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Four Unforgettable Classic Sports Video Games
The standards for a game to become a "classic"—to not get lost in the hundreds of titles released each year, but to make a significant impact on video game culture—is demanding. Each year, developers strive to improve graphics to the point where it looks like we're looking outside a window and perfect other such aspects to make a successful game.
In their effort to do this, however, the industry forgets that a lot of the time, what a groundbreaking game needs is not perfect realism or graphics, but creativity and originality. And here is a list of classic sports video games to prove just that:
The reason Tecmo Bowl is regarded as one of the most popular and iconic video games in history isn't because of its graphics or realism, but because it was the first of its time to feature real NFL players—Walter Peyton, Dennis Grenty, and Lawrence Taylor. Though it was only moderately successful in arcades, the game gained wide recognition when it hit the NES—and since then, it hasn't left our hearts as one of the greats of the 1980s. To this day, I value my Wii not for my Wii Sports or News Channel, but for its ability to let me play the original Tecmo Bowl for hours on end.
Mike Tyson's Punch Out
There's a reason boxing games are one of the rarer genres of the video game scene, and that's because few games have been able to match the fun and simplistic approach that Nintendo took with Punch-Out! Being a 2-foot tall character from the Bronx thrown into the ring is a daunting idea, but once you master the core of the game-learning opponents' timings and patterns, Punch Out becomes nothing short of a work of art, as you dodge and sidestep punches and deliver fatal blows to work your way up to the boss.
Many people wonder why Excitebike is held in such high regard by many gamers. And their confusion is understandable. After all, it's a simple bike race from a birds-eye point of view where the players raced to the right while avoiding a few traps. Nothing special, right? Wrong. Excitebike is a revolutionary game because it was the first of its era to let us customize our own courses, a feature so advanced and cutting-edge for its time that it wasn't replicated for years later.
Super Mario Kart
If you've been paying attention so far in this article, you'll know that all these classics so far have one aspect they share-simplicity. Super Mario Kart is no such exception, proving to us once again that minimalism can go a long way. It is a straightforward racing game that introduced one of Nintendo's most celebrated attributes—to create a game that appeals to people of all ages. From its fantastic single-player campaign with hilarious characters and fantastic maps to the revolutionary split-screen that let up to 4 people share in the chaos, this game was the first of the popular Mario Kart series Nintendo dominates the video game industry with.
Dylan Young is an avid gamer and regularly publishes content on video games through the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is also a competitive Team Fortress 2 player.
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