Ranking Real-Life Sports Stars with Video Game Ratings

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2014

Ranking Real-Life Sports Stars with Video Game Ratings

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    With the popularity of sports video games, fans always wonder how some of their favorite players will be ranked each time a new game is released.

    And with Madden '15 set to come out here soon, we're all reserving our copies and hoping that the guys who rate athletes get it right, because they sometimes fail big time.

    They'll overrate one guy and underrate another, hurting your video game team because your starting quarterback or shooting guard isn't as good as he performs on real game days.

    That's why I took on the duty of ranking some of the most popular players in sports, giving you their video game rating along with their main attribute and real-life rating, making it a level playing field for all.

Giancarlo Stanton

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    Video Game Rating: 85

    Real-Life Power Rating: 96

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 88

    Miami Marlins All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton might currently be sitting second on the home runs leaders list in the National League, but that doesn't mean he's not one of the best power hitters in the game.

    And if you need any proof of the type of pop he has in his bat, just take a look at this 510-foot blast he hit during this year's Home Run Derby.

    He may need to develop the rest of his game a bit more for a higher overall rating, but he's still a superstar in the making.

Russell Wilson

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Video Game Rating: 93

    Real-Life Pocket Presence Rating: 95

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 88

    Look, as someone who lives in Seattle and has watched every single Seattle Seahawks game since Russell Wilson has been under center, I know how talented the guy is.

    But is he really 93 overall-rating talented? Absolutely not.

    Sure, Danger Russ just led his team to a Super Bowl title back in February and, for about half of last season, was talked about as a possible MVP candidate. But he shouldn't benefit from his overall team success.

    While he can make every throw, escape from the pocket to scramble around and display unbelievable leadership, he still has some growing to do before he's in the class of guys like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, who consistently put up huge numbers offensively.

Dwight Howard

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    Cameron Browne/Getty Images

    Video Game Rating: 88

    Real-Life Defense/Rebounding Rating: 97

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 89

    Houston Rockets All-Star center Dwight Howard might generally be regarded as the best center in the NBA, but that's because he doesn't have much competition for the honor.

    That's not to say that D12 isn't a very good player, but would any of us call him great yet? Probably not.

    Howard's impact comes on the defensive end and on the glass, as he owns three Defensive Player of the Year Awards thus far in his career.

    Poor foul shooting and a general unwillingness to develop his offensive game outside the paint dips Howard just below the 90s, but he's still a handful thanks to his athleticism and presence in the paint.

Rob Gronkowski

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Video Game Rating: 96

    Real-Life Agility/Catching Rating: 88

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 89

    Don't get me wrong, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is a beast, but there's no way in hell that I'm the only one who thinks he's been a bit overvalued the past few years, right?

    After his superb 2011 season in which he dominated highlights with both his play and partying ways, Gronk's stats have dipped as he's failed to remain on the field and battled nagging injuries.

    When he's out there, though, he's another weapon that quarterback Tom Brady really utilizes effectively, as he opens up the entire field.

Kevin Love

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    Video Game Rating: 86

    Real-Life Scoring/Rebounding Rating: 93

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 90

    Seeing how in an upcoming slide I say Kevin Durant's 92 rating is spot on, I just don't have the guts to say that Kevin Love is his equal.

    While the two have completely different styles, though, they aren't too far off in overall skill, with K-Love possessing a more bruiser mentality, banging down low for boards and stretching the floor with his uncanny shooting touch.

    A double-double machine, Love is arguably the most complete power forward in the NBA right now—even if he doesn't play much defense.

Patrick Kane

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    Bill Boyce/Associated Press

    Video Game Rating: 88

    Real-Life Puck Control/Passing Rating: 92

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 91

    Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane just inked a huge deal to stay in the Windy City and, if you've followed along with the progress of his career thus far, you know why it's so well-deserved.

    A former Conn Smythe Award winner following the team's run to the 2013 Stanley Cup title, Kaner has shown to be both a leader and a ridiculous playmaker, being able to score himself or dish the puck off to a teammate for a goal.

Kevin Durant

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Video Game Rating: 92

    Real-Life Scoring Rating: 99

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 92

    One of the few players whose real-life rating actually matches that of the video game's, Kevin Durant might be the premier scorer in the NBA, winning four of the past five league scoring titles.

    And because he's such a lethal point-scorer, I give him a scoring rating of a perfect 99, but because he continues to struggle—used very lightly—in other areas of his game like passing and defending, he's not yet a complete player.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Adam Pretty/Getty Images

    Video Game Rating (Prediction): 92

    Real-Life Playmaking Rating: 95

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 93

    I know that Cristiano Ronaldo didn't have the best World Cup this summer, failing to lead his Portuguese team out of the group stage and, individually, underwhelming.

    That still doesn't take away how damn talented this guy is, though.

    Capturing his second Ballon d'or Award this year—which recognizes the best player on the globe—CR7 is deadly with the ball at his feet, with the ability to bend it with both pace and touch, along with fancy dribbling when taking on a defender.

    His downfall? That would be his inability to step up on the international stage.

Miguel Cabrera

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Video Game Rating: 99

    Real-Life Batting Eye Rating: 99

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 95

    Now don't get me wrong, after winning the past two AL MVP Awards, Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera has shown that he's arguably the best hitter in Major League Baseball.

    As good as Miggy is, though, Cabrera isn't anything special when it comes to fielding. He does a good job, but not anything that will save runs.

    Still, the name of the game is scoring runs, and Cabrera is one of the best in the biz at making sure that happens.

Adrian Peterson

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    Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

    Video Game Rating: 98

    Real-Life Speed/Agility Rating: 95

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 96

    For as much of an absolute freakish athlete as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is on the football field, the one knock on him lately has been his failure to stay healthy.

    Sure, 2012 saw him rush for over 2,000 yards and carry his team to the playoffs, but after everyone was salivating for a repeat performance in 2013, AP got bruised up and was forced to sit for two games.

    During the years he's on the field for all 16-plus games, he's the best back in the game. But because he has only done it once in his seven seasons, his overall real-life rating takes a hit.

Clayton Kershaw

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Video Game Rating: 99

    Real-Life Control Rating: 95

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 97

    One of just three players who earned a 99 rating in this year's MLB 14 The Show, L.A. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is hands-down the best pitcher in baseball.

    With two Cy Young Awards already on his resume—he's still just 26 years old—and a fat contract that will keep him in Los Angeles for a long, long time, Kershaw can bring the heat with a mid-90s fastball or get nasty with off-speed and breaking stuff, making him deadly for any hitter to face.

    So why do I give him a 97 and not a perfect 99, too? Let's face it, no pitcher can be perfect all the time.

Sidney Crosby

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Video Game Rating: 95

    Real-Life Shooting/Passing Rating: 98

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 97

    I'm not a Sidney Crosby fan in the slightest, but I can give respect to the dude for being the best player in hockey right now.

    Scooping the league's MVP this past season, Sid led the NHL in points with 104, netting 36 goals and assisting on 68 more, proving that he's the ideal offensive force in the sport.

    While he gets crap from fans for his whining and sense of self-entitlement, there's no denying the fact that the kid can do everything just a little bit better than others when on the ice.

Calvin Johnson

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Video Game Rating: 99

    Real-Life Hands/Jumping Rating: 98

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 99

    Blessed with size, speed and hops to leap up for the higher-thrown balls, Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson can only be described as a freak.

    I mean, come on, nobody who is 6'5" and 235 pounds should be able to do the things that he does, yet Megatron still continues to fight off bumps at the line, blow by corners on a route or out jump them for a ball in the air.

    No player is perfect, but Johnson is about as close to a perfect wide receiver as any of us will see.

LeBron James

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Video Game Rating: 95

    Real-Life Awareness Rating: 98

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 99

    Is a 99 too high to give the greatest basketball player on the planet?

    Considering the only flaw anyone can point to these days is that LeBron James is still just average at free-throw shooting, probably not.

    James can fill up the stats by scoring, passing, rebounding and defending, while also jumping out of an arena with his athleticism.

    Point blank: LeBron James can do everything and anything he wants to during a basketball game.

Mike Trout

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Video Game Rating: 99

    Real-Life Hitting/Defense Rating: 98

    Real-Life Overall Rating: 99

    L.A. Angels All-Star Mike Trout may have come up short on the past two league MVPs since breaking into the league in 2012 full time—finishing second each time to Miguel Cabrera—but at least he won this year's All-Star Game MVP to prove how great he is.

    That's assuming anyone needed a reminder, with Trout averaging 32 homers, 101 RBI, hitting .310 and making tremendous plays in the outfield in his two major league seasons.

    He's great with the glove, but he's Hall of Fame-worthy thanks to his bat, with comparisons to Mickey Mantle not completely out of the question.