Sportswriters decide on best-ever sports video game athletes
Who were the best players in football video games?
DB: There are two dominant players from football video games that take me back to my childhood: Randy Moss on Madden 2003 and Michael Vick on Madden 2004. Moss was unstoppable even in triple coverage, he was definitely coming down with the ball no matter what. But anyone that remembers playing Madden 2004 remembers just how insane Vick was. It got to the point when you played with friends that the you weren’t allowed to play with the Falcons. Vick had 99 speed and the artificial intelligence and video game defenses weren’t as sophisticated as they are now. If a team played man coverage against Vick, he would take off. Any crease, and Vick was gone. Combine him with the backfield of Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett, and it was lights out.
WA: Back in the day when Tecmo Bowl ruled the land, everyone loved to score 99-yard touchdown runs with Bo Jackson, which was fun, but Lawrence Taylor was the best player on the game. He was so fast you could use him to tackle the holder before the kicker was close enough to attempt a kick on field goals and extra points. A true game changer. In modern times, Christian McCaffery was a horse on Madden 2019. In one of the empty formations he lined up as a wingback and ran a wheel route that was pretty much unstoppable. His only weakness was being prone to injuries.
Who was the best basketball video game star?
DB: For best video game basketball character, I’m going with Player 99. For those who don’t remember, or are not familiar at all, there was a period during the 1990s when basketball great Michael Jordan opted out of the NBPA licensing deal, so his likeness could not be used in video games. As a way of skirting that, video games made a player with a generic name but crazy stats. And he just so happened to play for the Chicago Bulls. I wonder who that could have been? Anyways, he was a monster on the game, as he was in his NBA career.
WA: NBA Live 2004 Yao Ming, the first Playstation edition of the star, was unstoppable. You could average a triple double of points, blocks and rebounds at will. The hook and fadeaway from the block were both money and offensive rebounds were another way to get easy buckets.
Who was the best baseball video game star?
DB: Barry Bonds on Triple Play 2001. Really, any power hitters from that era were absolutely raking in video games, because that’s just what they did (with some help). But as he was in real life, Bonds was just impossible to pitch to if you were facing him. If you left anything in the zone, he took it deep. If it wasn’t in the zone, he was patient enough to lay off of it. Another cheat code of a player if you played with him.
WA: Back before the nerds ruined Major League Baseball, the league actually featured good athletes and excitement when the ball was in play and guys were racing around the bases. No one did it better than St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Vince Coleman on the RBI Baseball game of the late 80s. You could get on base with a bunt most of the time and steal second and third bases all of the time with both Coleman and fellow outfielder Willie McGee.