Top 5 Olympics video games
Go for the gold!
As a rule, licensed games are rubbish, and the quadrennial Olympics lineup is no special exception, which is probably why this list has only five games on it, and four of them pre-date most of MyGaming’s readers, and one of them isn’t even a proper Olympics game.
5. Winter Games (Epyx, 1985)
This was one of the first (and only) games I had on my XT back in the 80s, so obviously I had to love it or I’d have had nothing to do after school. My favourite event was the biathlon because it combined skis and target shooting. With keyboard controls, of course. This was before the days of those newfangled electronical hamsters all you kids have now.
4. California Games (Epyx, 1987)
Okay, so technically it’s not an Olympics game, but earthquake-skateboarding should totally be an Olympic event. I mean, why does that stupid ball and ribbon gymnastics stuff make the cut, but this doesn’t? I bet it’s because skaters don’t wear leotards. DISCRIMINATIONS!
3. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (SEGA, 2007)
This one makes the list because, unlike all the others, it actually requires some physical exertion from players – just like the real thing, if the real thing included more wiggle-waggle. The Olympics could use a bit more wiggle-waggle, though. That and Wiimote fencing. I’d even go in for Wii shot put – it’s not like I’m using the console for anything else.
2. Caveman Ugh-Lympics (Electronic Arts, 1989)
EA’s Caveman Ugh-Lympics dumped all those pointless, tedious events like curling and golf, and focussed instead on practical sports and marketable life skills like fire-making, mate-tossing, and pole-vaulting Tyrannosaurus rexes. Always be prepared, especially for the Cretaceous Period. Jurassic Park could happen at any time, people, and you don’t want to be the guy who can’t outrun a saber-toothed tiger.
1. Video Olympics (Atari, 1977)
Atari’s Video Olympics was the very first ever Olympics-themed video game, but because it was also one of the very first ever video games at all, it was also basically just Pong. The game cartridge featured “50 video games”, according to the box, but that was really just fifty iterations of Pong pretending to be other sports.
They gave them clever names like Super Pong, Pong Doubles, and Quadrapong, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it was just… Pong. There’s so much to love about this, but I think the best part is that ping-pong was only made an official Olympic sport in 1988. Super Pong, Pong Doubles, and Quadrapong are presumably still on the waiting list.