Video games and sports will forever be connected. Whether that be the invention of Pong, through games like Tecmo Bowl, all the way up until the forthcoming 2013 video games (even though they are published in 2012).
And just like the real game, there are certain virtual athletes that dominated the competition like no other. Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl, Michael Vick in Madden 2004 or Jeremy Roenick in NHL 94.
We know who WAS the best, but who will be the best in the future?
Which players will you terrorize you friends with?
Who will make you wet yourselves in fear of playing them?
The best virtual player on a future powerhouse
Taylor Hall has everything a virtual athlete could want. Combine his size (6'0, around 200 lbs), his nature athleticism and his dekes off the left wing and we have a future beast in the NHL series.
Plus Hall's stats are going to skyrocket with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at centre and either Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov flanking him.
The biggest knock on Hall is his injuries, but he is only 19 and has more potential than anyone else on the already future-stacked Oilers (A-potential in every category in NHL 12).
Comparison: Jeremy Roenick in NHL 94
Roenick has no stats to look at in NHL 94. The only thing we can say about Roenick according to NHL 94 was that this man was the greatest hockey player to ever live. He was so good that he was named the fourth best video game athlete ever.
With Hall's size and speed he will be able to fly around the ice scoring at will just as Roenick did all those years ago.
Luckily for Hall you can turn off injuries in video games, unlike in real life.
RGIII will be the most dominant video game athlete of this generation.
It doesn't matter how good the team does or how everyone in Washington plays around him. When it comes to creating stats for video games, hype means a lot. RGIII comes into the league touted as one of the most physically-gifted quarterbacks to ever get drafted.
RGIII has more physical athleticism than you could possibly imagine.
Comparison: Micheal Vick in Madden 2004
Like Vick, RGIII will be the fastest quarterback in Madden soon. RGIII will have a cannon for an arm in Madden just like Vick. And you will be called a cheater for using the Washington Redskins just like the Atlanta Falcons in Madden 04.
The man is virtual NBA Jam come to life
Blake Griffin will be shattering virtual backboards for a long time. Just type this man's name into any search engine and you will see why. I've never seen a player with so many ridiculous dunks in all my life.
Even though Griffin's real play is more than just dunking, when you play on the virtual hardwood you want to dunk every single point. Go all "boom-shaka-laka" on the basket.
Comparison: Kobe Bryant in NBA 2k10
Bryant was always dominant in the 2k series so I just picked the one I played the most. As soon as Black Mamba hit the lane it was like a 24 hour Dunkin' Donuts.
That's exactly what Blake Griffin will do in the future of basketball games. Playing a "realistic basketball simulator" like it's NBA Jam will make Griffin the most dominant player.
Dingers for everyone!
Jose Bautista managed to take his lackluster career and turn himself into, arguably, the most feared hitter in baseball.
How does this translate into video games? Well it doesn't really matter how great the pitcher is, or how strong you can throw the ball in video games. All that matters is hitting the dingers. Bautista is easily one of the best home run artists (yes it is an art form) in all of baseball.
Stepping up to the plate and hitting nothing but home runs is how you become dominant in baseball games.
Comparison: Reggie Jackson in RBI Baseball
There was a simple strategy when pitching against Mr. October in RBI Baseball: Walk him every time. If you didn't Jackson would easily smash the ball into another state or even country. No batter has ever terrified me more in a video game than Jackson.
Bautista will give me even more nightmares.
Peyton will be Peyton
Peyton Manning was always the most life-like athlete in video game history. After 72 pre-snap changes and me going to the kitchen and making a sandwich, Manning would proceed to pick apart my defense every single play.
There was always one stat that Manning had maxed out in every Madden game: awareness. That is going to change.
Comparison: Peyton Manning in every other Madden game ever!
Peyton will be Peyton. Whether it is true for real life or not, Manning will play the same as he always did in the virtual turf. However he will be doing it a mile high.
So there it is. The five virtual athletes you will have to either beat or cheat with.
Let me know what former players make your tremble in your boots.
Tell me why I'm wrong.
Tell me who you think is going to be the most feared athlete in video games.
Thanks for reading!