When the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo were battling head to head against each other for 16 bit supremacy in the early to mid 90’s, I heard the following argument made more than once. “If you like sports games, pick Sega. If you like RPG’s, pick Nintendo.” Seems like an overly simplistic viewpoint when debating the merits of two very well rounded consoles, but when I did a cursory review of what titles were available and the apparent strengths of each system, I concurred. That was then, now I know that the Genesis also had an ample number of action platformers & RPG’s and the SNES had its fair share of quality sports titles. So basically I didn’t do my homework back in 1992 when I was finally ready to update to the 16 bit era which had begun in earnest in 1989 with the release of the Genesis and Turbografx-16. Spoiler alert, I went with the SNES.
Less than ten years later, when I began collecting for my recently purchased Genesis model 2, I would scour the used video game stores, Goodwill shelves and those very same pawn shops where I picked up my Genesis in the first place. What were the cheapest and most abundant Genesis titles out there? Sports games. So many used sports games dumped in boxes and buried on dingy shelves untouched for months. Even today, when any retro console title is being looked at as a potential gold mine, Genesis sports games get very little love. Maybe there was something to that viewpoint I had about the Genesis back in the day. Obviously there were many, many sports related games purchased and played for this system to generate such a large number of used cartridges left in the wild. A lot of this has to do with their lack of collectability and how quickly a sports game can become dated once the next year’s model is released. A lot of it had to do with developers producing mass quantities of sports games since the consumers continued to buy them.
Most of my Genesis sports game pickups came from larger collections. I rarely set out to buy any of these titles specifically. They mostly came to me while buying someone’s lot of 4 or 5 or 10 games just so I could get the one or two in the lot I really wanted. Honestly, some of them I’ve never even played. I will be correcting that this month as I continue to focus whatever free gaming time I have to my Sega Genesis, sports games included. I’ve already covered the Pro/NFL style football games in my collection, so here are the rest.
- Lakers vs Celtics and the NBA Playoffs
- Bulls vs Lakers and the NBA Playoffs
- NBA Showdown ’94
- NBA Live ’95 – A- I don’t enjoy this version quite as much as the SNES version, but still very good.
- NBA Live ’97
- Hardball 3
- Super Baseball 2020
- Tecmo Super Baseball
- Tommy Lasorda Baseball (covered in Genesis Launch)
- PGA Tour 2
- PGA Tour 3 – B+ Not Tiger Woods level golf but in the 90’s, this title was stellar and still is.
- NHL ’94 – A The gold star of this group of games. The funnest hockey game I’ve ever played….still.
- ESPN National Hockey Night
- Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing
- Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing – D Hard to find enjoyment here as it appears to be nothing but a button masher.
- Bill Walsh College Football ’95
- College Slam
- Coach K College Basketball
- Dick Vitale’s Awesome Baby College Hoops
- IMG International Tour Tennis
- Wimbledon Championship Tennis
- Race Drivin’