Retro Sports Games: Five of the Best

Sport has proved to be a hugely popular genre in the gaming industry, with franchises such as FIFA, NBA and NFL becoming a permanent part of the landscape.

The modern versions of these games are unrecognisable from the earliest incarnations, with advancements in technology allowing developers to create visual masterpieces.

However, many gamers still look back with fondness on sports games from yesteryear, with many titles etching their names into gaming folklore.

Read on as we take a closer look at five retro sports games that we believe deserve to be classed as true icons of the gaming industry.


Championship Manager 2001/02

The bookmakers listed at would have had a difficult task trying to offer odds on the league winners in Champions Manager 2001/02.

The ability to take the likes of Wigan Athletic from the third tier to Champions League glory in just a few seasons means that CM01/02 retains a special place in the hearts of football fans.

While lacking the depth of the subsequent Football Manager series, the game still had enough features to make it a hugely entertaining experience.

Fans of the game will remember players such as Kennedy Bakircioglu and Jonas Lunden with fondness, while if you’ve never had Cherno Samba in your team you haven’t lived.


NHL 94

EA Sports’ NHL 94 game looks pretty dated now, but it was widely considered to be ground-breaking when it was first released.

From the iconic organ music to deke moves and more, the game became a huge hit amongst ice hockey fans and across the wider sports community.

Playing as Detroit Red Wings was a guaranteed way to enjoy success in NHL 94, with the likes of Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman scoring goals for fun.

With the legendary Niklas Lidstrom patrolling the blueline, the Red Wings on NHL 94 were undoubtedly a match made in heaven.


Madden 94

The Madden name has become synonymous with sports games, with the former coach and broadcaster lending his name to the NFL’s best video game.

Madden 94 was a pivotal title for EA Sports, with improved frame rate and defensive capabilities taking the gameplay to a whole new level.

It was also the first game to receive official NFL licensing, thus ensuring that you could play with your favourite American Football teams.

The ability to play an entire season in one night gave Madden 94 an enduring appeal that some of its successors have struggled to replicate.



NBA Jam was another icon of the 1990s gaming sector, with players clamouring to play the game in amusement arcades and on home consoles.

Featuring two-on-two basketball, it was one of the first sports games to contain NBA-licensed players and teams.

Monster dunks, no fouls and trash talking your opponent were amongst the exaggerated features that made NBA Jam such a massive hit.

The game has spawned many subsequent spin-offs, but the original version is still viewed positively by gaming fans across the world.


TOCA 2 Touring Cars

Touring car racing was big business during the 1990s, with the sport enjoying massive success in the United Kingdom and further afield.

Codemasters’ TOCA series helped fuel the passion, with their second iteration of the game undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.

With great graphics for the era, realistic circuits and changeable weather conditions, TOCA 2 had a sense of realism that many other racing games struggled to match.

It has been rumoured that a new version of the game is in the works for 2021. Fans of the TOCA series will be keeping everything crossed that this comes to fruition.


1 thought on “Retro Sports Games: Five of the Best”

  1. Shane Dowling

    Cherno Samba, what a legend! Shakhtar Donetsk was never the same after getting mined for cheap players back in the day.

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