As some of you will know, Ellis Simpson and myself have done a fair bit of writing for Games International. Where possible, we have done what we can to promote the sports gaming hobby through reviews and articles. Unfortunately, for some of the time one tends to struggle against perceived 'public opinion' (ie the editor, Brian Walker) and sometimes articles just don't make it to print. Anyway, in preparation for the recently printed GI 'Games Hall of Fame' piece, Brian asked me for my input on all sorts of games. Seeing a unique chance to get a list of sports games into a national magazine, I polled Mike Clifford, Ted Kelly and Ellis in an effort to establish the 'definitive' list of classics. This had to be done well! I submitted the resulting select band in good time but sadly Brian decided that 'they don't fit in with the sections of the magazine'. However, a few of them were at least merged into the general games list where I am not at all sure they fit in. The chopping is regrettable as we all took time considering the list and it represents a chance missed to plug these minority games and the many small companies producing them. Most annoying was the omission of all the Lambourne games and Metric Mile in particular. This was unbelievable and just plain wrong in the latter case. So, because I believe this list worthy of exposure to a wider audience, I thought I'd run the list in Major League and here in Inside Pitch instead. For your delectation then, in alphabetical order, here they are.
A few surprises? Perhaps not. As ever there will be dissension, omissions and, I hope, some agreement. Interested to hear what you think. As for the games themselves, the list makes no apologies for mixing replay, stat and 'general' games but all have sport as the core topic. Many were obvious choices, some subjective and others almost a tribute. Some of those chosen are admittedly simply excellent general games with sports as a theme but I have tried to stick with those that come close to replay or simulation standards eg Grand Prix, which produces a quite believable race outcome. I note a distinct lack of decent games on tennis, basketball and soccer and none at all on rugby (either code) which still remains The Difficult One. It is also interesting to note that many of the games have been around for years (as befits their classic status) but there is the very promising World of Motor Racing offering recent balance. Projecting this list forward, I feel pretty sure that March Madness, Avalon Hill's new NCAA game, will be in there with the best. We shall see. For details of availability of any game on the list, please drop me or Mike Clifford a line and we will be pleased to assist.
Sumo - Mike Siggins