So here we are in the final! It was an action-packed semi-final where we saw two great bouts.
The finalists are:
Enduro (Activision) vs Super Football (Atari)
Both finalists had to deal with some tough opposition, especially in the later rounds. Enduro had to deal with a preliminary round and there was quite the discontent that such an illustrious title had to even qualify for this tournament. Going against one of its predecessors, Night Driver, proved to be a good warm-up for Enduro. It went into that bout confidently, but overly so. Next it faced a favourite of this announcer, Realsports Soccer and it really never stood much of a change when all aspect were considered. In the round of 16, it had to face its first heavyweight challenger, Winter Games. Although WG put up a great battle, Enduro prevailed yet again. In the quarter-final it faced a title contender that some would have expected to win the tournament, but eventually California Games was defeated as well. In the semi-final we saw a great battle against My Golf which arguably was the surprise package of the tournament.
In the other bracket, Super Football may have had an easier path which was also loaded with great competition. In the first round, it went up with one of its fellow football games, Super Challenge Football. A good bout, but Super Football proved to be superior very quickly. The round of sixteen it faced a solid opponent in Summer Games which was a great spectacle. The quarter-final saw an all-Atari battle against Track&Field which was beat surprising some people. The semi-final gave us a preview as to how it may fare against racing opposition by facing another Atari title with Pole Position. This was a great bout which proved that perhaps Pole Position may have over-extended itself.
So let's start with our final bout for the best sports game on the Atari 2600: Enduro (Activision) vs Super Football (Atari) !!!
Enduro starts on the offensive right away. This is a game that any casual player can pick up quickly and get the basics right away. Good control, turning left and right, and a nice linear acceleration with the firebutton. Super Football takes a bit longer to pick; this is certainly a game targeted to the hardcore football fan or someone interested. Reading the manual is a must, as the various plays are listed. The graphics in Enduro are clean and simple, while Super Football brings in that unique POV that you won't see in any other game. Enduro works well within the limitations of the Atari VCS, while Super Football takes advantage of the later generation offerings with a large game with more detailed graphics and a lot of the tricks that render flickering minimal with so many objects on the screen. Sound-wise neither game is stellar, as simple sound effects with the exception of the crowd roar when a touchdown is scored being significant. Enduro's availability spanned pretty much the main lifetime of the 2600, while Super Football as 1989 offering found a home in a lot fewer households. Ultimately, the question is again, which one is more fun. In this case Enduro excels in its playability and pummels Super Football.
Our champion by a 3rd round KO: ENDURO!!!!
So the best sports game on the Atari 2600 is Enduro! Not many will be shocked as it indeed one of the finest games on the console and pretty much a mainstay on everyone's top 10 list. It would be interesting to see how Enduro would have fared against other titles. Could another title like Pole Position, Decathlon, Realsports Tennis, Realsports Volleyball or Track&Field provide a different challenge that would have beat Enduro? Perhaps one day we'll try a different tournament with different pairings.