Sometimes, the realms of reality are not enough when it comes to sports in video games. Sure, developers have a lot to choose from, but do you really expect normal American football to exist in a dystopian cyberpunk future? Wouldn’t it be cooler if you replaced the players with spike studded mechs?
Some fictional sports that come out of games actually seem feasible, while some will just make you sit back and scratch your head. Sure, you could have a literal javelin missile throwing contest, but why would you? Dust off your cleats, anyway. It’s time to get weird.
8 Soccer, But With Sweet Cars: Rocket League
If the phenomenon of Rocket League has somehow escaped you, let this entry correct this: Rocket League is a free to play game where you play a game like soccer, but instead of using your feet, you’re using rocket-powered sports cars. “That sounds impractical,” you might say, “and ludicrously expensive. It would never work."
Except, if you think about it, in the world of Rocket League, people regularly pump money into this absolutely ridiculous idea, making it a worldwide phenomenon. Who has that kind of capital to throw away? And, more importantly, who cares?
7 The Most Xtreme Sport: Toxic Grind
So you’re a BMX biker ripped from time, injected with a toxin that will kill you, and forced to compete in a Tony Hawk-style trick battle inside a dome filled with spinning blades. Could things get worse? Probably, but try not to think about it. You can’t do any of these Xtreme tricks if you’re worried about your inevitable doom.
Even though it was released in 2002 exclusively for the Xbox, Toxic Grind screams 1990s. And, like certain flavors of Mountain Dew released in the same era, you’ll probably want to forget you tried it, despite its kooky premise.
6 Pretty Much All Of It: Numan Athletics
You’d think that the people representing next step in human evolution would have more on their mind than competing against each other in a series of bizarre sporting events, but not these guys! Instead of saving the world or allowing their bodies to be studied by science, these super powered mutants instead concern themselves with how much farther they can throw rockets than anyone else, or proving that they can leap over a waterfall.
Like many sports arcade games in the '90s, Numen Athletics featured six fairly simplistic minigames that tested your reflexes and speed. Unlike most of those games, Numan Athletics gave you a mode where you could compete against your friends to chop as many boulders in half as you could. Now there’s a sport to liven up the Olympics.
5 Racketball Deathmatch: Lethal League
Think back to that kid on the elementary school baseball team who liked hitting people with the ball rather than hitting home runs, and you’ll come close to what it’s like to play lethal league. A mix of a fighting game and a tennis sim, Lethal League’s rules, such as they are, appear to be: hit other people as hard as you can with the ball, but don’t you dare hit them with anything else!
The game and its sequel, Lethal League Blaze, are incredibly fun to play, requiring precise timing and skill, but the actual sport is a bit strange, since competitors are actively trying to kill their opponents with what appears to be a small, electronic ball.
4 The Most Lethal Game Of Golf Ever: Ninja Golf
Sure, golf probably needs some spicing up to make you interested. But you would be excused for thinking that adding hordes of Ninjas trying to slice you into ribbons in between holes might be a bit too much cayenne. Yet this is exactly the flavor that Blue Sky Software added to the stale leftovers of the sport when it released Ninja Golf in for the Atari 7800 in 1990.
The game never tells you why killing countless enemies is worth teeing off for, but let’s hope you weren’t planning on having a few drinks with your buddies during a relaxing game. They’ve all been eaten by mutant frogs.
3 Axe Pong: Log Jammers
With axe throwing ranges popping up in cities across the globe, you might think that Log Jammers would be just another lumberjack themed simulator where you don’t throw hatchets at other people. You’d also be wrong. This pong-inspired game involves you, sometimes a lumberjack, sometimes a bear, sometimes a skeleton, floating on a log and trying to chuck your axe at an opponents’ goalpost. The catch here is that, to defend against your opponent’s axe throws, you’ll have to get in front of that whirling circle of steel and catch it in midair.
Your characters don’t seem too concerned with this idea. After all, they’re all hairy, muscled men and ogres who probably eat gravel for breakfast just to show how tough they are. However, this doesn’t lessen the danger of tossing a sharp implement back and forth between friends, or make it any less bonkers.
2 Mystical Basketball: Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden
Basketball isn’t a sport in Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden. It’s a weapon, one so powerful that thousands of Basketball players were killed in retaliation after a single Chaos Dunk left a crater of what was once Manhattan Island. Still, some players remain to use their powers for good. You are one such player, an aging Charles Barkley, who is the one thing standing between our world and the flames of chaos.
Released in 2008, Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden took the campy stakes of basketball in Space Jam and turned it up to eleven, creating a JRPG style cyberpunk world where basketball is a form of magic and a single dunk taps into cosmic powers.
1 Sort Of Baseball, But Not Really: Blaseball
Beginning in 2020 as an ongoing alternate reality baseball simulator where you could vote to change the rules of the game, and members of the ridiculously named teams would be set on fire by rogue umpires, the game has only gotten weirder since its release. People encased in peanut shells due to the anger of an elder being? Stats like Unthwackability and Shakespearianism? A team that has somehow gained electric blood? Is this even a sport anymore?
While you’ll probably never see Blaseball actually played, and, unlike many sports games, you aren’t the one playing the sport, Blaseball has one of the most surreal narratives ever conceived, making you feel, if you’ve just stumbled onto the game by accident, that you’ve stumbled into another world.
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