the commentary was simply outstanding and memorable lines like “That’s a real Gary Owen” and “He’s digging in like a demented mole there” are still uttered by rugby enthusiasts to this day.

Not only was every international team available in the game, but you could unlock a  full-team of Jonah Lomu’s and the Rage Software side by winning individual competitions.

Shane Warne Cricket

Shane Warne Cricket, known internationally as Brian Lara Cricket, is the Jonah Lomu Rugby of cricket games.

The game was made in what many believe was a golden era of international cricket and the realism has not been bettered by games released more than a decade later.

The cheats were what really made this game and you could play with Super Batsmen, a gigantic cricket ball and with gravity turned off!


The NBA Jam franchise remains extremely popular to this day and is in the record books as the highest-earning arcade game of all time.

All the big names in the NBA were included in the series and the gameplay was arcadey, but extremely entertaining – being on fire was one of lifes great joys.

This was the first sports video game to become a worldwide hit and was definitely the trendsetter for a number of other games on this list.

California Games

You would have thought that a video game that included Frisbee, roller skating and hacky sack would be so fun.

California Games was the very early predecessor to the extreme sports video games that took the gaming world by storm a decade later, but this game remains arguably better than the majority of its imitators and I am still waiting for them to make a surfing game as good as this one!

Virtua Tennis

I spent a number of formative years hanging out in an Arcade, but I wasn’t playing games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter – I was getting stuck into my Virtua Tennis.

This is far from the most realistic tennis game on the market, but it is easily the most fun and how can you not love a game that features Mark Philippoussis as one of the playable characters!

There is no doubt that this game was ripper, but Carlos Moya may be the most overpowered athlete in any sports game ever – the Spaniard was unbeatable!


WWF No Mercy

There have been about 1000 wrestling games released over the years, but any wrestling fan worth their salt will tell you that WWF No Mercy was easily the best.

Not only could you play as the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker and Mankind, but this game had a storyline mode that was as exciting as the soap-opera style stories that featured in the WWF itself.

This is an extremely controversial call, but WWF No Mercy might be the best fighting game of all-time – sorry Street Fighter fans!


The Fight Night Series is obviously outstanding, but the original and most popular boxing is definitely Punch-Out.

Punch-Out was first introduced in 1983, but it really started to take the world by storm when Mike Tyson was introduced into the mix in 1987.

Little Mac gave all those small blokes out there hope and he was the best fighting underdog since Holly Holm.


With the World Cup in Russia now in full swing, it’s the perfect excuse to play one of EA Sports finest.

The FIFA releases are now basically identical year-to-year, but FIFA made a massive leap with the release of FIFA 99.

You were still able to get your entire team red-carded by attacking the goalkeeper, but it was an incredibly realistic experience for a game that was released over 15 years ago.

The FIFA games were often well known for their theme songs – think Blur’s Song Number 2 for FIFA World Cup 1998, but Fatboy Slim’s The Rockafeller Skank is arguably the best.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

For Generation Y, this is probably the most popular video game series of all time and it turned Tony Hawk into a household name.

It is fair to say that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was the better game, but the release of the original was something very special and it was another example of a game that took the entire genre of sports video games to another level.

We haven’t even mentioned the soundtrack, which would have made an outstanding album in its own right!

Gran Turismo

Car racing games can be pretty boring, but the original Gran Turismo added new life to what had been a fairly played out genre.

Gran Turismo –which for some platforms was spread over two discs – featured just about every car that you could think off and it made street racing cool even before the Fast N Furious Series.

The games got progressively worse as they were released, but the original is still a dead set ripper if you are keen for a car racing game fix.

Aussie Rules Footy

The AFL has had many attempts at a video game over the years but nothing will quite compare to the 1992 Nintendo Entertainment System game “Aussie Rules Footy”

Featuring all 14 teams from the 1991 AFL season, Aussie Rules Footy is also notable for the West Coast Eagles being referred to as “Perth” and clubs from the future such as Canberra, Darwin and Hobart. Every game was played at “The Park” and the graphic of the umpire saying “Out of bounds on the full” was all part of the experience.

A tribute Twitter account @NintendoFooty is doing the rounds at the moment and is worthy of a follow!

Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge

Forget about Bonestorm, this was the game that every boy wanted for Christmas in 1995!

If I was asked to play again, I would definitely select yes!