Game On: Throwbacks

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Lately, everyone seems to be on the throwback bandwagon. Have you noticed teams and fans sporting retro jerseys? Even shoe companies are staying afoot with new kicks that revert back to old-school style. STACK is riding along on the bandwagon, too. Grab your old console or hit up a GameStop, because here are our picks for the best classic sports games.

NHL 94
Although fighting was removed from this classic, features like One Timer and Breaking the Glass helped to create an aura of authenticity for the game. With four play modes to choose from, gamers could play a regular season or jump right into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. No question, EA definitely changed the way hockey was played on the game console.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out
Arguably one of the best games ever. This may be stretching it, but there would probably be no EA Fight Nights if it were not for the developers of Punch-Out for NES. Yes, Nintendo brought it back for the Wii this past year, but nothing is as good as the original. From Glass Jaw and Piston Honda to the Great Tiger and Soda Popinski (my personal favorite), each character poses a new challenge for the boxer known as Little Mac. To be the best you've got to beat the best, and back then it was Iron Mike Tyson.

Tecmo Bowl
Madden has nothing on this NES classic. The foundation of every football video game ever created can be linked back to this one stroke of genius. It features four plays to choose from, and players must outwit their opponents while dodging diving tacklers all over the field. Bo Jackson of the L.A. Raiders was by far the best player in any football video game. Running through or around everyone, he could almost guarantee a first down every time he touched the ball. Tecmo Bowl just might have you and your crew fighting for controllers, because once you start playing, you'll never want to stop.

NBA Jam
Boomshakalaka! In 1993, Midway released NBA Jam and changed sports video games forever. NBA Jam was all about action, attitude and altitude. The game featured two-on-two play with top NBA stars. Sure, sounds simple, but when a player caught fire and alley-oops were as common as jump shots, the game became non-stop action—and non-stop fun. Who was the best team? This is still a difficult debate. It really depends on your favorite team. The Jazz scored at will with Malone and Stockton, but Seattle's combo of Kemp and Schrempf could play good D. And let's not forget the Bulls' Pippen and Grant, both of whom could do it all. I could go on. Luckily EA has decided to bring the game back to life with a completely revamped version, scheduled for release this fall.

Bo Jackson Baseball
When it comes to old school baseball games, dozens come to mind, but only one person knows it all: Bo Jackson. His game is a nice mix of old school graphics and innovative controls for the Nintendo platform. Gamers could throw certain pitches, try to make contact or power swing for the fences. As for the title ballplayer, Bo might hit a home run or break his bat striking out, but he never hit a ground ball. Just goes to show that Bo knows gaming.


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