Sports video games have come a long way visually and in terms of gameplay depth, but does that mean they’re better than the games they drew their inspiration from? In this list, our resident gaming geek, Patrick Hickey Jr. shares five times Sports titles that are still fun to play today, in spite of a complete lack of next-generation graphics, online play and in some cases, professional sports league licenses.

RBI Baseball: The Show series is a blast- it’s literally a diehard baseball fan’s dream come true, but that doesn’t mean it’s accessible. The original RBI Baseball on the NES is still the best pick-up-and-play baseball game of all -time.

NHL 94: There hasn’t been a major innovation in EA’s hockey franchise since the Skill Still in NHL 08, quite possibly the last great game in the series. NHL 94 changed the game with the one-timer and proved to be the most complete and still user-friendly hockey game of all time.

NBA Jam: There’s never been a more pop culturally-relevant game of roundball ever. The 2K series is amazing, but it’s never going to make anyone a fan of basketball that isn’t. NBA Jam did.

Pro Wrestling: With no real wrestlers, this NES gem did something that would take WCW and WWE nearly a decade to do- make a quality wrestling game. The father to Fire Pro as well, it’s still one of the best wrestling games ever.

Punch-Out: There’s a reason why people are still waiting for another game in this series.

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (330 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the