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Do Hardcore Gamers Even Care About Sports Games Anymore?

You know, when I was a kid, sports games were super huge. They were always some of the biggest releases every year, and you didn't have to be a sports fan to love 'em. Gamers loved Blades of Steel; they weren't necessarily hockey fans.

But these days, it seems as if only sports followers play the sports games, and the hardcore gamers are involved in just about any other genre. Action and action/adventure, combined with shooters of all kinds, seem to dominate the landscape, even though many of the major sports releases still sell relatively well. My question is whether or not the purchasers of Madden consider themselves avid gamers, or if they're simply football fans who buy a football game every year.

I mean, I remember wanting to play just about every new sports effort from EA, regardless of the sport in question. I don't even like hockey and I'll still play NHL '94 on the SNES to this day. I didn't really like basketball that much, either, but the amount of entertainment hours lost to Lakers vs. Celtics on the Genesis is...well, countless. These days, though, I have little to no interest in any sports games; it almost seems as if the industry has grown up and I've grown along with it. I don't wish to imply that sports games aren't "mature," but let's face it- the biggest strides taken these days are seen in other categories of dramatic interactive entertainment.

So are those who buy sports games these days more about sports than video games? Sometimes I wonder...

P.S. Not that I'm trying to insult sports fans.

Tags: sports games, hardcore gamers, gaming industry, gaming culture

4/26/2012 9:12:32 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (52 posts)

Jawknee
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 9:54:04 PM
Reply

The last sports game I cared about was Double Dribble on NES.

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Lemon_Saint
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 1:58:21 AM

That and Blades of Steel.

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Palpatations911
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 5:50:42 AM

No mention of Tecmo Bowl or Arch Rivals? gtfo.

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LowKey
Sunday, April 29, 2012 @ 2:07:51 AM

highly agree on blades of steel, Grade 1 I was rockin that game so hard. Still think the graphics in that game were waayy ahead of thier time. lol I still have the orginal cartridge with the orginal box, sleeve, book aaand Reciept. That reads November 23, 1990.

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Geobaldi
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 9:57:41 PM
Reply

Other then the hockey games, and baseball every now and then, I pretty much stopped playing sports games as I just don't get the enjoyment out of them as I used to. But me and my friends do get a few games of NBA Jam in as that is just crazy fun, but we all hate basketball otherwise. And though I wouldn't technically call it a sports game, a new Pole Position came out today, so I will have to try it.

Last edited by Geobaldi on 4/26/2012 9:58:20 PM

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Mogreen
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 9:58:49 PM
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I am a hardcore gamer but I'm a sports fan(Mainly basketball). I purchase the NBA2k series every year, that's the only 1 though. Gave up on madden long ago.

NBA2K series tries pretty hard to improve and innovate every year.

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TheIllusiveMan
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 10:06:14 PM
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Honestly, I think the annualization killed almost all of them. Slowly but surely. Once one company (basically: EA) bought the rights to any franchise and pumped out game after game with little to no improvement, it started taking its toll on the sales.

No game can continue to release worthy content on a year to year basis. They'd be better off releasing roster updates and tweaking the game for a year or 2, and making the new games every other year (or more). If they're just wanting money, charge for roster updates (like a year subscription and charge separately for small updates), and have fun little add-ons or whatever.

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LowKey
Sunday, April 29, 2012 @ 1:48:54 AM

"a year subscription and charge separately for small updates".... I am apalled by that statement... How would you like to have to pay extra everytime you go to, lets say a hockey game because your team got a new player?

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Jawknee
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 10:18:08 PM
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Oh and Ken Griffy Jr.'s baseball on SNES was pretty fun too.

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slugga_status
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 7:17:21 AM

That game was addicting..still have to this day

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JLB1
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 10:36:24 PM
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Well, I get every MMA game(UFC Undisputed 3 comes in tomorrow!). Football games, I get every 2-3 years, the same with basketball. I have yet to get any hockey, and soccer games. As for baseball, last one I played was a slugfest game

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DazeOfWar
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 10:42:10 PM
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I really wanted to get back into baseball games but I just have a hard time playing them over all the other great story based games I have. I bought MLB12 for the PS3 and Vita but ended up getting rid of the Vita version since I haven't really played either version. One of these days I'll play the PS3 version. Maybe when my brother-in-law comes over. lol

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JDC80
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 10:42:22 PM
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The only sports games I go out my way to get every season are NBA either 2k or Live, NHL and MLB the Show when it price drops. Something about playing with my hometown teams never gets old. I do like Madden but for some reason I don't have the same need to buy Madden year after year like with NBA,NHL and Major League Baseball.

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cLoudou
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 11:07:38 PM
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I am a sports fan but I don't play much of the sports games. I do buy Madden, and NBA 2Ks for my brother to play.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 11:13:38 PM
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I remember my first sports game for the NES: Major League Baseball. I been kind of quiet when it comes to the sports games this gen.

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dmiitrie
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 11:18:20 PM
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About once every 5ish years, I'll buy the most recent NCAA Football and will really enjoy that. I'll also forget that I generally don't like Madden, get that as well, and then not enjoy it.

Every time this happens, I'm always just slightly confused that I like the NCAA game much better than the NFL game despite preferring the real NFL infinitely more than real college football.

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Deano34249
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 11:26:36 PM
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NHl, UFC, and The Show are the three sports titles that i play. However, the annual release cycle kills it for me. This year i bought nhl, but passed on The Show. I will probably switch off between the two from now on. UFC is a must own, its pretty much the only title that i play exclusively online. As the years have gone by i have turned into more of a hardcore gamer, but i will always need to have some sports title to play.

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BikerSaint
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 12:21:32 AM
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I don't like any sports games & never play them myself. But I do have a ton of them though, but only to fill in my various gaming collections.


And I'll only buy then once they've reached the $2 to $5 bargain bin, or when my local thrift shop gets them in & resells them for $3.

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Lemon_Saint
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 1:59:17 AM

A true collector!

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Jutter
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 12:24:04 AM
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Only sports game I play is NHL. They do a good job year after year with making subtle but notable changes that makes the game feel different from the year before. Also, I like some more minor changes like added rookies and updated gear. I'm a stickler for having everything perfect, from having the correct lineup to the goalie's pads.

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playaplus
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 12:26:46 AM
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Report on the PLAYSTATION ALL-STAR BATTLE ROYAL reveal...Parappa is on there :D Ok maybe i'm the only one excited about parappa the rapper

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inkme101
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 1:15:28 AM

source?

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Jawknee
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 2:01:31 AM

http://playstationlifestyle.net/2012/04/27/playstation-all-stars-battle-royale-is-official-coming-exclusively-to-ps3/

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Alejandro562
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 12:31:51 AM
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Well i consider myself a hardcore gamer , i have 20 platinums, and i buy fifa every year and love boxing games so yes i think sports games are still in the eyes of the "hardcore gamer".

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Cpt_Geez
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 12:51:39 AM
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The only sports games I buy annually are madden, NBA 2k and MLB the show.

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Jed
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 2:23:56 AM
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I played many baseball, basketball, and football games going back to my Genesis days. I had a great baseball game for Sega Gamegear, and really liked Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest on Gameboy Color.

After that a would play the occasional baseball game, and I loved NFL2K on the Dreamcast, then later on PS2. I was really pissed when the NFL sold their rights to EA.

Since then I've tried Madden 07, but just didn't like it. I want to pick up MLB: The Show, but as a Rangers fan it's hard to buy a game with Albert Pooholes on the cover. Hopefully they will put Josh Hamilton on the cover next year. After being AL MVP in 2010 I was surprised when they didn't. Hamilton is on a tear this year, and definitely deserves it.

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JackDillinger89
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 2:35:34 AM
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No sports games for me, just rpgs, action/adventure and shooters third person and fps.

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Palpatations911
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 3:31:31 AM
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I don't hear any 2K or Undisputed fans complaining about having too many releases. Those games are good.

For me it is the EA Sports games that are bad. Mostly because of Madden and the now defunct NBA LIve series.

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MartyRules
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 4:48:01 AM
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Lack of competition hurt football sales that's for sure

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dlte
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 6:16:55 AM
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I guess it would depend on a gamers preferences. I think that being a big gamer and big sports fan is not mutually exclusive.

Personally, I get around a sports game a year and have 2 I play regularly (NHL Hitz 2002, NBA Street), although I wouldn't say I'm a hardcore or casual gamer (kinda in between).

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tes37
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 6:41:25 AM
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I don't know if I'd be considered a hardcore gamer by anyone, but I have MLB12 for the vita. Racing and Billiards always find their way into my libraries as well. Hockey will be next on the list. Football never makes it in, I just don't like it.

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slugga_status
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 7:32:12 AM
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Sports games still have a place with a hardcore gamer as myself. NBA 2K series is hands down the best basketball sim. I haven't played many baseball games but I started again last year with MLB 2K11 and might get MLB 12: The Show if I can find a get deal for it.

I've got every single Fight Night as well. Those games are as close to realistic boxing as we'll get...for now.

Madden is just old to me now. They don't change much. Just got boring to me over the years. But surprisingly I do enjoy the NCAA series. It's more exciting for some reason and I like the recruiting aspects.

In all I just think over time sports games began to become more realistic. Where in our younger years they were more so arcade based fun. This didn't jive with some people and some people liked it.

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___________
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 7:41:40 AM
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only an american could ask that question!
points to fifa and the euro DLC released recently.
madden and baseball may be "casual" games, but soccer most certainly is NOT!
and yes here its soccer, so sue me!

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 8:03:23 AM
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I have never been into sports in general, I don't mind playing some, but I find watching most sports just boring. So when it comes to sports videogames I'm not really interested in all honesty.

I have Fight Night Round 3, which I don't mind playing every now and again, but I find with sports games, in truth, they just don't progress. You look at the pre-owned sections within game stores, they're always flooded with previous years installments. It's difficult to impliment any sense of value to a game which just rehashes all the previous content with minor additions. I have Fight Night Round 3, but am content with that, I feel no need to go out and buy FNR4 because it does not add anything new which interests me.

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Norrin Radd
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 8:26:48 AM
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I used to play a lot of sports games. I stopped football when 2K lost the license. Now it's The Show yearly and EA's NHL every other year.

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Underdog15
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 8:41:20 AM
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There shouldn't be any question about the fact that I play games from all genres.

I still love to play MLB the show titles, I like NHL every few years. I play other sports titles too, but I don't buy them really. A week-long rent from gameaccess is enough for me.

I definitely buy MLB the show most years though. Can't help it. I'm a big gamer, yes, but I'm also a huge mlb fan.

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wackazoa
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 9:56:02 AM
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I dont see why you cant be a hardcore gamer playing ONLY sports games. I have a cousin who plays Madden professionally, and he's pretty hardcore. I think we tend to make generalizations that you have to do certain things to be considered X.

And I have a female cousin that plays only sims PC games and she can play that stuff for hours. She builds clothes, furniture, and buildings and rewrites code to make the game better for her. I consider that hardcore.

I suck at video games. I have GTA4,RDR,Skyrim,Assasins Creed,MLB the show, and even COD:MW2. And the only one I've ever beaten was MW2. But I play when I can. But just because I play those I dont think that makes me Hardcore...

Last edited by wackazoa on 4/27/2012 9:57:00 AM

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Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 10:21:38 AM
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FIFA + no assists + decent opposition = Pretty much true-to-life representation. I play football a lot & I like how my football knowledge (e.g. knowing what pass to pick and when) translates into a game.

Keepers are still comically brain-dead though. I swear, I scream anytime the ball goes into my own box, because I know I'll run to the ball, the keeper will automatically come out, bump into me, and the ball with ricochet into my own goal. ARGH.

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Frenchy17
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 11:01:17 AM
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I play Fifa, MLB The Show, and NCAA Football every year along with what you consider hardcore gamer games. I think if you played sports growing up and games, you will still play sports games.

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pottejd
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 11:41:48 AM
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Before I started working two jobs for sixty hours a week, and going back to graduate school full time, I would've considered myself a hardcore gamer, and I always loved the sports titles. At least the titles for the sports I enjoyed watching on a regular basis.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 12:00:44 PM
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no

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Excelsior1
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 12:31:46 PM

Short and to the point. I agree. Sports games are definitely talked about a lot less today. All of the genres Ben mentions seem to get way more attention. The last sports title I did buy was Madden 2001 on the PS2's launch day. I loved it at the time and thought there was a big graphical leap. On the PS1 you could see the actual polygons just sitting there clipping or flickering. I was a big fan of the now defunct Midways NFL Blitz on the PS1 as well. It was fun, and over-the-top with hard hitting players flying around and bodyslams. Way more of arcade like gameplay that I used to unwind with after work. I did also own NBA Live and on the PS1.

My sister broke up with her boyfriend years ago. He just left all his Gamecube games at her house. Yes, he took his GC with him. Anyways, I was lucky enough to be given NCAA Football, Madden, and NBA live. Free games but I was missing the system. That convinced me to go buy a GC when Wal Mart ran a $99 GC sale on Black Friday. That plus all the Resident Evil exclusives. That RE remake looked absolutely stunning. Resident Eveil Zero was good too. I played the sports games a lot with friends and it was fun. I would not have bought them myself though.




Last edited by Excelsior1 on 4/27/2012 12:38:24 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 1:37:13 PM

hard to argue with free games, but I'd have sold the sports ones :)

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THEVERDIN
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 2:20:14 PM
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World series baseball on the Genesis loved that game

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ethird1
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 4:16:16 PM
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You CANNOT call yourself a hardcore gamer if you dont like any sports games at all. Period.

End of Line.

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BikerSaint
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 7:05:23 PM

"That's pure BS.....Think again"

Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/27/2012 7:06:08 PM

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Geobaldi
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 9:49:23 PM

Sorry. Try again.

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0_o
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 4:20:07 PM
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I play FIFA since 99! :)

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eclipse_gt_00
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 10:20:11 PM
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RBI Baseball and double Dribble on the NES... Kicking it old school...

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LowKey
Sunday, April 29, 2012 @ 1:59:34 AM
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OK, So as an avid hockey fan and an avid gamer I have this to say. I loved the old tyme NHL ganes. They felt a little more smooth control wise. These days they are so indepth and somewhat stiff feeling. I haven't bought an NHL game since NHL 2007, On my ps2. Now don't get me wrong Stick handling and puck control is really cool, but I find it hard to set up plays, and get the puck moving as I am sitting there and it feels like my guy is skating like a little old lady. So for me, if I end up buying a new NHL game, then yes, it is more about the sport than the actual game.

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Robochic
Sunday, April 29, 2012 @ 10:01:40 AM
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Not a fan of the sports games, unless you count disney golf lol

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EvilKen
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 1:09:43 AM
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I remember as a kid I loved NBA Jam. I like the newer version as well. And even though I'm not really a baseball fan, I still loved playing World Series Baseball '95 for the Game Gear lol

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