Tecmo Bo, ‘Jon Dowd,’ Vick: Ranking the top 10 sports video game characters

Patrick Mahomes may be the best player in the NFL, but in Madden 24, he’s truly superhuman.

A new move for Mahomes in the game, mimicking his incredible diving pass in Super Bowl LV, against the laws of natureallowing the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback to accurately pass the ball 45 yards out while diving in the opposite direction.

But the game hasn’t been released publicly yet, and Mahomes still has a long way to go if he’s going to be one of the best sports video game characters of all time.

Here’s a list of 10 of the biggest iconic stars in sports video games over the years.

10. Ronaldinho, FIFA 07

Over the years, a number of FIFA legends could have made this list representing EA Sports’ beloved soccer simulator, but Ronaldinho’s dominant attacking prowess propelled him to the spot. The Brazilian superstar scored 90 points or higher in shooting, short passing, dribbling, ball control, acceleration, sprint speed and reflexes.

9. Tiger Woods Sunday, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2009

Really, any 2000s version of Sunday Tiger will suffice. If your character is lucky enough to make the cut and face the Sunday Tiger, you’ll have to play nearly perfect golf to have any chance of beating him.

EA Sports even took advantage of Sunday Tiger’s godlike abilities, using a fan video of a glitch in Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour event in 2008, in which the eponymous character could walk on water and hit balls from a lake, turning it into a mind-boggling game. Believable marketing campaign for the next version of the game.

8. Jeremy Ronick, NHL 94

It was Roenick, not Wayne Gretzky, whose all-around skills made him the cheat code for early 1990s hockey. Ronick is physically strong, quick in movement, and has deadly precision in long-range shots. Of course, Roenick’s character in this game made an impressive cameo in the classic “Swingers.”

7. Michael Jordan, NBA 2K11

Some of the characters in these games became accidental superstars. This version of Jordan is anything but. The Chicago Bulls legend was featured on the cover of the iconic basketball simulator released in 2010 and features him in several different modes, including a “Jordan Challenge” where players can take part in a simulated pivotal moment in his career.

There are eight retro versions of Jordan in the game, from different seasons of his career, all of which allowed him to score an unstoppable 99 points. Jordan also starred in one of the most memorable sports video game opening sequences of all time.

6. Peja Stojakovic, NBA player

If the sharp-shooting NBA players who have become video game juggernauts have a patron saint, it’s Stojakovic in this 2004 streetball simulator. The digital version of the Sacramento Kings swingman paved the way for a long list of NBA players in the future of basketball that, once you figure out their shot timing and favorite spot, get them flying from beyond the arc, can’t be contained .

5. “Jon Dowd” (Barry Bonds), 2005 Baseball MVP

The folks at EA Sports had a problem. Barry Bonds, the acknowledged best player in Major League Baseball at the time, withdrew from the MLB Players Association mutual licensing agreement. As a result, EA Sports was unable to use his name or likeness in the 2005 MVP Baseball. They circumvented this by creating the fictional “Jon Dowd,” a left-handed San Francisco Giants outfielder with a familiar build and swing. And Dodd, like the real-life Bonds at the time, was a cheat code, often storing virtual baseballs in the digital McCovey Cove just outside the right-field wall in San Francisco.

4. Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson Boxing

Unlike the other names on this list, Tyson is not a playable character but the ultimate boss of this boxing match. Virtual Tyson is considered one of the toughest video game final bosses of all time, thanks to his ability, as the game’s name suggests, to knock players out with a single punch.

3. Bo Jackson, Super Bowl Tecmo

The original unstoppable video game character, this version of Jackson is still considered the GOAT for sports video game fans of a certain age. It’s easy to see why. Pixelated Jackson is too fast and strong for anyone else in the game to stop him, no matter what they do. Unlike the real-life Jackson, whose incredible two-sport career was cut short by injuries, this Jackson won’t be injured.

Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson lives in the cultural zeitgeist, including appearances on the iconic animated sitcom Family Guy and Kia commercials starring the real Bo Jackson.

2. Pablo Sanchez, Backyard Sports

As for Jon Dowd, Sanchez is the only truly fictional character on this list, but he deserves to be here after a decade of Backyard Sports dominance in a string of titles.

Sanchez is known for his ability in various Backyard Baseball editions, where he is a true five-tool player, representing one of the game’s best hitters and fastest runners in nearly every edition . When millennials and even some older Gen Z gamers discuss their memories of Backyard Sports, Sanchez is usually the first name that comes to mind.

1. Madden 04 Michael Vick

As the first true dual-threat quarterback of the modern Madden era, there’s simply no way the current NFL on FOX analyst could stop at a game with his image on the cover. He starts off with too much speed and passes too accurately for even the best defensive game plan to contain.

Since then, no one like Vick has appeared in Madden – that’s by design. Madden developer Clint Oldenburg In an interview in 2016, it was revealed that Several features added in subsequent Madden releases, such as the popular “Hit Stick” and the less popular and discontinued “QB Vision”, were added specifically to counteract Vick. It’s as if they’re Frankenstein trying to stop a monster of their own creation.

Additionally, the Madden player rating system has been significantly changed so that no player is as overwhelmingly dominant in so many different ways as Vick.

Unfortunately for the real-life Vick, the Madden cover curse came true that year, as he missed most of the 2003 NFL season with a broken leg.

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