Top 10 Most "Illegal Teams" in Video Game History

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 2: (L-R) Los Angeles Lakers players Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton and Shaquille O'Neal watch from the bench during the game against the Golden State Warriors on November 2, 2003 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 87-72.  (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Tom DeRiggiContributor IIJuly 10, 2009

Anyone who has gone to college and lived in a dormitory knows that a cardinal rule of the male presence in a dorm is the absolutely ridiculous amount of video games that must be played. It's as much of a tradition as fireworks are on the fourth of July. Specifically in your freshmen year, most of your time is devoted to competing against your roommates or dorm-mates in any video game possible. And of course most of these wind up being sporting video games.

They range from your obvious crown jewel, Madden all the way down to Fight Night and FIFA. But no matter what anyone ever said in the history of sports video games, there have always been illegal teams. (At least 5 of my buddies just shook their head yes. Yes Tommy!)

Let's define the term "illegal teams." What I mean by this is that the team that you are selecting to use, is so far beyond the normalcy of a usable team, that the team can make even the worst players at that particular game, good. The team is so "illegal" that both users can just see the name or logo of that team and automatically look at each other and just smile and shake their heads no. Of course everybody has that friend that HAS to be that illegal team because they suck so bad at the game, they need every possible advantage. Unfortunately for him, this was my boy Ski, who always managed to somehow be the NBA Live 03 Lakers. But that's another blog for another day.

So let's get into the top 10 "illegal teams" of all time.

10) NBA Live 1999 - Chicago Bulls - As we all know, the greatest basketball player ever was on this team. His rating was a 99 overall at just about everything. And if you don't know about overall ratings then you should stop reading this article right now and go turn on a video game console and change your life. These Bulls had the 98 rated Scottie Pippen and the 99 rated PLAYER99, which we all knew was Michael Jordan. Pop in Live 2009 and trade Kobe onto the Cavs and you'll get the 99' Bulls. Completely unfair.

9) Tiger Woods PGA Tour 05 - Tiger Woods - This could really just go for any of Tiger's video games. But this year was significantly ridiculous. We used to play hours of this my freshmen year and Showtime and I were forced to use players to the likes of Jon Daly, and Mike Weir. We had heated battles.

8) Fight Night Round 3 - Jermaine Taylor - This might shock you to be in the top 10. But I guarantee you if you popped in this game right now, you would not lose a fight with Jermaine Taylor. His career has been sub-par, but at the time this game came out he was on the rise. So of course his video game statistics were extremely inflated. Jermaine had the sickest counter-hay maker in all of Boxing video game history. Just ask Showtime.

7) Ken Griffey Junior Baseball 1994 - Seattle Mariners - I don't think there's ever been a better video game baseball player in history than 94' Griffey. On top of that you had Randy Johnson as your pitcher. In a one game series, which most of your classic dorm room battles were, how did you ever lose with the Seattle Mariners. Wayyyyyy too illegal.

6) NFL Madden 2003 - St. Louis Rams - The greatest show on turf was the 6th most illegal team in Video game history. Just ask me how you defend this: Kurt Warner off an MVP season, Marshall Faulk on the cover, Tory Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis out wide. Not too mention THE single most overrated defense in history. Anyone who played with the Rams never lost. Therefore forever placing them in this exclusive group.

5) FIFA Soccer 2006 - Brazil - This is the game that started so many heated battles in college. And when I mean heated, I mean that we used to have a scoreboard on our wall to remember the wins and losses because we used to be at each other's throats about our current records. My boy Ski still owes me money from the beatings that I put on him one night. It was absolutely unreal. But Brazil was BY FAR the most illegal FIFA team of all time. You had Ronaldinho in his prime, a goalscoring Ronaldo, a young Robinho, a young Kaka and then you had some goalie who's rating was a 94. This used to cause so many fights that, I'm still surprised to this day that the RA never had to break us up.

4) NFL Madden 2009 - New England Patriots - Due to the team's 18-1 season and the single greatest offensive explosion in NFL history, the Madden 09' Pats ratings were so inflated that you couldn't even pass them if you wanted to select a team around them. I mean seriously they were so illegal that I don't even think I ever played them in my Madden 09' history. Tom Brady 99 rating, Randy Moss 99 Rating, Welker was a 92 rating, Lawerence Maroney who was hurt all year was somehow still an 88 rating. And contrary to their offensive buddies, the 03' Rams, they actually HAD a ridiculous defense. Wow I'm glad Madden 10' is coming out soon.

3) NFL Madden 1996 - Detroit Lions - The Lions were used for one reason, and one reason only. Barry Sanders. Barry was quite possibly the second most unstoppable player in video game history. The funny thing about this was that Detroit didn't have one other player that you could have named. I honestly could not even name you their QB without looking it up. But when you had the ball and you called that HB Dive, there was absolutely no one who could stop you. And when I say no one, I mean NO ONE. If they actually had another player they could have been number 2.

2) NBA Live 2003 - Los Angeles Lakers - Ohhhhhhhhhhh my god was this team so illegal. Here is a classic example of why the video game ratings need to be updated every day. Of course the Lakers had already had 90+ rated Shaq and Kobe. But this was the year that they had signed Karl Malone (arguable the best PF ever) and Gary Payton (top 10 PG all time). Now, Malone and Payton were on the downside of their careers, but this apparently does not effect video game ratings. So both of them, probably because of their names, were rated in the high 80s low 90s. So when you trotted out the starting lineup you had a 90-Payton, 95-Kobe, 80-Devean George, 90-Karl Malone, 96-Shaquielle O'Neal. And here is the worst part. I had to play this team virtually every day because my boys could NOT beat me in this game.

I ran with the Seattle Supersonics (an honorable mention for this list) and I threw Brent Barry at the point, Desmond Mason (most overrated dunker) at the 2, along with Ray Allen (greatest 3-point shooter in video game history) a young Rashard Lewis and an extremely overrated 3-point shooting Vladomir Radmonovic at the 5. I seriously never saw more threes sink in a video game year in my life. So all my boys had to use the Lakers because I was just that good. Yea, I was.

1) NFL Madden 2004 - Atlanta Falcons - And number 1, the granddaddy of all illegal video game teams, the 2004 Atlanta Falcons. Anyone who has ever played this game knows exactly why they are number 1. You see, this was before Madden was tweaked to be more realistic to modern play. So the traditional quarterback was a drop back passer and occasionally you would have a 75 speed quarterback that you would have to deal with. But never before 2004 was a quarterback's speed even approaching 80. Hell, some running backs didn't even have an 80 speed.

And then came along Michael Vick. The cover athlete. Everyone knows that the cover athlete was always enhanced even if he wasn't a top player in the game. So Michael Vick had a ridiculous 2003 break out season, therefore making his rating in the 90s. But this wasn't the problem. The problem was that Michael Vick's speed rating was a 94!!! Vick was among the fastest players in the game, let alone a quarterback.

So every time that you would drop back with Vick, you had SO many options than you ever had before with a QB. You could basically take off and run whenever you wanted, you could then heave the ball 60 yards down field because his throw power was a 96. I mean how could you game plan against this guy? This was before DE contains and QB spying linebackers. There was no way to guard Vick when you played against the Falcons. Vick is responsible for the most verbal fights between competitors in history. And every time that Vick did something incredible in the game and you lost, you would just be like, "Well that's what happens when you use the Falcons!"

That is why he is the single most unstoppable-illegal video game player of all time. Thus making the Falcons, the most illegal team in video game history.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices