The Best PS1 Sports Games

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The original PlayStation was Sony’s first console on the gaming market. When it was released, it changed the entire gaming market. For years, it had been Sega vs. Nintendo only. These two went at each other with ads such as “Sega does what Nintendon’t” which were iconic for their era. Once Sony hit the market, everyone started to see the rise of their console over the falling titan that was Sega. Sony’s console had a great library of games only a couple years after its launch. It boasted awesome graphics, sound, and controls which attracted a lot of players who did not like the Saturn’s lackluster library or Nintendo’s weird N64 controller.

One genre that has thrived throughout gaming is sports games. Even the first game ever created, Tennis for Two, was a sports game. It’s relatively easy to transfer real life games to the screen, which is partly why sports games will probably never go away. With 3D becoming an industry standard around the after the PlayStation’s release, sports games could be more realistic, experimental and immersive for players. The platform was home to some memorable titles which are held up as some of the best games of all time.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

2000’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 takes everything the original did well and makes it better. The game keeps the amazing gameplay from the original but adds some new flair. While being able to grind your way through eight awesome skateparks, Pro Skater 2 adds a feature where you are able to design and play on your very own custom skatepark. You can also create your own skater with the new Create Skater mode.

New ways to show off your sick tricks were also added like manuals which help you string gnarly moves together to impress everyone.

Another part of this game that makes it so iconic is its soundtrack. It features such 90’s hits like “Guerilla Radio”, “When Worlds Collide”, and “Blood Brothers”. Pro Skater 2 is a time capsule of late 90’s charm and a definite must play.


ISS Pro Evolution

Released in North America in the year 2000, ISS Pro Evolution is the third entry in the awesome ISS series by Konami. This game is perfect for any soccer fan, and has tons of customization features to make every player’s experience different.

For the first time in the series, Pro Evolution introduced club teams wherein you could play against 15 other famous European teams that were the best of the best around the year 2000.

You could transfer real players between clubs to get your own perfect roster. Pro Evolution is also extremely detailed, allowing for one of the most immersive soccer experiences of the era. This is an amazing soccer game that still holds up today.


Madden NFL 2001

If you love Madden football games, then this was one of the best football games of the time. Now you could recognize each stadium as they have been modelled after their real-life counterparts. EA also introduced eight different gameplay modes which allow you different types of play. These included Two-Minute Drill, Practice, Situation, Exhibition, Season, Custom League, Franchise, and Tournament Bowls.

For a quick game of football without a whole lot of customization, Exhibition is the way to go. For full-on customization, Season is the way to play. Take your team through regular season, playoffs and hopefully the Super Bowl. You can trade, sign and cut team members as long as your salary cap will allow it.

There are also two awesome customization modes, play creator mode and create-a-player mode. Create the best players and plays to dominate the league and put your team into the Hall of Fame.


NHL 2001

In this return to the rink by EA, you take your team throughout a full season of tough-as-nails ice hockey. There are five different game modes to choose from which include exhibition, season, tournament, playoffs, and shootout. Within these modes you can choose from the full roster of NHL teams, eighteen international teams, and four All-Star teams (international and All-Star teams are not available in season or playoff modes).

For the first time in EA’s NHL history, Big Hit and Big Shot buttons are available to change up the gameplay. The Momentum Meter is also introduced to affect how a team plays based upon the momentum of the game. This is an awesome game made for every kind of hockey fan.


NBA Live 2001

EA brings back the acclaimed NBA Live series for the 2000-2001 season. This game is more immersive than anything that has come before. Players can argue calls, interact with their team, and celebrate awesome baskets.
Real-life players and teams have been updated for this season allowing for period-perfect matchups. Live 2001 improves upon all of the features that made the series so great. The commentary is better, AI is more realistic, and the crowd is even more realistic to make sure players are immersed in the world of pro basketball. If you are looking for past familiar faces and a nostalgic feel, this game is perfect for you.


FIFA 2001

FIFA 2001 is EA’s homage to the world of major league soccer. FIFA is back and better than ever with more balanced gameplay and online-play. With seventy international teams and twelve MLS teams to choose from, there is always a new way to play. There are also exhibition, tournament, league, cup, season, and training modes to take different teams to victory.

FIFA 2001 brings better detail to the world as well, allowing for more immersive FIFA play with a roster of whoever you choose. EA also offers better AI to bring a new level of challenge to long-time players. This is one of the best soccer games on the system and a good find for any soccer fan.


Knockout Kings 2001

If you are looking for one of the best boxing games ever made, then Knockout Kings 2001 is the game for you. Tired of the lack of female fighter representation in boxing games? Knockout Kings now allows you to play as female fighters to bring a new level of representation to the world of female boxing.

Some familiar legends are represented as well with Ali, Frazier, Louis, Chavez, and Marciano to name a few. If playing as a real boxer is not what you are looking for, then personalize your own fighter and duke it out against the biggest names in boxing.

The realism in this game is nothing like what has been made before. As you fight through career mode, players can hear bone-crunching punches, advice from your corner man after each round, and realistic damage to your character. Knockout Kings 2001 is the game for any fans of boxing, casual or hardcore.


Matt Hoffman’s Pro BMX

If Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater does not scratch that gnarly trick-comboing action, then 2001’s Matt Hoffman’s Pro BMX is a game made for you. Much like Pro Skater, you traverse each course trying to pull off the sickest tricks with OutKast playing in the background.

While flipping around each course, you must collect magazine covers in order to unlock new areas to try out brand new tricks and show off your BMX skill. The bigger and better the trick is, the more points you can gain which also unlock new levels. This is a must-play for any fans of BMX, sick tricks, or an awesome soundtrack.


Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX

Can Matt Hoffman’s Pro BMX and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater still not quench your thirst for comboing the sickest tricks? Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX is another awesome trick landing game that tops off the PlayStation’s library off crazy skatepark action.

You can bike freely to do awesome tricks and complete objectives or compete against pros in competition mode and unlock plenty of new bikes, sponsors, secrets, and levels to keep you coming back for more action. There is plenty of variety in each level allowing you to chain together bigger and better tricks and show the pros who’s boss.

This game also features a multiplayer mode so players can show their friends that they are the real BMX pro. This is icing on the cake for anyone searching for great PlayStation action.


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  • Updated April 29, 2020
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