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The Death of the Arcade Sports Game

blades-of-steel-01Growing up, I got an NES when I was about four or five years old. I had that console all the way until I was 11. Naturally, I logged a lot of hours on the dozen or so games that I did have for that system. Perhaps no game got put through its paces like Blades of Steel. I wasn’t the only one who did, though. Hockey fans all know about the classic game that had hitting everywhere, slap shots ricocheting off the boards and more than a few fights.

If you’re a child of the 90s, it might not have been Blades of Steel but there was certainly a classic sports game that was simple yet fun that you poured hours into. Football fans had Tecmo Super Bowl. Basketball fans spent their time on fire playing NBA Jam.

But look at the sports games released now. How many noteworthy sports game releases are what could be described as arcade-y? Not since 2010’s remake/updated NBA Jam released on the Wii have we had a new arcade-style sports game that wasn’t kart racer. It certainly seems as though a genre that has spawned quite a few cult hits is now all but dead.

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