Dating back to the early days of video games, sports titles have been a important mainstay that appealed to both hardcore and casual gamers alike. In fact, some of the first video games ever created were based on sports such as tennis and ping-pong. While most people think of fictional characters when they recall the biggest stars in video game history, athletes have in fact played some of the most important leading roles in some of the biggest video games of all-time. For example, gracing the cover of the annual Madden franchise is one of the biggest honours an NFL player can receive. In this list, we look back at some of the most dominant digital renditions of the greatest athletes in history in some of the most popular games ever. Prepare to take a trip down memory lane with this pixelated pantheon of sports video game greatness!
Few sports games in history have the same level of fanatic nostalgic love that the 1988’s R.B.I. Baseball for the NES still enjoys to this day. In fact, MLB has recently announced a reboot of the franchise for the upcoming 2014 season. The original title emphasized specific attributes that players of that period possessed. For example, Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens throw pitches faster than anyone else in the game. Conversely, Reggie Jackson was an offensive monster in the game, enjoying a 945 power rating that pretty much guaranteed a home run with ease if he made contact with the ball.