Ranking the 10 most dominant video game athletes of all time

Jordan Cohn
June 05, 2020 - 12:33 pm

There's one guy I want to pay tribute to before we get underway with this list.

He's tall, stringy and deceptively athletic. On the mound, he throws the meanest mixture of devastating curveballs, time-altering changeups and blazing heat, making him one of the greatest pitchers I've ever had to play against. He's knockdown from three-point land and can pull off an insane dunk where he contorts in midair like nothing I've ever seen. His technical ability in tennis and golf is unrivaled. He's perhaps the best defensive soccer player in his very talented group of peers.

I'm talking about Waluigi, of course. I didn't even get into his non-ball sport ability, either.

Unfortunately, though, Waluigi and the rest of the fictional sports world will not be included on this list, with one unique exception. That means that the evil, purple Nintendo figure will join the likes of Pablo Sanchez and Little Mac on the sidelines. Perhaps their time will come on a separate list.

But for this list, I've gone ahead and named the 10 most dominant video game characters in history. A slight caveat: I've only allowed one name per franchise, so although there technically could be a more dominant character that's missing from the list, it's likely because they fail to supersede another athlete from the same video game franchise.

Scottie Pippen represented the Bulls in the original NBA Jam. Photo credit (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Reggie Bush's career at USC is forever tainted, but his video game representation is forever dominant. Photo credit (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Even stars like Anthony Davis, James Harden and Kevin Durant can't quite compete with the 2K version of Steph Curry. Photo credit (Brad Barket/Getty Images for 2K)
Just like in real life, Lionel Messi's football wizardry makes him a dominant force in the FIFA games. Photo credit (Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Iron Mike's opponent in Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! was a lot smaller than Kevin McBride. Photo credit (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Good luck bringing down the elusive and speedy Michael Vick in some early iterations of Madden. Photo credit (Mark Konezny/NFLPhotoLibrary via Getty Images)
The video game representation of The Kid is true to his five-tool skill set. Photo credit (Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport via Getty Images)
A programming bug allowed Roenick's NHL '94 character to become an unfair asset to your team. Photo credit (J.D. Cuban /Allsport via Getty Images)
Bo Jackson's Tecmo Bowl superiority has become a part of our modern lingo. Photo credit (Mike Powell/Getty Images)

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