Nintendo’s ground-breaking handheld gaming device, the Game Boy, turns 25 years old today. Its crazy to think that its been so long and the Game Boy has well and truly become a Game Man. Nearly every household had a Game Boy at some point, and so many people have fond memories of the classics like Tetris, Super Mario World: Six Golden Coins, Zelda: A Link To The Past etc. But the Game Boy also offered a lot for the sports fan, and we at Balls.ie are celebrating this gaming milestone with a Top 10 countdown of the best sports games available for Nintendo’s amazing little brick of entertainment.

10. Ken Griffey Jr. Presents MLB

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Ken Griffey Jr. (who may be best known to us for his case of gigantism in the absolutely fantastic baseball episode of The Simpsons) starred in a baseball where simplicity was the driving factor behind the enjoyment, but the game still had an incredible amount of detail and a bloody brilliant Home Run Derby mode.

9. NBA Jam

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Basketball was surprisingly popular in the UK during the early 90′s, when Michael Jordan’s Bulls were running amok, and NBA Jam was the go to game for the wannabe ballers. Quick and frantic 2v2 gameplay with NBA rosters, this game was just pure fun.

8. FIFA 98 Road To The World Cup

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IT. HAD. INDOOR. MODE! What else do we need to say? It had all the clubs and countries of the console versions, and solid early EA Sports gameplay, but honestly if they just released a game with indoor mode it would have been enough to make the top 10.

7. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2

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That phase where you were determined to learn how to ollie also probably featured pestering your Mum to buy you Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 on the Game Boy. The game itself was great, it had loads of levels and an intuitive control scheme, but it’s success was no doubt driven by the new wave of pre-teens who listened to Limp Bizkit and fell on their arse all day every weekend in failed attempts to make the X-Games.

6. Ronaldo V-Football

This was a great little football game. El Fenomeno was so good in 1999 that they gave him his own game for Playstation and Game Boy, the latter version being the better of the two.

5. Knockout Kings

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With Muhammed Ali as the cover star, Knockout Kings was a really enjoyable boxing game for the Game Boy Colour. The comical big heads were as easy on the eye as the controls were to master.

4. International Superstar Soccer

One of the early football games on Game Boy was also probably the best. ISS was the grandfather of Pro Evolution Soccer for Konami, and its first outing on Game Boy was a seriously good game. The fake player names only made it more endearing.

3. Golf

While Nintendo clearly didn’t spend too much time at the meeting to come up with the name for this 1990 classic, “Golf” was one of the best experiences available on the Game Boy in the early years.

2. Track And Field

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Konami made a whole host of great games for the Game Boy, but none were as addictive as Track and Field. This button mashing classic had you competing for high-scores until the batteries died, but nothing could stop you trying to shave a tenth of a second off your 100m hurdles time.

1. Mario Tennis

 

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What a brilliant game. Mario Tennis was not only a bloody cracking tennis game, but it also had a ridiculously deep story mode that made the game feel like Pokemon-meets-Tennis in a Mario World. Amazing.

 

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