Games to cure your Olympic hangover

Above: Virtua Fighter 5 is every bit as deep as a real martial art

Sailing: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (Gamecube)
Sailing boats in games just isn't fun. Probably why the Waterworld Saturn game was canned in 1996. Nobody cares. But there is one exception and that's The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Sailing on a vast blue sea with little cel-shaded seagulls flying with you is one of gaming's most memorable moments. Sure, it can get dull after doing it for hours (though you can learn how to warp to new locations instead), but it really does feel like you're out on the ocean, on your own.

Above: The game looks just like this publicity artwork - a true classic

Shooting: Ghost Squad (Wii)
The shooting in Beijing 2008 is incredibly dull, drawn out and far too easy. And it doesn't even use a gun peripheral! Rubbish. So why not try Ghost Squad on Wii. Or, if you don't mind a little artistic license, how about the House of the Dead 2 & 3 return? Blowing zombie brains around the screen is much more fun that pulling R2 when a crosshair passes over a circle.

Above: Classic arcade dev team AM2 made this Wii-exclusive title

Tennis: Virtua Tennis 3 (PS3, PSP, Xbox 360)
Tennis isn't one of the sports you immediately think of when someone mentions the Olympic Games, but there are plenty of videogame iterations of it all the same. Virtua Tennis 3 is one of the most easily accessible and and it's playable online on Xbox 360. The minigames are inspired, too.

Above: Seeing Virtua Tennis 3running in 1080p is a revelation

Taekwondo: Dead or Alive 4 (Xbox 360)
OK, so there isn't a one-on-one fighter that we know of where you can kick the referee in the face (though some wrestling games allow it), so any official Taekwondo game is never going to live up to the controversial events of Beijing. But there are plenty of fighting games out there with even fewer morals. How about Dead or Alive 4 on Xbox 360, or even Def Jam: Icon on PS3? Plenty of below-the-belt fighting action.

Above: The Olympic arena looks so dull compared to the game's stages

Table Tennis: Rockstar's Table Tennis (Xbox 360, Wii)
The GTA-creators surprised everyone when they announced their first Xbox 360 game would be a straight table tennis game. But there it is – and it's actually surprisingly good. And far more controllable than the minigame in Sonic and Mario at the Olympics.

Above: Playing the videogame version requires a zen-like state of mind

Wrestling: WWE Smackdown! vs RAW 2009 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PSP)
How extreme do you want to go? There aren't, to our knowledge, any pure wrestling games on console. But there are the WWE SmackDown! vs RAW games, as well as TNA Impact if you don't mind the overly dramatised moves. If you want something a bit more realistic, there's the Ultimate Fighting Championship series, but that's not so much wrestling as disabling.

Above: Videogame wrestling is about as far removed from Olympic wrestling as you can get. And way more exciting.

Retro love for the golden age of joystick abuse

Button mashing isn't the only way to play

The only games that get geeks off the bench