Video games come and go, but there are a few titles that, a little like James Bond in the world of movies, never seem to go out of fashion. A disproportionately high percentage of these fall into the sports category. Here, we take a look at the top titles that are remarkable not just for their popularity but also for their longevity. Here are the very best, Sports Classics.
Sports Classics: FIFA
No prizes for guessing what would be at the top of the list. Football is the most popular sport in the world in terms of participation, viewing on TV, checking the odds online and playing on a games console. FIFA holds all sorts of records, including the highest sales for a sports video game. 250 million units have sold since the very first FIFA was released for the SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis way back in 1993.
Today, FIFA has lost none of its popularity, and the game is something of a pioneer in eSport. While other games have an active eSport scene, none have achieved such success as FIFA, where events like the ePremier League even attract TV coverage.
Sports Classics: John Madden
Last year, the world bade farewell to a legendary coach and commentator. But John Madden’s name lives on in the American football series of games. This one has been around even longer than FIFA, having first been released in 1988 for the Apple and Commodore PCs.
But again, it is the console versions that really captured the public’s imagination. The gameplay and physics have always been top notch, but it is fun features like the ambulance from Madden 92 that really stick in the mind. When a player went down, it would drive onto the field, mow down any players in its path, pause for a moment then drive off, leaving the injured player lying on the field.
Sports Classics: Gran Turismo
Racing games are almost a category of their own, as they come in so many varieties. But Gran Turismo towers over the rest in terms of depth and realism. It has been the benchmark since its first release in 1997 and is the best-selling title under the PlayStation brand, with total sales of 80 million and counting.
Most of the vehicles are created under licensing agreements with the manufacturers. It means the level of realism is on a par with a professional sim as opposed to a mere game. As such, there are incredible simulator kits available for an even more realistic experience.
Sports Classics: Football Manager
Finally, it’s back to the most popular sport in the world for a game that has been around longer than all the rest. Football Manager was initially created in 1981 by a man called Kevin Toms on a budget of approximately zero.
The latest iteration, Football Manager 2022, takes you into a virtual world that is incredible in its depth. Once you start, it is complex but highly addictive. If you want something simpler, and like retro gaming, the original 1980s game was recreated for mobile last year and is a lot of fun.