Best Super Nintendo Sports Games
The SNES offered a ton of different sports games to choose from. Some suffered from poor frame rates, terrible controls or mechanics, bad viewing angles or were just flat out bad games. In today’s review, you’ll find out the best sports games released on the Super Nintendo. We’ll be covering the top 10 of the best Tennis, Soccer, American Football, Hockey, Baseball, Boxing and Basketball games and there won’t be anything mediocre on this list.
If you're interested in more sports games, check out our list of the best Sega Genesis sports games.
Table of Contents
First to the plate is Super Tennis produced by Nintendo. An early Super Nintendo release. It’s a simple and easy to learn tennis game that is best played with a friend in the versus mode.
The use of Mode 7 the way the ball spins in the air is a nice added touch. Believe me, this is the only Super Nintendo tennis game worth playing today.
Championship Soccer ’94
Upon first glance Championship Soccer ’94 might not look like much but don’t let that fool you. The graphics are very basic and the Player sprites are tiny but that’s to help with seeing most of the pitch. What I like about Championship Soccer 94 is the way you can put a spin on the ball.
It gives the game an Arcade style simplicity to a soccer game on the Super Nintendo. Championship Soccer 94 feels exactly how a soccer game should play with the pitch size and the way the players move around the field. If you’re looking for a fun soccer game on the Super Nintendo check out Championship Soccer 94.
International Superstar Soccer Deluxe
International Superstar Soccer Deluxe lets you chose between 36 countries. No, you’re not going to get real names in the game but at least the countries are real. Konami did end up revealing the real names of the players that are on the pitch. Was Italian superstar Roberto Baggio is actually named Galfano?
It looks like an arcade game, had great controls and moves to execute. There’s a bunch of modes like a world cup to a league mode. There’s even narrators that yell when you score a GOOOOOAAAALL. International Superstar Soccer is world class football on the Super Nintendo.
Madden NFL ’98
Madden 98 finally gets it right. The view perspective is behind the offensive line no matter if you’re on offense of defense. This works fine in my opinion. There’s a ton of play choices to choose from, just be careful if you’re not paying attention you might end up choosing a running play on 4th and 20.
Madden 98 improves on the earlier releases, there's no more noticeable slowdown, passes seem to be much more fluid and the game itself just feels like a good football game for today’s standards. We consider Madden 98' to be the best SNES Madden game by a long shot.
Tecmo Super Bowl III – Final Edition
This 16 bit version of Tecmo Super Bowl feels like the old school NES Tecmo Bowl given bigger sprites and better sounds. You got real teams and real players and a ton of game modes, what's not to like here? It’s one of the few American football games that make the side view perspective work which is exactly what you’re used to seeing on NFL Sundays.
The running in Tecmo Super Bowl 3 is in a distinct zig zag pattern that lets you juke and jive past defenses for rushing yards. Throwing felt great and I didn’t spend too much time selecting a play which I find slows down the gameplay too much. Tecmo Super Bowl is Easily the best Football game on the Super Nintendo.
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball
The first and only baseball game on this list is Ken Griffey Jr Presents Major League Baseball and for good reason. Pitching is extremely smooth. You can move the pitcher along the plate to control the type of pitch being thrown over the plate.
Fielding was great, the camera was zoomed out far enough to give you a chance to make a catch. Hitting was great and the computer AI was realistic. I also liked the extra animations that give major league baseball that flair like cracking the bat on your knee after striking out.
If you like SNES baseball games, check out our review of all of the baseball games released on the Super Nintendo.
NBA Give 'N Go
NBA Give and GO is another release by Konami. The games pacing and action will draw in most people looking for a go to basketball game on the Super Nintendo. The controls are very easy to learn.
Dunking is exciting. Alley oops are downright hilarious. You even had the full team and player license unlike the soccer release by Konami. It’s just too bad that my Toronto Raptors weren’t a franchise yet and didn’t make it into the game.
Hockey Talk, NHL 94 made the roster and is an instant classic hockey game that set the benchmark for years to come. It brought the one timer to hockey video games. Something that is used constantly after each release.
Did you know that there’s a NHL 94 rewind that's a tribute to NHL 94 with updated rosters, player ratings, heck there’s even Vegas Knights in the game. Every year I always see the newest NHL release and always think, Hmm is this one really better than NHL 94? The answer is often no.
Super Punch Out
There aren’t many boxing games to write home about on the Super Nintendo except for Super Punch Out which is the 1994 sequel to Mike Tyson's Punch Out.
You can still punch in both directions, duck out of the way or block a punch but now you have a momentum meter that lets you do all kinds of super attacks like uppercuts or hooks. Super Punch Out stands out well with its colorful graphics and art style and is a great experience of a boxing game on the Super Nintendo.
NBA Jam Tournament Edition
Finally we have NBA Jam Tournament Edition on the Super Nintendo. Even if you don’t like sports games, NBA jam is a clear exception to the rule. Just look at what's going on.
From the insane moves you can pull off, to the announcers shouting out ridiculous catch phrases from the 90s, the net literally catching fire when you score a bunch of points to the extra characters you can unlock like bill or Hilary Clinton. There’s even Heavy D, the Fresh Prince and even members of the Beastie Boys. NBA Jam is a fantastic arcade basketball game and set the bar for years to come.