Available on both DS and Wii, the game was launched to celebrate the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, and is actually licensed by the International Olympic Committee, becoming the first official video game of that year’s Olympics. The game also holds another record: it was the first official Mario and Sonic crossover.
I had the game for Wii and have fond memories of it. While often overshadowed by Wii Sport and Wii Fit, the game is really worthy of merit. It features 20 Olympic-based events, classified into athletics, gymnastics, shooting, archery, rowing, aquatics, fencing, and table tennis. These include a very broad range of events, such as trampolining, single sculls, individual epee and all four official Olympic jump events. The instructions do, however, hasten to add that “the rules used in some events may be different from the official rules.”
Despite being affiliated to the 2008 Games, the game has retained its relevance and is still incredibly enjoyable, with very little of it being specifically tied to that year’s Games in Beijing. Later releases of the game have tied in to Winter Olympics too, broadening the variety of events available even further.
You can play as a range of characters from across the two franchises, with each having their own abilities, meaning some perform better at some sports than others. While the 2008 version features eights playable characters from each franchise, later instalments have introduced further characters including Toadette, Diddy Kong and Birdo. Unfortunately in my house we only have two Wii remotes, but for those who have more it makes for a fun multiplayer experience for parties.
If you’re bad at sport, like me, but like playing on the Wii, like me, and getting into the Olympic spirit of things, like me, then this is a great investment.
A firm favourite of mine when I was younger, the excitement and thrill of Stick Cricket never ceased to keep me entertained for ages. It may not be as flashy as your FIFA or Madden played on xBox or PlayStation, but the mobile game is perfection. Its format follows normal cricket rules and allows you to play as batsman or bowler, unlocking more shots and styles as you play. Stick Cricket gets the nod for its sheer simplicity, although I have discovered the franchise has expanded since my youth with games such as Ashes domination and IPL franchises to play.
The Fifa games are staples of gaming culture for many football fans across the world. I remember going to 'Game' when I first properly got into football and buying all their old Fifas for 10p each! You may be wondering why I picked out 'Fifa 15' as a highlight? Well, for any fans of Ultimate Team, the game mode in which you build your own XI using real-life players, you may remember that AS Roma had a front three which were unstoppable on the game. Whilst you may think that being good at Fifa requires skill, all you needed in Fifa 15 was fast players, and Roma's front three of Doumbia, Ibarbo and Gervinho were literally unstoppable. I had countless hours of fun countering my opponents with over-the-top through balls and blistering speed, and will be forever indebted to Fifa for catalysing my love of the game.