The 50 Coolest Sports Bar Games
Sports bars are a great place to watch a game, no doubt about that. But they are also just great places to gather and have fun, and to just pass the time.
But on occasion, passing the time is not that easy. There are evenings in which certain activities are needed in order to maximize the general fun-ness of a given get together.
And that's when the games begin.
So we here at Bleacher Report have decided to pay homage to the best of the best when it comes to bar games.
So behold! Here are the 50 coolest sports bar games in the world.
If you were to count the number of songs people have sung while being sober, it would probably be a pretty large number.
If you were to count the number of sons people have sand while drunk, the number would at least triple in size.
We have karaoke to thank for that.
49. Dance Dance Revolution
Sports bars are unique in the sense that they are the only bars in which drunken dancing cannot be taken for granted.
Unless yours has a DDR machine, that is.
Personally, my sober self scoffs at DDR. But my drunken self... well, some might say he has a DDR "problem."
48. Wii Bowling
One of the sports bars in my area recently held a Wii Bowling tournament, and my research tells me that this is hardly something that's unique to the Bay Area.
Well, why not? It's sure as hell better than freakin' Dance Dance Revolution anyway.
If your sports bar doesn't have checkers, you are not actually in a sports bar.
If you don't like playing checkers, then you are not actually human.
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See the Checkers slide and replace "checkers" with "chess."
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If your sports bar has checkers and chess, than it invariably has dominoes.
I'm not crazy about the game myself, but that's mainly due to the fact that I don't know the rules and am always suspicious that people are making them as they go along every time I venture to play a game.
44. Silver Strike Bowling
Before there was Wii Bowling, there was Silver Strike Bowling.
There are over 12,000 Silver Strike machines in bars and other establishments across the globe, and for a while there it was touted as the most realistic bowling simulator ever.
Well, that day may have passed, but it's still awesome as far as I'm concerned. Because as fun as bowling is after a drink or two, video bowling after a drink or two is epic. And not nearly as sleazy in my opinion.
43. Crane Machines
If your local sports bar doesn't have a crane machine, then I daresay you have an angry letter to write.
Either that or you could chuck a Molotov cocktail through the window.
Regardless, there are few things more fun than desperately trying to snag the perfect little novelty gift for that girl who didn't give you her number, and in fact has already left with your best friend.
As you may have noticed in recent years, sudoku is pretty darned addictive.
So when you take something like that and put it in one of those touchscreen machines that offers you something like 150 different games, you could be in for making a killing provided the right person discovers it.
That 'right person,' of course, would be saps like myself with questionable social skills as a taste for the kind of watered down bourbon that can only be found at your local sports bar.
41. Photo Hunt
All you have to do is find the differences between the two photos.
Pretty simple, right?
Well, go have a couple shots of Wild Turkey, try it, and then get back to me.
40. Skee Ball
Skee Ball is just one of many games on this list that easily make the transition from a source of fond childhood memories to an accessory to adult debauchery.
And like all the others, it is awesome.I don't know what it is, but there's just something about skee ball's weird blend of basketball and bowling that just makes it utterly timeless.
Sports bars with a skee ball machine are few and far between, but I would actually seriously consider moving if I found a good one somewhere in my travels.
39. Route 66 Truck Driving Game
Route 66 is a driving simulator just like all the other, except you get to drive a semi. And that is awesome.
I actually haven't seen one of these in quite a while, even despite the fact I remember it being way cooler than that dumb driving simulator that had the red convertible and the blonbe bimbo in it.
As such, if anybody can send me the address of a sports bar that still has one of these babies, drinks are on me.
By the way, you can't get a DUI if you're at the wheel of one of these things, right?
38. How Many Free Drinks Can You Get From The Desperate Losers Watching Sports?
How about a game for the ladies? It's called "How Many Free Drinks Can You Get From The Desperate Losers Watching Sports?"
The idea is simple, go up and flirt with one of the random gentlemen at the bar. The best idea is to look for a) a guy who has nobody with whom to celebrate his team's big win, or b) a poor soul who's crying in his beer after watching his team get dismantled.
Strike up a conversation and see how many free drinks you can get. You'll know you've won when you can no longer remember.
Why the hell am I encouraging this?
37. Guitar Hero
If there isn't a bar in your area that has weekly Guitar Hero contests, here's a suggestion:
36. Breathalyzer Fun
whether you bring your own or use the coin-operated one on the wall, breathalyzers can serve one of two functions.
They can either keep you safe.
Or they make you a winner.
35. H2H Sports Trivia
Like Photo Hunt and Sudoku 6, H2H Sports Trivia is another game that can be found on one of those touch screen monitors. And naturally, it is the one game most befitting of its environment in this case, as it is a game that pits two sports fans against each other in a battle of wits.
In other words, it is a game that essentially takes what is already going on in the place and turns it into a stale video game.
34. Missile Command
I almost feel like Missile Command is an example of war profiteering, as it was a game that was essentially created to capitalize on people's fears of nuclear war during the 1980s.
But what the heck. It's fun no matter how you look at it.
33. Police Trainer
Police Trainer is one of the few video arcade games in existence that doesn't involve shooting at animals, aliens, Nazis, zombies, or Nazi zombies. Because of that, it loses a few style points.
But it's still a classic, even if it is gun violence without the violence.
BurgerTime is a game that must have been created by some dude who was sitting at a sports bar, most likely while he was chowing down on a burger.
The idea is to conquer each level, and assemble the burgers in the process. But you also have to make your way around three enemies - Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg - in order to complete each burger, which is tougher than it sounds. Just as it is in real life.
31. The Game from Inglourious Basterds
I'm not sure what the proper name for this game is, but my friends and I are just fine with referring to it as "The Game from Inglourious Basterds."
If you've seen the movie, then you know the one I'm talking about.
All you need to play the game is a bunch of 3x5 cards and a sharpie. You write the name of a famous person on the card, and pass it face down to the person on your left. That person licks the back of the card and sticks it on his or her forehead.
Somebody, it doesn't matter who, gets the game going by volunteering to be first. That person gets to ask 10 questions that are meant to help them guess what name is on their forehead.
If they don't get it, they drink. If they do, everyone else drinks.
Trust me, it's fun. Just make sure the person you put on the card is actually famous (i.e. not Don Johnson).
30. Area 51
They say that Doom is the mother of all first-person shooters.
Nonsense. It's Area 51, and it always will be.
If I may share a fond personal memory, Area 51 is how I learned to curse like a sailor.
That didn't go over very well at the local video arcade, but the people at my local sports bar seem to be fine with it as long as I don't yell too loud or insult anybody's mother.
29. Ms. Pac-Man
Take Pac-Man, put a red bow on his head, and rename the game "Mrs. Pac-Man." Then all you have to do is put it in front of the same staggering drunks who made Pac-Man a household name, and you've got yourself another hit.
Well, I guess they made the walls easier to see anyway. They were pretty hard to see in the original Pac-Man, especially after a double-shot of strong bourbon.
If you ever want to play a game that tests your mental quickness, then Asteroids is the game for you. All you have to do is shoot the asteroids and the flying saucers, true enough. But it usually isn't long before you're screaming with frustration and emptying your pocket of every last quarter in your possession for another shot at the high score.
I actually played Asteroids for the very first time at the local sports pub on my 21st birthday. I kid you not.
I learned one thing: this game is freakin' hard. And like that, I finally knew what my dad was talking about every time he suggested I go play a "real video game, like Asteroids" every time he saw me playing Call of Duty.
27. Space Invaders
Move the little green tank left and right across the bottom of the screen and eliminate each and every one of the alien spacecrafts.
Did you know that Space Invaders was actually designed by the government to prepare the military for the eventuality of an alien invasion?
It's true. But instead, all the cadets the game was tested on became video game addicts, and the government decided to offload the units onto as many sports bars as they could find.
In the long run, that could be something that ends up saving the planet, as it will be the sports bar patrons who will fight off the alien invaders.
Centipede is essentially the same thing as Space Invaders, except way more trippy.
You control a little character at the bottom of the screen who must shoot a centipede descending from the top of the screen before it reaches the bottom. There are also mushroom obstacles, and spiders and fleas that can do damage to your character.
I honestly don't want to know how this game was conceived, but I am glad that it found its way into sports bars.
Putting Frogger in a sports bar or any other kind of bar is one of the most significant public safety measures of the post-war era.
Indeed, the object of the game is to dodge traffic while making your way to safety. And having that kind of practice in mind after one leaves a given bar could be a life saver.
24. Lobster Crane Game
There are many variations of this machine, which, to my knowledge anyway, is the only crane game in existence that actually let's you target live animals.
Yes, if you're unfamiliar with the lobster machine, it's essentially a crane game that lets you hand pick the lobster that you will soon be enjoying for dinner.
I kid you not.
Sadly, there aren't many of these left today, and there will be even fewer if PETA has their way.
23. Big Buck Hunter
Cabela's Big Buck Hunter is an arcade game that caters to the redneck in all of us. In fact, the only thing it's really lacking is a game mode that allows you to build a pick-up truck out of spare parts.
Regardless, there are perhaps few things more enjoyable that blasting simulated wild game over a couple of drinks, and then bragging about how good you are at doing so to a crowd of disinterested drunks.
22. Box Club
Box Club is a game that capitalizes on two of the most common things people like to do in a sports bar: drink and throw punches. And they're a great way to keep the angry drunks occupied.
Indeed, it's actually a little surprising that these things aren't more commonplace...
As with Golden Tee Golf, Pop-a-Shot succeeds as a sports bar game because it takes one of our favorite sports, miniaturizes it, and makes it easy to play with an alcoholic beverage in one hand.
Exactly who is the best Pop-a-Shot player in the world varies depending on who you ask, as the answer is invariably going to be, "Me."
20. NFL 2-Minute Drill
The NFL 2-Minute Drill is football's answer to the Pop-a-Shot, and it is equally awesome. But it's also considerably more difficult, which is why it's higher on the list.
I don't know about you, but trying to throw a football through a hole is hard enough in the first place. Trying to do so with a mid-to-major buzz is damn near impossible.
The only real problem is that you most likely need to take a trip if you want to find a sports bar that has a 2-Minute Drill machine. I've only seen one at an ESPN Zone and a place on Pier 39 called the Player's Arcade and Sports Grill.
19. Golden Tee Golf
When you think about it, sports bars are probably the only places that could have made a golf arcade game into an instant cult classic.
And Golden Tee Golf has been just that since 1989, and it is perhaps the primary precursor to all these modern golf simulators that make us all feel like we're better golfers than we really are.
As if we didn't already feel that way in the first place, of course.
18. Video Poker
Traditionally speaking, video poker is reserved solely for all those poor souls in Las Vegas who would rather play poker without leaving the bar.
But they have it in some sports bars too, which must mean that the appeal of playing poker electronically while tossing back drink after drink isn't all that outlandish.
Personally, I've never played video poker, at a sports bar or anywhere else. In fact, I don't play poker at all. I hear that poker players can be prone to losing fingers, and I don't dig that at all.
17. Liar's Dice
Liar's dice is a pretty awesome game, as it involves two awesome things: dice and lying.
In short, it's a lot like poker, as it involves calling your opponent's bluff. Here are the rules.
I've never actually played liar's dice in real life. But I have played it in Red Dead Redemption, so I'm basically an expert on the subject.
16. Erotic Photo Hunt
Naturally, the only thing better than Photo Hunt is Erotic Photo Hunt, which many consider to be one of the greatest bar games of all time, if not the greatest.
The rules of the game are the same. The only difference is that pictures of inanimate objects like fruit and other things are replaced with hot chicks.
And that's always a good switch.
15. Bumper Pool
Bumper pool is a lot like pinball. The key difference is that it requires much more precise hand-eye coordination, and you get to use a blunt object.
And as we all know, blunt objects come in handy against both mean drunks and the undead.
14. Paper Football
Paper football never gets old, and you can play it anywhere. Bars included.
Paper football is actually the one thing that got me through study hall my sophomore year of high school. I don't know why that's relevant, but now you know.
13. Drunken Trivial Pursuit
I don't think I've ever been to any bar that didn't have Trivial Pursuit on request.
Then again, there are probably plenty of bars out there that I don't remember going to.
In any case, your local sports bar should have the sports edition of Trivial Pursuit, which is even better than the regular edition. Because it concerns sports, you see.
Yes, Ms. Pac-Man is on the list, but this is the real deal.
Forget Mario. Forget Link. And definitely forget Master Chief.
Pac-Man is the quintessential video game character. I suspect he strikes such a deep chord within everyone because he's really quite a simple fellow: a yellow ball with an eating disorder who can't escape his demons.
And by the way, drunken Pac-Man is even better than sober Pac-Man. But you didn't need me to tell you that, did you?
11. NTN Buzztime
The real coolness of Buzztime is that it is the only bar game that is part of a network.
On the surface level, it's a mere trivia game, not unlike Trivial Pursuit. But it's played electronically, and players in one bar compete against players in all the other bars that feature the game. It features a "Network Rankings" feature that ranks the scores of each establishment and each individual playing the game.
As such, it's basically the sport bar's answer to online multiplayer games. And it doesn't involve shooting anybody!
Unless you're into that kind of thing, of course.
10. Arm Wrestling
The air of false machismo hangs over any given sports bar like the threat of rain.
Bad similes aside, the eventuality of an arm wrestling contest coming out of left field any time you're enjoying a drink or two at your favorite sports bar is very real.
And that's because arm wrestling is awesome, and quite possibly the only legitimate way to solve any dispute.
9. Ping Pong
A game of ping pong tends to be one of the most frequent precursors to a major bar fight, but that hasn't deterred most sports bar proprietors from having a ping pong table on the premises.
For a game that requires incredible hand-eye coordination, it's amazing how many people out there seem to play much better when they're drunk. In that regard, I like to think of ping pong as some kind of freakish natural phenomenon.
Also, if you think you could take me in a match, just let me know and I'll give you the address of my local sports bar. Bring it on, punk.
8. Table Shuffleboard
Table shuffleboard is essentially a very simple game.
All you have to do is get the shuckles to come to rest in the right zone, and then you add up your points.
If you've never played it in a bar, however, you'd be amazed how complicated things can get.
7. Bubble Hockey
What's cool about bubble hockey is not just that it's a hockey version of Foosball, but that it's clearly a game that harkens back to the Cold War.
Just look at those blue guys and red guys... how can they not be stand-ins for America and Russia?
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Speaking of Foosball...
Foosball takes me way back.
I played Foosball before I played soccer. So when I finally strapped on the cleats and got out there, I assumed one had to do a backflip in order to legally kick the ball.
That didn't end well.
But Foosball is still awesome. A little head trauma isn't going to erase that reality.
5. Air Hockey
Air hockey is probably the only game that you're just as likely to find in a children's arcade as you are your local sports bar.
That's because it's a timeless game, and freakin' fun.
Besides, it teaches both kids and drunks to be careful where they put their fingers.
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"Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball. From Soho down to Brighton, must have played 'em all. But I ain't seen nothing like him, in any amusement hall. That deaf, dumb and blind kid...
"...Sure plays a mean pinball!"
Let's be honest, is it at all possible to not sing "Pinball Wizard" while you're playing pinball, especially after a few drinks?
For that matter, is it at all possible to avoid the pinball machine after a few drinks?
I think not.
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True, pool is typically reserved for proper billiards halls, but there are plenty of sports bars out there that have at least one pool table.
Because people have to play pool when they drink. It's in the Bible, as well as several other religious texts. Yup, Dianetics too.
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Take the thing with the pointy end and throw it at the colorful circle on the wall.
There, I just wrote the world's shortest instruction manual on how to play darts.
Oh wait. Check that. I should have written, "Get drunk, and then take the thing with the pointy end and throw it at the colorful circle on the wall."
Now you're good to go.
1. Beer Pong
True, not every bar is cool with having games of beer pong played on their premises, but there are definitely some bars in my area that are down with it. So it's on the list.
And indeed, it's number one on the list because it combines three of the coolest things ever devised by civilized man: ping pong, basketball, and drinking.
Besides, I for one think it's high time that the college phenomenon that is beer pong finally got its proper due. After all, I suspect it won't be long before beer pong is shown on ESPN2.
Hell, if they can show a spelling bee, they can show this.