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7 Sports Game Franchises That Need to Come Out of Retirement

/ Jul 15th, 2014 2 Comments

NCAA Football 14

When Michael Jordan came out of retirement in 1995, he quickly re-established himself as the best player in the NBA and led the Chicago Bulls to three championships. But even Jordan knows not all comebacks end so happily. Jordan unretired again in 2001, this time playing for the Washington Wizards. Despite the comeback’s bright moments, the NBA’s once greatest player was a shell of his former self.

Fans often hold their favorite sports game franchises in the same high regard as Jordan. Many sports franchises have come and gone throughout the years, but the special ones leave a legacy that lasts a lifetime and keeps gamers wanting more. These seven sports game franchises should be revived to their former glory.

MVP Baseball

MLB The Show is one of the best sports franchises currently running. However, it is a PlayStation exclusive, leaving Xbox owners with no option for a baseball sim. For years, fans have clamored for the return of EA Sports’ baseball title, MVP Baseball.

MVP Baseball

MVP Baseball 2005

MVP Baseball 2005 was a shining example of baseball greatness but there hasn’t been an EA Sports baseball game since. While EA has denied the company has plans for reviving the popular MLB sim, that hasn’t stopped hopeful baseball fans from requesting a second coming of MVP Baseball.


When ESPN NFL 2K5 released for $19.99, Madden publisher EA was scared. EA purchased the exclusive rights to the official NFL license, effectively ending the successful NFL 2K franchise. ESPN NFL 2K5 was the last entry in the series and is still regarded by many as the best football game ever.



Madden is beginning to wear thin with football purists, as the video game experience has grown throughout the past few years to overpower football strategy. The NFL 2K series may not immediately pick up where it left off, but a little competition could be exactly what the Madden franchise needs.

NBA Street

If there is one sports franchise that would benefit from next-gen technology, it is NBA Street. The last game in the franchise, NBA Street Homecourt, released in 2007 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

NBA Street Homecourt

NBA Street Homecourt

Modern consoles would not only enhance player and environment visuals, they would also allow for deeper character customization. To make this comeback story more compelling, the game could bring additional NBA legends out of retirement. Could an NBA Street reboot be another Jordan comeback story?

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

Tony Hawk recently revealed he is working on a new video game. Hold your excitement though–it is being developed for mobile devices.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD

Hawk and company would do well to ditch the funky peripherals and different gameplay styles for a return to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater form. A fully-HD environment with the mind-boggling tricks, destructible and reactive levels, and quirky unlockable characters would be a sure-fire next-gen hit.

NCAA Football

NCAA Football is the most recently canceled franchise to make this list. In fact, this upcoming season will be the first year since 1993 without a new installment to the series. Due to ongoing legal issues between former collegiate athletes and the NCAA, EA Sports had no choice but to kill off NCAA Football.

NCAA Football 14 PS3 Review

NCAA Football 14

Fortunately, NCAA Football 14 was the best game the franchise has offered and may have been the best football game of the console generation. Unfortunately, fans will be left wanting more for the foreseeable future as the franchise has been abandoned.

College Hoops 2K

College basketball no longer gets the video game love it deserves. Since the College Hoops 2K franchise abruptly ended with College Hoops 2K8, gamers have been left with little options to fulfill their NCAA hoop dreams.

College Hoops 2K8

College Hoops 2K8

2K Sports has no intention of reviving the college basketball title, which is disappointing considering the possibilities created by the NBA 2K series. A college basketball version of MyCareer could take players from signing day all the way to the pros and legendary players could fill old school rosters.

NFL Blitz

NFL Blitz will never have the opportunity to be what it once was thanks to strict oversight by the NFL. Fans of the original will never get the post-play tackles and wrestling moves back–needless to say the pill-popping, steroid-shooting ways of Blitz: The League.

NFL Blitz

The recent version of NFL Blitz was not the same.

The downloadable NFL Blitz title that released in 2012 was a worthy reboot, but the over-the-top spirit of previous Blitz games was obviously absent. Ditching the NFL license could sidestep the league’s regulations, but it is likely that an NFL Blitz title will never integrate the trash talking and violence of the classic arcade game.


Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
Ryan Bloom

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2 responses to “7 Sports Game Franchises That Need to Come Out of Retirement”

  1. Michael Christopher Dombrowski says:

    EA, its time for a new MVP Baseball.

    • Ryan Bloom says:

      I really wish this would happen! I’m afraid it would crash and burn like NBA Live, but I’d be willing to take that risk.

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