Why we love it: Engaging 2-on-2 pick up ball with the best players of the mid-90s - Tisdale, Olajuwon, Malone, Pippin and Ewing to name just a few - with nothing but respect and trash-talking rights on the line. Jam was the b-ball game of its time with controls that consisted entirely of passes, turbo and incredible, leap-of-faith dunks. We still pull this game from the closet every few months and wonder, “Is it the shoes?”
Skill and luck often went hand in hand per game with only the score to represent the better player. And of course, nothing beats sinking three-pointer after three-pointer, while on fire. With up to four players on the court and games that were almost always too close for comfort, Jam made ballers out of every benchwarmer.
Would suck if:
More players per side, Formations, Complete lack of Boomshakalaka
Killing the quarterback, bribing the ref, trip mines
Why we love it:
Mention Madden and our collective eyes will glaze over. Strip out the boring and replace the (yawn) human players with legions of undead, aliens, or maybe even a fleet of robots and we’ll play that football game in a heartbeat. EA understood just how boring their pinnacle series could be and rushed to give us stadiums that resembled warzones (complete with landmines, fire pits and toxic waste). While gameplay was similar to other football games - playbook, timeouts - each team has only seven players per side and audibles that involve cheating.
Did we mention that we could absolutely destroy the opposing team? And not by score, either. We could literally exploderize an opponent into giblet soup with a big hit or knock him off the field into outer space. And if you happened to kill enough opposing players, then the other team had no choice but to forfeit. Madden won’t even let you set Brett Favre on fire. Hell, you can even bribe the ref to penalize the other team. If he’s getting on your last nerve, you can always kill the ref yourself. And c’mon - the Killer Konvicts spoofing the Dallas Cowboys? Pure gold. At least we have the upcoming Blood Bowl to look forward to.
Above: The Mutant League series spawned this awful cartoon. Roll clip!
Would suck if:
Players didn’t die, it was never remade
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