The 15 Best Players in Sports Video Game History
Video games and the quality of our videos have significantly improved throughout the years, but there are only a few certain players that standout in video game lore.
These 15 players belong in the Hall of Fame of video game athletes. From games that are nearly 20 years old to some more recent, these athletes dominant their games and made us rack up eye-popping numbers that coined the phrase "video game numbers'. Look inside to see who made the cut.
QB Eagles - Tecmo Bowl & Madden '92
Whether it was the original Tecmo Bowl or one of the first editions of Madden, QB Eagles-the anonymous version of Randall Cunningham-was the original dual threat quarterback. His runs, his cuts and his huge arm allowed the user to make 3,000-yard passing and 1,000-yard rushing seasons capable in a matter of weeks, not over the course of the season.
"Reggie Bush" - NCAA 2006
Bush landed on the cover of NCAA 2007, but it was the previous season's game where the former USC back was the ultimate weapon. Not only did Bush boast some of the best speed in the game, but his max agility factor made him a home run threat every time he touched the ball. USC was already one of the highest rated teams in the game, but Bush's ability made the Trojans the team you and your friend agreed neither could be.
Rickey Henderson - RBI Baseball 4
RBI Baseball 4 was the fourth and final sequel to the famous RBI Baseball series. It was originally released on Sega Genesis in 1991, the season following Rickey Henderson's MVP season. Henderson was not only the fastest player in the game, but had some of the best power in it as well. Rickey made hitting over .500 and stealing 200 stolen bases in a season look easy.
Cal Ripken Jr., Howard Johnson and John Franco-and his 100-plus MPH fastball-all gave Rickey a run for his money.
Thomas Johansson - Virtua Tennis
Virtua Tennis for Sega Dreamcast was, in my opinion, not only the greatest tennis video game ever created but also one of the best sports game ever created. It was the most user friendly and multi-player friendly tennis game every made. The touch and feel for the controller translated to the game extremely well and that was no clearer than with Thomas Johansson.
The Swedish start was rated with the best quickness in the game but also an explosive serve and power forehand. Other players in the game had their strengths, but Johansson was a total force that imprinted the "A" button in your thumb after hours of addicting playing.
Randy Moss - NFL 2K
It was only the year before that Randy Moss took the NFL by storm as a rookie. He was Randall Cunningham's deep-ball buddy on the field and he was just as lethal on the virtual field. Moss was almost an unfair advantage for the player.
Moss was the highest rated speed guy in the game and all the user needed to do was continually hit the Hail Mary play and just chuck it to him for a guaranteed six points. Moss was the cover boy for the game and came through as the most lethal player on the field.
Scottie Pippen - NBA Jam
There was no Michael Jordan in NBA Jam, but Scottie Pippen was the best alternative. He was the highest rated power, speed and dunker in the game and could get you ON FIRE! very quickly. Top that off with the fastest hands in the game and Pippen could rain thunderdunks and three-pointers over the competition.
Pavel Bure - NHL '95
In NHL '95, Pavel Bure of the Vancouver Canucks who was simply an assassin. With the introduction of the one-timer the year before, the user was able to use Pavel Bure's epic slap shot like a missile.
In addition to his slap shot, Bure had the speed that allowed the user to score any time he or she wanted to with the standard "skate to the corner turn and come back" move.
Reggie Jackson - RBI Baseball
Reggie Jackson was already in his fade out years with California Angels when RBI Baseball debuted for Nintendo, but Mr. October was still a monster home run threat in the game. He was the first video game player which the user could home runs pretty much at will.
The top pitchers in the game were Nolan Ryan and a young Roger Clemens.
Christian Okoye - Tecmo Bowl
In Tecmo Bowl, the only way to break a tackle was to pound the B button with everything you've got. There was no such need with Okoye who was simply a MONSTER. Would-be tacklers bounced off Okoye like he was covered in springs.
Kids nowadays can have their Madden 10 or NCAA 10, but playing Tecmo Bowl as a youngster, there was nothing better than watching Okoye drop guy after guy with the famous Tecmo "crunch" sound. Okoye was simply a BEAST.
Michael Vick - Madden 2004
Michael Vick in Madden 2004 was the modern day QB Eagles. He could do it all on the football field. He had the big arm, but more importantly was better than almost all the running backs int he game as well. Vick brought a Tecmo element to the game with Vick's ability to dodge pass rushers and run anywhere in the backfield before uncorking a huge bomb. Vick was as unstoppable as they came in recent Madden history.
Lawrence Taylor - Tecmo Super Bowl
Lawrence Taylor was simply dominant in Tecmo Super Bowl for Nintendo, but somehow the game's creators made LT superhuman in the Sega Genesis version. He was one of the fastest players in the entire game and was equally deadly coming around the edge or going through the middle. There was no reason to use any other defender on the field because LT could make the play wherever it went. 200 sacks in a season? No problem with LT.
Mike Tyson - Mike Tyson's Punchout
It took dedication and perseverance just to get through the levels and to Iron Mike. Then, once you got to face Tyson it took even more determination to de-crown The Champ. Whether using the controller or the Nintendo Power Glove, one simply could not turn off the game until you got through Don Flamenco and Piston Honda before getting to Tyson. Tyson was then, is now and will forever be a video game legend.
John Dowd - MVP Baseball '05
Barry Bonds didn't make the cut for MVP Baseball 2005-in my opinion the best baseball game of the decade-so in his place was the fabled Jon Dowd. You didn't care about the lack of Bonds with Dowd's monster home run-hitting abilities.
Whether in the home run derby where he could hit 600-foot home runs or the regular season format where he could hit 100 homers over the course of the season, Dowd earned the distinction as the greatest replacement character in video game history.
Jeremy Roenick - NHL '94
NHL '94 surpassed its predecessors as the best hockey game ever to be made at that point in video game history. It remains, in my opinion, one of the best sports video games ever made. Roenick was the best player in the best game and was downright unstoppable. He could do it all. He scored goals with impunity, and was raised from an NHL All-Star to a video game icon.
Bo Jackson - Tecmo Bowl
I actually feel sorry for kids who grew up without the joys of playing with Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl. He was an absolute freight train. His speed and power made him a video game super hero. You could run 30 yards behind the line of scrimmage and still turn it into a 50-yard touchdown run. He left defenses in his wake. There was nothing like him then and there has yet to be a successor in sports video game history.