We’re doing another “theme week” across the SB Nation family of NFL blogs, and though there’s still a few things to talk about with the Minnesota Vikings, this is a subject that I have some knowledge of, so there will be posts about it this week as well.
It’s Video Game Week here at SB Nation, so I want to know what your favorite sports video game was when you were growing up.
People who have been following this site for any length of time know that video gaming is one of the things I do quite a bit of in my spare time. My experience goes all the way back to the Atari 2600. . .Google that one, younger readers. . .and I’ve played just about every sports game on just about every platform. But, from my formative years, there’s one that stood out above the others. Surprisingly enough, it was not a football game.
There were a number of baseball games that came out for the Nintendo Entertainment System back in the day, but Baseball Stars from SNK had a bunch of things that a lot of them didn’t have. Most notably, it introduced a bit of an RPG element as it allowed you to actually develop your players.
Basically, your players would have attributes for hitting, speed, arm strength, and so forth. When you created your own team, they had these different attributes on a scale from 1 to 15. You could then go out against other teams and, win or lose, receive a stack of money for your team based on things such as their “Prestige” level. You could then turn around and use that money to crank up your players’ attributes. This would, in theory, allow you to win more games, which would allow you to make more money, which would allow you to improve your players, and so on.
There was no MLB license or anything like that with Baseball Stars, but this was back in the day when there weren’t really “franchise modes” or anything like that in these sorts of games. Being able to develop your own team was about as close as you could get to something like that back in the late 80s and early 90s. I don’t know how many hours my friends and I spent battling it out with our created teams in the league format that the game allowed you to create.
There may have been better baseball games for the NES throughout its life span, but I’m pretty certain that I burned more time on Baseball Stars than on any other, with the possible exception of the original NES Baseball.
How about you? Were there favorite sports video games you had as a youth?