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The Best and Worst Sports Video Games from the '90s

"Basketbrawl"

"Basketbrawl"

"Basketbrawl" debuted for the Atari 7800 and Atari Lynx in the early '90s, and was quickly forgotten. The premise of the game was either to outplay your opponent on the basketball court or to simply knock them out before the game ended. Besides the shaky premise, players heavily criticized the game for its overly simplistic basketball gameplay and character design.

"Bravo Air Race"

"Bravo Air Race"

"Bravo Air Race" takes your typical motorsport racing game to the skies on PlayStation. Unfortunately, this game happened to crash and burn. The game's major faults lie in poor texturing and course layout that cause even the most alert and skilled flyers to find themselves smashing into walls constantly.

"Power Serve 3D Tennis"

"Power Serve 3D Tennis"

While "Power Serve 3D Tennis" for the PlayStation was widely lauded for its graphics around the time of its release, its gameplay fell drastically behind. Of the numerous camera angles available, only a few were even usable. In addition to struggling to see the action, players found themselves stuck behind sluggish controls.

"3Xtreme"

"3Xtreme"

The extreme sports racing game "3Xtreme" is the third installment in a series of commercially successful games. In this case, however, the third time was not the charm. This incarnation chipped away at the vast diversity of characters, moves, and course obstacles that the previous titles had. Just stick with "2Xtreme."

"Extreme Watersports"

"Extreme Watersports"

One in the long line of "Extreme" games produced for the PC by Head Games, "Extreme Watersports" takes the cake as one of the worst games of the '90s, if not in all of history. Besides glaring technical problems rendering the game literally unplayable in many cases, the actual gameplay itself is atrocious. Most players will find themselves behind utterly unresponsive controls, falling on their water skis in seconds cutting the run short, and staring at menus the rest of the time.

"NHL '98"

"NHL '98"

Despite some of the duds of '90s sports games, there were some true gems. "NHL '98" was one such gem. Produced by EA for the PlayStation, "NHL '98" really stood out as an achievement in graphics. The characters looked real, even as they flew around the screen. Capturing the speed of hockey was the game's ultimate achievement, which was only possible through its superior controls and interface.

"Triple Play '98"

"Triple Play '98"

1998 was a great year for sports games, as it also gave players "Triple Play '98." This baseball hit was another PlayStation offering from EA. The game is massive, featuring every MLB stadium and over 700 professional players. From a gameplay perspective, it is simply flawless, giving the user access to every action they would see in an actual game, and doing it in a responsive manner.

"NFL Blitz"

"NFL Blitz"

While Madden has been the long-reigning king of NFL action, many gamers will still say "NFL Blitz" was the best football game of the '90s. This game also debuted in 1998 and bent the NFL rulebook to its absolute limit. The loss of realism is no issue compared to the fun of scoring four touchdowns, picking up six fumbles and two interceptions, and sending a poor cornerback tumbling 15 feet through the air, all within the first three minutes.

"Mario Golf"

"Mario Golf"

"Mario Golf" features all of the classic Mario characters and brightly colored courses in a cartoonish style. This, however, belies the technical realism that made it a truly fun and rewarding golf game. The mechanics, fun and memorable characters, and wide variety of game modes make "Mario Golf" one of the few masterpieces of '90s sports games.

"Gran Turismo 2"

"Gran Turismo 2"

While most racing games can seem similar and a bit stale, the "Gran Turismo" series has continually stood out from the crowd. This was no different in 1999 when the first sequel "Gran Turismo 2" came out. Featuring a staggering number of vehicles users can customize endlessly and race under ultra-realistic physics conditions on realistic tracks through a variety of game modes, the game defined this generation of motorsports titles.

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