Sports video games keep getting better. The graphics are decidedly nicer than they were five or 10 years ago, and, in most cases, the gameplay has also improved with more to do and explore in each new game.
That said, there are a few classic sports games that were so entertaining they still hold up today. These are the games that are worth keeping in collections to revisit time and time again. They might even be worth paying a little extra to grab — they’re worth revisiting if you kept them in your collection, or if you can still get your hands on a digital or physical copy.
MVP Baseball 2005
The feature set for MVP Baseball 2005 was so vast, it can still put some of today’s sports titles to shame. In 2005, it had a create-a-ballpark feature, but in 2017, we still don’t have one in MLB The Show 17.
You could also play as Single-A teams. The graphics were obviously not on par with what you see today, but they are still good enough for a hardcore baseball fan to enjoy.
If you want to know why many fans want EA Sports to get back into the sport of baseball, MVP 2005 is the reason. Even a simple visual upgrade with no new features would sell well today.
If you added online play and Ultimate Team, EA Sports would have a monster hit on its hands.
Fight Night Champion
There were some obvious holes in Fight Night Champion’s feature set and some less than realistic aspects of the gameplay, but it was still fun to play. The story mode was excellent and well ahead of its time.
Quite honestly, if you’re a boxing fan, it’s one of the few representations of the sport you’ve ever had access to on a video game console — and there hasn’t been another one since FNC released in 2011.
Believe it or not, the online servers are still operational for the game, and you can still find members of the community who are creating the most relevant fighters for others to download via the Boxer Share feature.
If you’re a boxing fan and gamer, this is the best blend of the two worlds available.
College Hoops 2K8
The strategy, specialized players, presentation, customization and overall gameplay still holds up.
Unfortunately, the servers for this game aren’t still available, but you can still customize the rosters of all the teams if you wanted to update the rosters to match real-life schools.
WWF WrestleMania 2000
The controls were basic, but there was still a great deal of strategy required if you were going to be successful against an experienced opponent.
There were more than 50 WWF Superstars in the game. You could edit existing ones, or create your own. When it comes to pick-up-and-play qualities, this was arguably the most fun WWF/E video game ever made.
It released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, but we’ve yet to see gameplay this good in any WWE game match it since.
NCAA Football 14
There may not be a canceled sports video game series that is more missed than NCAA Football. EA Sports stopped making the game in 2013 because of the legal issues surrounding collegiate athlete licenses.
That was a real bummer considering NCAA Football 14 was the best version in the series history.
The gameplay, visuals and and options were stellar. The servers are still active for the game and there are diehard fans who still update the game’s rosters so that fans can still play with current teams.
While most of us have our fingers crossed for the return of the series, NCAA 14 can provide hours of entertainment for gamers who still have it in their collections.
More sports gaming news and updates
Love sports games? Check out more content from Mic, including tips for leveling up your NBA 2K17 MyPlayer, playing quarterback in Madden 17, our review of MLB The Show 17 and the classic Nintendo sports games we want to see on the Switch.