As Sporty as I'll Get

I'm willing to try stuff, but I have trouble getting up much enthusiasm for sports/race/realistic competition games (I'd rather watch actual sports being played, usually).  
 
That said I have played and enjoyed many sports games over the years.  This is my attempt to remember them, and why they were worth remembering.

List items

  • The reason I came up with this list. I still love this game, and wish I had my old Genesis hooked up right now. It had car stats, with damage locations when you crashed (or rammed others... yeah, not totally realistic, but whatever), which would decrease performance in specific areas but not immediately kill you unless you really hit something hard. You could pit out to repair those problems, too. There were several gear-shifting setups, including automatic, 4 gears and 7 gears, with the last being the biggest pain but giving the best acceleration if you were doing it right. You drove for a company, and so did the other racers, who have their own personalities. Each company was associated with a type of vehicle, and the top companies were the ones with the desirable cars, so as you performed well in races you would go up in rank to the point where you could boot out a rival and take their position in a company, with a better car and a new set of rivals whose heels you could nip at. About the only thing I remember not liking was Ceara's Era, a pre-planned event in the second season designed to force you to work your way up in rank all over again. Ceara's car performed way too well; he'd just shoot off like a rocket into the distance, far outperforming the other drivers. A bit silly. But the arcade-style driving was still detailed enough that I felt like I was really racing in some crazy European wonderland. The tracks were all nice and varied, too, which was cool (they taught me some cool racing vocabulary, like chicane :) Agh, I miss this game.

  • Get past the name-- and this game is only a sport/competition thing if you get past the science fiction theme. It had it's own picky rules, the kind of stuff you expect to see in any sports game, only you're piloting a craft while playing a crazy version of soccer/football, where you have to fire or push a floating ball into a moving goal. Some of my best competition moments -where I managed to get a goal just seconds before it would have been too late, or get a 3-point over-the-horizon shot to tie at a crucial moment- were made possible by this game, so I don't begrudge it for not being realistic.

  • I don't know if this even qualifies as a sports game for some people, but I loved it. I think it's more of a sports appreciation game than even an arcade simulation of basketball because of the weird superpowers, but I think I began to follow real basketball more after playing it in the arcades and on the Genesis.

  • Each player had different stats, different strengths, and you'd try to just make as many hoops as you can against the other guy. Had this for the 7800, actually, like Ballblazer. Some cool little quirks to this title. I liked shattering the backboard and tried my best to do it, even if it didn't have much of a game impact.