8 Of The Best Weird Sports Games
Are made-up videogame sports better than real ones? If this list of weird sports games that came to PlayStation is anything to go by, then yes, yes they are…
It says something that this violent interpretation of American football starring Orcs, Dwarves and Lizardmen is probably one of the least outlandish sports games on our list. This World Of Warcraft themed take on America’s favourite sport takes the unintuitive approach of blending sport with turn-based mechanics. But, it works. If you haven’t played the original, but think it’s up your street, Blood Bowl 2 has got a sequel on the way to PS4 on 22 September.
We doubt that when anyone bought Final Fantasy VIII, that they’d spend hours playing a fictional underwater sport, but that’s exactly what happened. Blitzball is played in a floating sphere of water by teams of six, who don’t drown because of magic flies or something. The objective of the game is simple – outscore your opponent by getting the ball into their goal more times than they get it in yours. Blitzball veterans will remember the quest to unlock the powerful Jecht Shot, which would net you guaranteed goals.
The game of Speedball – surely inspired by the film Rollarball – is a violent one based around throwing a metal ball into the other team’s goal, whilst smashing anyone on the other team trying to do the same to you to the ground (you can actually gain points if you manage to injure them). Speedball 2 added new mechanics, such as score multipliers located on the walls that you could activate in order to bag you more points when you scored. It’s a great multiplayer title that we remember fondly from the early 90s that also got a PS3 re-release in 2011.
It may have been presented as a mini-game within Super Monkey Ball 2, but for many people, Monkey Tennis sucked up an inordinate amount of time. If you hadn’t already guessed, Monkey Tennis is tennis with monkeys (monkeys inside balls, of course). As well as being a great deal of fun, the mode is surprisingly in depth, offering singles matches, doubles and a tournament mode.
Barabariball falls somewhere in between Super Smash Bros and volleyball. You’ve got to get the ball into you’re the water on your opponents side of the level and they try to do the same to you. As well as scoring points, you can lose them by sinking, which will happen if you run out of rechargeable jumps while desperately trying to save the ball from sinking into the depths to score your opponents two points. Oh, and you can punch your opponents too, which seems to be a theme in our list of fictional sports. It’s a bloody excellent multiplayer-only title that you can get as part of Sportsfriends on PS3 and PS4.
We’re making an exception for a non-PlayStation game in the form of Windjammers, because the game performs the not insignificant feat of making Frisbee exciting. The basics of the game are that you’ve got to chuck a disc across a net and try to get it past your opponent to hit the goal zones behind them. With character specific special abilities, counters, toss ups and curve throws, the game’s more complex and tactical than its simple set up might initially lead you to think.
Whoever called Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour ‘golf without limits’ clearly hadn’t played the PS2’s Ribbit King. The core of the game is that you’ve got to hit a frog into a hole with a mallet, but things are far more complicated than that. You can earn points by sending your frog into certain objects, having them swim, or eaten by gigantic worms, amongst other things. There are also special items that you can use to enhance your shots and help you navigate the game’s bizarre and occasionally brutal levels. Odd, but brilliant.
We spend a lot of time playing Rocket League, so it’s no surprise to see it appear on this list. The pitch for the game is: imagine football, but with cars. It seems like chaotic fun when you first start playing it, leaping at the ball with abandon, but when you start using your boost to perform aerial hits, score incredible goals and pull off spectacular saves, you realise that there’s a lot of depth to the game.