Chat with Jon Robinson
Ever since Robinson first handed the ball to Bo Jackson in "Tecmo Bowl," he has been mesmerized by the world of sports video games. He's been covering the gaming beat professionally for over 15 years, starting his career writing as "Johnny Ballgame" for GamePro magazine before becoming the founding editor of IGN Sports. Robinson co-wrote the book "The Madden Phenomenon," and his two latest works, "Rumble Road" and "WWE My Favorite Match," were released by Simon & Schuster in July 2010 and July 2012.
Send your questions now and join Robinson Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jon Robinson (2:01 PM)
What's up, everybody? Thanks for taking time to check out my Top 25 Sports Video Games feature. It was a lot of work, but extremely fun to do. Now, on to the questions...
What's your favorite sports game to play right now?
Jon Robinson (2:02 PM)
I'd addicted to MLB 13: The Show. I'm playing a season as the Giants, signed Grady Sizemore as my new left fielder, and dude is a straight beast! I just hope his virtual knees hold out better than his real ones.
What's your favorite non-sports video game of all time?
Jon Robinson (2:05 PM)
When I first bought my NES, the only two games I had were Super Mario Bros. and Pro Wrestling. Needless to say, I was an expert at saving Princess Peach and jumping off the top rope as Star Man. I still love both of those games, but to me, Super Mario Bros. is probably my favorite non-sports game ever made.
Rene (Salem, OR)
Two Questions: If Cena has to be out for an extended period of team for his "injury" (Still might be a work), who would you put the belt on? Also, how was Madden '05 chosen over Madden '04? Come on, son.
Jon Robinson (2:07 PM)
If Cena is out for an extended period, how about putting the belt on Daniel Bryan (Yes! Yes! Yes!), then having Bryan and Ziggler give us a Best of Seven series to unify the belts? CM Punk gets the winner.Madden 04 was insanely fun, but incredibly unbalanced. If you love offense, that's your game, but I prefer the way Madden 05 finally delivered some D in the name of the Hit Stick.
Hey John,Love the video game list that you just put out...do you think the NFL exclusive license will be opened up to multiple parties after it expires this year? Thanks
Jon Robinson (2:11 PM)
Man, I hope so, but to be honest, I'd be really surprised if that happened. From talking to people at the NFL, they seem to love only having to deal with one video game company, and with the success the Madden franchise has had throughout the years, I don't see EA Sports losing its grip on that license.I'd love to see NFL 2K return, though. Exclusive licenses have really hurt video games. No MVP, no NFL 2K, no fun for consumers.
You mentioned a 3 year cycle that EA was on with MVP ('03-'05) and NBA Live (again '03-'05). Does EA still do that 3 year cycle with NCAA and Madden? If so, what year of the cycle are we on now?
Jon Robinson (2:13 PM)
The three-year cycle was something the EA Canada guys were doing, and it's hard to argue with the results (two games in Top 25). The Tiburon guys handle development a bit differently, and I would bet right now, are focused on making sure they don't screw up the transition to the next gen consoles.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the worst Sports Video Game that you have Played?
Jon Robinson (2:17 PM)
Slam City with Scottie Pippen. It was one of those crazy full-motion video games back in the old 32X/Sega CD days and had some of the worst gameplay and worst trash talk you'll ever find. It was also like four CDs if I remember right, so you would watch the intro, then it would make you switch discs.Pippen even did the theme song for the game. "Bring it on! Bring it on! Bring it on!"
Drew (Napa, Ca)
Glaring omissions...Excitebike, Blades of Steel, Ken Griffey Baseball, Super Mario Cart, California Games...what gives?
Jon Robinson (2:21 PM)
This list seriously kept me up at night and was under constant revision. I started with about 50 games, narrowed it down to 40 (not so tough), got it down to 30 (a little more difficult), but making the cut from 30 to 25 was one of the more difficult things I've done. Games like Blades of Steel, Griffey, Track & Field, Hardball, and High Heat were all in the mix until the end, but cuts had to be made. Tough to knock some of these favorites out, especially when I love them all.
Which console is your favorite of All Time - Im on the very rare group that would vote for N64 - the Zelda and Mario games were incredible IMO
Jon Robinson (2:24 PM)
I think the NES is still my favorite console. Tecmo Super Bowl, RBI, Mike Tyson's PunchOut, Baseball Stars. So many classics. I was also a big fan of playing sports games on the Genesis back in the day. Bill Walsh, Madden Coach K, I can go on and on.
is women's wrestling in the WWE a lost cause?
Jon Robinson (2:27 PM)
It's up to creative to give us something (or someone) to care about. I think AJ Lee is great, but who will she work with? For every Trish, you need that Lita or Mickie James. This whole "secret admirer" storyline with Kaitlyn is pretty lame.
Ken (Orlando, Fla.)
Hey, Jon, it's Ken Griffey Jr. A lot of people liked my game... some of even said it should have been number one. But it wasn't on your list. Was it something personal toward me, or did you not enjoy it like so many others did?
Jon Robinson (2:29 PM)
Sorry, Ken, I liked your game, I really did, but to me, there are just so many other baseball games that are better. RBI, Baseball Stars, MVP 2005, MLB The Show. If only I did the Top 26 sports video games ever, maybe you'd be happy.
what was the criteria you used to determine the best games?
Jon Robinson (2:32 PM)
I tried to look at not only the fun factor, but innovation, lasting appeal, and the influence each game had on the genre. Making the list brought back so many fun memories for me, and I wanted the feature to be a celebration of these classic games.
Will Madden 25 include the legends? Or is Barry Sanders being on the cover just a ploy to sell more copies?
Jon Robinson (2:34 PM)
I expect there to be legends throughout the game, from Connected Franchise to Madden Ultimate Team to maybe a playable legends team in Exhibition.
be honest - after hearing the feedback on your list of 25 best sports games, is there anything you'd change if you could go back in time?
Jon Robinson (2:39 PM)
The Top 10 was pretty tough to sort out because there were some great games that were similar (NBA Jam versus NBA Street Vol. 2 and Madden 2005 versus NFL 2K5). I'm happy with the final list, though. Everybody is going to have that favorite that didn't make it, but these are my favorite games right here.
How was No Mercy ranked so high but no WCW-NWO Revenge (imo better gameplay and more enjoyable than No Mercy)?
Jon Robinson (2:43 PM)
Oh, you didn't know!?! This was another tough call, but if I had to only play one wrestling game for the rest of my life, it would be No Mercy. I have always liked WWE better than WCW, though, so maybe that's why I prefer one over the other.
Excitebike? How could that be left off?
Jon Robinson (2:46 PM)
Hmmm, I guess I never thought of it as a sports game. I used to design courses all day.
No love for Arch Rivals - you could punch someone rather than just steal the basketball ... and guys had spiked mohawks and head bands ...
Jon Robinson (2:47 PM)
If another basketball game was going to make the list, it would be Double Dribble. The first time I saw one of those dunks completely blew my mind back in the day.
Will the exclusive license every end? I see FIFA just extended to 2022 and I hope the nfl doesn't follow suit!
Jon Robinson (2:52 PM)
At least NFL fans still have Madden. If you're a baseball fan who only owns an Xbox, the exclusive really kills you. MLB 2K is the single worst sports gaming franchise around, and when you think back on the greatness that was MVP, it just really burns me up. Hope EA Sports and Major League Baseball can come to an agreement to bring MVP back on the next-gen systems.
Jon, are we ever going to see another college basketball game? With the addition of online franchises, recruiting online against friends could be more cutthroat than real life..
Jon Robinson (2:54 PM)
I think between the lack of sales and the lawsuits brought on by former players over likeness issues, the days of college basketball games are history. It pains me to say, but I just don't see either 2K or EA jumping back into this.
Jon Robinson (2:57 PM)
I have to run, but thanks everyone for the great questions. Now, if only I could get my suddenly-busted NES to turn back on...